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Exploration of Effective Initiatives for Improving Children’s Physical Fitness: Practical Activities of the Board of Education and Initiatives at Schools

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Other Title
  • 子ども達の体力向上を支援する効果的な取り組みの探索 : 教育委員会の活動の実際と学校現場での取り組み

Abstract

The basic motor skills of Japanese children today are not well developed. Therefore, each school is expected to incorporate new ideas and creativity, in collaboration with the local municipality’s board of education which plays a leading role in implementing appropriate measures to improve their physical fitness. This study examined the process of drafting and planning guidelines and policies carried out by school education supervisors of each municipality for the improvement of children’s physical fitness. Based on these findings, this study aimed to acquire the resource materials to help refine the measures taken to achieve improved physical fitness in children. A structured interview was conducted with six school education supervisors belonging to the physical education division of four prefectural boards of education. The responses of each supervisor indicated that it was necessary for the teaching staff of the school to understand the significance and importance of physical fitness for children. To this end, it was suggested that the expertise of school education supervisors was significant in providing guidance during school visits as well as the creation of an appropriate system by the board of education to facilitate these visits. In addition, there was an over-reliance on the Japanese new physical fitness test to measure the physical fitness evaluation index of children, across the boards of education. Therefore, it was inferred that the creation and introduction of a new index based in relation to the child’s eagerness and academic and physical strengths, is urgently needed for the future. The results also highlight the importance of collaboration between departments both within education boards and outside of them. Lastly, examining the practicing support policies for boards of education and their supervisors from various perspectives was shown to be significant for the construction of an optimal guidance/support structure to improve the physical fitness of children.

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