Episode Information

Physical Education
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
Aired:
02/11/2008
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In this episode:

We all have horror stories from high school gym class - evil teachers, shared showers, dodge ball

 

Episode Audio

27:37 minutes (13.26 MB)
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Patty Purcell, President of the Connecticut Association for Health: Photo by Ryan CassellaPatty Purcell, President of the Connecticut Association for Health: Photo by Ryan CassellaMost of us have horror stories to tell from our experiences in High School Gym Class. But physical education is changing, adapting to the students of today.

The days of "dodgeball" might not be entirely over - but today's gym class is tangibly different from the past. Physical Education teachers are focusing on the individual trying to develop good excercise habits, good self esteem, and life skills they can use when school is over.

Gym teachers also have to cope with a student body that is more obese than ever before. Today, where we live, a discussion of new trends in physical education. We'd like you to join the conversation about how to keep kids active.

Ed Manfredi, Health and PE director, Farmington High School: Photo by Ryan CassellaEd Manfredi, Health and PE director, Farmington High School: Photo by Ryan CassellaWe'll also explore a program that melds science and athletics, teaching important classroom skills on the soccer field and basketball court.

To see pictures of Where We Live's in-studio guests, please go to our Flickr page.

You can contact us via email at wherewelive@wnpr.org.

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My Mom and her friends, now in their 80s are former physical education teachers and graduates of Boston University's Sargent College and also Columbia Teachers College. My comment was about the importance of learning from qualified teachers what these women athletes called the life sports: swimming, tennis, golf, skiing, social dancing. One way sure way for all children to gain exposure to these activities and other sports is in public schools. The opportunity for learning is not always appreciated by young people during the process. But physical education classes ensure us that they will have the tools to stay safe, encourage them to avoid obesity, embrace good health habits, and socialize in fun and positive ways. Furthermore, at least it will provide them with an understanding of sports, whether or not they decide to participate later in life, and perhaps lead many of them to be regular spectators at professional games.

Amy Halsey

Physical Education

Although I gave John Dankowski a bit of a hard time, when I called in, about calling his guests "gym teachers" and what they teach "gym class," I thank Where We Live for featuring Patty Pursell and Ed Manfredi as spokespersons for physical education.

When the public is able to get over its negative reminsiscences about their old physical education experiences, and tune into the teriffic, progressive, relevant and important field that physical education has become, we will all be able to realize that everyone can be a competent, confident, joyful mover for a lifetime.

Mr. Dankowski mentioned that he realizes now that many of the skills that he was exposed to in physical educaiton would be uselful to him now. When children consistently hear from their parents and see in the media that physical education is a good thing with important concepts and skills for them to learn and apply to their lives now and in the future (intead of constantly hearing, "I hated gym"), they will be more open to the positive and useful messages that physical education offers them.

WNPR helps to expand the minds of thinking people everywhere with programs like this. The one criticism I'd like to share pertains to the amount of time the program dedicated to recordings of people's bad memories compared to the amount of time Mrs. Pursell and Mr. Manfredi were on the air. Physical education's progress is held back by the public's persistence in telling these stories over and over, regardless of the facts as they are today.

There is current research that, among other things, correlates improved physical fitness with higher test scores, and improved school attendance and behavior. The content standards for physical education are comprehensive, research-based, and highly relevant to what children need to know and be able to do to lead healthy and balanced lives now and in the future.

Physical Education

Where's the education in this "subject"? My high school aged twin daughters (who are not physically adept) get a sampling of each sport that takes them no further than "I'm not very good so I give up", I push them to try out for teams which they don't get onto and so they are no longer have an active lifestyle.

Make them take up a sport for a whole semester so they progress, let there be second, third and fourth teams in some of these sports so the less physically proficient children still get an opportunity to progress to their level and have a sport they can take into their adult life. Why is it that we make our kids learn to read, write and math, but if they can't do sport (and therefore can't win matches for their school) they are given up on. How can I keep my kids interested in sport and exercise when the schools abandon them when they don't show real talent?