Chana Mushka Kalmanson
November 26, 2012
Physical Education is a Necessity
Schools are struggling with the issue of whether physical education classes (“PE”) are a necessity or are an extra-curricular. However, PE is and must be an absolute necessity. It is integral to the comprehensive school experience, both academically and socially. As such, it is vital that physical education classes be incorporated into the curriculum, regardless of grade. High school students are underperforming so far as the recommended daily exercise. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that teenagers receive at least sixty minutes of exercise per day. Yet, only eighteen-percent of high school students are satisfying that recommendation. Nonetheless, because of budget cuts, schools are phasing out physical education classes. This is aggravating the issue. Obesity is a very real epidemic affecting % of children in the United States. Children are also spending more time watching television or using the computer. Afternoons and weekends are increasingly spent indoors, rather than outside. It is thus necessary that PE class fill the void created by the increased dependency on technology. Alternatively, it may be argued that students may either dislike PE or may refuse to participate. Yet, students similarly may dislike or refuse to participate in science or social studies, but the academic courses are not subjected to budget cuts to the extent of PE. It is an asinine proposition to remove a fundamental course because it may be disfavored by few. While the competitiveness and varying levels of athleticism may cause students to shirk away from PE, the value of PE is not rooted in the competition, but it is a marriage of the physical fitness and the team-building social skills. Both leadership and learning to work in a team environment are the crux of the PE course. Additionally, physical education classes assist in...
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