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Whilst obesity is widely known to cause a wide range of serious complications including increased risk of illnesses and even premature death later in life, many do not take concrete steps in overcoming this problem. (C. Ebbeling, D.Pawlak, D. Lugwig, YEAR?). Consequently, our project aims to tackle the worrying trend of childhood obesity and encourage healthy living amongst Singaporean youths, as almost 15 in every 100 students aged 12 - 13 are obese (Nestle Singapore, 2010).
By analyzing and modifying from the strategies employed by psychologists toward the treatment of dyslexic students in helping to learn better, we propose _________________ (name of project) to promote a healthy lifestyle amongst youth (JC and Poly) in Singapore through encouraging them to adopt a balanced diet, engage in physical training and outdoor activities, which in turn will allow them to become aware of the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. Being healthy is imperative in enhancing our daily performance in both work and school. As dyslexia affects the psychological well-being of people, whereas obesity is about the physical well-being, our aim is to improve on these methods and capture the concepts that shaped them.
2. Model Context: Treatment of dyslexic students
2.1 Reason for choice, brief background about dyslexia
We have decided to work on the problem of Dyslexia because we found out that a significant number of people are found to have this condition, which is quite worrying How is this a good reason? This section requires you to give me the rationale for doing this project - show me how this project has value such that you want to work on it. We have collated sources from the internet which states the prevalence of dyslexia around us - about 1 in 7 people is diagnosed with dyslexia. This problem is closely related to rising obesity rates amongst youths. Hence, we can make use of the lessons learnt from the different approaches to tackle dyslexic people into our target context. This is more like an overview of the problem - OI needs to be improved
E.g. from Darren;s group
The declining birth rate in Singapore has been a pertinent issue for the past two decades, magnified by the shockingly low total fertility rate of 1.22 in 2009 (Singapore Department of Statistics. 2010). Consequently, the Singapore government has spent much time and resources crafting measures to curb this problem.
We have chosen Singapore's policies to increase birth rates because it comprises multifaceted approaches which seek to provide: (i) tangible incentives as a show of support for the economic concerns of raising a child; and (ii) a more conducive external environment for would-be parents to encourage child birth and shape social perceptions. This includes a monetary scheme, increasing the number of childcare centers and extended maternity leave (Caselli, Wunsch & Vallin, 2005). Whilst critics of BBS would say that it has not made as big an impact as hoped, it is still in its infancy and has to be continuously reviewed and tweaked. Thus, we believe there is much value in learning from this program's strengths and faults.
Initial Strategies Employed
In 4-5 lines describe what conventional methods were used initially and how they were limited/ineffective
Emerging in the later days of pedagogical approaches for dyslexic students largely resolved the limitations presented by initial strategies. These methods include: (i) Fleming's Vark model; (ii) multi-sensory learning games; and (iii) role modeling.
The fleming's Vark model is aimed to tackle children who are diagnosed with dyslexia. Students are required to undergo learning through different forms of medium - through Audio, visual, kinesthetic, read/write and multimodal. With the aid of the specially trained teachers, learning is facilitated through general discussions with different individuals. On top on that, the teachers also need to determine and recognize every other student's learning styles. Depending on what works for them, this may be the key in ensuring that dyslexic students continue to make good progress later on in their lives. This method works both ways, with the teachers and students reaching a mutual agreement to which learning style suits those particular individuals. This is where some of the power tools - mindmaps, interactive videos etc. come into plays, to engage the students' attention and ensure that the overall message is reinforced into their minds.
Multisensory games aim to stimulate their interests towards learning by engaging their five senses actively. Confucius once said, "Show me, and I know". We found it very applicable in this context. It would definitely be a great idea to introduce something that will attract the attention of these students. The games are designed with the intention of keeping their mind active, and they will never know the ending unless the facilitator [in this case: teacher] decides to stop. We have found out that the best way to grab a child's attention is to let them have fun and constant engagement with these kids, so that they will not end up feeling a sense of bewilderment. Hence, this method of incorporating games with learning is definitely effectively. It attracts the attention of the students, and makes learning more interesting. Gradually, we will start to notice the trend whereby students will look forward to future lessons and appreciate learning as a whole, rather than deeming it as a waste of time.
Lastly, the concept of role modeling revolves the whole idea about boosting the morale of students with dyslexia. Research has shown that if people feel more optimistic, chances are they will have a higher self-esteem and continue to do well in life. Hence, the concept of role modeling proves to be crucial in determining one's attitude, especially early on in life. This approach mainly relies on getting students to attend special talks, conducted by famous people with dyslexia from around the world. As we all know, dyslexic people generally have a higher intelligence as compared to the vast majority of ordinary people. Besides that, many of them have ended up to be great achievers in lives, despite all the setbacks they face. By targeting the heart and boosting at their confidence, the educators have come up with an intelligent way to get dyslexic people to be proud of them, as they work towards greater success in their lives.
Role modelling of an environment where people can excel is a boon to overcoming challenges faced.
Incorporation of technology into can efficiently and greatly help to overcome challenges and facilitate the achievements of goals.
The environment should be made conducive for physical activity, promoting enthusiasm and activeness.
3. Project Proposal: BODY FIT
Despite the many problems youths today face, our group decided to focus on obesity due to its pervasiveness and serious impacts. Currently, about 1 in 7 Singaporean students (12-13 years old) are obese. (Nestle, 2010) Health Impacts of obesity include health issues such as hypertension, as well as low self-esteem (House of Commons Health Committee, 2008). Obese people are also susceptible to social prejudice in terms of discrimination. In Singapore's context, obesity poses a further due to its declining birth rates (Theonlinecitizen, 2006), in terms of National Service, which requires Singaporean men to be physically fit. With individual health and the national interests at stake, it is imperative that this problem be addressed.
This can be attributed to a diet in which energy intake exceeds that of energy expenditure, exacerbated by excessive fast food, the sedentary lifestyle and affluence of 21st century families, the lack of awareness of healthy living.
Our project proposes 'Body Fit', which aims to promote awareness of healthy living through exercise and nutrition amongst youths in Junior Colleges (JCs) and polytechnics, and will be inspired by lessons learned from the treatment of Dyslexia, coming up with several carefully crafted approaches that address the problem. This project will be implemented alongside MOE's Holistic Health Framework (HHF) programme. Although the HHF encompasses the different aspects of healthy living, it focuses only on Primary School students, and some aspects of healthy living as a whole were left out. Our project takes on a more holistic approach across all levels regardless of education level, as JC students are different from primary students in many ways.
With the aid of our case study, we have developed 3 ideas that parallel the lessons learnt. It will be a tri-pronged approach towards the healthy living awareness campaign, with the 3 ideas implemented concurrently.
Alternative approach 1
"Health4U"-(health for you)
Our 1st proposed idea is to organize "Health4U", an annual health bazaar which allows students to set up booths in order to promote awareness for healthy living. As the theme of the bazaar revolves around healthy living, students will be required to adhere to the theme as they embark on selling healthier options for food and beverages.
Healthy Beverages and food sales
Students will be split into groups of 5 as they embark on their business and the winner of this event will be recognized by the whole school, based on their earnings and creativity of products. It spurs the students to think out the box, as they explore ways to promote health awareness through a wide range of products, slogans etc. This will be carried out every year, all students to reach out to the rest of the school population through such event. The students themselves learnt to be more aware of their health and as a result, work towards improving their physical fitness. Apart from the main aim, the students are generally free to choose the things they want to sell, be it food, beverages or even T-shirts as long as it follows the main theme of 'Healthy living'. By allowing a wide variety of things to be sold, we hope that we can reach out to the more students across the school, spreading the message of healthy living to them.
Green passport stamps
In order to further enhance the attractiveness of the bazaar, every student who purchases a product from these stalls will receive a sticker, which their support towards this healthy lifestyle campaign. At the end of the day, we will tally which class has the most number of stickers, and the highest number collected stand a chance to win vouchers to be used for this bazaar. By doing so, we are able to track the number of students we reached out to, and it will be a yardstick to determine the success of our project. This will also stir interest amongst students to purchase from the stalls, as they will be eager to win these attractive vouchers.
Our biggest concern about this concept would be having the sufficient resources to run it. We have requested for the school to set aside a significant amount of money, which will be allocated to the students who decide to set up a stalls. This will solve the problem of students deprived of the funds to start up these stalls. The profits they earn from their sales will be used to cover the amount that the school has provided them with.
Alternative approach 2
"OutdoorVenture" is a sporting league designed to be held alongside Sports day in most schools. OV will be focused on more demanding, less well-know and frequently offered outdoor sports, such as Rock climbing, high rope elements as well as water-borne activities, such as canoe polo, wave surfing.
Each class will be invited to field a team in each category of sports prior to the main Sports day. Teams may compete in events such as Rock climbing, high rope elements as well as water-borne activities, such as canoe polo, wave surfing. Trophies will be awarded to the victors, and points will be allocated to each respective house for participation and score, as an add-on to the point system already established in the various houses of the school.
Posters and announcement will be put up across the school to highlight this event, and to approach more students, popular social networking sites will also be utilised, such as the sending out of invites via the highly popular site Facebook (All you need to know about Facebook , 2009). The sports day event happening after this event may also serve to be further publicity.
Funding and Support
Once again, the biggest concern would be the availability of funds and resources as well as the personnel to carry out the project. Firstly, collaboration with the Outward Bound School in Singapore would supply the facilities required as well as the trained personnel to coach and ensure safety, which is another major concern. Since OBS is Singapore's leading organisation providing outdoor education and adventure learning programmes, (OBS-About us, 2006) they would be the most credible organisation to collaborate with. Funding can be allocated by the school to subsidize the course and materials fee, as well as from Edusave funds. (Edusave, 2010)
Alternative approach 3
SPORTSWERCS(SPORTS Wellness EnhanceR point Collection System)
SPORTSWERCS is a point system designed to collect and monitor the student's data during physical education (P.E) lessons. This is to ensure the students are undergoing proper physical training to improve their physique and allows the teacher to assign better physical training methods for the students if they are underperforming.
The students will be engaged in a series of circuit trainings at the start of the first PE lesson every week. The circuit training will involve various basic physical trainings such as sit-ups, push-ups and a 200m run. Points will be awarded based on their timing in the runs and the number of sit-ups and push-ups they can do. Example: 2 points for an above-average pass, 1 for a barely pass and 0 for a fail. The points and timings from these exercises will be recorded down by the teachers and tabulated under the P.C.S database stored in the computers.
The points will then be accumulated every week and collated at the end of the month, meaning the maximum point one can get for a month is 10 points. To ensure that the students doesn't get too demoralized from this trainings, those who meet the passing mark of 5 points will be allowed to not attend the next P.E lesson of the week for the entire month.
This system will be integrated into the school's computer database so the P.E teachers are able to record and store the data of the students for future references. It may be time-consuming for the teachers to take down individual students timings in every P.E lesson, so student volunteers are recommend to aid the teachers in recording.
In conclusion, our project focuses on the apparent physical inactivity amongst the students and thought of the 3 suitable solutions, the point system, Mini-YOG event and the health bazaar, to encourage physical activity. Based on the statistics we obtained from our research, it is evident that we are facing a dire predicament of student's increasing inactivity in physical activities. This problem could escalate disastrously and may affect the current society and the students themselves, significantly if the problem is not solved quickly. To curb this problem would not only require the help of the schools and government but also the help of the child's parent to help instil a healthy living attitude into the child.