To be an advocate means to defend the credibility of a cause. In this case the cause of physical education within a K-12 setting. To advocate for physical education a professional publicly supports or recommends the role learning through physical education plays in the lives of their students. The professional advocate promotes lifelong physical activity and the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are developed within physical education. By doing so they become a spokesperson who not only speaks but writes and urges for the cause of physical education learning in schools.
NASPE (2008): emphasizes the teacher in the role of a leader, through participation in a community of learners, developing competence, confidence and knowledge, renewing the culture of learning in the school for the ultimate benefit of the students. A leader is expected to share their knowledge, or the results of new understandings with the professional community. Part of this leadership is the action of inquiring and contributing in order to advance the profession. Leadership and professionalism as an advocate comes with high expectations. An advocate should know how to formulate research questions, gather and interpret data to answer meaningful questions and communicate the findings to appropriate audiences. This may include professional learning networks or communities. An advocate seeks, shares, and acts on learning for the benefit of students. They lead from the position of teacher rather than an administrator. The physical education advocate forms positive connections with teachers, parents, communities, and administrators.
Continuous Professional Learner
To be a continuous, collaborative professional learner means to gain knowledge and become aware or informed through the experience of working with another or others toward a shared goal. This is demonstrated by making constant and steady progress with one’s own growth and learning as well as contributing to the learning experience of others through leadership.
NASPE (2008): asks for the teacher to remain a lifelong learner, including a self-developer. Take what we learn and how we apply knowledge to enhance the learning in others. This is the heart of becoming an advanced teacher. The benefits of our own development extend far beyond ourselves. The learner seeks, reflects, analyzes, synthesizes, creates, and disseminates the best available knowledge to teach and improve their personal practice. This brings up the concept of continually reviewing, renewing and extending personal commitment to teaching. In addition to being a lifelong learner the professional demonstrates inquiry and reflection where teachers critically think, problem solve, and learn from one another.
Responsive and Reflective Practitioner
To be a responsive and reflective practitioner means to react to and answer, both quickly and positively, the effectiveness of practice within physical education that thoughtfully and deliberately enhances learning. The practitioner should actively engage and specialize in physical education. A responsive and reflective practitioner recognizes their strengths and continues with development.
NASPE (2008): focuses on learner outcomes and experiences. The practitioner empowers individuals through increasing student decision making and differentiating instruction that is developmentally appropriate. The focus is on effective instruction and helping students learn difficult topics. A practitioner examines their practice systematically, inquiring into their own practice to better benefit the students. Through this inquiry the teacher evaluates and improves both teaching and learning. From the process we find new and meaningful ways to use existing knowledge or gain new understandings of how to apply knowledge and skill to physical education teaching. Planning, teaching, assessment, and reflection become aligned. The teacher helps learners identify personally relevant goals within physical education. In addition to short term goals the practitioner also works toward achieving long term program development through critical thinking and problem solving.
NASPE (2008). Advanced Standards for Physical Education