Students conduct seminar for physical education teachers

Eighteen University of Wisconsin-Platteville physical education, adapted physical education and health education students recently planned and conducted “Physical Education Active Engagement Seminar” for more than 16 licensed K-12 educators from throughout southern Wisconsin.

The goal of the seminar, held at the university’s Williams Fieldhouse, was for UW-Platteville students to provide an interesting, interactive learning experience that enabled K-12 educators to learn new perspectives on best practices in physical education programming and new activities that encourage critical thinking skills beyond game play.

Students are enrolled in the Methods in Middle/Secondary Physical Education course, taught by Susanna Swenson, lecturer of health and physical education and advisor of the Health and Human Performance Club at UW-Platteville. The seminar was inspired by what Swenson and eight of her students had learned at the SHAPE America National Convention and Expo held April 9-13 in Tampa, Florida.

“The SHAPE convention is an environment of passion and energy,” said Swenson. “Students are inspired by seeing, feeling and being a part of that energy. They witness best practices already being instilled here at UW-Platteville and discover new ideas associated with culture and social emotional learning.”

Swenson said planning and implementing the seminar for K-12 educators enabled students to gain critical professional skills that will benefit them in their future careers as educators, including how to effectively deliver instruction through a transformative learning experience.

“We strive to provide our students with real-world experience through partnering with local schools,” said Swenson. “The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration, our growth is limited by our own perspectives. Our students had an opportunity to add layers to their perspective and shift it to meet current practices.”

“I was given the opportunity to explore and discover my creativity,” said Abby Jaques, a physical education major at UW-Platteville from Princeton, Illinois. “Not until this moment did I believe I could execute my creativity, a 21st-century skill that is necessary to meet the needs of a variety of learners.”

Session topics included:

  • “Underhand Striking Progressions,” led by Matt Landers, Jeff Goetzinger, Ally Brennan and Ashtyn Held
  • “Game Days Made Educational,” led by Collin Chubb, Jacob Debonis and Nick Keen
  • “Jigsaw Method for Backyard Games,” led by Maureen Vorwald, physical education instructor at Platteville High School
  • “Progressive Net/Wall Activities with Adaptations,” led by Calvin Krafcheck, Bailey Elliott and Bryce Arneson
  • “Health Related Warm-Up Frenzy with Pedometer Use,” led by Abby Jaques, Heather Wirth, Sean McGrath and Stasia Dresen
  • “Self-Defense,” led by Jakob Keen, Scott Arneson, Tarek Oellerich and Jason Schielke.

Funding support for the seminar and field experience was provided by UW-Platteville’s Student Research and Engagement Fund. Physical education equipment used at the seminar was donated by John Duly, Gopher Sport, Owatonna, Minnesota.