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Introduction to Physical Education

Describe about the physical education should be mandatory till grade 12 in high school?

The physical education is that branch of study, practice and the appreciation of the art and science of human that includes fitness, skills, exercise, recreation, dance, health, games and sport and other activities. These activities on skill development must be incorporated through a proper physical education programme which ensures that the students gain success in sports and other leisure activities which are common to the society. The physical education plays an important role in developing young people. It completes the overall education of children and establishes a connection between the skill acquisition and learning experience. Therefore the importance of the physical education in the curriculum of schools including high schools till grade 12 is identified by most educational societies. Sports education is also included in the physical education which states that sport activities, outdoor gaming adventures, gymnastics and other recreational activities must be performed by experienced physical educators. This benefits the children to achieve physical fitness and also inculcate personal as well as social skills (Ciccomascolo and Sullivan, 2013).

The physical education puts forward several health benefits for the children of all age groups from leaner bodies and lower blood pressure. It improves mental health and cognitive functioning. Based on the reports formulated that there is a constant need to include physical education in schools which will improve strength and endurance, healthier bones and muscles, control obesity, anxiety reduction and increase the self esteem of the children. It often helps to improve the blood pressures and cholesterol levels. There is substantial evidence that the physical activity helps to prevent disease and promotes healthy lifestyle. In order to mandate the physical education in high school certain procedures are formulated by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE). (NASPE), 2015) These are:

  • Opportunity to learn- there must be instructional periods in every school with duration of 150 minutes per week at elementary level and 225 minutes per week at high school. The appropriate physical education programme must be provided to children by experience and quality physical educator. For the implementation of the physical education there must be adequate availability of equipments and facilities.

  • Meaningful Content- the physical educator must provide quality fitness education and assessment and build variety of motor skills so that the students can improve their physical, metal and social perspective. The physical education programme must develop cognitive skill and improve their social and cooperative skills. A quality physical education means that appropriate physical activities must be performed regularly and throughout the life.

  • Appropriate instruction- the quality physical education can be rendered by ensuring that the lessons are well designed so that the learning process of the children is smooth. All students must be included in the physical education ensuring maximum practice session for class activities. There must also be some outdoor activities that will enhance the learning process of the students. It must also be taken into account that students are not punished through physical activities.

The scientific evidence reveals that the role of the physical activity in the overall health and well-being has been cited extensively. There is basically no doubt in the fact that the physical education forms the crucial part of the children’s health and fitness. Physical education includes physical activities that are derived from the daily aspects of life and so it becomes the most important contribution to the healthy habits of the children. (France, 2009)

Let us focus on relevant facts and statistics related to the physical activity, obesity and the cost of reducing obesity.

Survey based on the physical activities around the world reveals that only one in every three children are considered to be physically active. About 28% of Americans or 80.2 million people belonging to the age group six to older are physically not active. A research in 2013 found out that only 6 states Illinois, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York and Vermont must have physical education in the curriculum of the high school or in every grade from K-12. According to the data on obesity around 12.5 million children and adolescent are fat and obese because their dietary intake is abnormal and unhealthy. The latest report indicated that by 2030 almost half of the adults will become obese in the US.

Benefits of Physical Education

Based on the above information, it must be ensured that the physical education must be made mandatory in high school. Below are several reasons that help the school authorities to adhere to implement physical education in their curriculum. (Le Masurier and Corbin, 2006) They are:

The major reason that every individual must consider in order to realize the importance of physical education is that it helps to prevent disease. According to the Surgeon General, the secondary living of the children and adults give rise to chronic diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, incidence of strokes, problems of diabetes and problem of obesity (Finkelstein et al., 2009) in children pose as a risk. Regular physical activities can help and enhance immune system and relieve some of the diseases.

The second reason is that the sometimes the inactiveness of the children may cause them to be depressed or engage in mood swing. (Coe, 2003) Regular physical activity can help to reduce these problems. The next reason includes development and growth of brain. Before the age of 10 years, children must inculcate motor skills and pathways so that the prioritization of brain is allowed after this age. Physical education in schools will help to reinforce and strengthen sensory and motor skills in children. Research show that the higher the children and youths are inactive, the higher there chances to become inactive in adults. So physical education help children to be academically productive, gain self esteem and help to reduce the obesity in children. It was found out that there was a three-fold increase in the obesity conditions in children over the years. Obesity causes the children to be prone to diseases and decrease in energy. Physical activities can reverse the condition and improve the health status of the children. (Simone, Kaphingst and French, 2006)

 Another reason for implementing physical education in high schools is that it teaches the student to develop certain real life skills like self management skill, also develop skills related to self assessments, setting goals and engage in proper decision making. In the absence of physical education, children might indulge in laziness and be inactive. Thus, it is necessary to develop healthy exercise habits and in this regard physical education must be mandatory.(Peaceful Playgrounds, 2012)

A survey conducted by a school authority regarding the mandatory physical education in high school reveals that some of the parents were counter reactive on the physical education implemented in schools. They are of the view that physical education causes liability risks as the fitness training, sports and game also has the potential to cause physical injury of the children who do not have athletic ability. The next argument that they put forward is the students who have heavy academic loads and classes that consume time get distracted due to physical education and also they tend to lose energy from Physical education resulting in lack of concentration on studies.

The study reveals that physical education is most essential in the curriculum of high school. But there are several limitations that do not allow the school authorities to introduce physical education in school. One such reason is lack of resources and time which implies that the school budgets pose a constraint to implement physical education. Some school authorities believe that academic tests are more important in the career building of the children which is the reason why the time is reduced for the physical education class. (Silva et al., 2014) Many schools suffer from insufficient space for physical activities and incapable to introduce equipment and facilities. But in some cases cutting off physical education from schools can prove to be more costly. But there should be health goals in high schools to promote physical education in the curriculum. Thus, it is mandatory to introduce physical education in high school. (Sattelmair and Ratey, 2015)

References

(NASPE), N. (2015). Physical Education Is Critical to Educating the Whole Child. 1st ed. [ebook] (NASPE). Available at: https://www.shapeamerica.org/advocacy/positionstatements/pe/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageid=4650 [Accessed 24 Mar. 2015].

Ciccomascolo, L. and Sullivan, E. (2013). The dimensions of physical education. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Coe, D. (2003). The importance of physical education classes in relation to physical activity behaviors, physical fitness, and academic achievement in middle school children.

Finkelstein, E., Trogdon, J., Cohen, J. and Dietz, W. (2009). Annual Medical Spending Attributable To Obesity: Payer-And Service-Specific Estimates. Health Affairs, 28(5), pp.w822-w831.

France, R. (2009). Introduction to physical education and sport science. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Cengage Learning.

Le Masurier, G. and Corbin, C. (2006). Top 10 Reasons for Quality Physical Education. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 77(6), pp.44-53.

Peaceful Playgrounds, (2012). The Benefits of Physical Activity in Schools. [online] Available at: https://www.peacefulplaygrounds.com/benefits-of-physical-activity-in-school/ [Accessed 24 Mar. 2015].

Sattelmair, J. and Ratey, J. (2015). Physically Active Play and Cognition An Academic Matter?. [online] Available at: https://www.journalofplay.org/sites/www.journalofplay.org/files/pdf-articles/1-3-article-physically-active-play-and-cognition.pdf.

Silva, P., Sousa, M., Sa, C., Ribeiro, J. and Mota, J. (2014). Physical activity in high school during 'free-time' periods. European Physical Education Review.

Simone, M., Kaphingst, K. and French, S. (2006). The Role of Schools in Obesity Prevention.Princeton, [online] 16(1). Available at: https://www.princeton.edu/futureofchildren/publications/journals/article/index.xml?journalid=36&articleid=98&sectionid=609 [Accessed 24 Mar. 2015].

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