Education Policy In New Zealand To Support The Extracurricular Activities In The Primary Schools (Coursework Sample)
Topic: Education policy in New Zealand to support the extracurricular activities in the primary schools.
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Education policy in New Zealand to support the Extracurricular Activities in the Primary Schools
Education policy in New Zealand to support the Extracurricular Activities in the Primary Schools
Extracurricular activities are events undertaken by students that fall outside the field of regular school curricula. Extracurricular activities have been established in all levels of education around the world in various forms. They can be in the form of sports, drama or clubs (Massoni, 2011). Extracurricular activities are often not mandatory and involve students of the same age. Extracurricular activities by nature help students to adopt different personal aptitude from the class-based action. The personal choice of a student to engage in extracurricular activities in spite of other school responsibilities may generate an experience that is more significant to them than a compulsory task. In addition, while participating in extracurricular activities, they get to be around students of their peer, which facilitates a positive learning environment. In New Zealand's education system, students choose extracurricular activities only after enrolling in secondary school. This is because the education policies do not support primary schools to engage in extracurricular activities. This study evaluates why it is important to implement education policy that will support the extracurricular activities in the primary schools in New Zealand. The paper will also look at the history of New Zealand education curriculum.
In 1904, Hogben wrote the first primary school curriculum that set out the goals and purpose and recommended teaching methods in New Zealand (Openshaw et al., 1993). He believed that contemporary form of the education system should be able to evaluate the academic and the hands-on abilities of the students. He further believed that based on the acquired assessments, the curriculum should be able to mold students into proper citizens in an independent society (Openshaw et al., 1993). Hogben’s ideas assumed that by utilizing the standardized practice of diligence to schools could better prepare a student to cope well in adult life roles (Openshaw et al., 1993).
Hogben’s curriculum put in place an extensive conventional syllabus’ that consisted of morals and the formation of proper habits and etiquettes such as punctuality, modesty, and tidiness. The plan also covered civics and health together with the regular primary school subjects (Ewing, 1970). In the final page of the syllabus, Hogben reinvigorated the teachers to formulate timetables that coordinated and connected all the subjects to the facts and the needs of a student’s daily life (Ewing, 1970). Hogben’s curriculum focused more on the normal education activities and missed to feature in the extra activities program for primary school students.
Reasons for Developing and Implementing the Policy in New Zealand
Unlike New Zealand, the United States established extracurricular activities in grade schools in the 19th Century. The program was first implemented only in Harvard and Yale, and it involved educated clubs that comprised of various debate clubs and Greek systems (Casinger, 2011). Later, the program was expanded to grade and high schools. Currently, more than half of the American students take part in at least one extracurricular activity (Gardner et al., 2006). In the United States, it costs approximately $250 million to establish extracurricular activities in both urban and rural schools (Girod et al., 2005). Below are some of the positive outcomes observed in the United States that perhaps can give a clear view of ways in which New Zealand will stand to gain by developing and implementing the policy.
Several studies have been conducted to depict the relationship between extracurricular activities and academic performance. Taking part in extracurricular activities is often related to high academic performance, high education aspiration, reduced absenteeism, and greater chances of attending to a good college (Broh, 2002). Guest and Schneider (2003) concluded that, “Researchers have unveiled positive feedback between extracurricular activities and education.” Lunenburg (2010) expresses in his article that, “Extracurricular activities fulfill the same aims and purpose as the mandatory and optional courses in a school’s curriculum. They offer experiences that are not part of the formal courses of study. Extracurricular activities enable a student to apply the knowledge gained from other classes and attain ideas of an autonomous life. The positive outcomes of extracurricular activities to students are high grades, positives attitude towards education, improved behavior, improved social skills and successful adulthood (Massoni, 2011).
Students who take part in extracurricular activities have shown signs of lessened behavior problems. The students who participate in sporting activities have demonstrated self-restraint in drills, routines, and practices (Massoni, 2011). They abide by the rules of the sport and try to perform well in the field. When students do well on their extracurricular activities, they are often rewarded for their efforts thus taking pride in the accomplishment. Due to this reason, most students gain better self-esteem, self-respect, and self-confidence.
Brown (2000) asserts that “Taking part in school activities, particularly, Athletics, proceed to better self-esteem and enrich their status among their peers, which some argue limits antisocial behaviors.” Besides, extracurricular activities play a vital role in keeping students busy after school hours (Eccles, 2003). According to Holloway (2002), “The most dangerous time for students to engage in bad behavior is between after-school hours and before parents arrive at home.” Students aged between eight and seventeen years are often at risk of engaging in risky behaviors when idle (Howie et al., 2010). Gardner et al.’s (2008) theory and study on proper youth development stresses the shift of human development and proposes that building a positive, supportive relationship with people and other social organization boosts a healthy growth. Based on the study, extracurricular activities can foster a healthy development because students can freely engage in building sustainable relationships with their peers while taking part in extracurricular activities.
Different students have a different attitude towards going to school, and not every student loves the idea of waking up early and attending school. Students who lack motivation do not enjoy going to school, and thus they are likely to lose focus and perform poorly in class. Extracurricular activities promote a positive attitude, and it gives a student the motivation to go to school and improves the students’ level of performance. Cosden et al. (2004) noted that “Taking part in after school activities that are programmed to enrich students’ self-esteem, provides positive outcomes on standards test score in both mathematics and reading, unlike receiving extended time to work on their homework.” Taking part in extracurricular activities equips the student with the ability to build a positive and intentional connection to their schools, it gives them the motivation needed to continue going to school every day. According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), students who take part in extracurricular activities are more likely to attain a grade point of a 3.0 or higher.
Extracurricular activities promote school completion. In the United States, the average dropout rate is approximately 10 percent. Students who take part in extracurricular activities are less likely to drop out than those who do not (Casinger, 2011). The students who are at risk of failing academically are often encouraged to take part in extracurricular activities than the average achievers. Participating in extracurricular activities is associated with a decrease in early dropout cases in both boys and girls. It has been observed that students who take part in sporting activities stand a better chance of completing their education; sports program reduced the dropout rate by 40 percent (Holloway, 2002). Besides, various sports have a stipulated law that does not tolerate academic failing. These rules are put in place to discourage laziness in class thus motivating the student to gradually improve academically. Besides academic improvement, other laws discourage the use of drugs and alcohol.
Finally, extracurricular activities encourage hard work and prepare students for becoming productive members of society in their adulthood. Through participation in extracurricular activities, students learn valuable lessons about leadership, teamwork, critical thinking, proper organization, time management, and problem-solving (Miller & Zittleman, 2010). Before students get to choose an extracurricular activity, they are foremost given a chance to evaluate the best event that suits their tastes, skills, and passion. Deciding on what activity to partake in an early age help students to measure their progress as they grow. Later in life, they can decide to either make it their career or pursue something else. For example, students who choose to take sports as their extracurricular activity have the choice to become pro athletes in the future. In addition, extracurricular activities act as a bonus point while seeking employment; many employers prefer an individual who participated in at least one extracurricular activity while in school. For example, a student who participates in the journalism club will stand a better chance of being employed in a media house as compared to an individual who did not take part in any extracurricular act...
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