Friday, September 7, 2012

PE is just like shop

I am starting to feel a rant coming on about the PE - Physical Education - class in Frost's school.

My reference point is Gym from my school in South Africa.   At gym we did track, javelin, discus, netball, field hockey, tennis, swimming and squash (raquette-ball).  We did gymnastics with a horse and a beam and mats.  We were made to run around fields and 'warm up'.  There was a lot of moaning about it but it was about SPORT.

Today Frost told me he is the only kid he knows in APP (the accelerated academic stream) to be doing PE.  All his friends have applied for "Directed athletics" PE Waivers so they can do both a language AND music class.  To qualify, they have to show that they do 60 hours of sports.

Frost has come home with a flyer for me to sign.  It informs me that this semester in PE they will "present wellness concepts and create activities and projects that promote an active and healthy lifestyle."

He is going to be introduced to some activities (aka Sports) that will support this.  However, there is no playing field at school, just a gym.  I am not sure really sure they are going to do anything like a sport or learn to clobber their enemies and bask in individual glory.  Is that not PC?

My cousin's 7 year old daughter was doing rugby team when we visited!  

I am starting to feel that Frost should be doing Spanish instead of this oddly paternalistic form of PE which is about introducing the food pyramid, measuring how easily he can touch his toes and whether his BMI is in healthy range!

Is it like this everywhere in the USA?  Is it going to get better?   Will he every DO sport (other than Ultimate Frisbee - not that he has heard about it yet but there are rumors...) in school.   How do we have world class athletes if there is no public program for SPORT!  If sport is all about helicopter parents knowing how to sign up for teams on a purely individual basis?

Elsewhere in the world and presumably in the USA, high achieving schools have high achieving athletics programs.    It seems that PE has has much to do with that idea as home economics to advanced math.

Could someone please tell me how Frost can do track?  Where he gets to try a discus?  When he gets beyond the BMI into the world of Sport.

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