Open Journal of Social Sciences
Vol.04 No.07(2016), Article ID:69096,6 pages

Factors Hindering P.E. Teaching Development in Chinese Universities and the Corresponding Strategies

Yanhong Jing

School of Physical Education of Jinan University, Guangzhou, China

Copyright © 2016 by author and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).

Received 9 July 2016; accepted 24 July 2016; published 27 July 2016


Through analyzing the shortages and strengths of P.E. development in our country’s universities, the factors that affect P.E. development in universities include: teaching management level; teaching guiding ideology; the curriculum setting and teaching pattern; the quality of the P.E. teachers; the teaching environment and so on, and some corresponding development strategies based on these analysis are proposed, so as to provide some theories bases to support P.E. teaching and development in our country’s university to educate more high-quality students out of the P.E. teaching system of high education.


P.E. Teaching, Universities, Development, Corresponding Strategy

1. Introduction

As a component part of higher education, the university’s physical education is to cultivate all round high-quality people, and how to maximize the integral function of the physical education is an urgent issue that the university is facing. Through analyzing factors which affect university’s physical education development in our country, we propose some countermeasures to make sure that university students can not only consolidate the P.E. acquisition of the stage of primary school and middle school, but furthermore can develop an independent ability and habit of physical exercise for a life-long time, thus making a positive impact on their life. The quality of the P.E. teaching in the university has a direct impact on the physical quality of our citizens in the future, so it is very meaningful to study the university P.E. development.

2. Problem Analysis

Since the reform and opening up to the outside world, although the guiding ideology of our country’s P.E. development has shifted gradually from sports skill oriented to physical strengthen oriented that effectively promote the P.E. reform of universities to in-depth development, the practice of university P.E. development in reality still cannot meet the requirement of the Health First guiding ideology, all kinds of problems arose out of the education process could not be ignored.

2.1. The Reform of the P.E. in University Does Not Emphasize Practice Related to Theories

The P.E. reform of university still cannot change the old pattern which concentrated on sports skill oriented ideology, in that case, teaching sports knowledge and skills are overemphasized and strengthening the physical quality of the students is insufficiently prioritized, as a consequence, the students acquire the ability to imitate the action to do sports, but lose the opportunities to self-develop an independent ability for physical exercise in their life, this is because the training senses, abilities and habits of P.E. of university students are neglected, paying little attention to the innovative thinking ability of the university students leading to the situation in which university students do not take P.E. class serious and cannot form a habit to maintain physical exercise for a long term after they leave campus life and go into work.

It has been so many years time since the P.E. reform of high education, but the acquisition is not so good, the physical quality of university students still need to improve. In 2000, the forth National Student’s Physical Quality Survey on university and middle school students showed that their physical quality, including running speed, endurance capability and strength, has declined relatively fast by comparison with 1995. according to the analysis conducted by Ye Xinxin [1] , on the basis of monitoring literature of three surveys on the physical and health condition of university students nationwide during 1985 to 2005, the date showed that while the physical and health condition of university students are advancing on the whole, there exists a recession of sports ability and health condition, vital capacity and vital capacity/body mass index are declining. Moreover, a large bunch of research has showed that nowadays there are 60% university students have low sports capability, over 20% of them failed the P.E. examination, and 16% to 25% of them have psychological problems, what is stunning is that over 65% of the high education students are in the condition of sub-health [2] . So we can draw a conclusion from the data described above: the physical and psychological health condition level of university students is declining. How to solve these existing problems related to the health condition of university students is the major task that the university’s P.E. development is facing.

2.2. The Curriculum Setting and Teaching Pattern Lack a Concept of Creativity in Universities

The basic frame of curriculum system in our country’s high educational system was formed in the 1950s when our country followed the developing pattern of Soviet Union comprehensively, although constant reform has been operated for several decades, the limitation and influence of the old pattern still exist. The curriculum setting of P.E. in universities are little different from those in the primary school and middle school, the content as well is relatively old-fashioned, cumbersome and lack of innovation. Even though through taking reform adventure to put elective course and selective course into trial use, some sports activity contents that contain health fitness function of body building and interests and entertainment still meet obstacles to become part of the curriculum of P.E. classes due to the restriction of playing fields, facilities and teaching staff etc. the physical exercise takes place in class is very different from doing exercise in everyday life, which confines the students to take their favorite sports in P.E. class, thus confining the positive enthusiasm of the students who try to do their best in P.E. class. Due to the traditional teaching ideology, the P.E. class in universities has been generally regarded as a subject, it is general to have cramming method of teaching and spoon-feeding learning in the process of class, students are demanded to meet the standard of body actions and skills which is challenging to them and are compelled to complete some boring tests, in this case, it cannot embody the spirit of student-oriented which the modern educational system insists, but to make the student lose interest in the P.E. class for they could not enjoy the excitement and passion of the sports, what drives them to force themselves to finish the tedious exercise is to get credit for the course. In this context, would it be possible for a student to develop a good sporting habit to improve his or her health quality after graduating from university and set foot in workplace? Maybe ever the good health foundation built up in the campus life would lapse slowly as time goes by.

2.3. The Quality of the P.E. Teachers in Universities Needs to Improve

2.3.1. Teaching Thought

The teaching thought of P.E. is transformed from Strengthen Body Ideology to Life-long Sporting and Health Ideology of modern sporting thought, namely, transformed from Strengthen Body First to Health First, but a large portion of P.E. teachers, whose numbers account for the total number of 20%, still stick to the guiding ideology of Strengthen Body rather than Health First ideology, they think that it is unnecessary to set the Health First as the guiding ideology, and consider the ultimate goal of P.E. teaching is to strengthen the body quality of students and happy education in sports would be like the sheep herding style education which would lead to a disorganized class without discipline [3] . These old-fashioned teaching mindset overemphasizes the impartment of sports knowledge and skill and take the teacher as the center, which would restrict the individual ability for improvement and strangle the creativity of the students, neglecting providing the instructive theories and methods for scientific fitness and training the students to gain an ability of sporting and form a habit of life-long sporting.

2.3.2. The Capability for Teaching

P.E. should be a subject which is interesting and funny to liberate the natural instincts of students, but it would turn out to be a boring and tedious training course due to the unqualified teachers whose teaching skills and methods are outdated and just focus their attention on athletic skills in the P.E. class. The university students are relatively active in sports and creativities and are willing to take risks and curious about the new world, boring and tedious way of teaching would be a constrain and inhibition for the students and make them fed up with the class.

Moreover, the currently compulsory curriculum that is still predominant in the university’s P.E. class is now seriously out of step with the teaching practice which focus on the attempt to achieve the goal of life-long sporting and health, the teaching methods of some teachers overemphasize the directing function of teacher in the class, lack of interaction with the students, it seems to the students that whatever action the teacher teaches is right and what they must do is to follow the action, thus ignoring the main role of the students in the class, makes the way of teaching programmed, compulsory and stiff.

2.3.3. The Research Work of Teaching

It is usual that P.E. development is neglected and ignored, listed behind the scientific research, academic research even administrative management in the universities which do not have athletics majors, thus restricting the creativity and innovation of the P.E. teachers in the school, some teachers are content with the situation that they are in, lack of the passion and enthusiasm to innovate for further research of the subjects they are teaching, their skills and methods are outdated and are not qualified to instruct or assist the students with new knowledge and technique of P.E..

2.4. The Equipment and Facilities of P.E. Development Need to Be Improved

The shortage of equipment, facilities and playing fields is a major problem that university’s P.E. development is facing. As a consequence, the enthusiasm of the teacher is dampened, the normal development of P.E. class and extra-curricular activities are obstructed. Except a few domestic key universities, the equipment and facilities of P.E. development is relatively antiquated and playing fields are limited. Especially after the enrollment expansion of high education, the increasing number of university students make the playing fields more crowded, part of the equipment and facilities are becoming old and shabby, which cannot satisfied the students’ demands of physical and mental development, so their acquisition of P.E. is not good enough. In the process of sports teaching, the teachers prefer to take the information technology of multi-media to do presentation of some high challenging actions and tactics of the game so as to improve the effect and quality of the class, but the use of the modern information technology requires corresponding equipment, including software and hardware. How to improve and perfect the equipment and facilities and apply the modern information technology to enhance the quality of the P.E. class is one of the priorities of the development of universities.

3. Corresponding Strategy Studies

3.1. Enhancing the Management Level of P.E. Development in Universities

P.E. management is a highly comprehensive work, which includes reconcile the working relationship between the school and other department of teaching management, providing solutions to different kinds of problems arose in the process of teaching, providing support and creating a good working environment for the teachers in order to motivate them to be enthusiastic about their jobs, the work also includes teaching planning management, teaching quality management, teaching order management, teaching file management etc. [4] . P.E. is a dynamic system that has been affected by many factors, it base on feedback principle collects information feedback of all aspects constantly so that it could adjust the relationship with the other part of the system to make sure the whole system can operate normally. With the increasing number of students enrolled in universities, P.E. management work shall arrange the teaching content and schedule based on the situation of large amount of students and limited facilities and playing fields to make sure all the students have enough quantity of exercise, taking measures such as transforming from closed ended type of teaching to open ended type of teaching to provide more teaching time and room for students, abandon the teaching style in which teacher takes care of everything, give students more degree of freedom to be more independent rather than dependent on the teacher to learn. Moreover, establishing all kinds of sports club and interesting group and activity organization in the campus, hosting some rich and varied physical competition to create good atmosphere of sporting study and athletic learning are effective ways to promote the development of P.E.

3.2. Attaching Importance to the Renewal of the Curriculum Setting and Innovation of the Teaching Model in P.E.

3.2.1. The Construction of the Curriculum Establishment and Teaching Material System Should Correspond to the Ideology of Life-Long Education

As a compulsory course for the students in universities, the ultimate goal of P.E. is to form the students a life-long sporting mindset that drives students to do sports continuously to achieve a strong body. Because the teaching material is the foundation of the curriculum, so curriculum reform must begin with the reform of the teaching material, to make sure the teaching material shall meet the requirement of the time, avoiding the repetition and out-of-date version of the teaching material. Now our country has established a new curriculum management system to strengthen the ideology of Health First. Returning to daily life is the only way which must be taken for the successful curriculum reform of P.E., for the game competition-based teaching program and teaching material can no longer accommodate to the educational requirement of new times. In this context, the P.E. development in universities should strengthen the non-competition athletic projects, aiming at the goal of enhancing healthy condition.

Overall, the selection of the teaching material of P.E. in universities must consider the needs of high educated person to be systematic and complete, while taking the future professional characteristic and living needs into account, setting a basic goal of P.E. in universities to train students to acquire life-long athletic capability and enhance their healthy condition.

3.2.2. The Teaching Style of P.E. in Universities Needs to Be Innovated

Nowadays, the talk-and-learn teaching style no longer meets the requirement of the rapidly developing society. P.E. development shall take different teaching style in accordance with different teaching goal. There are three traditionally typical teaching style of P.E. in our country: traditional sports teaching style, specialized selective course teaching style and club sports teaching style. China’s national traditional sports teaching in the course of its development, deeply influenced by traditional Chinese culture, has a long history and rich cultural heritage. It is simple to learn, suitable for students of different ages and physical conditions, and has good self-learning, self-training and self-evaluation function. Therefore, colleges and universities that carried out national sports teaching would promote the health condition and enhance physical fitness of students. It would also help the students develop lifelong sports consciousness and habits. But it emphases less on competitive skills and method as well as strict training schedule comparing to the specialized selective course teaching, which put relatively more emphasis on competitive sports and particularly athletic training. Students who take the specialized selective course would focus their attention on the training and study of the selective course, thus ignoring the practice of other forms of sports. The club sports teaching consists of recognized student organizations whose goals are to promote and develop common sports or recreation related interests. Each club sport has been formed, organized, managed and maintained by student leaders to provide encouragement, guidance and general supervision for the affiliated clubs, but the emphasis is on student leadership to initiate, organize, operate and participate. The mission of the club teaching style is to provide diverse, competitive sports opportunities for students across a broad range of skill levels and experiences. It is a training ground for leadership, organizational development, and teaching. But ultimately, the mission is realized through a program that promotes an opportunity for all students to participate, and reach their full potential. But it is more causal and informal, relatively lack of professional training and promotion.

Each of them has its shortcoming and strength, for P.E. teaching is a complex and multi-objective and multi-functional system, none of these teaching style is omnipotent and unchangeable [5] . Therefore, all kinds of teaching style should be applied in the process of P.E. teaching, through evaluating merits and demerits of different teaching style, taking the characteristic of given universities and different students into account, these three teaching styles could be combined for a better use. For example, bring those students who have a better body quality to P.E. club and association, increase both the degree of difficulty in teaching and the number of projects demanding strictly on exercise equipment to maximize the athletic potential of the students, in this case, those students would continue to enhance their competitive level on selective course to even present their school to take part in different kinds of games, on the other hand, they can also serve as the instructor of the club and association on athletics course of different level through learning the knowledge of teaching methods and organizing management to enhance their abilities. In addition, except the specialized course study, the comprehensive course of P.E. should be remained to satisfy the P.E. needs of part of students who do not have special hobby. For those students whose health condition is not good enough, stimulating their interests in athletics and sports should be the first priority, simplify some competitive sports or introduce some traditional sports such as Tai Chi and badminton in accordance with their specific interests.

3.3. Enhancing the Comprehensive Competence of the P.E. Teachers in Universities

In order to meet the requirement of the P.E. teaching in universities, P.E. teachers must conduct continuing education to enhance the educational degree and knowledge supplement and development. It is the uppermost priority of P.E. in universities to train qualified P.E. teachers to be innovative and creative. Universities must invest more and more training capitals on professional development and training for P.E. teachers, encourage them to pursue their postgraduate education and engage in advanced studies.

3.4. Improving the Optimization of Equipment and Facilities of P.E. in Universities

The P.E. teaching environment is the objective condition of the teaching activities in universities. The material environment including the necessary playing fields and facilities is a very important element that influents the teaching activities. Therefore, universities have to increase investment on P.E. equipment and facilities in accordance with the number and scale of the students. Especially in the context of enrollment expansion policy, it is urgent to reinforce the construction of the playing fields and facilities to create a good teaching environment so as to meet the requirement of the teaching activities. It is obvious that the outdated equipment and facilities would have negative impact on development of the selective courses of the P.E. teaching, and universities should develop a strategy of establishing more P.E. selective courses while prioritizing supporting the popular athletic projects including basketball, football, table tennis, badminton, martial arts and aerobics. In addition, we should take the advantage of the equipment of modern information technology as an efficient way to make students maintain excited passions to learn in P.E. class under different circumstances, and make it easier to learn in a relatively relax atmosphere to master athletic skills and methods. In conclusion, there is no doubt that optimization of the P.E. teaching environment including its hardware and software could make the development of P.E. teaching direct to a more healthy and efficient way.

Cite this paper

Yanhong Jing, (2016) Factors Hindering P.E. Teaching Development in Chinese Universities and the Corresponding Strategies. Open Journal of Social Sciences,04,207-212. doi: 10.4236/jss.2016.47030


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