Research Round 2 – How Does The Educational System Affect Teenagers?

Hey everyone,

For the second post of my inquiry topic, I will be focusing on the positive physical impacts the education system provides teenagers. In my last post, I mentioned some benefits school has on improving the physical aspect of children’s lives such as making physical education classes mandatory until grade 10, providing healthy food choices for breakfast and lunch as well as installing a fancy water fountain that appears to be quite busy. More specifically, I will be looking into…

Research Round 2 – Positive Impacts

  • How has school positively impacted teenagers physically?
    • Physical Education, healthy food choices (importance of drinking water)
      • How / Why has it impacted students lives?
      • Suggestions on improvements (even though it is successful)
        • For the improvements, I will be using the research from the above topics to critically think of possible solutions (my opinions, no research) 

Physical Education

Being active at school has provided many opportunities for students to become physically healthy, enhance their athleticism in sports and create a bright future for everyone. Within middle school, teachers are promoting the importance of physical education to young teens in hopes of demonstrating the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and giving them a love for physical activity in hopes to make sure they have normal growth. (1) Physical exercise helps students develop muscles, improve cardiovascular health, aids the digestive process in breakdown and absorbing nutrients while developing motor skills (reflexes) which can be beneficial in future careers / better body posture. Overall there are many positive aspects to physical education for teens because it creates a healthy lifestyle for teens to maintain. (3) PE is required from kindergarten until grade 10 and within the course the skills taught are the same or very similar. (2) Which can be a positive for students who wish to pursue a sport in post-secondary or are in need of a fun way to work out. Although schools do have physical education, the curriculum is based on sports or collaborative games and neglect to educate teens on improving your physical health for the future like body composition, cardiorespiratory endurance and fitness. (2) There are electives like fitness that offer this important knowledge, however many students have busy schedules that don’t allow time for this course.

Image result for physical education

Some suggestions to improve physical education could be…

  • Requiring PE for all grades, but after grade 10 have it as completion mark instead of a grade on your transcript
  • Altering the curriculum to include and put an emphasis on more practical physical education learning such as maintaining a healthy body through weightlifting or running
  • Having physical education all year round instead of only in one semester or every other day to get in a physical routine

Food Choices

As students move through the education system, they are becoming more exposed to unhealthy dietary choices due to vending machines and cafeterias. Studies show children in grade 5 consumed more fruits and vegetables during the school year compared to middle school students who had access to sugared beverages. Although this may appear to start on a bad note, schools do have healthy options, just children aren’t making wise decisions.  (4) In Alberta, there is a healthy eating plan in place for encourage students to make smart food choices for lunch by labeling food with checkmarks and x’s to demonstrate healthy options and making healthy options reasonably priced. Children aren’t meeting their daily nutritious requirements and without healthy eating habits, it could lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes in the future. (5,6) It is important for children to maintain a healthy weight, stabilize moods and avoid health problems that could be with them their whole lives if they don’t take care of their body as a child. (6)

Image result for healthy food

Some suggestions to improve food choices could be…

  • Making unhealthy foods less accessible
    • Instead of offering unhealthy food and labeling it as “bad”, don’t serve the food item (ex. French fries) / discard vending machines
  • Provide more cooked meals that meet the nutritious requirements instead of hot dogs and hamburgers
  • Educate children more on the importance of having a healthy lifestyle (starting with wise food decisions)

Drinking Water / Liquids

Although the school doesn’t directly promote drinking water (therefore this is just added information to highlight our school), at Charles Best there is a water fountain outside the cafeteria and near the gym that is always in use. Students enjoy drinking water from this particular fountain and I have noticed people choosing the water over drinks in the cafeteria. Also, our cafeteria has a milk program where students receive a scratch card with every purchase of a small carton of milk. If you win, the next milk could be free! To conclude, there are many different articles and websites that demonstrate schools as not doing their part to help children be healthy, however, I believe Charles Best is taking a step in the right direction.

Image result for milk and water

In my final research round for this cycle, I will be investigating the negative aspects the educational system has on teenager’s health.

Research Round 3 – Negative Impacts

  • How has the educational system negatively impacted teenagers?
    • Reduced sleep, fatigue, etc
      • How / Why has it impacted students lives? (Educationally and personally)
      • Suggestions on solutions

Citations

  1. Dinghua, K. (1997). Secondary school physical education and quality education. Chinese Education & Society30(6), 37. https://doi-org.bc.idm.oclc.org/10.2753/CED1061-1932300637
  2. Langford, G. A., & Carter, L. (2003). Academic Excellence Must Include Physical Education.Physical Educator60(1), 28. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.bc.idm.oclc.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f5h&AN=9349586&site=ehost-live
  3. https://education.gov.gy/web/index.php/teachers/tips-for-teaching/item/2021-importance-of-physical-education-in-high-school
  4. Cullen, K. W., & Zakeri, I. (2004). Fruits, Vegetables, Milk and Sweetened Beverages Consumption and Access to á la Carte/Snack Bar Meals at School. American Journal of Public Health94(3), 463. https://doi-org.bc.idm.oclc.org/10.2105/AJPH.94.3.463
  5. https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/assets/info/school/csh/if-sch-csh-he-policy-recommendations.pdf
  6. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/healthy-food-for-kids.htm

Thank you for reading my post, and comments are always welcome as well as appreciated. 🙂

4 Replies to “Research Round 2 – How Does The Educational System Affect Teenagers?”

  1. Hi Lauren,

    I loved your research round. The pictures and how you laid out your post made it easy to follow along. From the section Food Choices, the statistic that demonstrated how grade 5 students consumed more fuit and vegetables than middle school students was shocking. It’s interesting how people who had “more access to sugared beverages” make less healthy food choices. Furthermore, to comment on the healthy eating plan from Alberta, I know that there is a similar system in our school as well. In our vending machines, checkmarks and x’s are also labelled on the snacks for purchase.

    Because you will be looking at negative impacts of the educational system in your next post, you could also perhaps investigate the controversy on whether school prepares people for “real life”. I have attached some websites that debate on this down below!

    Suggested Websites:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/12/schools-children-education-coding-toilet-unblocking-rote-learning
    http://wh-magazine.com/educational-philosophy/the-negative-effects-of-core-curriculum-in-schools
    https://www.jstor.org/stable/146029

    All the best,
    Alison

  2. Hello Lauren,

    I found myself really engaged in your topic. The structure was well put together and it was obvious that you put a lot of thought into it.

    I think that even if students were educated about healthy life choices they wouldn’t implement those changes into their lives without a push. So to take it a step further, the school could maybe offer some sort of program where they team up with the families of the kids and make sure they are buying the right foods because when you’re a kid, whatever your parents buy is what you eat.

    That may be a bit off topic because I brought families into it but anyway, good luck with the rest of the project.

    Here are some hopefully helpful links

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/08/24/why-even-a-multimillion-dollar-federal-research-program-cant-get-kids-to-eat-vegetables/

    http://www.vch.ca/public-health/children-youth-schools/school-health/supporting-healthy-eating-at-school

  3. Hi Lauren,
    Great round of research! It was very well laid out, and I like how you included your own thoughts on the subject.Your suggestion of requiring PE for all grades but after grade 10 having it as completion mark instead of a grade on your transcript really intrigued me as I have never thought of that before, yet I think that would actually make sense. I find that without PE, even though I still have soccer and martial arts to keep me active, I’m not as fit as I would be if I was taking PE. Therefore, having PE as something you have to do not as a course but simply for completion would help keep students a lot healthier I think. I’m not sure how exactly it would be integrated into students’ schedules, but it’s an interesting idea worth consideration.
    Looking at the negative impacts of school on student health, I think we can all agree that homework has a major part of that. Homework is designed to help students understand the subject better and help them practice so that they can do better on tests, but when students receive too much homework, this can cause them stress and create a lack of sleep, which can actually decrease their academic performance.
    Here are some websites that you can use for your next round of research:
    https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/school-buildings-student-health-performance/
    https://www.educationnews.org/education-policy-and-politics/the-global-search-for-education-on-success/
    https://news.stanford.edu/2014/03/10/too-much-homework-031014/
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2014/03/13/homework-hurts-high-achieving-students-study-says/
    Good luck!

  4. Hi Lauren! I really enjoyed reading your research. I’ve always been quite interested in how grade school PE classes truly affect students and their well-being, and after reading your research, I found myself understanding just that little bit more. Can’t wait for your next round!

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