DODGE BALL IS WRONG AND SHOULD NOT BE PLAYED! Now that we all understand that let’s talk about using human targets in physical eduation. Should ALL human target activities be eliminated in physical education? I am always questioning and refining my teaching practices. The subject of human targets is one that really needs to be talked about.
What is a human target? If we define a human as a person, and a target as “a person, object, or place selected as the aim of an attack”, we come to the conclusion that a human target is a person that is the aim of an attack. This is important because now this includes tag games into the human target conversation.
There is a growing sentiment that human targets in physical education class are wrong and should be eliminated. The same people who believe this are ok with tag games though. Let’s take a look and see if we can differentiate the two and find out why. The human target games that are not tag usually involve throwing a projectile at another person. This could be done by rolling it or using the overhand throw. A tag game involves being hit or touched by a part of the body or an extension of the body (think pool noodle) by another person.
Both activities can hurt a student if the force is not controlled when the contact of the object or body part is made. Both games use human targets to aim or attack. What is the difference? The difference in my opinion is that tag is psychologically safer than throwing something at someone. A student is much more apt to make a mistake in accuracy throwing something than tagging someone. Tagging force is also much easier to judge for the offensive person than throwing force. There is a big difference between tagging games and human targets.
The next argument I heard against using human targets is when will you throw something at someone when we graduate from school? My counter to that argument is when are you going to sit on a scooter when we graduate school? Do we eliminate the use of scooters? I don’t think the “will we use it later in life” argument is valid here. We will use tag in a baseball or softball game so there is a legitimate argument for it.
Another argument that I have heard is what is the grade level outcome that an activity using a human target would be tied to? My answer to that would be you could tie it to: Throws underhand to a partner or target with reasonable accuracy. (S1.E13.3) Another outcome would be: Throws overarm to a partner or at a target with accuracy at a reasonable distance. (S1.E14.4b) Both of those outcomes could be met using another game or activity though. So why do you need to use a human target if there are other more acceptable ways to accomplish those grade level outcomes?
To answer the above question let’s look at what dodging is. Dodging is “avoiding (someone or something) by a sudden quick movement.” No one can argue that dodging won’t help students become more physically literate. This conversation revolves around dodging objects purposefully being propelled at a student. One physical education teacher noticed that her students dodging ability dramatically decreased when she eliminated dodgeball. This raises the question is there a need to work on dodging a moving object in open space? That is a valid question that needs to answered.
Let me reiterate DODGE BALL IS WRONG AND SHOULD NOT BE PLAYED! My question to you is where is the research saying human targets are wrong? I have looked all over for studies on human targets and haven’t found any. I have found why dodgeball is wrong and agree with them. Those talk about elimination or the damage a ball hitting you in the face or groin can cause. Can this be extrapolated to include all human targets where the groin and face will not be hit? Where are the facts that tell me if I slide a bean bag on the ground or roll a ball at another person that it will psychologically harm them in the long run? I want to use best practices in my class. We hear all about student voice and student choice in education. The students love human target games. I am fine telling them they are not allowed to do this in my class because it isn’t best practices. My question to you is how do you prove that human targets are not utilizing best practices?
Q1: How do you refine your teaching practices? #slowchatpe
Q2: Who in your PLN’s word is gospel? #slowchatpe
Q3: What is something that your area says is wrong you disagree with? Y? #slowchatpe
Q4: Where do you go to find the newest research in ur field? #slowchatpe
Q5: What should become best practice in ur area that isn’t? #slowchatpe