Interscholastic Sports and Academics Essay

Pages: 4 (1234 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .

Yet another study of 8th graders -- this one in a middle school in Omaha, Nebraska during the 1998-99 school year -- showed that "Both male and female athletes had significantly higher GPAs than non-athletes of the same sex," Stern reports (191).

Not all research indicates that there is clearly a strong relationship between playing sports and doing well in the classroom. Professor Feng S. Din of the University of Virginia conducted a study of five high schools in rural areas of Kentucky, in the Appalachian Mountains area. The professor selected 225 students that played basketball, football, baseball, track, volleyball, softball and cheerleading. Four of the six teams selected were boys and 2 were girls' teams. The grades of all 225 students were noted before and after sports seasons.

"A very small number of students achieved slightly lower grades at the end of the sports season, and several students received higher grades in some courses," Din explained (Din, 2006, p. 6). In fact, in his Discussion, Din reported that "Generally speaking, participating in school-sponsored sport activities did not make any changes on the participating students' learning outcomes" (p.9). The grades of most students "remained basically unchanged… their participating in sport activities did not seem to have any impact on their academic learning," Din concluded.

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While author Ron Woods views high school interscholastic sports as a positive, he also sees a downside to sports in high school. On the positive side, Woods notes that his investigations reflect that high school students out for competitive sports "tend to have" higher grade point averages, lower rates of dropping out of school and stronger records as far as school attendance (Woods, 2007, p. 121). The Women's Sports Foundation and several states' sports foundations have verified these facts that Woods has presented.

TOPIC: Essay on Interscholastic Sports & Academics What Assignment

In "virtually every segment of the U.S. population," Woods continues, there is "strong support" for interscholastic athletics (121). Indeed, sports as part of the educational experience for middle school and high school students continues to be "…a critical factor in the personal development of young people," the author goes on. However, he cautions, a "fair and comprehensive analysis of high school sport reveals both positive and negative effects of participation" (Wood, 121). By that he means that because high school populations typically include "cliques," sports can sometimes create "disunity" (121).

In other words, Woods is saying athletic cliques can become like separate cultures within the culture of the high school, and there can be resentment and even bullying when other cliques challenge the sports cliques or somehow get on the bad side of them.

Conclusion

While Ron Woods may be somewhat correct in his assertion that interscholastic sports can create "disunity," his point misses the big picture. Most research shows that as a general rule, student athletes tend to do better in the classroom than non-students. With all the distractions that are out there for adolescents in 2011 (digital technologies, video games, movies, parties, cars, sex, drugs, alcohol), playing sports is a wonderfully fulfilling experience. Indeed, there can be no question that in a vast majority of cases, interscholastic sports are healthy, motivating, and academically productive for students.

Works Cited

Din, Feng S. (2006). Sport Activities vs. Academic Achievement for Rural High School

Students. National Forum of Applied Educational Research Journal-Electronic, 19(3E),

1-10.

Lumpkin, Angela, and Stokowski, Sarah. (2011). Interscholastic Sports: A Character-Building

Privilege. Kappa Delta Pi Record. Retrieved June 19, 2011, from http://www.kdp.org/publications/pdf/record/sp11/Record_Sp_11_Lumpkin.pdf.

Lyons-Daniels, Patricia. (1999). Interscholastic Sports and the Middle School Student: A Case

Study. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Retrieved June 19, 2011, from http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-120299-170148/unrestricted/mssports.pdf.

Stern, Barbara Slater, and Kysillka, Marcella… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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