Our Hale and Hearty Future May Be at Risk (by Cory Asher)

 active3Introduction

The question I have decided to research is; why is physical education important? My research is from various sources with a focus on why it is important along with what is projected to happen if budget costs continue to affect this academic area. Also my research provides statistics and backs up my notion that I am not the only person fearful of the outcome as well as the only individual that is pushing in favor of physical education.

My Question: Why is physical education important?

Cairney, Gina. “Educators Want Mandatory Health, Physical Education in Schools, Survey Finds.” Education Week. Web. 19 April 2013.

This article gives shocking statistics from a survey that showed an alarming percentage of parents and educators are displeased with physical education programs or how they are ran. The surveyors claim that physical education needs to be a mandatory subject and should be taken seriously given the rising rate of child hood obesity.

The article provided is a solid source to reference in the culminating project because with persuasive pieces statistics hit hard and are taken seriously by the reader. This article also shows that I am not the only one who wishes to put more emphasis on physical education and if it is important to the teachers, but more importantly the parents then action should be taken to make these requests no only heard but taken into consideration when budget cuts are being made and physical education is decreasing.

Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. “Educating the Student Body.” National Academy of Sciences. May 2009.

This article provided by the Institute of Medicine provides six recommendations to achieve the execution of a strong, successful, diverse means of physical education for students. The article addresses school personnel, parents, The Department of Education, and Federal and State governments, with recommendations as well as solid reasons why these recommendations will be effective and successful. Also this article gives potential actions to implement these recommendations.

This article is important to the research question because it addresses issues with the way that physical education is being viewed and executed now-a-days. Not only does it present ideas but also ways to apply these ideas which is very helpful and gives great insight. This is an authoritative source because it does not attack the way things were as of 2009, but rather how much better they could be, which in return comes off very professional and persuasive.

Patterson, Joan. “Many Schools Cutting Back on Physical Education.” Las Vegas Review Journal. Web. 14 July 2013.

This article provides insight on the many benefits of physical education including physical, mental, physiological, skeletal and metabolic health. It brings to light the fact that children while in school are spending 6-7 hours there and most of this time is spent at a desk, therefore students as well as teachers are in need of what Joan called “brain breaks.” It also addressed the growing concern with parents concerning their children playing outside ultimately leading to a sedentary lifestyle that does not promote physical health.

This article contains relevant information as well as opened more windows of research for my culminating project regarding the overall benefits of physical education and the role it plays when paralleled with academics. Also this article shows the way in which our culture is evolving into a life without activity due to the fear of the unknown and the way that people view physical education as not equally important to mathematics, writing, etc.

SPARK. “Gambling with out future Part 1 & 2.” SPARK. 30 January 2012 www.sparkpe.org

This article was the most prized resource that has been found thus far. It gives shocking statistics about how budget costs effect education, what life would be like without physical education and why it is important. Also how budget costs are affecting teachers of physical education and their ability to perform at their optimal level for themselves and their students.

Once again this article is key because of the statistics it holds as well as the insight to what life would become and what is projected to happen if the budget costs continue to target physical education. It speaks on present and future issues regarding the research question which is helpful in shedding light on the overall importance of physical education in our youth.

The Public Writing

 

The Honorable Michael Robison

P.O. Box 1068

Salem, OR 97308

Dear Director of Finance Michael Robison,

My name is Cory Asher and I am a current resident of Oregon, as well as an aspiring physical educator studying at Portland Community College. First I would like to commend you, along with the rest of the Oregon School Board Association on all of the hard work you do to ensure that the students and staff are successful here in the North West. My current community-based writing course has had me focusing and learning more extensively about physical education through hands-on volunteer work as well as guided research. Throughout this journey it has become more apparent to me that the importance of physical education may be being overlooked as a necessary, key factor in students’ academic and over-all life success. Therefore, I would like to take the time in this letter to reiterate the benefits of such education in hopes that these factors discussed will be taken into consideration when budget cuts target physical education.

With a high demand for schooling in our fast-paced world it seems as though the advocacy for physical education is slipping through the cracks in comparison to academics such as math and writing. Though all fields of study hold importance, the field of physical education gives students a chance to learn and apply a healthy and active lifestyle. It is no surprise that the childhood obesity rate is on the rise and that something must be done about this. Rather than trying to fix the problem once it is already become an issue, why not conserve our recourses and consider placing more importance on the physical education taught within the school? People fail to realize that students are in school from 6-7 hours a day and the majority of those hours are spent sitting at a desk. Not only do students’ bodies need a break from the constant sedentary lack of movement, but also their minds. The article “Many Schools Cutting Back on Physical Education” in the Las Vegas Review Journal provides insights that show how an active mind and body benefit the students’ physical, mental, physiological, skeletal and metabolic health.

Looking more into the future, if budget costs continue to affect physical education in schools the obesity rate can only inflate. By having children effectively learn how to stay active and healthy within their years of public education it paves the way to an energetic and dynamic lifestyle outside of school. I understand that budget cuts must be made, but my concern is for the students, the teachers, and inevitably the tax payers if physical education is not taken seriously. Obese children are at risk for asthma, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, joint, bone, and muscle problems let alone the lack of self-confidence that leads to depression in our youth. These are all very serious conditions and ones that in the future will cost tax payers more and more with the decrease of physical education.

According to the website, The Oregon School Board Association is, “dedicated to improving student achievement…” I have no doubt in my mind that this is exactly what the school board’s goal is, and as a student, tax payer, and a future mother and teacher I only request that you, along with other members regarding budget costs take what information I have provided you with and apply it to the decisions made about physical education. Our youth is our future and their future depends on their health, academically as well as physically.

I thank you for taking the time to read through my request and hope that this letter has given grave insight and encourages proper advocacy for physical education.

Sincerely,

Cory Asher

 

 

Author’s Note 

This culminating project has been insightful in so many ways that directly take a part in my life. The most cherished learning within the research as well as personal thoughtfulness is how this topic will take a role in my future. I always understood the positive effects of physical education but I had never truly taken a look into the future and what the future would be like without it. I plan to be a physical education teacher, as well as a mother to a student and what I have learned through this research is quite frankly, shocking and intimidating. Our country is struggling to make ends meet and I understand that any decision regarding what should or shouldn’t be is hard, but realistically our health is all that we have. It must be advocated at a young age and only encouraged more and more throughout our time within schools to ensure the best possible outcome for our young adults, (our future.)

 

 

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2 comments

  1. Kimber

    Cory-
    First let me just say how amazing your letter to Mr. Robinson is! It is so well-worded, professional, straight-forward and obviously leaves someone with a nagging tug that something MUST be done about this! We cannot overlook children. I think your resource sites you found were good, I especially liked the last one, sites where they give you the nitty gritty truth is sometimes best to use so you can really show how devastating something can be, we can’t always sugar coat things and expect results, especially with something as crucial as this. With childhood obesity at an all time high and schools cutting physical education you think parents would be screaming from the rooftops to have physical education back and back with a vengeance! I understand that it is also part of being a parent to show and lead by example healthy living, and that of course includes getting physical exercise with your kids, but there are so many other health benefits to have P.E. at school. I like how you referenced “brain breaks” as that is what we call them too, every child needs and requires some time where their brain can process what they have been learning and have some down time yet also get up and move their growing bodies. With the rate of ADD and ADHD, it would seem so extremely crucial to have these periods where a child can get get energy out and recharge properly. I really am impressed with your work and think your cause is so important, I wish you luck with your letter and would love to hear if he gets back to you! Great work!

  2. Cory:
    The connections you’ve made between your writing/community work and your future career in your public letter are so incredibly strong. It’s clear that you’re passionate about this topic and that you’ll be working toward the goal of physical education for all young people well into the future!
    -Zapoura

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