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Meet Today's #PEGeeks - The Millenial Generation's Contribution to Physical Education
Posted: Apr 11, 2017 8:22 AM
By: Artie Kamiya

Countdown to #PEInstitute17:  The “New PE” & Our “New PE Teachers”


Three years ago, I had the pleasure to invite my favorite elementary physical education friends to share the center stage at the 2014 National Physical Education Institute.  This included arguably the three biggest names in our business – Dr. George Graham, Dr. Bob Pangrazi, and Jean Blaydes. Rounding out this trio were three younger professionals -  Dr. Guy Le Masurier, Baker Harrell, and a novice third year physical education teacher from Canada - Joey Feith (pronounced “fight”).


Each of the keynotes were web-streamed live for the broader physical education community to see as well.  Bob Pangrazi ended up with a huge number of off-site viewers (5,900+), Jean was next (5,200+), and George and Guy each had 1,500+ views.  Baker, our lone non-PE person had less than 500 views.  However, Baker’s keynote was probably the most insightful and provides us (in my humble opinion) with what really needs to happen to make physical education a “cause-to-action” in the United States.  The top view-getter turned out to be the youngest person there – third year teacher Joey Feith (now at 6,400+ views).   Think about this for a moment, 6,400+ views is more than the total number of attendees at this year’s SHAPE America Convention in Boston.  Even if there wasn’t any snow.  So what does this mean?  To me, this means that we have entered an entirely new manner to be connected to our craft – the Internet! 


“The New PE Journey” It has been over 40 years since George Graham’s generation coined the term “The New PE” to describe those physical education teachers who were seriously engaged in the mission to “guide youngsters in the process of becoming physically active for a lifetime.”   Today, we would call this the “physical literacy” movement.  Personally, this 40 year journey has been one of many ups and downs, a wild roller coaster ride of upward progress, coupled with dips of dismay or even terror.


Handing Off to the Milennial Generation: The very next year (2015), about 500 physical education teachers from around the world again gathered in Asheville, North Carolina for #PEInstitute15.  This time it was to learn from Joey Feith’s generation of 30-40-something Millenials.   In other words, we invited five of the most gifted individuals that the “New PE” generation as ever produced.  These so-called “PE Geeks” are a part of a new vanguard of grassroots physical education leaders who were conceived via the Internet. That’s right, educators who have their being on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Voxer.  In fact, these social media connected Millenials have created a new alternative professional physical education society that is independent of traditional structures and “Old World” thinking.  In particular, this growing and energetic “PE Geek” culture has the very best to offer our profession as this old “New PE” is becoming a part of the fabric of today’s “New PE Teachers.”  These five self-proclaimed #PEGeeks included:

  • Jarrod Robinson from Australia (https://thepegeek.com),
  • Nathan Horne from Singapore (https://www.iphys-ed.com/),
  • Joey Feith from Canada (https://thephysicaleducator.com/),
  • Andy Vasily form China (http://www.pyppewithandy.com/), and
  • Dr. Ash Casey from England (http://www.peprn.com/).


These five individuals have incredible reach and influence around the world. Want to see what Andy Vasily or Ash Casey are up to?  Just click on the links above to read their latest thoughts on physical education.  When I say “incredible reach and influence,” I’m talking about the ability for this Fantastic Five Collective to write something today that will be read by 50,000+ physical educators followers around the world!


Finally, PEInstitute17:  This summer’s Institute was designed to highlight another cutting-edge group of #PEGeeks called PHYSEDagogy.  The PHYSEDagogy Team consists of seven US-based physical educators including:

  • Adam Howell is a middle school physical education and health teacher in Hood River, Oregon;
  • Collin Brooks is on the Board of Directors of SHAPE America and is pursuing this doctorate at the University of Northern Colorado;
  • Jonathan Jones is an elementary PE teacher in Bowie, Maryland;
  • Sarah Gietschier-Hartman is a middle school physical education teacher in Clayton, Missouri;
  • Jorge Rodriguez is from McAllen, Texas and teaches for Houston ISD;
  • Matt Pomeroy teaches health and physical education in Meron, Wisconsin; and
  • Naomi Hartl is the PE Development & Technology Specialist for SPARK.
  • Collectively, they are PHYSEDagogy (https://physedagogy.com/).


Serving Responsibly, Selflessly and Wisely: In closing, each of us need to applaud the efforts of the Baby Boom Generation and our emerging Millenial Generation so that we all can serve responsibly, selflessly, and wisely.  To learn more about the 2017 National PE & School Sport Institute, please visit our website (http://nationalpe.com/).

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