Division of Adolescent School Health essay

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How the world is changing play a commanding role and influence in shaping physical education programs in school. Various literatures points out why Physical Education has been changing and needs to change to by the year 2020 to meet the needs of our students. First, the health sectors need to overwhelmingly promote daily physical education for all students in every school. . Health sector play a huge role in influencing physical education program and physical activity within PE in every country in the world.  According to Tinning (2004), the societal context we are living in today gives much attention to body health, sport and physical activities.  Every day our screen and magazines are full of images of lean and muscular individuals in an attempt to exalt benefits of being fit physically, fighting diseases and thus perpetuating the importance of physical education programs. Physical activities are viewed as powerful and efficient immunizing agents against lifestyle related diseases like heart disease and diabetes (Pipe, 1992). Brooker and MacDonald (1993) state that various interest groups outside education setting influence physical educations and teachers knowingly and unknowingly endorse the voices of these groups which have both negative and positive outcomes. Health sector should be the positive external forces that influence PE in school for us to meet the demands of students by the year 2020. Secondly, the main role of physical education should be to promote healthy living for everyone. According to Ziegler (1977), the role of education, including physical education is not to emphasize on the accomplishment we want student to achieve, but rather equipping them with the skill and principles that will aid them become completely functioning healthy individuals. There are various things that need to be done to change education and physical education to meet PE2020.

According to Division of Adolescent School Health (2005), there was no significant change in physical education in United States high schools since 1991 and 2003. There was a decrease in daily physical education and activeness during physical education classes.  Plaza (2004) states that few states put into consideration measuring student body mass index/ or require academic institution to send health reports together with academic report to student’s parents.

Promoting PE2020 will improve the health of the society in the future.  Physical activities improve overall health of an individual.  It improves blood circulation in the body which in turn reduces stress, boosts mood and attitude, make student calm, and may also improve their academic performance. According to Taras (2005), physically fit student have a less likelihood to miss school, get pregnant, engage in risky behaviors, all of which are connected with better academic performance.

Physical education need be improved and expanded in our school system to improve academic performance in the future. This will help us achieve PE202 and academic achievements for all our students. Numerous studies indicate that physical activities and physical education have positive impacts on academic performances.  According to Satcher (2005), spending more time in physical activities improves concentrations, reduced unruly behaviors and indicate higher test scores in math, reading, and writing (Satcher, 2005). Sallies et al. (1999) addressed the issue of physical activity and academic performances. They used a program called Project SPARK which was implemented in school providing physical activity during class; including health and sport fitness activities like aerobic dance and jump rope, soccer and Frisbee games. The program also focuses on training teachers how to implement the physical education curriculum.  SPARK project also promote physical activity beyond school time, including rewarding student for involvement in physical exercises with their parents. Study result indicates that when teachers were trained to implement Project SPARK significant differences were observed between the experimental and control groups in reading, language, and basic battery.  These result shows that organized physical education programs have an impact on student academic performances even on short period experiment. An analysis conducted by Grissom, (2005) on results of fitness testing from over 8000 Californian students disclosed a remarkable positive relationship between performance on state achievement examination in mathematics and reading, and physical fitness attainment. Another research conducted by Burk, Hillman, Erwin, and Castelli, (2007) in Illinois revealed that students who achieved good performance on two measures of physical fitness had a tendency of scoring higher on state math and reading tests that timid physical performers, notwithstanding the aspect of socioeconomic or gender status.

According to Taras (2005) when students engage in a physical activity program, it’s proven that it “improves their rate of academic learning per unit of class time”, and the extra time spent in PE does not have a negative impact on student scores. Study conducted in France where time spent in PE was increased by 8 hours per week, subtracted from time devoted for academic units indicated that student involved in the experiment were more physically and psychologically healthier and stronger. They also had improved academic performance compared to the control group.

There are many challenges facing physical education today that are highly likely to affect Physical education in the future and thus need to be changed. Firstly, despite immense knowledge on the benefit of physical education few schools in the United States provide daily PE to all students.  According to SHPPS (2000), only 8% of elementary schools, 6.4% of middle schools, and 5.8% of high schools in the United States provide daily PE to all its students. Furthermore, 20% of elementary schools in the U.S.A have abolished vacation in favor of more class time to meet the pressure of improving academic performance (Satcher, 2005).   Satcher (2005) also indicate that less than 25 % of students engage for ½ an hour in any physical activity daily. Even in school institution where student physical education program have been implemented, majority of the students do not engage in PE for most of their class time (Fairclough and Stratton, 2005).  Fairclough and Stratton (2005) estimate that boys spend more time in moderate physical activity 18 minutes daily compare to girls 16 minutes. The statistic above are a huge blow to PE2020, they need to change in the future increase positive health outcomes and academic performances.

There have been abundant barriers to implementing comprehensive health education projects including physical education programs in most schools. These barriers need to be broken in the future to obtain the necessary changes that will improve physical education in the future. According to Symons (1997) it has been difficult to gain government and administrative support for health programs in school considering the pressure they have to improve academic performance and skills.  PE is not viewed as a primary concern in school since most administrators consider health matters should be addresses by parents and not a matter of school concern. Symons (1997) states that it has not been mandatory for schools to improve physical education programs despite numerous recommendations from health organizations, social service and educational organizations that health of students and education are dependent on each other. This study also indicate that budget constraints are more often cited  as the main reason for financial cut backs on physical education and health, particularly in low income areas like high-poverty, rural area in North Central Washington.

Research on physical education and academic performances have not been very consistent.  Secondly Physical Activity is viewed in terms of physical health impact only, an outlook which relentlessly limits the contribution of Physical Activity in educative achievement (Gillespie, 2005). Taras (2005) indicate that few study on PE show significant connection between academic performances with increased levels of physical activities.  This study also suggests that the few study could be as a result of short-term nature of most of these studies, thus asserts that increasing exercises time to take a much longer period is highly likely to enhance recognition cognitive abilities. Furthermore, Taras states that its highly possible that positive impacts of physical education due to increased level of physical activities are more probably found on low performing students who engage in low level of activities.

To meet the physical education needs for all our students by the year 2020, all school should create room that will accommodate physical education in their curriculum and give it as much relevance as any other subject. According to Fairclough and Stratton (2005), "School physical education programs provide room regular and well structured physical activity in school system. NASPE recommends that kids should be engaged in age-appropriate physical activities for at least 1 hour on all or most days of a week.  The improve Physical education in the future; government needs to intervene and influence improvement of Americans, children health. The government should implement policies that create opportunities for physical education in United States school, more importantly mandatory daily physical education classes. The government should also intervene to promote importance and ideologies of healthy living for children which will have huge impact on their adulthood and academic improvement.

Furthermore, school administrator should dedicate ample time for physical education in their school curriculum. This will enhance our achievement PE 2020. Dedication of more time to instruct on physical education has been the conclusion of numerous researchers as they commend that an inclusive physical activity have no harm on academics. Studies from five credible surveys including those from Coonan, Dwyer, Hetzel, Leitch, and Baghurst, (1993) indicate that when schools intensified or minimized instructional duration for physical education, the achievement levels of students remained unchanged. Australian researchers examined 350 students in fifth grade from all over the country. They added instructional duration for physical education for a few pupils by per a week by 210 minutes. At the end of 14 weeks, there wasn’t any noteworthy distinction in reading skills or math between students who were included into the additional time of receiving physical education instructions, and the ones who accomplished the weekly 30-minute periods of physical education in standard three.

Scrapping out the physical education program should never be anybody’s thought. Even as sedentary lives of children are being bemoaned, the school-based physical education program is substituted and suppressed in the name of increasing academic time. In 2006, the survey of Lee, Burgeson, Spain and Fulton, (2007) included that only 2.1 percent high schools, 7.9% of middle schools, and 3.8% elementary schools provided the learners with daily physical education periods or its correspondent for the entire school year.

Wilkins et al, (2003) conducted a study that included over 500 Virginia Elementary institutions to examine the impact of dwindling time for music, art, physical education and educational performance. In the survey, attempts to minimize or eradicate the time spent by students in these content areas didn’t improve the academic performance. Research conducted by Tremarche, Robinson, and Graham (2007) on 311 4th grade pupils in two sample schools deduced that per school year, the pupils who obtained 56 hours or more for physical education attained remarkably higher performance on Massachusetts homogenized tests in language arts and English, than did analogous pupils who obtained 28 hours of physical education annually. In mathematics, there was rather no significant difference between the two groups.

Based on recent survey, physical education is gathering more and more support worldwide which will improve school PE program in the future and attainment of PE2020. Parental support of physical education has been tremendous. Majority of parents believe that physical education and activities should be more regular components of school curriculum involving all students “K-12 school curriculum for all students”.  NASPE (2008) polls indicate that 31% of PE teachers perceive an increase in parents support regarding physical activities, and an estimated 27% recognize increased support for student’s physical education by parents. An estimated 95% of parents say that daily physical activities conducted regularly helps students improve their academic performances and should be included in school curriculum for all students, 75% believe additional time for physical education could reduce childhood obesity, between 54-85% of the parents consider Physical education to be as important as other academic subjects(NASPE, 2003). Furthermore, over 90 % of parents polled convey the desire for increased physical education in school, mainly to fight childhood obesity (Harvard School of Public Health, 2003). Number of physical therapist in the US is projected to grow by 30.3% by 2018 and the number of student pursuing a degree in physical education or Kinesiology is growing at a much faster rate. From 2005 to 2008, number of Kinesiology undergraduate grew by 50% in the USA (Inside Higher Ed, 2010).

In conclusion, attainment of PE2020 is not easy unless all relevant stake holders play their role to ensure physical education is promoted and expanded in the school curriculum. Policymakers should cease attempting to validate cuts to physical education with an aim that such reductions will empower school academic improvement or, eventually the economy.  

To be precise, a well established education sector puts in to the future social economic health. Nonetheless, a delicate balance connects the state’s economic and public health. It is hard to defend the support of a system of education that is primarily based on upholding economic productivity in people who will probably be too detrimental to take pleasure in whatever gains come their way. The importance of physical education should cease being a matter of argument among school administrators, teachers, and policymakers. Presently, physical education is essential for enhancing and intensifying physical activity for youths and children. Putting into consideration the duration that the students stay in school and the commonly accepted authorization of schools to mold healthy life options, the pessimistic impact of maintaining students inactive all day appears obvious. However, physical education policies cannot reverse the weight trends in the youth singlehandedly, but they can establish conditions that assist pupils to learn the significance being physically active in their lives- and enhance them to live the same.

School administrators ought to aggressively accommodate physical education program in their schools. The prevailing climate may make the school administrators feel hamstrung, but they can endorse healthier institutions by being acquainted with the obstacles facing out-of-school physical activity that subsist for most students, maximizing the opportunities for physical activity for all pupils through working together with physical education staff, and examining the progress of physical education classes. The substantiation about physical activity and academics can no longer be ignored by the people who assist in shaping children’s education. Moreover, stern unenthusiastic heath outcomes cannot be out ruled to allow more reduction of physical education. Future generations require physical activity in order to shape the health status of the people. Current schools should uphold it as a legitimate claim to make it part of fundamental institutional programs.    Promoting and increasing time for Physical education in our school will have a very huge impact in reducing health related diseases in the United States like obesity and promote academic achievement in all schools. Parents, teachers, administrators, government and health ministry among others should come together to ensure physical education changes to meet the needs of our student by the year 2020 (PE2020).

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