The TExES Physical Education EC – 12 Exam is a certification examination that is designed to determine if an individual has the knowledge necessary to teach physical education at any grade level in the state of Texas. This exam focuses on ways to improve movement skills, physical fitness, and overall health through a variety of physical exercises, activities, and other similar teaching methods. This exam is required in order to become a certified physical education teacher within the Texas public school system. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions that are related to the following areas:
- Movement Skills and Knowledge (38%)
- Health-Related Physical Fitness (31%)
- The Physical Education Program (31%)
The exam-taker will have five hours to complete the exam and the exam will be scored on a scale of 100 – 300 with 240 set as the minimum score considered as passing for the exam. The Physical Education EC – 12 Exam is offered in a computerized format and the registration fee for the exam is $131. However, there may be other exams and fees in addition to this exam that are required in order to become certified as an entry-level physical education teacher within the state of Texas.
Sample Study Notes
1. Discuss the general characteristics and effects of puberty.
The biological changes in puberty are dramatic; they happen at different times for boys and girls and have unique consequences for each sex. Both sexes have a growth spurt and develop primary and secondary sexual characteristics. They grow rapidly and are often confused by all the changes going on, which can cause wide mood swings. They begin to show an interest in what’s happening to their bodies. They may develop problems with their complexion; they seem to be hungry all the time; they sleep more and may have difficulty getting out of bed in the morning.
For boys, puberty enhances their physical abilities, which increases their potential for success in sports, which leads to a higher social standing in school. Girls tend to mature, on average, about eighteen months earlier than boys do. Their body fat increases, which changes their shape from the childhood androgynous profile to the curvaceous female form. Girls who mature early may have a difficult time accepting these noticeable changes, which can lead to a negative self-image and self-esteem problems later in adolescence.
2. Discuss the characteristics of pubescent boys.
Pubescent boys are always hungry and can’t seem to satisfy their insatiable appetites. In early adolescence they are clumsy, boisterous and aggressive. Most middle adolescent boys masturbate regularly and have frequent nocturnal emissions. Boys may become secretive, refuse to talk to family members, and spend a lot of time in their bedrooms. As they move into the middle and later teen years, they feel invulnerable and often engage in risky activities; they really have little or no concept of cause and effect. Changes occur gradually, so this timeline is approximate; the actual age will vary with the individual.
- Puberty starts between nine and a half and fourteen years.
- The first noticeable change is an enlargement of the testicles.
- Approximately a year after the testicles start to grow, the penis gets bigger.
- Pubic hair appears about age thirteen and a half.
- Nocturnal emissions (wet dreams) start about age fourteen.
- About age fifteen, hair starts to grow on the face and under the arms, the voice begins to change, and acne can develop.
3. Discuss the characteristics of pubescent girls.
Pubescent girls talk a lot but don’t really communicate with parents or peers. They can be mean and vindictive and are prone to fits of giggling. As girls begin menstruating and develop womanly breasts, waist and hips, they become very conscious of their bodies: how it looks, what it can do, and how it affects the opposite sex. Girls form strong bonds and are interested in making and maintaining friendships with other girls and developing relationships with the opposite sex.
Every girl is different and will experience these changes in her own way and in her own time. This timeline is approximate; the actual age will vary with the individual.
Puberty starts between eight and fourteen years.
First noticeable change is the development of breasts.
Pubic hair starts growing shortly after the breasts start to develop.
The menstrual cycle begins between the ages of ten to sixteen and a half.
Underarm hair begins to grow at about twelve years.
4. Explain gross and fine motor skills.
A motor skill is any activity that requires directed movement of skeletal muscles. These skills develop during a person’s entire lifetime and can be affected by many physical and mental diseases. Proper motor function relies on the brain, skeleton, joints, and nervous system working together to accomplish a task. Motor skills develop along with the ability to consciously coordinate the movement of arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet and toes. This physical maturation process is enhanced by gains in strength, posture control, balance and perceptual skills.
Gross motor skills control and coordinate the large muscle groups. Example actions include rolling over, sitting up, balancing, crawling and walking. They develop first, and are usually learned in a discernible pattern from the top to the bottom. Fine motor skills control and coordinate the small muscle groups, and often entail very precise movement to accomplish a task. Example actions include transferring an item from one hand to another, buttoning a blouse, turning pages, picking up small objects, and writing. They depend on good hand-eye coordination.
5. Discuss the correlation between motor development and the perception of abilities.
All their lives, people are rated by what they can and cannot “do” physically. Motor development is observed and judged, consciously or unconsciously, by everyone with whom a person interacts. Can the baby hold his head up? Is he sitting, crawling, or walking? How far can he throw the ball? How high can he jump? How fast can he run? His handwriting is sloppy. He doesn’t feed himself. He can’t button his shirt or tie his shoes. These are just a few of the activities youngsters are judged on starting in infancy and continuing throughout life in various manifestations.
These activities are developed through discovery, exploration, experience and practice. Children of all ages need the freedom to use their muscles in different ways, learn their limits, practice new skills, figure out what movement is needed in a given situation, and make it happen. Encouraging children to squeeze climb trees, ride a bike, write in their journal, rake leaves, vacuum the carpet, or bake cookies can help them build muscles and learn various forms of physical and hand-eye coordination.
6. List some ways to help children build motor coordination and enhance self-esteem.
Dr. Mel Levine, Professor of Pediatrics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, suggested several ways parents and teachers can encourage physical activity in children:
- Do not force participation in competitive sports.
- Find one sport, given his current abilities, at which a child can succeed.
- Note that succeeding does not mean winning. Doing one’s best is the goal.
- During the initial introduction to the activity, provide lots of one-on-one assistance.
- Find an artistic or musical expression in which to participate.
- Teach activity as entertainment rather than as an example of competency.
- Offer many different activities from which to choose.
- Be sensitive to insecurities; understand why a child is hesitant to engage.
- Be fair. Acknowledge everyone’s contribution.
- Encourage patience, understanding and teamwork.
- Use non-competitive, repetitive exercises to develop motor skills.
- Woodworking, painting, and sculpting all develop motor skills and can provide a sense of accomplishment.
7. Explain biomechanics.
The American Heritage College Dictionary defines biomechanics as “the study of the mechanics of a living body.” In essence, researchers apply engineering principles to human biological systems and analyze the results. They study tissues, muscles, and joints as they relate to human movement. These studies are done on all levels, from molecules and cells to tissues and organs. The findings are used to help foot problems in diabetics, prevent bone loss during spaceflight, and develop new rehabilitation methods to treat sports injuries. The roots of biomechanics are based in engineering, anatomy, aerospace, rehabilitation, medicine, orthopedics, and sport science.
The sports science of kinesiology, which is the study of muscles as they relates to the mechanics of human motion, uses modeling, simulation, and measurement to learn about the physics of human performance in an effort to help athletes execute specific motions more efficiently while avoiding injury.
8. Define obesity in children.
The American Heritage College Dictionary defines obesity as “increased body weight caused by excessive fat.” The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines obesity in children as:
- 25% over the recommended weight for the height
- 85th percentile for Body Mass Index (BMI)
- 25% of weight for boys is fat
- 30% of weight for girls is fat
- Using these criteria, 11% of 6 to 11 year-olds and fourteen percent of 12-17 year-olds are obese. The CDC said the percentage of overweight children has doubled in the last 30 years.
- The prevalence of obese children and adolescents is a serious problem. It has emotional and physical consequences. It affects socialization. Overweight youngsters are often teased and ostracized by their peers, which leads to self-esteem issues. This feeling of alienation can cause multiple problems, including suicide and homicide. Childhood obesity often continues into adolescence and adulthood, when health-related problems become evident and create another set of issues. Childhood obesity is becoming a major public health crisis.
9. Discuss physical activity.
Physical activity is bodily movement that causes energy expenditure. Regular physical activity results in significant health benefits for everyone, no matter what the age. Engaging children early in life and helping them understand the reasons for exercise in their daily routine is a giant step toward preventing health problems now as well as later in life. Benefits are felt with any activity, but scheduled and structured exercise enhances its effects. It prevents or delays the onset of many diseases, including hypertension, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, and obesity. Physical activity reduces anxiety and stress, and improves body image and mood. Low to moderate activity reduces the possibility of muscle and skeletal injuries and heart-related problems. The National Institutes of Health says even short ten-minute bursts of activity provide benefits, as long as they add up to at least thirty minutes every day for adults and adolescents and sixty minutes a day for children. Brisk walking, riding a bike, swimming, participating in sports, gardening and household chores are all activities that contribute to the recommended daily physical activity.
10. List some ways schools can promote physical activity.
Schools that encourage regular physical activity for students and staff have a significant influence on obesity and chronic disease, and help improve quality of life. Based on recommendations by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there are many ways to promote physical activity besides physical education classes:
- Encourage five minute aerobic “fitness breaks” during academic classes.
- Set up non-competitive activities like walking clubs, in-line skating groups, jumping rope, water aerobics, and intramural swim teams.
- Coordinate activities with community groups, facilitate training programs for volunteer youth coaches, and provide a list of community resources available for students to use away from school.
- Parent involvement is critical, so communicate with them. Include in the monthly newsletter a list of suggested physical activities students and parents can do together. Recruit parent volunteers to help during physical education classes.
- Allow time for unstructured physical activity during recess and PE classes. Encourage teachers and staff to participate in regular exercise programs. Teaching by example works wonders with children and adolescents.