Friday, March 27, 2015

Teaching Life Lessons Through Physical Education

Teaching students life lessons is something that is very important to having well rounded students. Since children attend school, this makes a perfect place to begin teaching these principles to help students once they enter the real world. More specifically, physical education allows for a time for students to cope with everyday realities, take pride in themselves and their accomplishments, refrain from judging others too quickly, get along with peers and teammates, abandon their tough images, and control their tempers.1  Physical education class is a perfect setting to teach students the principles of teamwork, winning and losing, and time management just to name a few.1  From an outsider looking in, physical education may just seem like a period for students to play and get some exercise.  Although exercise is a major factor of a good physical education program, there are also other benefits that may not be seen by an outsider or even the students.

As I talked about in a previous blog, teamwork is essential to being successful in the real world.  The majority of jobs requires people to work together to reach a common goal.  Whether it’s manual labor on a construction site or working in an office at a major company, teamwork is very important.  Physical education class has a huge variety of games and activities to help teach teamwork.
Now it gets a little more difficult.  Being able to win and lose gracefully is something that is very challenging to many people.  Striving to win is something that all athletes must possess in order to help make themselves better.  In the real world its no different.  Even though winning and losing may not be justified by a score, it can become very clear to everyone around to who is doing the best job. Although it is still very important to be a gracious loser and not be a poor sport it is just as important to be a gracious winner.  Be proud and confident in yourself and your work but don’t let it get the best of you.  No one likes a boastful cocky co worker.  Physical education sets students up for many scenarios in which there is a winner and a loser.2  By presenting these situations to students it allows for them to be able to experience both winning and losing and gain a positive lesson from both.
Time management is also a big factor in life.  It seems that everything has a deadline or a due date that something must be completed by.  Whether it is the date of an important game that you must be practiced up for or the time an assignment is due, time management is key to being successful.  Physical education allows student to be put in situations where time is of the essence.2  Playing a basketball game is a prime example, both teams are given a certain amount of time in order to score the most amount of points.  If your team is losing, you don’t want to waste time, you want to try to give your team as many opportunities to score as possible in the time left in the game.  On the other hand, if your team is winning it may be a good idea to slow down the pace of the game and try to waste time to avoid giving the other team chances to score.  For these reasons I feel that physical education has many benefits that may be tough for an outsider to see but are crucial for preparing students for the real world.  
1Hellison, D. (1995) Teaching Responsibility Through Physical Activity.
2Bailey, R. & Armour, K. (2009) The educational benefits claimed for physical education and     school sport: an academic review. Research Papers in Education. 24(1) 1-27

1 comment:

  1. It's scary that physical education is becoming less relevant in the education system today. Many people don't comprehend the physical, mental, and emotional health benefits that come with exercise and physical activity, Students that have physical education in their schedule perform better at school and are more involved with other students. It's important that people begin to realize that physical education and exercise are crucial for a student to appreciate at a young age so that they can carry on these practices throughout their adult lives.