Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Physical Fitness Eliminates Achievement Gap

Physical Fitness Eliminates Achievement Gap: The difference in achievement between high and low-income students at every education level is staggering.

So what are educational professions to do? Despite providing all children with the same teachers and curriculum, they can’t do anything about the circumstances that kids are saddled with before and after the bell.

One way to narrow this so-called achievement gap? Exercise.

Back in 2012, using physical activity to help low-income schoolchildren gained popularity after a study showed that it could be of significant help to them. Short, 12-minute bursts of exercise like those used in the study could have the obvious effect of releasing the extra energy that little kids seem to harbor.

But would exercise help college-age low-income students as well? Further research was performed by Michele Tine, an assistant professor of education at Darthmouth College in New Hampshire.

Sure enough, a little bit of physical exertion helped focus that age group too, regardless of income. A test measuring students’ ability to focus on stimuli while ignoring distractions found that scores shot up for all who did a workout beforehand, while remaining unchanged for the control group. Tine’s results were recently published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.