Lessons Physical and Health Educators Should Learn from the 2016 Election

No matter your political preference, the results of the 2016 election surprised everyone. And while I don’t claim to be a political pundit – why would I since pretty much every prediction was wrong – I believe physical and health educators should learn an important lesson from this recent election.

Regardless of what you might think about the qualifications of either candidate or the two parties they represent, what’s striking is how effective Mr. Trump was and how ineffective Mrs. Clinton was in capturing voting support.

Please click here to read the full essay that was originally published on the GOPHER PE Blog. What do you think? Share your comments below this essay on PHE America.


50 Million Strong Case Studies

Read how your teaching colleagues are showing their commitment to increasing physical activity and bringing good health to their students! Remember - It begins with US (and that includes physical and health educators everywhere!)  


  1. Together we must embrace the VISION and MEANING of the 50 Million Strong initiative. As we begin this New Year of 2017, the thoughts I will share with our MOAHPERD members tomorrow is one of being INDISPENSABLE in their work in schools and universities throughout our state and nation. My message will be to challenge all professionals to have a UNIFIED PURPOSE that reaches not only children and youth, but all education colleagues, parents, and community members. Each of us must be INDISPENSABLE in the effect we have on our students as we help every person to see the VALUE in and regularly participate in ACTIVITY and HEALTHY LIVING BEHAVIORS that constitute a LIFELONG HEALTH-ENHANCING LIFESTYLE. Additionally, we need to collect and present EVIDENCE that our programs impact all school goals and all costs associated with schooling and healthy living. Further, we need to provide LEADERSHIP to the educational community, demonstrating the fundamental concept that investing in preventive education will have a great PUBLIC HEALTH benefit now and in the future. Yes, commonly agreed upon and effective messaging is absolutely necessary to achieving success. Yet, messaging without the foundational bedrock of QUALITY PROGRAMS and EFFECTIVE INSTRUCTION will not bring about success. Follow standards and appropriate practices in every-day lessons designed to build health-enhancing lifestyles, and reinforce the VISION of 50 MILLION STRONG throughout all messages and actions taken.

  2. Thank you for the wise and inspirational words Tom. 2017 is indeed an exciting year for such a community-based ideology. ‘Quality programs’ to me infers the tailoring of the content around the environment in which the school/activity area is situated through an economic and imaginative use of available resources through the local community. ‘Effective instruction’ depicts a developing competency through such denoted standards and appropriate practices on the part of the deliver. This could bridge both outwards from school-based practice beyond into the wider community and back as to move and accompany each and every child through their early years into adolescence. Our students will benefit from the time and energy devoted to the preparation of all (e.g. teachers in primary schools in addition to community leaders out-with school )as to ensure that the delivery of physical education and physical activity within and beyond curricular time upholds the values of active and healthy living. Here’s to the visionary promotion of physical education teacher education through primary and secondary training and across general society.

    • Thank you for the insights, Alison! Yes, we are (and must be) in the era of expanding our focus beyond the self-contained classes and programs, especially in realizing we have an important piece to contribute to the public health campaign for preventive measures. Our knowledge and program offerings should be one of the prime contributions to the “life lessons” of every student. Changing our focus from games, fitness, and sports to active, healthy lifestyle development can provide great benefits. Yes, that may sound good, but how do we accomplish that? We have the answers also, and can demonstrate curricular and instructional plans and strategies to implement a lifestyle development curriculum.

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