May 24, 2013 at 10:15 am #40721
note: Finally, the establishment is waking up the NECESSITY of movement in achieving health. Making PE mandatory in schools is a first start. Next is to get Qigong and Tai Chi into schools – numerous studies in Chinese schools show that kids who do qigong every day get better grades, socialize better, are healthier, and happier. What is the US system waiting for? This could save (down the road, as kids become adults) TRILLIONS in healthcare costs. – Michael
Report: Nation’s kids need to get more physical
May 23, 2013 11:20 AM EDT
WASHINGTON (AP) Reading, writing, arithmetic and PE?
The prestigious Institute of Medicine is recommending that schools provide opportunities for at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day for students and that PE become a core subject.
The report, released Thursday, says only about half of the nation’s youngsters are getting at least an hour of vigorous or moderate-intensity physical activity every day.
Another concern, the report says, is that 44 percent of school administrators report slashing big chunks of time from physical education, arts and recess since the passage of the No Child Left Behind law in 2001 in order to boost classroom time for reading and math.
With childhood obesity on the rise about 17 percent of children ages 2 through 19 are obese and kids spending much of the day in the classroom, the chairman of the committee that wrote the report said schools are the best place to help shape up the nation’s children.
“Schools for years have been responsible for various health programs such as nutrition, breakfast and lunch, immunizations, screenings,” Harold W. Kohl III, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Texas School of Public Health, said in an interview with The Associated Press.
“Physical activity should be placed alongside those programs to make it a priority for us as a society,” he said.
The report calls on the Education Department to recommend that PE be adopted as a core subject.
It says physical education in school is the “only sure opportunity” for youngsters to have access to activity that will help keep them healthy.
The majority of states, about 75 percent, mandate PE, according to the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. But most do not require a specific amount of time for PE in school, and more than half allow exemptions or substitutions, such as marching band, cheerleading and community sports.
Many kids also aren’t going to gym class at school every single day. According to the CDC, only about 30 percent of students nationwide attend PE classes five days a week.
Specifically, the report recommends:
All elementary school students should spend an average of 30 minutes each day in PE class.
Middle and high school students should spend an average of 45 minutes each day in PE class.
State and local officials should find ways get children more physical activity in the school environment.
PE isn’t the sole solution, though.
The report advocates a “whole-of-school” approach where recess and before-and-after-school activities including sports are made accessible to all students to help achieve the 60-minutes-a-day recommendation for physical activity. It could be as simple as having kids walk or bike to school, or finding ways to add a physical component to math and science class lessons.
The report also cautions against taking away recess as a form of punishment, and it urges schools to give students frequent classroom breaks.
Schools can do this if they make it a priority, said Paul Roetert, CEO of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance.
“We have an obligation to keep kids active,” Roetert said in an interview. “We have research to show that physical activity helps kids perform better in school. It helps them focus better in the classroom … and they behave better in school. So there are all kinds of side benefits.”
Kitty Porterfield, spokeswoman for The School Superintendents Association, said nobody is opposed to physical education.
“Everybody would love to see more of it in schools,” said Porterfield. “Given the testing and academic pressures for excellence on schools, often physical education slides to the bottom of the barrel.”
The idea of putting more of an emphasis on physical education in schools has support in Congress.
Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, plans to introduce the PHYSICAL Act on Thursday. It would recognize health education and physical education as core subjects within elementary and secondary schools. Reps. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Jared Polis, D-Colo., will join Fudge as co-sponsors.May 24, 2013 at 11:04 am #40722
Note: Steven Geisz is a Healing Tao instructor taking this system into the schools – and students are loving it, i.e. being more in their body, not just their head. Hopefully this will spread like wildfire within the broader academic system. Kudos to Steven for integrating Taoist philosophy with real world experience. – Michael
To see photos: http://www.ut.edu/Yin-and-Yang-in-Chinese-Yoga.aspx
May Term Students Find Yin and Yang in Chinese Yoga
Published: May 23, 2013
Associate Professor Steven Geisz said there has been an increase in students interest in Asian philosophy at UT.
In two horizontal lines, about 25 students moved together almost simultaneously to the choreographed qigong exercises of Associate Professor Steven Geisz. It was like an early morning scene in a Beijing park, transported from China to the Plant Hall verandah.
This was experiential education at its definition.
In most other classes you sit for hours, said Katina Studzinski 13. This class youre out and moving around. The time flies by.
Studzinski enrolled in the May Term religion course, Chinese Yoga and Meditation, as a way to learn relaxation. She and the other students have spent the last two weeks immersed in Chinese history, learning a bit of the language and opening their minds to a different way of thought. The course takes parts of a worldview of Chinese Taoist philosophy and religion and brings them into practice with movement.
I have a lot of anxiety, this has helped me learn how to de-stress and breathe, said Studzinski, a criminology major from Naples, FL.
When Lauren Jenkins-Fazio 13 gets home after class, she said she feels completely relaxed and at peace.
Its helped me to be more mindful, said Jenkins-Fazio, an advertising and public relations major from Bethlehem, CT.
After a stressful senior year, Paul Collns 13 is finishing up a few credits before he finishes his international business degree in August. He said he thought the May Term course through the meditation practices would help give him some focus on his next steps after graduation.
The goal, Geisz said, is to experience what it feels like to embody these worldviews in traditional forms of health practice, and to see what difference it can make to their health, their outlooks on the world and their overall happiness.
Many believe this practice can make life transformative and happy, but that is hard to get from a textbook, said Geisz.
Geisz has spent many years studying classical Chinese philosophy, including a month of training in 2012 in qigong and Taoist meditation practices with other teachers with the help of multiple UT grants. Most recently, he spent the Spring 2013 semester on sabbatical in northern Thailand doing teacher-training in one form of qigong that is taught by Mantak Chia, who is recognized by scholars as teaching authentic Daoist/Taoist practices.
He said the course begins with a broad picture of classical Chinese philosophy: the idea that at the root of all reality there is something we can only refer to as the Tao, or “the Way.” He said they then look in detail at traditional Chinese cosmology and traditional Chinese medicine, both of which see the universe and our bodies as somehow composed of qi, or vital energy, that divides into the yin and yang energy represented by the famous yin and yang symbol, and then further into five phases or elements and then even further into all the varied phenomena of the world, Geisz said.
Moving out of the textbook, Geisz guides the students into putting the philosophy into practice with various traditional yoga forms and meditations that come out of Taoist traditions. While gentle and low-impact on the body, some students were surprised at how tired they felt after the second day of class.
These exercises are fun, and they are foundational for various martial arts and healing practices, Geisz said. There is evidence that they can be quite good for health, regardless of whether or not one accepts the framework behind them.
The course filled up almost immediately, perhaps a sign of the growing interest at UT in both the philosophy major, which Geisz said many students pursue as a second major that complements their other studies, and in the Asian studies minor.
Students really get interested in the various traditional body practices associated with Asian philosophy and religion that we read about in some of my other classes. In this Chinese Yoga and Meditation course, we get to focus on those practices and really learn them. It’s true experiential education, Geisz said.
And we do that while also reading critical, scholarly texts and talking about how these practices and the worldview behind them compares and contrasts with views of the body, health and the cosmos that come out of other traditions and out of contemporary scientific knowledge, he said. It’s a wonderful way to do comparative, global philosophy.May 24, 2013 at 11:04 am #40724
Well, as far as climate, we have temperature data over the last
century that shows the overall temperature increasing. This isn’t
speculation, spin, or a theory. It’s a simple measurement, and
such measurements recorded as a data set over time.
In the same way, since the industrial revolution, atmospheric CO2
has increased consistently–year-to-year.
Now, of course, this is not necessarily causal. The changes in the
sun’s output could be creating a heating phenomenon, or natural
earth changes such as coming out of an ice age, could be causing
the heating as well.
However, due to the sharp increase in C02 since the industrial
revolution, I personally find it hard to believe they are not
correlated or simply due to volcanic & other natural activity.
Considering this, personally, I find
“man-made climate warming skeptics” to strain believability.
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