Physical Development and Health

Illinois Learning Standards

Physical Development & HealthBoy runnign with football

CPR/AED in Secondary Schools (P.A. 98-0632)

Sex Education

Public Act 98-0441 requires schools that teach sex education in any of grades 6 through 12 to include instruction in both abstinence and contraception, and to teach with materials that are evidence-based and medically accurate. The Act also requires ISBE to provide a listing of resources to assist schools to secure or develop or adapt instructional materials in sex education that comply with the law, effective January 1, 2014. ISBE is currently reviewing many available programs and adaptations, in consultation with Illinois Department of Human Services, Illinois Department of Public Health, and the CDC.

Although health teachers must implement the Illinois Learning Standards for physical development and health, health teachers are also advised to review the CDC’s standards on health education, found at:

Offered here are two links to documents from the CDC that provide a listing of evidence-based instruction in HIV prevention and in pregnancy prevention.

Task Force Releases Report With P.E. and Health Standards Recommendations

The Illinois Learning Standards for Physical Development and Health were developed using National Standards for Physical Education, National Health Education Standards, the 1985 State Goals for Physical Development and Health, and other states' standards and local outcomes from Illinois school districts.

A state report released in August 2013 calls for new benchmarks and strategies to improve and increase physical education classes, noting the latest neuroscience research linking physical activity with improved academic performance. State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch and Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, director of the Department of Public Health, co-chaired the Illinois Enhance Physical Education (P.E.) Task Force, which developed the 148-page report that has been submitted to Gov. Pat Quinn, the Illinois State General Assembly, and health organizations and community groups interested in turning the tide of childhood obesity and improving health for all students.

As the nation moves forward into the twenty-first century, a tremendous opportunity exists to enhance our health and well-being. Much of that opportunity lies in our ability to address the growing health challenges that are facing children and youth. Although progress is being made, poor physical fitness; violence; lack of proper nutrition; communicable diseases; and alcohol, tobacco and other drug use continue to plague our society and most notably our youth.

Comprehensive physical development and health programs offer great potential for enhancing the capacity of students' minds and bodies. Extensive research connects the ability to learn to good health. Healthy minds and bodies are basic to academic success and, in later life, enhance the ability to contribute to a productive work environment.

The benefits of comprehensive health and physical education include promoting a healthy generation of students who are able to achieve their highest potential, reversing the trend of deteriorating health and physical fitness among youth, and helping to lower the cost of health care in the United States.

The goals and standards for physical development and health foster workplace skills, including identifying short- and long-term goals, utilizing technology, following directions, and working cooperatively with others. Problem solving, communication, responsible decision making, and team-building skills are major emphases as well.

Through comprehensive K-12 physical development and health programs, students will achieve active and healthy lives that will enable them to achieve personal goals and contribute to society.

Applications of Learning

Through Applications of Learning, students demonstrate and deepen their understanding of basic knowledge and skills. These applied learning skills cross academic disciplines and reinforce the important learning of the disciplines. The ability to use these skills will greatly influence students' success in school, in the workplace and in the community.

Solving Problems

Recognize and investigate problems; formulate and propose solutions supported by reason and evidence.

Physical activity is a catalyst to problem solving. Students learn how to move quickly and decisively in games, how to deal with their opponents in sports, and how to gain advantage and respond to changing situations. In physical development and health, students also learn how to acquire and understand basic health information, assess such information and address health problems.


Express and interpret information and ideas.

Physical activity and movement can be a medium of communication. Students learn to observe others, listen, act and react—understanding the intentions of others and making their own intentions clear. Students also need to understand written and oral communications ranging from warning labels to medical advertisements and health-related news reports. They should be able to question and analyze information to help them make individual decisions about good health.

Using Technology

Use appropriate instruments, electronic equipment, computers and networks to access information, process ideas and communicate results.

Students monitor fitness and analyze movement skills with monitoring instruments, video and computer software. These tools allow students to keep records, graph progress, create simulations and compare performance to national statistics. On-line services provide added information about health issues and fitness. Technology provides students with tools comparable to those used in the professional fitness and health fields.

Working on Teams

Learn and contribute productively as individuals and as members of groups.

Students learn to recognize individual strengths, resolve differences and use teamwork as a necessary tool for working with others. Teamwork is also integral to many sports. Sports in turn teach the elements of teamwork in other fields. One overall goal of physical development is to give students the knowledge and skills necessary for working on teams to achieve specific objectives or a common goal.

Making Connections

Recognize and apply connections of important information and ideas within and among learning areas.



Classroom Assessments and Performance Descriptors