P.E. humiliations can be lasting
Were you ever humiliated in gym class when you were a kid, and do you remember the episode as if it happened yesterday?
Well, according to one researcher, phys ed humiliations are so powerful that they can keep someone from pursuing active physical fitness later in life.
The study, written by University of Alberta researcher William Strean, was described in Science Daily http://www.sciencedaily.com/ and reported in Education Week in http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/ Debra Viadero’s interesting blog, “Inside School Research.” (The Sheet is going to have Viadero as a guest in the coming weeks.)
Strean’s study was based on 24 qualitative accounts from adults who swore off sports because of a terrible experience in gym class earlier in life.
Are 24 accounts enough to make a broad conclusion?
I’m going to say “not a chance,” but I don’t doubt that for some people, gym class humiliation has a deep and abiding impact.
So gym teachers, go easy on your kids. In fact, I vote for phys ed programs that are geared toward personal fitness and less on competitive sports that leave a lot of kids out of the action.
Yes, I know, sports helps kids learn how to cooperate on a team and realize that there are always other people who are better or worse than they are at something. Still, I think more kids get more out of the gym programs that help them develop their own fitness by testing and challenging themselves.
Any of you have any gym class stories to share?
| January 8, 2010; 12:08 PM ET
Categories: Health | Tags: physical education
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