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Should the

amount of P.E.
lessons at
schools be
increased?
Research assignment GLC
Emma Datema
RSG Broklede 4VE
1-6-2015

Contents

Contents................................................................................................................. 2
Research Question................................................................................................. 3
Hypothesis.............................................................................................................. 3
Goals of Project...................................................................................................... 3
Methodology........................................................................................................... 3
Results.................................................................................................................... 4
Analysis.................................................................................................................. 5
Deconstruction.................................................................................................... 5
Reconstruction.................................................................................................... 6
Discussion of result................................................................................................ 6
Conclusion.............................................................................................................. 7
Bibliography and other reference sources..............................................................7

Research Question
We are often informed of the good and effective effects of sporting. Personally, I
really enjoy sporting and P.E. is one of my favourite subjects at school. I would
like it if I had more P.E. lessons during school time. Quite often, especially with
regard to the UK and the USA, we hear that many are in favour of raising the
minimum amount of P.E. lessons a school is supposed to provide. However, this
has not been done yet. What are the advantages of increasing the amount? Why
has this not been changed yet? That is why I am going to answer the following
research question in this project: Should the amount of P.E. lessons at school be
increased?

Hypothesis
With the knowledge I currently have, I expect that the answer of my research
question is going to be that the amount should be increased.

Goals of Project
The goals of this project are that not only I, but everybody who reads this report
will understand:
The main problem
Advantages
Disadvantages and possible risks
I hope that after this report has been read, with the same information and
knowledge, the reader will form the same opinion as me.

Methodology
The most important part of the preparation of this research was of course finding
my research question. This has been done based on my personal interests. As
mentioned before, I like P.E. and was interested in why some are in favour of
having more, while others do not agree with this.
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After having formed my research question I started looking up articles on the


internet regarding this topic. Soon I found my articles, which are mentioned down
below, and based on these I made this report. I began reading them. Firstly, I just
read. Secondly, I read more carefully and paying attention to all the facts
mentioned. How trustworthy are they? Biased per chance? Not an opinion twisted
into a fact? This is the information which can be found in the results. Then I
began writing the analysis.

Results
For this research I have used five articles, mentioned below, and to make it easy
numbered 1 till 5. In the following paragraphs I will indicate the articles simply by
stating the number they have been given in the list of the sources.
Article 1 states As for young people in the UK, one in three children leave
primary school obese or overweight, and only one in five meet the minimum
recommended guidelines for physical activity. In the article is also mentioned
The benefits of exercise have been well documented not just for the students
physical health but also their wellbeing and academic performances.
Article 2s most important statement is Physical education prepares children to
be physically and mentally active, fit and healthyfor life. To support their
statement the following diagrams have been included:

Article 3 states Children who are physically fit absorb and retain new information
more effectively than children who are out of shape. To support this statement
several experiments have been mentioned in the article which do indeed prove
the point which has been made.
In article 4 it is said that schools are the place to learn children to be physically
active: In-school hours account for a significant portion of the day therefore
structuring time for physical activity during this time ensures all children engage
in physical activity during the week.
Article 5 is the only article which I found which does not see increasing the
amount of PE lessons as the way to go. In this article an experiment is mentioned
in which schools were compared. One school gave many PE lessons and the other
two not. The children wore ActiGraphs, devices which are able to measure
physical movement. The result was surprising: No matter how much P.E. they
got during school hours, by the end of the day, the kids from the three schools
had moved around about the same amount, at about the same intensity. This
suggest that children who move less during school are more active in their free
time.

Analysis
Deconstruction
Article 1 is clearly in favour of more P.E. lessons. In the article there have,
however, no other important factual statements been made.
Article 2 begins with naming a long list of some of the many benefits, they are:
-

Improved physical fitness


Skill and motor skills development
Provides regular, healthful physical activity
Teaches self-discipline
Facilitates development of student responsibility for health and fitness
Influence moral development, leadership, cooperate with others
Stress reduction an outlet for releasing tension and anxiety
Strengthened peer relationships
Physical education can improve self-confidence and self-esteem
Respect P.E. helps you respect your body, classmates and teammates
Experience in setting goals
Improved academics

This list is followed by the diagrams shown in the results with further explanation.
The main idea of article 2 is that P.E. will be helpful, not only against obesity, but
also in how to deal with things, for the rest of childrens life.
In article 3 there are three experiments described. The first one is a study
presented at the American College of Sports Medicine, which concluded that
children who were physically active before making a math test scored clearly
higher than children who had sat quietly before making the exam. The second
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study was held in Nebraska with 12000 schoolchildren. Better fitness proved to
be linked to significantly higher achievement scores. From the last experiment,
of which the results were published in PLoS One, could be concluded that higher
levels of fitness have their greatest impact in the most challenging situations.
The article ends with two experts who agree that school is the perfect place to
make children more physically active.
Article 4 agrees with increasing the amount of P.E., but, similarly to article 1,
apart from the statement mentioned in the results no other important statements
have been made in the article.
Article 5 does, however, make a few interesting statements. Following the
conclusion of the experiment mentioned in the results there can, according to the
authors of the study, one conclusion be drawn. Childrens bodies, whether they
have P.E. lessons or not, know how much they want to move.

Reconstruction
Article 1 and 4 are both not articles of good quality. They do make statements,
but none of their points is supported by evidence or facts. This makes that the
quality of the articles is not high enough to use as evidence in my research.
The list mentioned in article 2 has also not been published with sources. This
makes that this part of the article is not as useful as the second half. The second
half of the article, in which the diagrams are shown, the evidence is clearly
displayed. The information this article has given is based on the study by the
University of Illinois at Urbana and the last part, in which higher fitness scores
and higher academic scores are compared, has been based on 3 million children,
which means it is a large group and the results are more likely to be trustworthy.
Article 3 is also an article of a good quality. The sources are mentioned and the
experiments have been done using many people. This makes that I believe this
article is very useful and good to base my opinion on.
In article 5 is also the source of the study mentioned. What I, however, find less
convincing in this article is the fact that the conclusion has been based on three
schools. This is quite a small group of children and that does not mean that, if a
larger group were to be studied, the same results would appear. In the
experiment one school with many P.E. lessons is compared to two school with less
P.E. lessons. Not only the amount of P.E. is different, but also the kind of
education is different. This school providing many P.E. lessons is an expensive
private academy, while the other schools are public schools. This means that the
difference in what they do after school, might not be influenced by the amount of
P.E. they had at school, but by the difference between their social backgrounds.
Keeping this thought in mind, I find this article less convincing than articles 2 and
3.

Discussion of result
Articles 2 and 3 are the most convincing articles. They are in favour of increasing
the amount of P.E. lessons at schools and after having read all the articles I agree
more with what is stated in those articles. This means that my hypothesis is true.

Conclusion
What I realized while I was making this assignment is that there are different
reasons why more lessons should be given. For some this could be the decrease
the amount of obesity, for others to be more fit and the most opposite reason is
because it has a positive influence on the learning capacity of students and
children. This means that some of the points made in the articles were not
completely the opposite of each other, but were more moving past one another.
What I mean with this is that the articles I have used, what I only realize now
after I have finished my research, might not have been the best articles to use for
this project. I do keep my opinion, I believe the amount of P.E. lessons in schools
should be increased, especially with the information I have read. I do, however,
not suggest that the government bases their next decision considering P.E. on
this research project.

Bibliography and other reference sources


1. http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2015/feb/06/pe-and-sportstudent-health-wellbeing
2. http://www.phitamerica.org/Benefits_of_P_E__in_School.htm
3. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/18/how-physical-fitness-may-

promote-school-success/?_r=0
4. http://www.oxha.org/cih_manual/index.php/increase-physical-educationin-schools
5. http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1897920,00.html