New research is showing us fascinating information about the brain. We are now learning that we can form new brain cells at nearly any age with physical exercise, and that exercising before class can significantly boost learning capacity by spawning new brain cells. Learning new information immediately following aerobic exercise fills the new cells with information.
The new neural pathways formed during exercise are like new railroad tracks in our brains. If we don't use them, we lose them. These newly laid tracks can hold new information and foster further learning.
Music memorization works similarly to exercise with regards to learning. Memorizing and playing songs form new neural pathways within the brain that can hold any information. In other words, those new tracks can be used for learning History, French, or anything else taught in class.
Over the past decade, our educational systems have experienced drastic budget cuts. What are the first areas of learning to be cut? PE and Music. How brilliant of our states to cut these two areas out of our class. Perhaps we'll just bore our kids to death and score dead last on International testing for Math and Science in the coming years. Won't we be proud?
There is a right way that Physical Education can be included within an academic curriculum that would likely boost academic performance in all children. Yes, ALL children. Kids need to be exercising for at least 10 minutes at 80-85% of their aerobic threshold. TEN MINUTES is really all it takes. In the Naperville study that I've reviewed in the past, kids scores on the international test for math and science went from 17th adn 18th in the country, respectively, to NUMBER ONE. NUMBER ONE ON MATH AND SCIENCE IN THE WORLD AFTER EXERCISING FOR 10 MINUTES AT 85% OF AEROBIC THRESHOLD.
This is worth repeating for those school administrators who, themselves, are "slow learners." When kids exercised at 80% of their aerobic threshold for 10 minutes, their scores on the international test for math and science shot to number one in the world.
Pass this email along to your friends and family. Email it to your senator and state representatives. Print it out and take it to your schools. Put it in your pocket. Spread it on your sandwich. Stencil it onto your windows, and tattoo it on your arm. We have GOT to get the word out that the government is truly ruining our schools and compromising our children's capacity to learn (not to mention their sense of self worth) by cutting out PE and Music.
But they can do this at home, you say......not necessarily. Homework is piled on hour by hour for kids these days, and most don't have enough time to finish their homework, exercise, practice music, and get into bed on time. Kids are getting far less sleep these days than ever, a topic thought to be the real reason for child obesity (not television). Let's do less useless academic work and more real life activity that will make it easier for our kids to learn, stay healthy, and behave well in class.
It should be included in school because real life skills and the ability to expand one's capacity for learning should BE PART of learning. I'm personally disgusted with my own state's clear inability to recognize new information that plays such an important role in education. Unfortunately, we also continue to use "gifted" testing as a way to identify "gifted students." What a joke, as we now know that intelligence is way too fluid to give any long term prediction of a child's performance. Way to go, SC. Can't win 'em all, but we'll catch up at some point.