PE Teacher Training and Certification Programs

Find out how a bachelor's or master's degree program can help you meet your state board of education's certification requirements for physical education (PE) teachers. See what topics you'll study, and learn about the availability of online courses in this field. Schools offering Athletic Coaching degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Physical education teachers do more than simply supervise athletic activities in a school environment. They must know a great deal about how bodies work grow, and develop as well as how to instruct effectively and manage classroom discipline. Bachelor's and master's degree programs in physical education provide training in these areas and prepare students for state certification.

Courses Anatomy and physiology, child development, educational psychology, pedagogy
Degrees Bachelor's and master's
Certification Varies by state, often requires completion of education degree program, student teaching and passing Praxis scores

What PE Teacher Training Can I Find?

If you want to be a physical education (PE) teacher, consider a bachelor's degree in PE. These programs often give students the option of completing the teacher training coursework necessary for state certification as a PE teacher. Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) programs are also available to students who have an undergraduate degree in physical education but no student teaching experience.

What Will I Learn?

PE bachelor's degree programs stress anatomy and physiology, biology, kinesiology and motor development. You'll learn about the care and prevention of injuries, the social and psychological ramifications of physical activity, methods for teaching team sports and adapted physical education. Programs may also include coursework in water safety, motor behavior and fitness education.

Teacher training courses often include topics in classroom instruction and educational psychology. You may also learn how you can help students enjoy physical activity, perform fitness assessments or reach their fitness goals. These programs culminate in a 1-semester supervised teaching internship.

A master's degree program will focus more on classroom management and pedagogy. Course topics may include inclusive instruction, educational philosophy, learning assessment methods and diversity training. These programs also include a student teaching internship.

How Do I Become Certified?

After graduating from a bachelor's degree or MAT program, you'll need to apply for certification in your state of residence. Minimum requirements usually include the completion of a teacher training approved by your state department of education. You'll also need to have completed a teaching internship. Some states may also require you to pass written exams, such as the Praxis, on teaching pedagogy and your area of interest, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Are There Any Online Programs Available?

You probably won't be able to find an online PE bachelor's degree program, although online MAT degree programs are fairly common. These programs may deliver course content through recorded video lectures, e-mail and course management systems, such as Moodle. To access this material you'll need a high-speed Internet connection and a multi-media plug-in or document reader.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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