Personal Opinion on Mandatory Physical Education Class for High School Students
Physical education (PE) is an important aspect of school life and is related to enhancing fitness through body movement. There has been a long-standing debate about the physical education class and whether it should be mandatory or optional. The advocates of mandating the PE class highlight its impact on life-long physical and psychological health along with its positive impact on academics and the development of personal responsibility (Bailey, 2006; Malina, Bouchard, & Bar-Or, 2004). Whereas the opposing views emphasize the development of lowered self-esteem, negative body image, and increased bullying as its adverse outcomes (Parr, 2019; Fuller, Gulbrandson, & Herman-Ukasick, 2013). Although both sides put forth some strong viewpoints, in my opinion, the PE class should be mandatory in high school.
With a bulk of research supporting the health-related benefits of physical exercise, I believe that not only should it be mandatory; there should be increased efforts from school administrations to promote its importance especially keeping in view the elevating cases of obesity-related concerns in the United States. My views in support of this notion are also shaped by the ideas presented by experts like Richard Bailey, who highlighted the importance of PE in relation to social and emotional development along with its positive outcomes related to cognition and academics (2006). I believe that making PE classes mandatory for high school students can instill a long-term fitness consciousness among youngsters and can help in the reduction of prevalent psychological issues such as depression and anxiety among teens. I also found the book by Kohl and Cook to be quite informative in influencing my opinion and I think that by implementing the concepts provided by them, schools can improve students’ literacy and numeracy as these subjects are most impacted by physical activity (2013). There is a negative and positive aspect of everything; I believe that the schools should devise policies to effectively deal with bullying during PE lessons to make the most of the benefits that it has to offer.
Bailey, R. (2006). Physical education and sport in schools: A review of benefits and outcomes. Journal of School Health, 76(8), 397–401 .
Fuller, B., Gulbrandson, K., & Herman-Ukasick, B. (2013). Bully Prevention in the Physical Education Classroom. Strategies, 26(6), 3-8.
Kohl, H. W., & Cook, H. D. (2013). Educating the student body: Taking physical activity and physical education to school. The National Academies Press.
Malina, R. M., Bouchard, C., & Bar-Or, O. (2004). Growth, maturation, and physical activity. Human kinetics.
Parr, S. (2019). Physical education should not be a high school requirement. Retrieved from https://drakejollyroger.com/2472/opinion/physical-education-should-not-be-a-high-school-requirement/