John Dewey, an administrator and a well known Physical educationist said, "The school must represent life, life as a real and vital to child as that which he carries on in home, in the neighborhood, or in the play ground."
Changes occur in all walks of life, from temples to schools, from society to society, from institutions to institutions. These changes and trends have occurred because of the better understanding of our self, growth and development and because of the stronger commitment for the effort of scientific research in the field of physical education.
Today’s mechanized and computerized society is taking a clear look at what the schools are doing for the children. Mobility of the children in schools has been neglected to a great extent and they have been tuned to the luxurious way of coming to the schools and returning home by means of motor transports. The junk foods and bountiful nutritional status of the children have made them chubby with extra pounds of adipose tissue hanging on them. The opportunities to exercise body and mind by work and play at school and at home have comparatively decreased with children hanging on to TV and computer games. The play field facilities have been limited in schools and so do quality and quantity of sports equipments. As such the studies done on the school children show that there physical fitness level has comparatively decreased to that of their contemporaries in 70's and 80's. The physical education teachers are just kept as the ornaments of the schools whose importance is only for a school day function or for annual sports meets. It is high time that the movement education should be given greater importance than ever before and the children of these days should be better motivated to involve themselves in the sports activity that would enable them to be a healthy and worthy citizen.
NEW TRENDS IN MOVEMENT EDUCATION
The need for exercise, to attain and maintain good health and fitness for living and the need for social contact to attain meaningful human relationship can be met through movement education. Modern movement education should have updated goals. It should no longer be a programme for the children to release their tensions built during their class room activities, or because physical fitness is the major goal of movement education. Movement education should foster the needs of the children to develop their potential for physical movement in all kinds of ways, not just with in the restrictions of a particular game or exercise. It should challenge the children to think, to operate creatively with in the limits of their abilities, to solve the problems and to share thought fully and with consideration for others, the facility with in which the movement experience takes place.
On the whole the objective goals of movement education should be:
1. Development of intellectual discipline
To help children to grow in cerebral ways (intellectually, physically and spiritually) through critical and creative thinking, problem solving ability and finally magnifying into a honorable personality.
2. Vocational and avocational competence
Contribute to the efficiency with which one learns to perform occupational tasks, a responsible attitude in eventually utilizing the skills that he acquires for a lifetime through participation in movement activities.
3. Citizenship and civic responsibility
To educate the children regarding the fundamentals of a democratic set up and the moral duties and responsibilities that he shares in the civic set up and progress of the country.
4. Competence in human social relationship
To develop and imbibe the socio-metric, dynamic, motivated and aggravated qualities in an individual interms of academic, play, as well employment aspect of the individual in school and in the society.
5. Moral and ethical values
To develop ethical conduct; and to posses moral and ethical values intended for being a responsible citizen; personal, social and cultural aspects and to have an integrity in the advancement of nation.
6. Self realization of physical and mental health
To develop a self-concept that physical exercises would develop them physically and mentally to a nation with healthy standards of living and sporting performance.
These days the movement education should aim for a new vision that can be favorable for every child, weak or strong, the able and the disabled. Central point of concern should be, the children who, what, how they are, and what they are doing matters. Each child's need and interest are to be kept as the requirement of the programme. The success of the movement education and movement educationist in the programme is measured by the success of each and every child progress in the multisided activities.
A movement oriented education programme should include all kinds of programmes - areas of traditional physical activity such as Malaysian traditional games (galah panjang, konda kondi, beduk, aci sorok) dance, gymnastics, swimming, etc., as depending upon the availability of the facility. It is not necessary to have all kinds of programmes incorporated into the movement education. But you may concentrate on activities that fit into the environmental features of the school. The only thing is that the planner should keep in his mind that the activities aim at child centered approach, rather than activity centered. The concept of movement education programme should emphasize at education and focus the attention on awareness - awareness of what body is doing as it moves, awareness of where the movement is going in the surrounding space, awareness of qualities of force and speed, and awareness of social and physical environments to which the movement relates. This is actual movement oriented education.
It is to be noted that the fundamental body of knowledge that binds together all the concepts of parts of physical education is the vocabulary of movement education. There are few things which form the basis of physical education. Firstly, movement reveals the identity of the subject. Moving children expresses a variety of things, observe new things that are must for the successful course of action. They feel confident of themselves. They are in a position to rate their standing with others by playing and experimenting movement with others. Secondly, In the process of learning, they imbibe new ideas and gain a positive self image of enforcing each new level of attainment. Apart from these, self discipline, independent thinking, cooperative learning and sharing etc., are developed.
A quality of physical and movement education programme provides children with opportunities to develop the necessary knowledge, skills and healthful attitude enabling each to participate in a variety of life time physical activities. The importance of an active lifestyle in the prevention of disease and for the maintenance of positive mental health is well documented. For e.g., the health benefits of regular physical activity include the prevention of coronary heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity and mental problems such as depression, poor self-esteem and anxiety.
All physical activities involve different joints, muscles and segments of the body. To use these joints, muscles, segments and joints effectively, there are few specific principles to be followed which ultimately results in body becoming more graceful and economical in expenditure of energy. Children should be made to learn and practice the different kinds of simple segmental movements form their childhood. This learning of the fundamental movements will help them to execute complex movements involved in competitive sports. Sports training at a later stage will be easy for those of whom the fundamental movements are already automated.
What are the movements should children learn? They are proper walking pattern, running, jumping, kicking, hitting, rolling, pushing, pulling, lifting, carrying, throwing, catching, climbing, landing, sitting, standing etc.,. All these movements are called fundamental and natural movements.
Efficient movement is the outcome of sufficient development of physical, mental and emotional qualities. Efficient and correct movements can only be executed when the pre requisites are taken account to. Movements could be learnt well, when the same are repeated a number of times. To perform correct and efficient movements, sufficient development of physical qualities like speed, strength, endurance, muscular power, agility, flexibility, coordination, reaction time, etc., are to be improved along with mental qualities like ability to perceive, to decide quickly, judge moving objects, spatial approach in application of already learnt skills, etc; and the emotional qualities like desire to perform, positive attitudes towards the activity, self control, readiness to perform, etc.,. Hence a sound foundation of these qualities has to be laid out in school activities. The development of these abilities in turn helps to develop bodily systems such as muscular, skeletal, circulatory, respiratory, neuromuscular systems, etc. All these systems would enable the children to take up a high degree of load when movements are performed. Apart from these, the basic knowledge of effective movements involving biomechanics principles, economy of movement education, etc., are also required to be learnt for effective and efficient movements.
Finally, when you assess the outcomes of movement education programme, an individual interms of being physically fit, mentally fit, healthy and competent enough to participate in elite sporting performance, the individual should have trained, possessed and attained for the following:
· Has learned and mastered skills necessary to perform a variety of physical activities.
- Moves using concepts of body and space awareness, force and velocity relationships.
- Demonstrates competence in a variety of manipulative, locomotor and non- locomotor skills performed individually and with opponents.
- Demonstrates competence in many different forms of physical activity.
- Has learned how to learn new skills.
· Does participate regularly in physical activity.
- Participates in health enhancing physical activity at least three times a week.
- Selects and regularly participate in life time physical activities.
· Is physically fit
- Assesses, achieves and maintains physical fitness.
- Designs safe, personal fitness programmes in accordance with principles of training and conditioning.
· Knows the implications of and benefits from involvement in physical activities.
- Identifies the benefits, costs and obligations associated with regular participation in physical activity.
- Recognizes the risk and safety factors associated with regular participation in physical activity.
- Applies concepts and principles to the development of motor skills.
- Understands that wellness involves more than being physically fit.
- Knows the rules and regulations, strategies and appropriate behaviors for selected physical activity.
- Recognizes that participation in physical activity can lead to multi-cultural and international understanding.
- Understands that the physical activity provides the opportunities for enjoyment, self expression and communication.
· Values of physical activity and its contribution to a healthful life style.
- Appreciates the relationship with others that result from participation in physical activity.
- Respects the role that regular physical activity plays in the pursuit of life long health and well being.
- Cherishes the feeling that result from regular participation in physical activity.
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Dr.Saju Joseph, Senior Sports Biomechanist ISN for background research and study.