Education Update: 5/20/15

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Education Update is a weekly blog post highlighting recent developments in the world of education. The linked articles and summaries are not endorsements, rather frame points of view to begin conversations about the state of education, trends, and how we as designers can play an active role in shaping schools.

Preschoolers Aren’t Getting Enough Exercise, Study Says

A University of Washington study shows preschoolers are not exercising as much as they should.  Published in the journal Pediatrics, the study monitored over 100 students in 10 Seattle preschools for 50 days and found students were only given about 48 minutes a day of active play. “At that age, exercise is crucial for preventing obesity, as well as for developing motor and social skills, said Pooja Tandon, an assistant professor at the University of Washington and a researcher at Seattle Children’s Hospital.” According to the CDC, obesity in children aged 6-11 climbed to 18% in 2012 from 7% in 1980.

Let Kids Fidget in Class: Why It can be Good for Those with ADHD

A study at the University of Mississippi Medical Center suggest students with ADHD improve academic performance when physically active. The study gave boys, ages 8 to 12, a task to perform while moving in a swivel chair. The boys diagnosed with ADHD showed an increased ability to do the task compared to their counter parts, who did worse on the task the more they moved. With ADHD, the physical activity causes an increase in alertness, “waking up” the nervous system. Stimulants are prescribed for those with ADHD for similar effects. The study suggests that teachers should allow some flexibility with their ADHD students “— not to get out of their desk constantly or distract other students, but to move around as they need to.”

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