Physical Education Teacher Education

woman showing a young boy how to use a bow and arrrow


The Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) program is committed to preparing 21st century physical education teachers who are highly trained in accordance with national standards set forth by the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE website).  The PETE program is a rigorous blend of activity skills, foundational sciences, and methodologies applied to the teaching of physical education in the public schools.  The goal of the program is to provide prospective physical education teachers with the knowledge, skills and professional dispositions to be successful deliverers of standards based physical education.

The cutting edge PETE curriculum at UMD is full of up to date course offerings, including a concentration in outdoor and adventure physical education experiences working with special populations in adapted physical education, methods classes that meet and practice in the public schools, PETE foundations and history, lifetime and leisure activities, team sports, aquatics and dance.  A nurturing and inviting environment is promoted in PETE for all participants through the use of a Full Value Contract.

Starting in the second year of the program and as often as possible thereafter, teacher candidates in PETE participate extensively in early field experiences (EFEs). EFEs are a process wherein pre-service teachers work in the pre-K-12 setting with children, host public school students for classes at UMD, and receive supervision from qualified, professional cooperating teachers from the public schools while being supported by a university supervisor.  The culminating experience in EFEs is a full semester of teaching experience in the public school setting.

The physical education teacher education (PETE) program is a blending of physical education content knowledge and skills related to the public school curriculum, supporting science course (biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology) and the theory and methodology courses of the discipline of physical education as well as the theory courses of the supporting disciple of education.

The PETE program at UMD places a heavy emphasis on each PETE candidate acquiring the skills associated with planning, delivering and assessing instruction.  Candidates will get repeated opportunities to teach their peers, students brought to campus and students in the public school settings.  The faculty of the PETE program believes strongly that good teachers come from good mentors.  Candidates will receive frequent and specific feedback on their performance as developing teachers.  Candidates will also be expected to reflect throughout the curriculum on their own growth and development as a teacher.  Our intent as a faculty is to challenge students to grow to be knowledgeable, skillful and effective teachers, ready to assume and be successful in a teaching position in a global educational market.