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  #51  
Old 08-14-2009, 02:19 PM
hajario hajario is online now
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At my High School, PE grades did count towards the overall GPA. You got an A if your attendance was good enough. They were happy so long as we showed up, didn't stab or shoot one another and kept our drug use on the baseball diamond to smoking pot. I was one of the least athletic guys out there. All I did was change into shorts and sit on a bench and I always got an A. Ironically, I am now in better shape then 90% of the men my own age.
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  #52  
Old 08-14-2009, 02:29 PM
Oredigger77 Oredigger77 is offline
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Originally Posted by Shot From Guns View Post
1.) Lots of jobs currently require fluency in a second language, or are at least easier to get with one.
2.) If you plan on doing anything beyond a Bachelor's, you will need at least one foreign language and probably more, because you will need to be able to read research published in languages other than your native one.
3.) Even for people who do not ever use their second language in their job, learning that language is also about being exposed to another culture and way of thinking.
I donít disagree but there are just as many jobs like manual labor that require a level of physical fitness. As a requirement for grad school at least for the couple of school and Masters degrees Iíve looked at I havenít seen a single one that requires a foreign language. Admittedly Iím look at engineering, geology, and MBA programs. As for the third one you are the second person to mention this but I must have had a very different Spanish class since all of them were just memorizing word lists and grammar, I learned nothing about Hispanic culture and there were no homework, projects or tests on anything besides translating sentences. I didnít even learn what was being celebrated during Cinco de Mayo until I graduated from college.

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The problem of grading PE classes is a little trickier than other classes, but I don't think it's as horribly unbalanced as some people in this thread are claiming. Yes, people who are naturally athletic will have an easy time of it. So what? This is no different than people who have natural skill in math or language excelling in those classes. Personally, I think that anyone who's fit enough to be on an actual sports team should be excused from PE, since they're obviously at a reasonable level of fitness without it.
This is how PE was for me I got PE credits all of the way through high school and college and after my freshman year I never went to a PE class. Even in college PE (actually it was PA since the Pet. E department got PE) was a requirement and counted for your GPA but if you were on a varsity sports team you could count that towords the number of PE requirements you needed.
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  #53  
Old 08-14-2009, 02:30 PM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is online now
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We had PE included in our GPA, and I don't see any reason why it shouldn't have been. In every school I went to (4 different elementary schools, middle school and high school) the grade for PE was determined by level of participation, so people who had little athletic ability but tried anyway were as likely to get an A as a jock, which still seems appropriate to me - I know people who failed PE the first time around, and they had to work hard to get an F...or make that not work hard, since they sat around and failed the day. On the other hand it still steams me that my high school art teacher decided to grade people in a required class on creative ability - I did fine, but there were people who did every project, tried hard, and still got Cs or Ds because they weren't very artistically inclined. It's not as though art is something that has correct answers like math, science and history.

Anyway, PE should count towards one's GPA and they should have it more often, too. I hated the fact that we had 185 days of PE as high school Freshman, but we probably should have had to do it again as Juniors too.
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  #54  
Old 08-14-2009, 02:34 PM
zamboniracer zamboniracer is offline
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My two cents is that PE should be included, but it should be a pass/fail grade and not an A/B/C/D/F grade. It should count against you only if you fail, and you should only fail if you don't give any effort at all.

PE is very important, but it should go to teach lifetime participation sports and physical fitness - running, walking, weight training, golf, tennis, etc, but that's another topic. In my high school PE class we had gymnastics, for God's sake, which was a complete waste of time. No offense to pommel horses.

Last edited by zamboniracer; 08-14-2009 at 02:38 PM..
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  #55  
Old 08-14-2009, 02:47 PM
Shot From Guns Shot From Guns is offline
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Originally Posted by Oredigger77 View Post
I donít disagree but there are just as many jobs like manual labor that require a level of physical fitness.
And those jobs don't require any high school degree at all, let alone one with high marks, Thanks for making a point in support of my argument.

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As a requirement for grad school at least for the couple of school and Masters degrees Iíve looked at I havenít seen a single one that requires a foreign language.
That might be more of a PhD thing, especially for the sciences.

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As for the third one you are the second person to mention this but I must have had a very different Spanish class since all of them were just memorizing word lists and grammar, I learned nothing about Hispanic culture and there were no homework, projects or tests on anything besides translating sentences. I didnít even learn what was being celebrated during Cinco de Mayo until I graduated from college.
No offense intended, but damn, you got stuck with some shitty language classes. There are also some languages where you have to learn at least some of the culture while learning the language. Japanese was my foreign language in college, for example, and you literally could not learn it without learning at least some culture, or you'd get your verb forms all wrong.
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  #56  
Old 08-14-2009, 02:52 PM
filmore filmore is offline
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I think PE should be a pass/fail based on effort and participation instead of graded against a standard level of fitness.

Most other classes such as math, science, history, etc are to prepare the student to be a productive member of society. Employers can look at a transcript to see how well the student does at different subjects and can get an idea of how well the student would do as an employee. For those types of classes effort is not enough. It is important to know how well the student does according to a standardized measure.

But PE is not like that. Some people would not be able to reach an A level of fitness without a tremendous amount of effort. I would rather the student spend their time studying other subjects instead of trying to get their 100 meter time below X seconds.

The best outcome from PE is not that the student is fit--it's that the student develops a love for fitness that they carry throughout their life. A teenager is almost naturally fit. Where they really need to have good fitness habits is in their 30's and above. That's why I say it's important to encourage effort rather than attaining an arbitrary level of fitness.
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  #57  
Old 08-14-2009, 03:03 PM
Oredigger77 Oredigger77 is offline
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Originally Posted by Shot From Guns View Post
And those jobs don't require any high school degree at all, let alone one with high marks, Thanks for making a point in support of my argument.



That might be more of a PhD thing, especially for the sciences.



No offense intended, but damn, you got stuck with some shitty language classes. There are also some languages where you have to learn at least some of the culture while learning the language. Japanese was my foreign language in college, for example, and you literally could not learn it without learning at least some culture, or you'd get your verb forms all wrong.
I agree 100% that our language classes sucked, I only knew one person who did well on the AP test who wasnít a native born speaker, and she ended up majoring in Spanish in college (and couldnít find and job and had to go back to school).

I know a lot of engineer that basically work manual labor jobs where being physically fit is one of their most important characteristics; agriculture, mining, petroleum. There are a lot of jobs that require a college education that also require lots of field time and I have seen people transferred jobs because they could not keep up with the crews they were running. I donít consider manual labor jobs only to be uneducated.

On the other hand I have never been asked if I speak Spanish except for a job where they wanted me to teach well control in South America. I only know a handful of people who are fluent in Spanish and none of them have spoken Spanish at work. Outside of customer service jobs I canít think of why a second language would be required.
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  #58  
Old 08-14-2009, 03:10 PM
perfectparanoia perfectparanoia is offline
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Originally Posted by Chessic Sense View Post
I think it should count and it should be graded on participation. The #1 thing that sinks college students is not showing up to class or not turning in work. Gym requires that you show up and participate. Therefore, failing gym class is a good indicator that the person isn't right for college.
This. Especially for students who don't particularly want to go to gym class. A lot (50% in the first year, 80% overall) of my incoming universityclass flunked out. All the ones I know were because they didn't feel like going to class. Pretty much ever.

Last edited by perfectparanoia; 08-14-2009 at 03:10 PM..
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  #59  
Old 08-14-2009, 03:13 PM
Shot From Guns Shot From Guns is offline
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Originally Posted by Oredigger77 View Post
I donít consider manual labor jobs only to be uneducated.
Then they aren't manual labor jobs, which are generally defined as jobs that require physical effort but little education. For the jobs you cited, do you think any of those employers are asking about their PE grade? And has been discussed, one's PE grade often has little correlation to one's level of fitness.
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  #60  
Old 08-14-2009, 03:30 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Not to mention that for real manual labor jobs these days (not the kind you have to have a college degree to do - do words mean nothing anymore?) you'd damned well better have some Spanish. Hell, there are a lot of jobs around here that you need a degree in horticulture to do but that you won't get very far in if you don't know any Spanish. I guess you could be a menial landscape worker without any, but it would be pretty lonely.
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  #61  
Old 08-14-2009, 04:01 PM
rowrrbazzle rowrrbazzle is offline
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As PE is now constituted, absolutely not. It's complete bullshit. (Sports in general are already given far more attention and resources than their actual value beyond entertainment.)

Consider the ideal case where each student was given an individually customized, realistic exercise program and graded on their improvement. That would be much better than current PE programs. But it's still complete bullshit as part of the GPA.

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Originally Posted by belladonna View Post
In my school, PE was mandatory, and the grade did count towards your GPA.

However, the grade was based on showing up in uniform, participating (ie: not sitting on the bleachers gossiping or sneaking out for a smoke), and small quizzes like Fuzzy mentioned.
That sounds like an almost complete waste of time.
Quote:
The only exception to this I recall was the annual fitness test where you had to do as many sit ups and push ups as you could, hang with your chin on the bar for as long as you could, and run as far as you could in, maybe, 5 minutes. They compiled all this into a fitness score and it counted as a very small percentage of your final grade.
If actual exercise was so small a part of the grade, why bother with it at all?

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Originally Posted by Oredigger77
There are a lot of jobs that require a college education that also require lots of field time and I have seen people transferred jobs because they could not keep up with the crews they were running.
Then physical fitness should be a requirement of those jobs, not admission to college or graduating.

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Originally Posted by perfectparanoia
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chessic Sense
I think it should count and it should be graded on participation. The #1 thing that sinks college students is not showing up to class or not turning in work. Gym requires that you show up and participate. Therefore, failing gym class is a good indicator that the person isn't right for college.
This. Especially for students who don't particularly want to go to gym class. A lot (50% in the first year, 80% overall) of my incoming universityclass flunked out. All the ones I know were because they didn't feel like going to class. Pretty much ever.
That's an extremely low standard, so it's useless. If they didn't go to gym class, they probably didn't go to many other classes either and wouldn't have gotten into college anyway.
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  #62  
Old 08-14-2009, 04:49 PM
Oredigger77 Oredigger77 is offline
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Originally Posted by Shot From Guns View Post
Then they aren't manual labor jobs, which are generally defined as jobs that require physical effort but little education. For the jobs you cited, do you think any of those employers are asking about their PE grade? And has been discussed, one's PE grade often has little correlation to one's level of fitness.
Of course not, but when was the last time you were asked for your grades in any class? PE class grades do have little correlation to actual fitness which is one reason I think that effort should have as much of a part of the grade as it does it any other class. As it is you canít tell if Timmy is in good shape or if he tries real hard so it is completely worthless. The solution isnít to change that the grade matters because if it doesnít then there is no incentive to try.

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Not to mention that for real manual labor jobs these days (not the kind you have to have a college degree to do - do words mean nothing anymore?) you'd damned well better have some Spanish. Hell, there are a lot of jobs around here that you need a degree in horticulture to do but that you won't get very far in if you don't know any Spanish. I guess you could be a menial landscape worker without any, but it would be pretty lonely.
Iím sorry but I think a job that requires you to be on your feet 12 hours a day lifting 50# sacks is a manual labor job even if you have to have a chemical engineering job to have it. Around here Navajo is the dominant language on the rigs and while there are a couple of guys that it would be beneficial to speak to in their language the crews have to be able to speak English to communicate with each other.

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Originally Posted by rowrrbazzle View Post
Then physical fitness should be a requirement of those jobs, not admission to college or graduating.
But that is the kicker sometimes you have to have all of the characteristics. It is necessary to be able to do what I did this morning, which is hike 5 miles up and down a mesa to get to a new well location, and then be able to go back to the office and design the well. Or in the case of my buddy who is the mud engineer I was talking about earlier he gets 3 times a day he gets to sit down, while he is doing his lab analysis on the mud he is creating.

Shouldnít it be possible to look at someoneís grades and know that they are both smart and wonít die the first time you make them work outside? Or should you only be able to tell that someone is smart and if you want them to accomplish something you have to hire them and hope. Like I said at the beginning I donít think that we need to get rid of foreign language (except in my dream world). We need to realize that there are lots of jobs that require them and it should be possible to look at a transcript and tell if a person is capable of doing the work not just tell that they passed a course that might have some relation.
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  #63  
Old 08-14-2009, 07:18 PM
alphaboi867 alphaboi867 is offline
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Colleges, for one, and colleges should have no reason to care about how well little Timmy can bounce a ball unless he's going on an athletic scholarship. Inflating the GPA with PE grades is just another way to make the GPA useless and force colleges to insist on test scores as a condition of entry.
The college get's a copy of the full transcript, not just the GPA. If what I my guidence counselors told me was correct then admissions offices can simply take the grades for individual classes and recalculate the GPA exlcuding classes they consider irrelevant (usually PE and religion classes).

My school district never gave out real grades in PE. You either got an S(atisfactory) or a Unsatisfactory. Neither counted for out GPA, but if you got a U every quarter you failed PE for the year and would have retake it next year. Everyone got Ss unless you repeatedly did thinks like not change, cut class, or mouth of to the teacher. I didn't know anyone who actually failed a year, but it was compulsory from grades 1-10 and in grade 12. I think they ended up either having to do double periods next year or find a school that offered PE in summer school.

I should add that none of the male PE teachers I had could actually teach. They all seemed to regard gym class as a way to "scout for talent" for the sports teams. They'd actually say crap like "it's not my job to teach you this, you should already know how to play X", "do you want to go play witht the girls/grade schoolers", "this is pathetic ladies". PE is important, but poorly taught it's a complete waste of time. The only think I took away from my 11 yrs worth is a complete loathing of sports.
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  #64  
Old 08-15-2009, 12:07 AM
MOIDALIZE MOIDALIZE is offline
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I got a letter grade for my high school PE classes, as well as two art classes. In both cases you were graded on trying and not being a jackass. I have no artistic ability at all and can barely draw a straight line freehand, but I still got A's for making the effort (at parent-teacher conferences, my art teacher told my dad "He tries; he's not very good, but he tries.")

Unless a gym class involves instruction in real physical skills (proper weightlifting form, the rules of golf, whatever), or is a taught as some kind of half PE/half health class, then it should be a pass/fail class at most.
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  #65  
Old 08-16-2009, 01:05 AM
brickbacon brickbacon is online now
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The problem with PE is not that it's required (I think it should be, in some form) but that, unlike academic classes, I don't think most schools take varying abilities into account.
Why should they? Or more accurately, why should they "take it into account" any more than they do for Spanish or Math?

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Originally Posted by winterhawk11 View Post
I wasn't a fat kid (I thought I was chubby, but looking at pictures, I really wasn't). I just had no endurance and no athletic prowess. I would have done great in "remedial PE" or "PE for nerds," if there'd been such a thing, but there wasn't. So I had to compete with the kids on the sports teams, the kids who could run and jump and do pullups...and I couldn't. I showed up, did what I was supposed to, and tried my best, but it didn't happen.
I call bullshit. Sorry, but plenty of people who are not naturally gifted at something manage to excel, or at least become proficient, because they work their butts off. You think Jim Abbott was a naturally gifted athlete despite having one hand? Even people like Michael Jordan have to practice all the time to be successful. Being an athlete is one of the most difficult jobs there is. Genes and natural talent only get you so far. Most of what separates normal people from the few among us that can do it for a living is relentless drive and dedication. Far more drive and dedication than the average engineer or architect. Those qualities, even when they don't rise to the threshold of the pros, should be rewarded.

I would imagine that you, like most people, didn't try hard enough because you were discouraged, or because it was not important enough to you. Can you honestly tell me you spent as much time practicing any sport as you did an academic subject you enjoyed? Probably not. That's the main reason why classes like PE should be included in one's GPA. If a person can't be bothered push themselves in an area where they are not naturally gifted, it says a lot about their character. Colleges should definitely be concerned with such character flaws.

Anyone can show promise at a sport if they are committed to do so. That's not to say the average person could become a professional, but they can become good enough that they won't fall behind in the average gym class. The standards, for the most part, are not that high.

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Originally Posted by winterhawk11 View Post
Most of my teachers did give A's for effort, which was good. But some didn't, and there was the problem.
Would anyone here insist that any teacher of an academic subject give grades for effort?

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Originally Posted by winterhawk11 View Post
We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and mine was athletic.
So why should others suffer more for their weaknesses because they are in academic subjects? PE is no more or less important in the grand scheme of things than Calculus is. Moreover, being good at sports is often harder than being good at an academic subject. It requires more practice, commitment, and "study". It's often more competitive, and more meritocratic. That's one reason why so many people are overweight, and in horrible shape. It's because staying fit is hard. Anyone who can demonstrate some skills in those areas should be rewarded accordingly.
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  #66  
Old 08-16-2009, 01:17 AM
iamthewalrus(:3= iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
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Originally Posted by Shot From Guns View Post
Since when does your PE grade have anything to do with being in shape?
It ought to. It's an unfortunate fact that physical education is often so terrible that this kind of statement has a ring of truth to it. Can anyone imagine hearing "since when does your math grade have anything to do with mathematical ability."

If it doesn't, I think the solution is to either fix PE so that it is related to physical fitness, or do away with it altogether.
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  #67  
Old 08-16-2009, 05:28 AM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
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PE grades should count towards the GPA. Sports grades should not.

PE classes should consist of physical education, that is, teaching the student how to maintain and improve the physical health of his/her body. How to do various exercises, how to use various machines of gym equipment, how to select foods, how to know when to go to the doctor, and basic first aid. These are all things that can be measured, and things that will be of use in later life as well as at the time of the class. It's important to know how to exercise without causing injury. It's important to learn how to select healthy foods, how to judge portions, how to put together a long term diet plan (not just weight reducing), and just why Cheesy Poofs should be limited to an occasional snack rather than being treated as a staple. This could be set up like the instruction and lab courses that I took in college, with one or two days of the week being devoted to classroom work, and the other three or four days would be spent in the gym or on the field, doing the various exercises. Students would be physically tested at the beginning of the term, and have both classroom and field testing at the end of the term. If they had the basic standards of fitness at the beginning of the semester, they should have stayed at that fitness level or improved it. If they didn't have the basic standard, they should have improved over the semester. It should count as a core credit. Mostly, it should have different classes for different abilities. For instance, in my high school, we had General Math, Remedial Math, and Advanced Math courses, and students were only eligible for Advanced Math if they'd taken certain prerequisites in middle school or in HS as a freshman or sophomore. This recognizes that everyone needs this skill, but that every kid has different native abilities, and that not everyone can pass the more advanced classes.

Sports, on the other hand, should be treated as the Art Club and Book Club are currently treated. That is, at least one teacher will form the club, and it meets after school. There should be no students who are allowed to skip class to go to practice, the practice is held after school. If it's accepted as a class, again, nobody gets to skip another class to attend practice, practice is held only during the class time alloted for that course. It shouldn't count as a core credit, though it could conceivably count as an elective credit.

PE grades should not be dependent upon participating in a sport.

In my high school, female athletes who played on the school team and cheerleaders were pretty much automatically given excellent grades in PE, even if all they did was sit around and gossip, and didn't bother to dress out. The other girls were expected to actually dress out and participate, and usually didn't get the fabulous grades that the team players and cheerleaders did.

My husband says that he didn't bother to show up for most of his PE classes, but he managed to get As in them anyway, as he'd always give the coach/gym teacher a box of cigars sometime during the semester. Apparently that was the price for an A from this guy.

Last edited by Lynn Bodoni; 08-16-2009 at 05:31 AM..
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  #68  
Old 08-16-2009, 07:20 AM
Chief Pedant Chief Pedant is offline
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GPAs are essentially useless unless you know the quality of the instructor and the quality of the protoplasm being taught.

At my high school PE instructors were sports-minded coaches whose own academic skills were dubious.

There is good reason why standardized exams do a better job, on average, than GPAs of sorting out the bright from the dim, or at least how much knowledge transfer was accomplished and retained.
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  #69  
Old 08-16-2009, 07:59 AM
Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party is offline
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PE classes should consist of physical education, that is, teaching the student how to maintain and improve the physical health of his/her body.


How much education is really needed to keep in shape? Eat less and run more. There's no need to talk about it, just get outside and run around. It seems that actually getting kids running around during PE, playing sport, is the best that can be done.
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  #70  
Old 08-16-2009, 10:37 AM
Manda JO Manda JO is offline
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Originally Posted by brickbacon View Post
[snip]
I would imagine that you, like most people, didn't try hard enough because you were discouraged, or because it was not important enough to you. Can you honestly tell me you spent as much time practicing any sport as you did an academic subject you enjoyed? Probably not. That's the main reason why classes like PE should be included in one's GPA. If a person can't be bothered push themselves in an area where they are not naturally gifted, it says a lot about their character. Colleges should definitely be concerned with such character flaws.

[snip]

Would anyone here insist that any teacher of an academic subject give grades for effort?

[snip]
I would imagine the teachers didn't actually teach him: there are techniques to athletic ability, and they can be taught--for some kids, physical things come fairly easily--they have an intuitive grasp of how to go about figuring out how to make their bodies do something. Others do not and benefit from instruction. I've seen coaches do this for sports ("hold your leg like this" or "here, move your arm this way"), but they never seem to do it for PE--for PE, they maybe tell you the rules to a game and then throw you out there. Would anyone here approve of a teacher in an academic subject handing out workbooks and then sitting in the back all period?

I really like how the district I teach at does rank. You get a certain number of rank points for each class, your numerical average (79 or 92 or whatever) multiplied by a weighting factor based on the level of the class (AP, pre-AP, Regular, or Local Credit). These are added up and not divided. This prevents two problems you get with GPA's: one, the difference between a 79 and an 80 is the same as that between an 80 and an 81, and two, by never averaging you don't penalize students who take unweighted courses (in traditional GPA systems, the kid who takes 6 AP classes and then has early release ends up with a higher potential GPA than the kid who takes 6 AP classes and band or drama or football).
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  #71  
Old 08-16-2009, 10:39 AM
Manda JO Manda JO is offline
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Originally Posted by Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party View Post


How much education is really needed to keep in shape? Eat less and run more. There's no need to talk about it, just get outside and run around. It seems that actually getting kids running around during PE, playing sport, is the best that can be done.
Except it's so much more fun to do something when you are good at it--otherwise it's frustrating and a chore. The way to "get . . . kids running around during PE" is to teach them how to be successful. Sure, some will always be more talented than others, but people can be taught to improve.
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  #72  
Old 08-16-2009, 10:52 AM
Clothahump Clothahump is offline
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Yes and No.

No - the grade should not be included in the GPA. The GPA should be the average based on academics.

Yes - successful completion of PE should be required for graduation. We've got way too many lardass kids as is; giving them some exercise will only help improve their grades overall. Mens sana in corpore sano.
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  #73  
Old 08-16-2009, 12:11 PM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
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Originally Posted by Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party View Post


How much education is really needed to keep in shape? Eat less and run more. There's no need to talk about it, just get outside and run around. It seems that actually getting kids running around during PE, playing sport, is the best that can be done.
Errrr, no. That's my point. Kids (and adults) have to learn about how to exercise, just as much as they need to learn how to use language. It's no good to just throw books at a kid, saying "read this stuff", and expecting that the kid will learn how to appreciate language.

For instance, the goals and techniques of cardiovascular training differ considerably from weight training, yet both can and should be incorporated into maintaining and improving physical fitness. Many boys, especially, are interested in weight training, not only to improve strength, but to become more muscular. Both sexes need to learn about cardiovascular health, and how it affects the whole body, and how it's related to stamina in even everyday life. And it's no good to say "Just keep your calories below (1000, 1500, 2000) a day in order to maintain your weight", when a kid might choose to eat nothing but the aforementioned Cheesy Poofs. Everyone needs to learn how to build a balanced diet, and how to include occasional snacks and treats into this diet.

Also, in many of my PE classes, we played a sport during the class period. When playing something like baseball, or team volleyball, or similar sports, that meant standing around, waiting for the ball to come to you, and there was actually very little exercise involved.
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  #74  
Old 08-16-2009, 01:17 PM
Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Bodoni
That's my point. Kids (and adults) have to learn about how to exercise, just as much as they need to learn how to use language.
Disagree completely. Active kids (i.e. those who actually leave their houses and play outside with their mates, and those that participate in PE sessions as opposed to standing around doing nothing) are in perfectly good shape. Nobody needs to know about the intricacies of cardiovascular exercise to keep a decent standard of fitness.

Besides, there's no better way to alienate your students (i.e. the overwhelming majority who enjoy playing sport in PE) by turning their run-around session into a borefest on muscle groups and the cardiovascular system.
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Old 08-16-2009, 01:40 PM
Manda JO Manda JO is offline
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Originally Posted by Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party View Post
Besides, there's no better way to alienate your students (i.e. the overwhelming majority who enjoy playing sport in PE) by turning their run-around session into a borefest on muscle groups and the cardiovascular system.

There is another way to alienate them: give the kids who already have skills the opportunity to improve (because they know enough to benefit from more practice) while the kids without skills and no idea how to use practice fall further and further behind until every session the activity seems more futile and humiliating.

Sports can be taught. Dads don't just take their kids into the backyard and throw things at them, they actually show them how to throw the ball, how to catch--football coaches at any high school spend hours watching tapes of games to discover small things their players can do to be better and then they communicate these things to their players.

I agree that you don't just lecture kids on nutrition and exercise, but you can help them be better at activity, and that will encourage them to play. And then you can work in information about healthy lifestyles and eating habits--after all, we aren't teaching children, we are teaching future adults.
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  #76  
Old 08-16-2009, 02:20 PM
mhendo mhendo is offline
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As a requirement for grad school at least for the couple of school and Masters degrees Iíve looked at I havenít seen a single one that requires a foreign language. Admittedly Iím look at engineering, geology, and MBA programs.
I can't speak for other subject areas, but if you want to do a PhD in history in just about any university in the country, you'll be required to demonstrate reading proficiency in at least one language besides English.

In my history grad program, even those studying US or British history were required to have a second language, and those studying European, Latin American, or Medieval history were generally required to have 2 or more in addition to English.

As for PE being a part of your GPA, i would argue against it, or at the very least i would want a system like the one described by silenus where it could be disaggregated from the academic grades.

When i went to high school in Australia, the only grades that determined your entry to college were those received in grades 11 and 12, and in our school PE was only offered up until grade 10, so it was never an issue in terms of college admission or anything like that.
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  #77  
Old 08-16-2009, 03:31 PM
CutterJohn CutterJohn is offline
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I see no reason why it shouldn't be included. I never put anything from the accounting class to use, and nothing in my life changed for having learned what a covalent bond was in chemistry. A year and a half of french, and I can barely remember how to count to 10. I have, however, played some of the games I learned in PE with my nephew.

Which class was most useful?
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  #78  
Old 08-16-2009, 04:46 PM
alphaboi867 alphaboi867 is offline
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Originally Posted by Lynn Bodoni View Post
...PE classes should consist of physical education, that is, teaching the student how to maintain and improve the physical health of his/her body. How to do various exercises, how to use various machines of gym equipment, how to select foods, how to know when to go to the doctor, and basic first aid...It's important to know how to exercise without causing injury...
We never learned anything like this in PE. Unless it was a made-up-for-gym-class sport the teachers never bothered to explain the rules and tended to get very annoyed if anybody asked. I was like winterhawk11, father not interested in athletics (unless Nascar and tractor-pulling count), never played any kind of team sport outside of gym class (not even "for fun" with friends), both of my brothers were into sports, but they were also 13 and 17 years older than me (& I've never been close to either) and I never had any interest in sports even as a spectator. I've never gotten over my instinct to duck or out of the way whem something is thrown at me. The one PE activity I liked was when they let us use the excercise machines or lift weights, but they didn't like to do that too often because we "weren't learning anything" . Strength training was offered as an elective, but you had to play a sport to take it and it didn't get you out of gym.

It retrospect it's clear the administration really didn't care about PE (and if they didn't why the hell should any of the students). There was zero seperation by ability (unlike every other class). We just were assigned a class wherever it fit into our schedule (which mean that every class had a random mixture of freshmen, sophmores, & seniors). The grading system left no real incentive to bother trying to improve. The boys' teachers (of which there were always 3 or 4 compared to the 1 girls teacher) were hired to coach sports teams, teaching PE was a distraction for them. I hated them all. They didn't have a clue how to deal with unathletic boys who weren't interested in making the football team. None of the other teachers ever commented on one's shortcomings infont of everybody like they did. "Motivation" consisted mostly of attacks on our masculinity. I hated them all. Every single time were allowed to choose between the activity run by one of them and the one run by the girls' teacher I picked her. She was nice and would actually teach. What was the point of all that? If make students with who weren't interested in sports in the first place actively hate then it worked.
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  #79  
Old 08-16-2009, 05:02 PM
incidental incidental is offline
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Originally Posted by delphica View Post
I would not say this is true of top universities ... that's actually where it matters the least. A slight drop, that is. Because demand is high, top universities have the luxury of building the class they want for whatever reasons they want. They can afford to boot someone with a high GPA but a bland application overall in favor of another student with a lower GPA, if that student has something the university wants. And it happens all the time.

Dangerosa, one of the best admissions essays I ever read was called "Why There is a D on My Transcript; Or What I Have Learned About Band Saws." That kid got the green light before his recommendations came in.
I completely agree with this statement - and would *love* to read that personal statement. That sounds like great fun.

I sat on the admissions committee for a competitive school for a year as a student member. By the time an application had made it past the initial screening stages, all the GPAs and test scores were good. Everyone had proved their academic chops, and we were basically evaluating candidate to determine if they were an interesting person, had something to offer, had a compelling life's story, etc.

On the top end of education, GPA and test scores don't matter if you are a serious candidate for admission. And yes, we re-calculated the GPAs ourselves. My high school did some funny business where AP courses were worth extra, so hypothetically you could have a greater than 4.0 GPA.

With regards to gym class - I personally think it's important and should remain required, although I remember a lot of frustration when I had to take it as a student. I ran varsity sports all four years of high school - it was pretty much a year round thing with summer practices, winter practices, etc. etc. Gym seemed to be a bunch of annoying girls standing around because they didn't want to get sweaty and the boys showing off for each other (and the girls). I spent a lot of time wishing they'd count my sports team towards my PE class.
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  #80  
Old 08-18-2009, 10:42 AM
Anne Neville Anne Neville is offline
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Originally Posted by brickbacon View Post
If a person can't be bothered push themselves in an area where they are not naturally gifted, it says a lot about their character. Colleges should definitely be concerned with such character flaws.
Or it may mean someone has realized that it is generally a more efficient use of your time and energy to get better at something you are good at than it is to try to eliminate your weaknesses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oredigger77
Shouldnít it be possible to look at someoneís grades and know that they are both smart and wonít die the first time you make them work outside?
But if someone really would die from working outside, that almost certainly means they have a disability of some sort. In academic classes, we don't make people with a disability do the same things as people who don't, and we shouldn't in phys ed, either.

Also, you'd only know from PE grades that, had you hired this person right out of high school, they would have been able to work outside. That doesn't necessarily mean that they are able to work outside now, especially if they've been out of high school for many years.
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  #81  
Old 08-18-2009, 10:57 AM
rayman5321 rayman5321 is offline
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NO!
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  #82  
Old 08-18-2009, 11:19 AM
John Carter of Mars John Carter of Mars is offline
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Of course PE grades should count. They counted my math grades. If they are gonna' do that, they can By God count Elmo Egghead's PE grades.
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  #83  
Old 08-18-2009, 11:22 AM
Least Original User Name Ever Least Original User Name Ever is offline
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YES!
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  #84  
Old 08-18-2009, 11:29 AM
Oredigger77 Oredigger77 is offline
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Originally Posted by Anne Neville View Post
Also, you'd only know from PE grades that, had you hired this person right out of high school, they would have been able to work outside. That doesn't necessarily mean that they are able to work outside now, especially if they've been out of high school for many years.
Well, my college had P.E. as a requirement and it counted towards your GPA so there are colleges out there that you could still tell after college. You are correct that many years after you're out of school your grades don't reflect who you still are and are therefore worthless but I don't think that is a reason to stop giving grades.

As for the handicapped thing I see no reason we can't have remedial PE just like we have remedial math it wouldn't hurt people to drop to an appropriate level but just because the system isn't optimal doesn't mean that we need to stop counting it instead we need to fix it.
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  #85  
Old 08-18-2009, 11:37 AM
amarone amarone is offline
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Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
What's a high school GPA used for, anyway? College admissions, of course. And what else? I'm drawing a blank here.
In Georgia, GPA is used to determine eligibility for the state-paid Hope scholarship. They already exclude soft options, though, so I am sure PE would be excluded even if the high school used it.

WHether it counts as nontrivial or not is a matter of opinion, but students get a discount on car insurance if they maintain a B average or better.
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:41 AM
Anne Neville Anne Neville is offline
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Originally Posted by Oredigger77 View Post
Well, my college had P.E. as a requirement and it counted towards your GPA so there are colleges out there that you could still tell after college. You are correct that many years after you're out of school your grades don't reflect who you still are and are therefore worthless but I don't think that is a reason to stop giving grades.
I'm not saying they're worthless. I'm saying that they are worthless as a way to tell who can and who can't work outside without dropping dead.

Quote:
As for the handicapped thing I see no reason we can't have remedial PE just like we have remedial math it wouldn't hurt people to drop to an appropriate level but just because the system isn't optimal doesn't mean that we need to stop counting it instead we need to fix it.
I think we definitely need, if not necessarily remedial PE, definitely PE classes divided by ability levels, just like math and English classes are.

I'd also like to see PE classes available that put less emphasis on team sports. Things like running, basic stretches, or weight lifting might be more useful to more people.
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:36 PM
Cunctator Cunctator is offline
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I've never even heard of anyone getting a mark/grade for PE.
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  #88  
Old 08-18-2009, 05:40 PM
_xiao_wenti_ _xiao_wenti_ is offline
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My sister (PhD/MD) never graduated from HS because she was missing a unit of PE. I feel that regular physical activity is a great thing, but giving it a grade? Nah.
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  #89  
Old 08-19-2009, 06:00 AM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anne Neville View Post
I think we definitely need, if not necessarily remedial PE, definitely PE classes divided by ability levels, just like math and English classes are.

I'd also like to see PE classes available that put less emphasis on team sports. Things like running, basic stretches, or weight lifting might be more useful to more people.
This is what I've been saying. There are kids who can run forever, kids who can lift a lot of weight, and then there are the kids who have been confined in their houses after school because there's no safe place for them to play. These kids need to learn how to move, how to take care of themselves, and how to avoid hurting themselves. They need remedial PE, in other words. And the problem's worse now than it was when I was a kid.

Just because a kid is active in a sport doesn't mean that he knows how to warm up and cool down, for instance. Kids can get away with abusing their bodies in ways that adults really need to avoid. Warming up and cooling down are really things that have to be taught, it's not intuitive by any means. This is what PE should be teaching. I had to learn about warming up and cooling down on my own, by searching it out. It was never taught in PE.

PE should be education, especially if it's going to count in the GPA.
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  #90  
Old 08-19-2009, 01:24 PM
Rigamarole Rigamarole is offline
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Why even worry about GPA at all? These days, the only important thing is how you feel about your grades. The children are all unique and beautiful snowflakes.
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  #91  
Old 08-19-2009, 01:27 PM
MeanOldLady MeanOldLady is offline
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You know what some of this thread sounds like? Like a bunch of scrawny nerds crying because their perfect 4.0 GPA got boffed (by which I mean slightly reduced) because they couldn't do any push ups.
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:50 PM
Angel of the Lord Angel of the Lord is offline
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I think it can count towards GPA--it did at my school. I got a B, because sometimes I wormed my way into the computer lab instead of participating in the class.

That being said, I think they should offer different kinds of PE, and should cut some of the areas. There were sports I liked, and sports I absolutely hated. Weight training was good. Soccer was okay. Softball was horrible. Football was even worse. Ditto volleyball. And the section on gymnastics was a lesson in humiliation. Ditto square dancing; whoever thought having middle school kids do that would be a good idea ought to be kicked in the groin.

I think the reason that people have a lot of problems with gym class is that it's hard to mask it if you suck at sports. You might be able to hide that you're not great at math, but everyone sees it if you miss a pop fly. Gym classes are generally huge (and spread out, and therefore poorly monitored), and kids are cruel. If you suck at sports, everyone knows it, and you catch hell. And, worse--you only get at the most three weeks to play any given sport (and that's just for the biggies, usually). And that's only for maybe half an hour, max, given time for changing and warm-ups.

So, for a lot of people, it gets equated with humiliation. But, honestly? I wish I'd had a good gym class growing up, 'cause now I hate exercise. It's just. . .unpleasant. Totally unpleasant. Even if it's a sport. I'm so self-conscious that it's painful. And that's the result of associating it with gym class.

Count it in the GPA, but grade on personal improvement. And offer different levels and specialities. Treat it, in other words, like shop or art or psychology--let people choose what they're most suited for.

Last edited by Angel of the Lord; 08-19-2009 at 01:51 PM..
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  #93  
Old 08-19-2009, 02:10 PM
badbadrubberpiggy badbadrubberpiggy is offline
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When I was in HS, PE grades did count, but gym class wasn't the only PE option. I did one year of PE (and maybe one semester later, can't remember), the rest of my PE classes were things like health, CPR/First Aid, stuff like that. IIRC, we also had some more focused physical exercise classes, like you could take a semester of weight-lifting.
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Old 08-19-2009, 02:37 PM
Shot From Guns Shot From Guns is offline
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Originally Posted by badbadrubberpiggy View Post
When I was in HS, PE grades did count, but gym class wasn't the only PE option. I did one year of PE (and maybe one semester later, can't remember), the rest of my PE classes were things like health, CPR/First Aid, stuff like that. IIRC, we also had some more focused physical exercise classes, like you could take a semester of weight-lifting.
We had a Health class that was separate from PE and covered things like CPR, nutrition, etc. Everybody had to take four semesters of PE (freshman and sophomore year) and the semester of Health (usually taken during sophomore year).
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Old 08-19-2009, 03:01 PM
filmore filmore is offline
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Originally Posted by Angel of the Lord View Post

I think the reason that people have a lot of problems with gym class is that it's hard to mask it if you suck at sports. You might be able to hide that you're not great at math, but everyone sees it if you miss a pop fly. Gym classes are generally huge (and spread out, and therefore poorly monitored), and kids are cruel. If you suck at sports, everyone knows it, and you catch hell. And, worse--you only get at the most three weeks to play any given sport (and that's just for the biggies, usually). And that's only for maybe half an hour, max, given time for changing and warm-ups.

So, for a lot of people, it gets equated with humiliation. But, honestly? I wish I'd had a good gym class growing up, 'cause now I hate exercise. It's just. . .unpleasant. Totally unpleasant. Even if it's a sport. I'm so self-conscious that it's painful. And that's the result of associating it with gym class.
This is the problem with the way PE is taught today. The kids who need the most help get the least benefit. For the well-coordinated kids PE is like an hour of recess. But the uncoordinated kids get an hour of being mocked. They get mocked in the individual sports because they're last. And they get mocked in the group sports because their lack of skill causes their team to lose. There is never any serious training advice given on how to get better. As a result, they never learn that exercise can actually be enjoyable and anyone can get benefits from it.

Maybe they could have different types of PE classes:
  • Team sports -- football, volleyball, basketball, etc.
  • Individual sports -- Weightlifting, running, gymnastics, etc
  • Coordination activities -- Juggling, hoola-hoop, balance board, etc.
  • Kinesiology -- The study of human anatomy.

If they were split up like that, I could see having grades count. But when it's a generic 'PE', it doesn't make sense to give grades. That's like having one class called 'math' where everything from 1+1=2 to calculus is taught.

And AotL, please don't let other people's opinion of you prevent you from exercising. To be honest, I do notice when a newbie is exercising. However, I don't think ill of them. Rather, I admire that they are making an effort because I know how hard it can be to start out. It's easy to work out when you go every day. The real willpower is in getting yourself to go the first time.
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Old 08-19-2009, 03:28 PM
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My high school had mandatory PE (which I support) and Pass/Fail. There were about 3500 kids in my school, so each PE class had well over 100 kids. Pass fail was necessary to make people show up, but how are a few teachers supposed to know anyone enough to give a grade with that many kids? Given the time required to change, how much class time is available for the wonderful stuff Lynn wants? We did exercises, and some minor sports, and a lot of running around the track. Grade seem stupid. An A for participation is just grade inflation, and I don't think how well you do on tests is much of an indicator of how fit you are. Those really good at athletics will be on a team and get a college bump anyhow, so they don't need the GPA bump.
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Old 08-19-2009, 03:38 PM
mhendo mhendo is offline
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Originally Posted by filmore View Post
This is the problem with the way PE is taught today. The kids who need the most help get the least benefit. For the well-coordinated kids PE is like an hour of recess. But the uncoordinated kids get an hour of being mocked. They get mocked in the individual sports because they're last. And they get mocked in the group sports because their lack of skill causes their team to lose.
Yep.

I loved PE. I was no uber-jock, but i loved playing sports and was pretty coordinated and fit.

But looking back, PE must have been miserable for the non-athletic kids in some of my classes. And it wasn't just the students who made their lives miserable; the teachers were often no better.

One of our teachers loved playing touch football (rugby), to the exclusion of everything else. That's basically all we did in his PE classes. We would pick two teams, including the teacher, and play a game. If you liked touch football, as i and some of my mates did, it was awesome; if you didn't, or were slow and uncoordinated, it was 40 minutes of sheer misery as you were marginalized and laughed at, not only by the other students, but also sometimes by the teacher.
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:32 PM
Cunctator Cunctator is offline
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Originally Posted by mhendo View Post
But looking back, PE must have been miserable for the non-athletic kids in some of my classes. And it wasn't just the students who made their lives miserable; the teachers were often no better.

One of our teachers loved playing touch football (rugby), to the exclusion of everything else. That's basically all we did in his PE classes. We would pick two teams, including the teacher, and play a game. If you liked touch football, as i and some of my mates did, it was awesome; if you didn't, or were slow and uncoordinated, it was 40 minutes of sheer misery as you were marginalized and laughed at, not only by the other students, but also sometimes by the teacher.
That sounds very like my school experience. I loathed every second of PE. I have poor hand/eye co-ordination. I wasn't so bad at running and swimming, because that was just a matter of getting to other end as quickly as possible. But instead it was always bloody rugby, which I also had to play at weekends.

In a way it was amusing too, because the stated aim was to "instil in the boys a love of sport". Instead it turned us non-sporty types off sport permanently. I decided very early on that once I was no longer required to do PE I would never play a sport again. And I haven't.
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Old 08-22-2009, 03:19 PM
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Of course it shouldn't count. At least not until they actually weed out all the sadists that wind up as PE teachers.
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  #100  
Old 08-23-2009, 12:21 AM
Bolt the Nut Bolt the Nut is offline
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The big problem with PE is how it is taught (or not taught). There are a lot of physical activities out there, but PE tends to focus on team sports as many of them are easier and more economical to teach (e.g., soccer ball + field).

I have seen high schools with three levels of mathematics within each grade. The lowest level teaches things such as balancing a check book and filling out a tax return. The highest level teaches calculus. A similar approach to PE would be useful, and would probably help a lot of ďathletically challengedĒ kids learn a little about fitness, and maybe find an activity that they would like to continue with into adulthood.
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