Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Making Sure Children Develop Properly

Today there are many issues facing our children and we have to first identify exactly what they are before we can try to prevent them. Childhood obesity has been climbing recently and it has gotten to the point that the numbers are frightening. About 25% of children are considered to be overweight or obese, so one in every four kids is already at an unhealthy weight at such a young age. Ten years ago that number was only at 11%, in order to stop this growing trend we need to figure out why children are becoming more and more obese at younger ages before it gets too late and they suffer serious consequences. Another major problem facing our youth is violence inside the school area. Physical Education teachers can play a major role in trying to reduce this. Recreational sports and team sports in phys. ed. classes can reduce this and will teach students teamwork and working together as a team and hopefully build bonds. Early puberty is also a problem as some kids will start to develop 3 years earlier than their classmates and being alone without peers going through this can be hard for a kid.

There are many goals that teachers have through the use of physical education. The most important in my opinion is teaching physical activity and fitness enhancement. In order to stop childhood obesity and to make sure people stay active in their old age we need to teach people at a young age lifetime activities. This will increase their fitness at all ages and give them more to do rather than sit inside. Another major goal is to teach movement skills. Teaching different skills at a young age will enable the students to advance more quickly and develop more complex skills later at life which can come in handy if they want to compete in different sports.

Childhood development isn't based off of one factor. There are a few factors combined that all lead to this development. Biology will always play a factor in how a child will development and this can't be changed. The conditions in the learning environment is a factor and teachers do have a say in how that will be used. A healthy learning environment will enable children to learn and develop properly without any problems. A final factor is the requirements of the tasks you have the children do. If you have tasks that are too hard for a child, they won't be able to do it and won't advance at all because they will be stuck at that point. At the same time tasks that are too easy won't challenge the student and then they will become bored and won't develop either. You have to make sure your tasks are age-appropriate for all students and this will take some work from the teacher.

To make sure your activities appropriate you have to ask two questions: is it appropriate for the individual and is it age-group appropriate. Every students learns at a different pace and some activities may be more difficult for some than others. If a drill or game is too hard for one student, go back and see if you can make changes to make it more suitable for that specific child. P.E. should be fun for all students and being unable to do an activity is not fun! Age-appropriateness is also important. If you are teaching basketball you don't want to use the 3-man weave drill if you have a class of first graders, make sure your activities is right for the group or you won't progress at all.

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