Short Essay on a High-School Personal-Growth Curriculum

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Students at High Schools take part in a personal-growth curriculum based on Hellison's social-development model for physical education. Progress through the curriculum is based on levels.

Each week is divided into three parts: 2 days of skill development and play, 2 days of fitness activities, and 1 day of activities designed to facilitate sharing and cooperation.

Issues of self-control, cooperation, and responsibility are constantly kept to the forefront of the class, through either activities or group discussion.

Every incentive is provided for students to take greater responsibility for themselves, in their own behaviour within class and in their physical-education curriculum.

Strategies such as personal contracting are often used in the fitness portion so that students can set goals, monitor progress, and experience the relationship between consequences and effort.

Cooperative games and risk activities are often used for the day devoted to sharing and cooperation. Students are asked to keep a daily journal, which is used to communicate with the teacher also.

As students begin to achieve level 3, responsibility, they take over more and more direction for their own physical-education experience, planning fitness programs, choosing activities, and charting future directions. Teaching strategies used by teachers in this model are highly interactional.

Teachers provide the opportunity for students to negotiate programs, attendance, and grades, thus providing necessary practice in negotiation skills. Teachers do a large amount of personal counseling and occasionally use direct confrontational procedures when these seem appropriate.

Although fitness and skill outcomes may be achieved in this model, they clearly are not what are most important in it.

Success for this model is achieved when students learn and display responsibility, begins to cooperate, is more willing to share, and, eventually, demonstrate to their classmates that they care...
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