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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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New Physical Education Program on Campus

Program benefits area K-12 home-schooled kids, helps train future teachers.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 10-28-2013

Mankato, Minn. – More than 60 elementary and high school students from approximately 27 home-schooled families will be on the Minnesota State University, Mankato campus from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 30 to participate in a one-hour physical education class taught by Minnesota State Mankato students.

It’s part of a new six-week program started by Matt Buns, an assistant professor of human performance in Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Allied Health and Nursing, to help develop successful physical education teachers and to serve the home school community.
The program allows home-schooled students to come to campus for classes that are aligned with national content standards for physical education. Each age group focuses on developmentally appropriate learning objectives that guide instructions.

“The program helps home school families make physical education an essential part of the total curriculum,” said Buns. “A goal of the program is to provide these students with the knowledge, attitudes, motor skills, behavioral skills, and confidence to participate in active lifestyles that continue into and throughout their adult lives.”

Minnesota State Mankato students participating in the program are prospective teachers pursuing a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education, a joint degree offered through collaboration between two departments in the College of Allied Health and Nursing—the Department of Human Performance and Department of Health Science.

The Minnesota State Mankato students benefit by gaining practical experience teaching the K-12 students under the direct supervision of university instructors, said Buns. It allows physical education pre-service teachers to have and apply knowledge about how children grow, move and learn. Furthermore, Buns said, it helps Minnesota State Mankato students learn more about teaching, to be able to communicate effectively and to evaluate themselves and physical education students.

“It is my belief that the home school physical education program helps our pre-service teachers to gain insight into teaching physical education because of the course content’s immediate applications to the field,” said Buns. “It allows students to apply research on best practices in physical education and demonstrate main concepts and methods in real-world settings.”

The program, which has been held on six Wednesdays during the fall, will also be offered during the spring semester for eight weeks.

Those interested in more information may contact Matt Buns, assistant professor of human performance, by phone at 507-389-5570 or by email at

The Department of Human Performance and Department of Health Science are two of six academic departments that along with the School of Nursing are in Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Allied Health and Nursing.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,409 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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