"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Paete, Laguna: Festivities and Education

Social well-being is part of growing up. It is, of course, part of basic education. In an ideal situation, extra-curricular activities can help foster friendships as well as a sense of belonging to one's school. Both can increase a student's engagement in school thereby supporting learning inside the classroom. As a child grows up, interests are formed and explored. Arts, clubs, advocacy groups offer avenues for the young to learn how to express themselves, find common interests, and learn how to become active participants in society.

Paete, Laguna, a small town in the Philippines has always been proud of its culture and arts. To celebrate its culture the town has been holding a week-long festival called Paet-Taka: (The photos shown here are copied from the Facebook page of Paete Taka Festival.)

This is the second year for this festival and like the last one, this is also packed with activities both day and night. Some of the activities this year are as follows. There is a pageant:

There is drum and lyre:

There are dance shows.

There are marching bands:

There is food garnishing:

There is soap carving:

There are even dance performances from retired teachers:

And there is so much more, all seemed to be watched and enjoyed by an audience from all ages:

Obviously, basic education can benefit from these activities. However, one must be cautioned that these can likewise harm the education of the young. There is a paper published years ago by Knifsend and Graham at UCLA in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence that studied this concern:

Although adolescents often participate in multiple extracurricular activities, little research has examined how the breadth of activities in which an adolescent is involved relates to school-related affect and academic performance. Relying on a large, multi-ethnic sample (N = 864; 55.9% female), the current study investigated linear and non-linear relationships of 11th grade activity participation in four activity domains (academic/leadership groups, arts activities, clubs, and sports) to adolescents’ sense of belonging at school, academic engagement, and grade point average, contemporarily and in 12th grade. Results of multiple regression models revealed curvilinear relationships for sense of belonging at school in 11th and 12th grade, grade point average in 11th grade, and academic engagement in 12th grade. Adolescents who were moderately involved (i.e., in two domains) reported a greater sense of belonging at school in 11th and 12th grade, a higher grade point average in 11th grade, and greater academic engagement in 12th grade, relative to those who were more or less involved. Furthermore, adolescents’ sense of belonging at school in 11th grade mediated the relationship of domain participation in 11th grade to academic engagement in 12th grade. This study suggests that involvement in a moderate number of activity domains promotes positive school-related affect and greater academic performance. School policy implications and recommendations are discussed.
One concern is summarized by the authors in the following paragraph:

These are concerns raised by previous findings. Looking at a relatively large sample, almost one thousand students, this is what Knifsend and Graham found:

The relationship between school academic performance and the amount of extracurricular activity is not monotonic. It is not linear. Initially, extracurricular activities are correlated with an improvement in grades. However, when these activities become excessive, academic performance begins to suffer. Children including adolescents require a given number of hours of sleep. Albeit they seem full of energy, there is a limit. Students need both rest and time to study. Too much work outside class can deplete a child's energy and time. As the title of the paper by Knifsend and Graham states: Too Much of a Good Thing.

1 comment:

  1. I received this comment from Paete: "nakakalungkot ang nangyayari sa ating bayan sa peste val na i2. Imagine ang mga students d2 sabgy namin for 3wks na nag practice para sa streetdancing till 1am in the morning ndi ko alam kung nakapapasok pa sila sa klase mga elem at high school students. Tapos nalaman ko pa na last thur at friday declare ni mutok na holiday. yon thurs ay mariano madrinan day at yong friday dep ed day."