This was an interesting class for me because I have been struggling with the sacred space that gymnastics seems to hold in the PE curriculum. Since the beginning of our course I have been wondering about whether gymnastics should feature so prominently in PE education. My concern is that gymnastics is not really an activity that many people continue to engage in, after leaving school. I think that in terms of preparing children to be physically active adults , it is important that we expose them to sports and activities that they can continue to enjoy when they are adults.
I can see that gymnastics is a good way to teach fundamental movement skills but I wonder if the same skills could be taught just as easily with activities like dance and yoga, which don’t have the same age and equipment limitations that gymnastics does. I considered this with my own daughter and I have steered her into dance classes instead of gymnastics, because I that a passion and some competence with dance will serve her better in the long term.
All that being said, I had forgotten how fun gymnastics is until our class last week. There is something about gymnastics that seems perfectly suited to the temperament of elementary school aged children. And while few people go on to be professional gymnasts, class last week reminded me that gymnastics skills, such as cartwheels, round offs and handstands, do stay with you your whole life and can provide a lot of fun, even if only while mucking around at the beach or in the park.