Bad Beginning of a (Nice) Adventure – about Physical Education in Polish schools several years ago (and hopefully not now)

By 8 years ago


Why did I hate Physical Education?


Physical Education was a subject at school that I always hated. Straight A’s from everything else and barely D from P.E. I was slim, I was healthy and fit, so why?

Now I know it was due to the Polish educational system and my teachers when I think about it. P.E. wasn’t about being active and having loads of fun; it was about passing tests.

I can still remember how my best friend and I tried to throw a 3kg ball behind us at the beginning of elementary school to score A.

And however hard we tried, we never managed to achieve that. We were simply so skinny; we could barely hold the ball above our heads.

Or later when we were learning how to play volleyball.

Right at the beginning of that school year, our teacher picked a few girls who were adequately trained to represent our school at tournaments. And the rest of us were just given a ball to kill time with.

Of course, at the end of the semester, we had to pass tests from playing volleyball. I guess you know who was not doing well then 😉

And since I wouldn’t say I liked the feeling of doing poorly, I hated Physical Education even more.


Objectives of P.E.

My daughters have been attending international schools, and that is why I have had a chance to see an entirely different system of physical Education.

It focuses on making sure pupils are active and engaged.

It realizes not everyone will be a champion, but everyone should be given an opportunity to try different sports.

It grades students by an approach to the subject and not achievements.

It results in students loving their P.E. classes.

I am sure it also results later in adults treating physical activity and fitness not as a must but as a regular part of a balanced lifestyle.


P.S. If you didn’t have a problem with P.E. at school, but now you lack the motivation to exercise, please read this post about setting goals and sticking to them.


View Comments

  • I don't understand why you dislike this approach to PE it appeared to be more balanced and holistic than one just based on physical abilities. Seems to address a more balanced approach to to a totally healthy life style addressing both mental and physical well being

    • Thanks for your comment, Robin. The approach to PE that I like is based on trying different sports and doing your best but not being judged on your performance as this can be (and was for me) very discouraging. Isn't it a more balanced approach? :)

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