(Publisher’s Note: This article is based on a presentation made by the author as part of the 50 Million Strong by 2029 Forum held at the 2017 SHAPE America National Convention.)
The physical education profession has faced numerous challenges in recent decades. A few of these challenges include declining contact days and hours in K-12 health and physical education, declining membership within the national and state organizations, and a declining professional reputation due to inappropriate teaching. Given the current state of our profession, what needs to occur in order to repair and improve our professional reputation?
The announcement of 50 Million Strong by 2029 at the 2015 National PETE & HETE Conference appeared to place a wedge in our professional organization. This initial rollout was heavily centered around physical activity with little to no reference to physical education. Significantly however, recent discussion about 50 Million Strong has focused on physical education assuming a more prominent role. Let’s be honest, physical education must be the main focus of 50 Million Strong. Are we to believe 50 Million Strong has a flexible definition? Will 50 Million Strong morph as new SHAPE America Presidents assume their elected posts? A unified and consistent vision is essential if this new professional commitment is to succeed.