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4. Enhancement of Physical Education Environment at Schools

(1) Improvement of TeacherQualityand Use of a Diverse Rangeof Instructors

Based on the importance of school physical education in cultivating a foundation for lifelong participation in sports,instruction must constantly be enhanced to enable students to actively and effectively engage in exercise and sports.This calls for constant improvement in the quality of the teachers that provide that instruction.Various opportunities for training,including induction training by prefectural boards of education,are provided for teachers.MESSC also offers practical skills courses,produces instructional materials for teachers and conducts experimental training at designated experimental schools.

(i)Improving the quality of teachers as instructors

Teachers in charge of Health and Physical Education need to improve their teaching abilities,especially in areas such as adapting their instruction to the specific interests,abilities and characteristics of students,understanding scientific theory on physical education and developing teaching methods which lead students toward being goal-oriented.Improvements,however,should not stop there.Physical education teachers also need to play an active role in ensuring that appropriate physical education and health instruction are provided in all school educational activities.Moreover,it is important to improve their teaching ability to adapt to the increase in student electives in lower and upper secondary schools.To this end,MESSC supports prefectural boards of education in supplying inshuctors who provide training in practical physical education skills.It also offers practical skills courses to a total of some1,200teachers annually in three locations nationwide,to incorporate the latest related research into its teaching methods,and to promote the goals of the Courses of Study with the aim of improving the quality of instructors.In addition,the reference materials for teachers produced by MESSC explain the basic concepts of the Courses of Study,the method of instruction,innovations in teaching and other matters in order to enhance instruction in accordance witb the specific circumstances of each school and region.MESSC also maintains a designated experimental school system for orderly practical research aimed at:(1)addressing contemporary issues,(2)promoting the aims of the Courses of Study,(3)improving and making innovations in educational methods,and(4)research and development on curriculum,among others.In this system for physical education in FY1998,71schools were designated for research on building stamina,175schools for research on martial arts instruction and24schools for research on elective classes.Each school conducted its own organized research,then broadly disseminated the results to schools and educators through such means as meetings for the presentation of research findings.The teachers(advisors)who lead extracurricular sports club activities need to have a deep understanding of the growth and development stages of students and to take adequate measures to prevent sports injuries.Thus training is needed to improve teacher capacity in this area.MESSC has designated70schools for research on sports club activities and is supporting training projects by prefectural boards of education on extracurricular sports club activity instructors and on external instructors for those activities.MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH AND SPORTS

Reference materials for teachers produced by MESSC

Elementary school

Physical Education:"Innovations in Physical Education Class from a New Perspective on Scholastic Ability"

Lower secondary school

Health and Physical Education:"Innovations in the Preparation of Teaching Plans and Instruction"

Upper secondary school

Health and Physical education:"Innovations in the Preparation of Teaching plans and Instruction"

School Physical

Education practical skills:"Handbook on Judo Instruction"(revised edition),"Handbook on Kendo In-struction"(revised edition),"Handbook on Sumo Instruction"(revised edition),"Handbook on Swimming Instruction"(revised edition),"Handbook on Group Activity Instruction"(revised edition),"WelcometoSkiing"(Handbook on Ski)Instruction)

School education

instructional video:"Let's Enjoy Swimming"(elementary school swimming),"Hop Step Judo"(judo),under production in FY1998(kendo)

Extracurricuar sports

club activity management:Under production in FY1998

(ii)Use of various instructors

In order to enhance Health and Physical Education,teacher-specialized Physical Education is assigned to some elementary schools,especially for fifth and sixth grade students,for whom a higher level of instruction is needed.There is a need to further study policies for the effective placement and use of such instruction.In order to enhance martial arts instruction,there is a need to consider the use of teachers who have obtained regular teacher certificates for upper secondary school judo and kendo as a result of tests for teacher certificates.It is also necessary to make use of Special Certificates and the Special Part-time Teacher System based on the Educational Personnel Certification Law,inviting outside instructors with expertise and experience in specific areas of activity to teach Health and Physical Education and extracurricular sports club activities.It would also be effective to actively utilize outside instructors in carrying out the variety of extracurricular sports club activities offered to meet the diverse orientations of students.In light of the recent aging of instructors,their insufficient ability to teach practical skills and the frequently seen situation where club activities become inactive due to personnel exchange,there is a need for boards of education and schools to take serious steps to secure outside instructors as a realistic solution.From this perspective,MESSC is supporting prefectural initiatives to use outside instructors.In training and maintaining outside instructors,it is also necessary to make use of the sports leader banks and the registration lists of sports recreation associations set up by each prefecture.

(2) Enhancement of School Physical Education Facilities

School physical education facilities play an important role in facilitating education at schools,both for Health and Physical Education and for extracurricular and other sports club activities.Recently,training rooms,equipment for easy heart rate measurement and other facilities have started to be established based on recent changes in physical education needs,while also providing an opportunity for students to actively improve their health and stamina on their own as well as securing a place for exercise.To help facilitate physical education at schools,MESSC gives financial aid to local governments(responsible for the establishment of schools)with projects for the construction and maintenance of athletic fields,gymnasiums,swimming pools,martial arts halls and other sports facilities.In regard to the safety management of school swimming pool drains,MESSC conducted a study of the situation nationwide in FY1996,and based on its findings notified each prefectural board of education to take all the necessary precautions in April1997.This and other steps were taken as safety guidance measures.With a view to promoting exchange between schools and the community,and to making school physical education facilities an asset to be shared with community residents and thus a base for community sports,there is a need to take special consideration in designing the facilities,offering information services,simplifying procedures for using the facilities and promoting innovation in management of the facilities,among others(see Section3,Chapter3).

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