The purpose of this paper was to review the research literature in physical education to establish what is currently known about the extent to which the national outcome goals have been achieved.
Papers were selected through an initial search of the EBSCO database, with main identifiers included being physical education, physical activity, and physical fitness, combined with the descriptors that represented the key idea of each of the give content standards. Further journal articles were then obtained through the citations and references in the original documents.
While there is a dearth of results that directly accounts for the accomplishment of the standards, the research suggests that the expectations of performance, as outlined in the standards, are being realized by less than half of all students participating in physical education.
The discussion presents a model for moving research in the field forward, and suggests there is a need for descriptive studies which provide rich details of the contexts where highly effective, as well as sophisticated interventions whose goal is to produce significant change in selected student outcomes.
The author is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL.