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More Info: Students’ Perspectives

Physical education teachers in elementary and middle schools in Maricopa County, Arizona asked their students about their experiences with their PE class during the Spring semester 2022.  Here are some more details on what some of them said:

Physical Education, to me, means getting fit and learning how to get/stay fit. Physical Education helps you to learn your body and also to learn how to create a workout on your own and be independent…. Also, it was awesome because we just got to run around. It made all my worries go away.
—Matthew, Phoenix middle school, Maricopa County, Arizona, 2022

At the beginning of this year I was really upset about the fact that I had PE, but now I’m really excited to have it for another semester…We all have the same feelings about being self-conscious and scared to workout in front of people but we all get through it in the end….To me physical education means to learn how to be physically active in a way that works for you…I have learned what makes me feel active and happy at the same time.
—Kathryn, Phoenix middle school, Maricopa County, Arizona, 2022

Physical education isn’t just getting your body fit. It’s physical improving your mind… There is still a physical part about physical education but there is more than just moving… P.E. is where I learn about how I can help my physical, emotional, and mental health.
—Braden, Phoenix middle school, Maricopa County, Arizona, 2022

Student portraits

Running is good cardio, which is part of being a healthy person…Physical activity is fun, it lifts my spirit and keeps me healthy.
—Lauren, East Valley middle school

I feel really good because I like exercise and it gets my muscles strong and I practice teamwork with my friends and learn new things.
—Elizabeth, East Valley elementary school, Maricopa County, Arizona, 2022

The game helped me learn how to do new things and figure out new things and I was able to help my friends too.
—Melody, East Valley elementary school, Maricopa County, Arizona, 2022

PE photo

And by the way:  we had already asked hundreds of middle school students previously, if they think that physical activity and healthier nutrition help them in their school work.  While “tweens” are notoriously non-self-aware :), about half of the students believed that both activity and healthy food helped them academically:

Physically active / healthy eating chart

(Also, here are some videos of high school students talking about physical education and the Partners for Healthy Promises program.)