Pre and Post tests in #PhysEd

Dear Phys Ed Community,

I am writing this blog in the hope that I can get some feedback from my fellow PE teachers around the globe. Please have a read and comment below. I am genuinely interested in your opinions and if it leads to some healthy debate then that is great too.

I was approached by a long time PE colleague from a neighboring school last week and he was looking for some help with a task he has been set by his school. His school is in the process of developing a range of pre and post tests in all academic areas. I guess the idea is to get students to sit a sort of standardised test at the beginning of the year and then again at the end of the year to determine the amount of growth each student has achieved in each subject area. He tells me that the Maths teachers for example have already devised a 200 question test that covers each sub-strand of mathematics. He has been set the task of devising a test or series of tests that can test all aspects of Physical Education twice yearly to assess student growth.

My initial response was to suggest a couple of fitness tests eg, agility test and aerobic test and maybe an invasion game sense rubric that could be filled out. I am told that this would not be enough. He needs to cover ‘all areas’… Fundamental motor skills, fitness, game sense, athletics, aquatics, etc (the list could go on).

The more I ponder this task the more I feel it is unrealistic and potentially detrimantal to the student LEARNING. Keeping in mind that the primary (elementary) students only receive 1 hour per week of PE instruction and the secondary students receive 2 hours instruction. I feel that this type of approach would lead to way too much assessment and not enough time spent on teaching and learning which in reality is the only way we can influence growth and development.

For the record I am not against assessment. In fact I think it is a vital part of what we do as teachers. I just feel that it is extremely important that we find a balance between assessment and teaching time to optimise student learning.

So… Here is the question… Is anyone aware of or does anyone use an all encompassing test/s that are easy and time friendly to administer or is this task just unrealistic?

Any ideas are welcome 🙂