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There is a significant amount of research that has explored the benefits of in-school Physical education. With a large number of schools and students participating, control groups have been able to track the advantages and disadvantages of in-school Physical education. The conclusions, interpretations, and suggestions for Physical Education have determined an overall academic performance increase has occurred in the students with proper Physical Education instruction. The need to improve the school systems for today's young learners should be at the pinnacle of education reform.
How to improve school
for today's' young learners
There is a rising concern with the development of our children and their academic performance in comparison to other industrialized countries throughout the world. If the United States wants to remain competitive in the world market, it needs to address the issues involving the future generations. If the education of past generations has proven to be inadequate, an elucidation for improving the school systems will create smarter generations for the future. Improving the nations' school system is a difficult and delicate project. If we try to change the curriculum, determining which curriculum to change becomes far too analytical. Does reading need more attention than writing? Does writing need more attention than Arithmetic? Subjecting every student to standardized test has been the determinant of all the prevailing questions. "Teach to the test" is the routine saying to describe our elementary academics. The focus is on the test, and has taken away from the learning. The standardized testing does little to improve the knowledge of the student, but the learning gives the students a priceless commodity. The schools need to look at more progressive means of improvement; address the needs of the students and the teachers, not the states requirements for test scores. There has been significant research on the effects of in-school Physical Education and its benefits. The continuation of in-school physical education will improve overall student academic performance and an array of physical and mental skills. Physical Education is a subject that is creates better students and has an additional benefit of health.
Schools currently have Physical Education as part of the daily curriculum, but the amount of time allotted for proper physical education is diminishing. This may be adversely affecting the overall performance, "students who had moderate to high levels of physical activity within P.E. reported fewer attention problems during class and more years of post-high school educationalâ€¦" (Exner, A. 2009). An example of a modification to the school curriculum would be to reduce the amount of time for lunch and recess and introduce organized sport or play. The additional physical activity increases the attentiveness of the students, and will result in better comprehension or retention of the course material. With a better understanding of the school material the students are more confident in their studies and are more willing to pursue post high school education.
If our nation wants stay competitive with other nations, we need to develop smarter students from the infancy of education, not better test takers. The mental skills enhancements associated with exercise, "research shows that physical activity improves academic skill learning, concentration, memory, classroom behavior, and general academic performance," (Exner, A. 2009) are the things that need to be addressed. If schools focus on developing the concentration and memory of children, then the children will learn more in the allotted time for school. Developing the skills to learn as well as learning itself will benefit our school system tremendously. Classroom instruction is an essential in the foundation of education, and quality Physical Education should be included.
Physical Education is a complicated; insuring that schools properly apply all the right formulas for physical education will result in better cognition in children. Lounsbery and Smith (2009) have indentified that "Quality physical education is defined by standards related to five critical elements: (1) who teaches it, (2) how often students receive it, (3) what is taught, (4) how well students should perform, and (5) for what purpose it is taught." The schools need to be sure all teachers receive, at minimum, basic physical activity training. Giving the teachers the tools to properly apply physical education will assist them with the in classroom subjects as well. A proper balance of education in schools needs to be maintained. If we take away from physical education and give to math or reading the equilibrium of education is thrown off. Academic achievement will prevail in the students with the proper amount of Physical Education.
Our nation is falling behind on the overall test scores, due to the change in curriculum. Sometimes it is necessary to cut subjects due to budgetary constraints, but cutting the things that adversely affect the students is a better idea than reducing the subject proven to increase the productivity of the students. When legislation calls for education budget cuts, the first things on the chopping block are physical activities and extra curricular sports programs. The demands of politicians and the government are obstructing the advancement of academic performance in this country. Balancing the subjects in all area of the academic process needs to be maintained, in order to provide students with the necessary tools to succeed in school and life. An equal treatment of all subjects will create an atmosphere for higher learning standards. "As youths make the transition to adulthood, they require skills that will aid them in making self-assessments, planning personal programs, setting goalsâ€¦(self-monitoring), making decisions, and solving problems" (Le Masurier, G, & Corbin, C. 2006).
In order to make schools better for the young learners of today and generations to come, addressing the needs of developing mind and body go hand in hand. The body is the carrying case for the mind and its capabilities. The multiple benefits of Physical education extend outside of the classroom. Personal growth and maturity in the decision making process are also among the many values to physical education. Schools want for the students to achieve high test scores, at the risk of becoming in-sufficient in other fields of education. Schools primary obligation to the student is to properly prepare and develop the mind and body for what ever lies ahead. Whether is be running companies, raising families, or governing countries, the students that are given the proper education from the beginning will be more successful.