Monday, 5 May 2014

Personalizing for Interest: Elements of Fitness and Training Principles in Exercise Science

Students often ask, "When will I use this information in real life?" Carla DiFilippo, Health and Physical Education Instructional Leader and Director of Athletics, demonstrates how powerful it can be when students can draw clear links between what they're learning and their own experiences.

In Grade 12 Exercise Science, students work through an activity unit titled Human Performance and Skill Development.
To prepare for this activity, students first learned about the different elements of fitness and how to effectively train for each element, while keeping in mind the three metabolic energy systems and nutrition. The goal of the activity was for students to apply what they learned in the unit to their own experiences in sport. This activity was personalized for each student’s needs, and is outlined below:
  • Students reflected on a sport that they played in the past. 
  • As part of the reflection, students analyzed what they felt were the most important fitness attributes to compete in that sport at the highest level (cardiovascular endurance, muscular power, flexibility, etc.). 
  • After some discussion (and friendly debate), students reflected on their personal fitness attributes and identified two perceived fitness-related weaknesses for their identified sport. For example, a volleyball player could have selected muscular power to increase their vertical jump, whereas a soccer player could have selected cardiovascular endurance. 
Once each student identified their two weaknesses, they used their knowledge of training principles to create a fitness program specifically designed for those weaknesses.

Students created an assignment that was specific to their interests. They used information learned in class and applied it directly to their own experiences. There was a great deal of self-assessment used in the preparatory phases of the assignment; as a result, students not only gained information about fitness and training, but were also able to reflect on their own needs as an athlete.



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