Eng315 Academic Proposal

Eng315 Academic Proposal - Caitlin Dekker English 315...

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Caitlin Dekker English 315 Section 3 November 22, 2010 Extracurricular Activities: Vital Educational Pursuits PURPOSE AND RATIONALE Imagine being back in high school, trying to pass geometry, struggling through an essay for English, and attempting to understand mitosis for biology. After what seems like an eternity, the bell rings announcing the end of school and the beginning of freedom. Finally, the best part of the day has arrived: time for choir, dance team, band, theater rehearsal, football practice, swim team, speech and debate club, and a myriad of other activities. This is the time when freedom of expression is encouraged and welcomed, when you can exercise and release energy, when you can spend time with those who share your interests. Now, imagine being back in a high school where these activities did not exist. There is no money for sports, music, drama, clubs, or art. The school can only afford “academic” activities such as math, English, history, and science. Does this sound like a school we would want to attend? Unfortunately, this is reality for many high schools across the nation. Lack of sufficient funds has caused school districts to cut extracurricular activities, greatly limiting the types of activities students can participate in. Art, music, and athletics are not “required” for a sufficient high school education, thus with budget cuts, these are the first activities to be eliminated. They are obviously not as important in the grand scheme of life or for the development of the student. This elimination of extracurricular activities must be stopped. The benefits of participation in these activities far outweigh any potential disadvantages. Spending time on
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extracurricular activities does not simply keep students busy so they are not tempted to waste time or do drugs or drink alcohol. Often participation in these activities is why students get caught up in those unhealthy activities. They feel the need to belong and thus give in to peer pressure. Rather, the benefits are due to the highly structured nature of the activities. Mahoney and Stattin define structured extracurricular activities as having “regular participation schedules, rule-guided engagement, direction by one or more adult activity leaders, an emphasis on skill development that is continually increasing in complexity and challenge, activity performance that requires sustained active attention, and clear feedback on performance” (2000). With this definition, it is clear which types of activities we should encourage students to participate in (e.g. athletics, performing arts) and which types we should avoid (e.g. television, video games).
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This note was uploaded on 10/23/2011 for the course ENG 315 taught by Professor Johnson during the Fall '10 term at BYU.

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Eng315 Academic Proposal - Caitlin Dekker English 315...

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