The state of physical education in the system of general education

The state of physical education in the system of general education


S.Yu. Schetinina, associate professor, Ph.D.
Pacific state university, Khabarovsk

Key words: physical education, efficiency increase, educational system, innovations, integration, schoolchildren, region.

As a part of the educational system, physical education for schoolchildren develops in the unity of sociocultural transformations, predominant ideology and social moral values. The contemporary state of physical education in the educational system is stipulated by general trends, taking place in education, - orientation to increase of its efficiency and quality, modernization. The aggravation of the issue of improvement of efficiency of physical education of schoolchildren is associated with modern innovation processes in the educational system, assigning the direction of modernization of physical education in educational institutions.

The purpose of the study was to reveal the innovation criteria and stages in the educational system, identify modern innovative processes in education, analyze the state of physical education in the system of general education and prove the relevance of the issue of improvement of efficiency of physical education for schoolchildren.

Results and discussion. The innovation processes in the educational system are the controlled processes of creation, perception, assessment, development and application of pedagogical innovations. In the wide sense, pedagogical innovations are defined as purposive introduction of novelty into the educational process as changes aimed at improvement and efficiency increase. The innovation criteria are presented by academic novelty and practical implementation [10]; optimality standing for teachers’ and schoolchildren’s efforts and methods spent to achieve expected goals; effectiveness shown in rather stable positive results of teachers’ work, positive social and (or) economic changes in the work of educational institutions and potential of the mass creative application of innovations [13].

Innovations arise in traditional educational systems. This process is impartial and predetermined by the system nature. Innovation is developed in its own way but in accordance with the general rules of system development (Fig.).

Fig. Innovation stages in educational system

The contradictions within the educational system, educational environment or between the educational system and environment are the driving force for origination of innovation. Their aggravation stipulates for creation of such conditions in the educational system when the system is incapable of operation and requires transformation of the conditions [7].

The means of innovation can be presented only by the one capable of harmonious introduction into the traditional system, transforming its essence, in demand of educational parties, consistent with social and private demand in the educational sphere. Herewith, new education is often rejected by society at the origination stage.

At the stage of formation of an innovation the contradictions are gradually smoothing and functions are determined. The features of progressive innovation clear up. Stabilization of all characteristics, arrangement of elements and structures and full value realization of functions correspond to the maturity stage of an innovation.

When mature innovation starts loosing such features as novelty and relevance, stops performing some functions or functions not in full, it means that it is not an innovation anymore and is changing the status for tradition. Thus evolutionary system transformations, time spent for every stage of development of both innovation and tradition are specific for education.

Educational innovation processes become world-wide, education is subject to remarkable changes, getting closer to social, economic and political standards. Nowadays education is in the course of innovation changes, shown in the intensification of the following processes [1, 14]:

- education diversification, associated with changes in the content of education specified by the time challenge, reorientation, changed life values, transition of economy to practice- and human-focused models and design of advanced, new-generation educational technologies;

- democratization, more public world education, availability, expansion and establishment of public education;

- humanization and humanitarization of education, relating to personality placed in the core of the educational process;

- globalization; consolidation of educational systems in single international educational networks; getting over political, administrative, national, racial and confessional limits in education;

- regionalization; more specified educational models within the world network related to the features of development of specific regions.

Innovation development of education goes hand-in-hand with integration processes. Integration is vested with the key function in the documents on modernization of Russian education, along with the marked necessity of: 1) integration of Russia into the international educational environment; 2) ensuring integration processes intended for improvement of the quality and efficiency of general secondary and preschool education; 3) ensuring integration processes in creation of the universal continuous professional education, satisfying the country’s requirements and trends of the global job market; 4) facilitation of integration processes in development of the public system of control of educational management [11].

Due to the above mentioned factors education looses traditional models of knowledge and pattern transfer and has to find new ones. This is when the so called educational crisis arises.

The issues of educational crisis and ways of coping with it are raised in the report of Russian State Council “On development of education in the Russian Federation” [11] and in the report of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation “Education and society: is Russia ready to invest to its future” [12]. In particular they mention students’ health deterioration at all educational stages (preschool, school, higher school); their underdeveloped need for sports activity; bad habits like smoking or alcoholism; school isolation from society; underfunding of the industry etc. Virtually, the educational crisis affects the system of physical education as well.

According to the data of Ministry of Health and Social Development of the Russian Federation the present health indices of schoolchildren are terrible: for the last five years the common sickness rate has increased by 16% among Russian children under 14 and by 18 %. - within young boys and girls aged 15-18. The number of the children aged 6-7, not ready for regular studies, exceeds 32%; whereas 53% of schoolchildren are impaired. With such results health dynamics of schoolchildren is getting even worse by the 11th grade. Only 10% of graduates of general educational institutions can be called healthy [4], indicating to the ill-conceived methodology of school physical education [19].

Hypokinesia is a significant negative factor for schoolchildren’s health. Insufficient motor activity comprises 35-40 % for primary school and 75-85 % for senior school. The lessons of physical education make up for motor deficiency, but only by 10-18 %, which is clearly not enough to prevent health deviations [4].

Another factor that can help in coping with the educational crisis is more attention paid to regions. Reforms can be really innovative and educational quality can be enhanced to a new level only in case of regional activity. In the meantime, the historically established and still remained disproportions in the regions’ economic status and educational potential result in the “geographical” inequality of their educational potentials. Here the priority support of education in depressed regions is required, along with balancing of the educational potentials of the subjects of the Russian Federation.

Monitoring and single tests of physical fitness of schoolchildren from regions of the country testify to their hypokinesia and physical underdevelopment.

Thus, proceeding from the sampling analysis of physical fitness of 21 thousand of 1-11-year schoolchildren from one of the most prosperous subjects of the Russian Federation – Moscow city, the underdeveloped key physical qualities totaled to over 30 % with the most underdeveloped qualities presented by strength, flexibility and general endurance [5].

As follows from the monitoring of the level of conditional fitness of schoolchildren of the Sverdlovsk region (63 817 people) for 1998-2003 in accordance with the regulations stipulated in the state programs of physical education for comprehensive schools, 56 % of schoolboys didn’t satisfy standard requirements in the aspect of strength, 46 % - in flexibility, 41 % - endurance, 36 % - speed strength, 22 % - speed; as for the girls the weakest qualities were strength – 50 %, speed strength - 51 % and speed - 24 % [16].

The large-scale researches of physical fitness of over 20 thousand of Ulyanovsk comprehensive schoolchildren held in 1997-1998 and 2003 [8], where the indices of physical development were compared with the data in 1993, revealed the stable trend to decrease of most of the studied anthropometric indices.

The stipulated negative trends to decrease of schoolchildren’s physical status are even more remarkable in severe socio-economic and climatogeographical conditions of the Far East and the Far North.

Schoolchildren’s personal estimate of their physical conditions approves tests results. Proceeding from the results of the sociopedagogical monitoring “Health and behavior of schoolchildren” carried out by V.K. Balsevich and L.I. Lubysheva in 12 Russian regions, only 20,7 % of schoolboys and 10,3 % of schoolgirls estimate their physical fitness as very good; 10,6 % of male and 13,4 % of female respondents think they look very fit. Besides, the studies revealed their low estimate of sports achievements [2].

The lack of the health saving value among schoolchildren, underdeveloped need for sports activity and low activity motivation are some of the key reasons of the listed trends. Meanwhile, social and ecological upheavals of the 21st century have actualized the values of health, physical activity and optimal psychophysical status of schoolchildren as a potential for social development.

 The isolation of school, its alienation from other social institutions, also contributes to decrease of the interest in physical culture and sport among schoolchildren, resulting in the reduced role of upbringing. School physical culture has lost the functions of human social formation and involvement in the system of social relations.

The main reason of failure reforms of physical education is assumed [3, etc.] to be the common for the modern pedagogics and unsettled problem of the combination of mass education in most of educational institutions of all types with a school class as the basic form of organization of studies and the need for individualization of the educational process to be realized not only in the technological sense, but also within the world legal and ethical paradigms of priority personality, its interests and needs for free development.

Another aspect of the relevance of the issue of improvement of schoolchildren’s physical education is the lag from the foreign practice in the quality, extent and intensity of differentiation and individualization of the educational process, insufficiently developed school sports infrastructure, lack of material security and human resourcing, resulting in deterioration of schoolchildren’s health, low physical fitness and decreased interest in the classes of physical culture. Awareness of this aspect in many respects clarifies the reason of the special interest in physical education as a sociocultural instrument in raising of the growing generation.

As shown by the analysis of the researches (Yu.N. Vavilov, 1990; M.A. Godik et al., 1990; L.B. Kofman, 1998; V.P. Luk’yanenko [15] et al.), low efficiency of traditional physical education is defined by its orientation to solution of the issues of general and professionally-applied training, domination of the strictly limited by standards, induced content and regimes of physical activity, preserved standard approach, inability of combining educational and motor activities within a lesson, stipulating for the lack of interest in standard lessons among schoolchildren.

In the meantime, the current system of school extracurricular physical education (sport groups, clubs, etc.) is so weak in the methodological, material and technical and organizational aspects that it is incapable of increasing efficiency of school physical education. The extracurricular activities are arranged mainly only for physically fit children, who can stand up for their school in competitions. The rest majority of schoolchildren, the ones desperately needing regular physical exercises, are beyond the limits of sports and recreational activities.

The compulsory form of physical education does not facilitate formation of the need for physical exercises. This is the reason why most of students stop exercising after finishing with compulsory physical activity at school and university. The situation can be changed if to gain the interest of schoolchildren in the lessons of physical culture.

Nowadays leading Russian experts like V.P. Luk’yanenko, L.K. Sidorov, V.K. Balsevich, L.I. Lubysheva, V.A. Fetisov, Y.M. Chernetsky et al. raise the question on the necessity for the large-scale reorientation of the system of school physical education. Herewith, the structure of education is the first to be changed fundamentally followed by the content and methodology.

The relevance of increase of efficiency of school physical education is also conditioned by the fact that most of the citizens cannot exercise regularly, which is marked in the “Strategy of development of physical culture and sport in Russia” [17]. At present 85% of the residents, where 65% made of children, teenagers and youth, do not go in for sports on regular basis.

As everywhere in the world, the matters of development of physical culture and sport are gaining priority in the social policy of the country. The interest in healthy way of life has been outlined, but has not yet acquired the features of stable, integral system of behavior.

Many people are slightly motivated for sports activity due to their low socioeconomic level and the insufficient role of the state in development of mass sport – many parents are unable both to pay for their sports classes in paid fitness clubs and to provide their children without any perspectives in sport with classes of physical culture; the lack of available sports facilities, especially in the neighborhood, etc. [6, 19 et al.].

A well considered system of motivation for physical culture and sport for all population groups is to be designed, since, firstly, sport results can be only the consequence of development of mass physical education and, secondly, the social potential of physical culture and sport is the most cost-effective impetus of forced improvement of moral and physical health of the nation [15, 19 et al].

The “Strategy of development of physical culture and sport in the Russian Federation” up to 2020 is focused on modernization of the system of physical education of different categories and groups of the population, including preschool, school and professional educational institutions. The goal defined by the Strategy is creation of the conditions providing for healthy way of life and regular sports activity for children and youth.

By the order of the President of the Russian Federation, the “Strategy of development of physical culture and sport in the RF”, originally designed by the Ministry of Education and Science in July 2012, the Department of development of the system of sports education determined among the key directions the necessity of creation of conditions and potentials of increase of efficiency of teaching physical culture in general educational institutions, facilitating fundamental changes of the attitude to classes of physical culture and sport both among children and teenagers and adults [18].

Harmonization of personal, social and state relations for creation of conditions for more complete development and self-realization of human potentials is one of complicated tasks of reconsidering the fundamental changes of the modern education, since it affects harmonization and balanced development of the society in general via harmonization of the forming personality.

As innovations in the educational system, changes in the system of physical education are the natural and objective process, meant to satisfy the new educational requirement, resulting in progressive changes in educational systems and qualification qualities of educational subjects. Physical education of schoolchildren requires the most significant changes, for social modernization is mainly provided by the function of school education focused on the value.

Conclusions. The analysis of the state of physical education in the system of general education promoted allocation of four aspects of the relevance of the problem of increase of efficiency of physical education for schoolchildren.

Firstly, the aggravation of the quoted problem is stipulated by the contemporary innovative and integration processes in the world along with constantly arising crisis situations in education, affecting the system of physical education.

Secondly, more efficient physical education for schoolchildren is required due to deterioration of their health at all stages of education and the insufficiently developed need for sports activities.

Thirdly, Russian comprehensive school lags behind the foreign practice of physical education by the underdeveloped sports infrastructure, lack of material security and human resourcing.

Fourthly, people are less motivated to sports activity due to the low socioeconomic level and the lack of available sports facilities for exercising in the neighborhood.

Regions are of special importance in solving the issue of enhancement of efficiency of physical education for schoolchildren.


1. Bagishaev, Z.A. Initiation and formation of strategic vectors of development of Russian education: doctoral thesis (Hab.) / Z.A. Bagishaev. – Ufa, 2004. – 456 P. (In Russian)

2. Balsevich, V.K. Sports-focused physical education: educational and social aspects / V.K. Balsevich, L.I. Lubysheva // Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kultury. – 2003. – № 5. – P. 19–22. (In Russian)

3. Balsevich, V.K. School physical culture: ways of modernization of teaching / V.K. Balsevich // Pedagogika. – 2004. – № 1. – P. 26–32. (In Russian)

4. A. Levitskaya’s address on the board of Ministry of Education and Science of the RF on the issues of strengthening of schoolchildren’s health. February, 11, 2009. URL: (accessed October 30, 2011). (In Russian)

5. Isaev, A.A. Russian sports policy / A.A. Isaev. – Moscow: Sovetsky sport, 2002. – 512 P. (In Russian)

6. The concept of the federal target program “Development of physical culture and sport in the Russian Federation for 2006–2015” // Collection of Legislative acts of the Russian Federation, № 38 September, 19, 2005, Art. 3866. (In Russian)

7. Kotlyarova, I.O. Innovations in education / I.O. Kotlyarova // Vetsnik YuUrGU. Ser. “Education, public health, physical culture». Iss. 2. – 2003. – № 5. – P. 15–18. (In Russian)

8. Levushkin, S.P. The dynamics of physical development of Ulyanovsk schoolchildren / S.P. Levushkin // Fizicheskaya kultura: vospitanie, obrazovanie, trenirovka. – 2005. – № 1. – P. 56–57. (In Russian)

9. Luk’yanenko, V.P. The contemporary state and concept of reforming of the system of general education in the field of physical culture: monograph / V.P. Luk’yanenko. – Moscow: Sovetsky sport, 2005. – 256 P. (In Russian)

10. Nevorotova, N.P. Organizational and pedagogical conditions of innovative educational institutions (the case of the region): abstract of Ph.D. thesis / N.P. Nevorotova. – Kemerovo, 1997. – 22 P. (In Russian)

11. Education and society: is Russia ready to invest in its future? Report of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, Moscow 2007 // Voprosy obrazovaniya. – 2007. – № 4. – P. 5–102. (In Russian)

12. On development of education in the Russian Federation: Report of the State Council of the RF // Ofitsial’nye dokumenty v obrazovanii. – 2006. – № 14. – P. 2–67. (In Russian)

13. Polonsky, V.M. Innovations in education (methodological analysis) / V.M. Polonsky // Innovatsii v obrazovanii. – 2007. – № 2. – P. 4-14; № 3. – P. 4–12. (In Russian)

14. Teaching sociohumanitarian disciplines in Russian universities. Analytic report / Ed. by L.G. Ionin. – Moscow: Logos, 2003. – 660 P. (In Russian)

15. Rozhkov, P.A. Development of physical culture and sport as a priority direction of state social policy / P.A. Rozhkov // Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kultury. – 2002. – № 1. – P. 2–8. (In Russian)

16. Semenov, L.A. Monitoring of conditioning physical fitness in comprehensive institutions: monograph / L.A. Semenov. – Moscow: Sovetsky sport, 2007. – 168 P. (In Russian)

17. The strategy of development of physical culture and sport in the Russian Federation for the period up to 2020. Adopted by the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation August, 7 2009 № 1101-р. (In Russian)

18. Theses to the report of director of the Department of development of the system of sports education A.T. Parshikov at public consultations on: “Modernization of the system of physical education and teaching of physical culture in general educational institutions” October, 22, 2010 URL: http: (accessed October, 30, 2011). (In Russian)

19. Shulika, Yu.A. Dialectics of physical culture and sport as a problem of national health / Yu.A. Shulika, Yu.M. Skhalyako, I.V. Tikhonova // Fizicheskaya kultura, sport – nauka i praktika. – 2009. – № 4. – P. 96–101. (In Russian)

Author’s contacts: