Regular sport training and physical activities positively affect human mental and physical state. Interesting question is whether physical activities in school improve pupils’ academic results. Some scholars argue that sport can contribute to high achievements in school, while others believe that there is no connection between sport and education. Independently from various opinions, physical education will always be important part of school program. Furthermore, some schools use intensive sport courses to raise academic results.
In regard to educational process, physical exercises enhance pupils’ concentration, increase discipline and improve academic achievement (Singh et al., 2012). Singh et al. (2012) draw this conclusion from the analysis of various publications about connection between sport activities and academic achievements. Even so sport is considered as a possible tool for raising academic results, sometimes physical education classes are replaced by “more important” subjects needed for examinations and graduation. Some scholars note a negative tendency nowadays among adolescents; they don’t spend enough time on physical activities.
At the same time, there is a group of authors who wrote a response on previous study. They absolutely disagree with the conclusion made by Singh et al. (2012). Hattie & Clinton (2012) state that there is no connection between physical activities and academic achievements, since sport is a beneficial activity by itself and there is no need to draw links between them.
Considered both perspectives, I wanted to find a real program that successfully uses sport classes for academic improvement. I noticed one interesting article about Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programming (CSPAP) practicing in many schools in the United States of America (Brusseau, 2015). CSPAP is an approach aimed at pupils’ active involvement in sport process. This approach includes five main components: high quality of physical education in school, sport classes before and after school, involvement of school staff and family members in sport activities, support from the society (p. 442). Experience of CSPAP in many schools proved that well planned physical activities in school can improve students’ academic performance.
What are your thoughts about connection between sport and education? Can regular physical activities improve pupils’ academic results?
Photo credit to: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/parentengagement/parentsforhealthyschools.htm
Brusseau, T. & Hannon, J. (2015). Impacting Children’s Health and Academic Performance through Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programming. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, 7(3), 441–450. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1068063
Hattie J, & Clinton J. (2012). Physical activity is not related to performance at school. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 166(7), 678–679. Retrieved from http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/1212216
Singh A, Uijtdewilligen L, Twisk JR, van Mechelen W, & Chinapaw MM. (2012). Physical activity and performance at school: A systematic review of the literature including a methodological quality assessment. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 166(1), 49–55. Retrieved from http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/1107683