Originally published Oct. 5, 2018 in the Southbury Patch.
The course was developed with the intention of assisting students who are struggling in school through physical activity.
The Connecticut Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (CTAHPERD) has awarded the “Dynamic Physical Education” course at Pomperaug High School (PHS) as an outstanding program.
Danielle McCauley, a Physical Education teacher at PHS, wrote the curriculum and syllabus for the dynamic PE course. The course was developed with the intention of assisting students who are struggling in school through physical activity, with a conscious effort toward developing a growth mindset and sense of mindfulness to improve calmness and focus through yoga and meditation.
The content of the course centers around the work in “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success”, by Carol S. Dweck, PhD., “Spark, The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain,” by John J. Ratey and Eric Hagerman, as well as the widespread understanding of how yoga and meditation helps to improve focus and concentration.
“This course compliments existing course offerings at PHS,” McCauley said. “Students in the Dynamic PE class participate in rigorous physical activities, write self-reflective pieces from mindset prompts, participate in yoga and meditation, and as a group discuss a mindset quote. The work in the course is very individualized in that students are required to reflect on their own life situations and attitudes. The goal of the course is to help students improve their mental and emotional preparedness for success academically and in their lives.”
The dynamic PE course was approved by the Region 15 Board of Education during the 2015-16 school year and was initiated in the Fall, 2016. The course is offered as an option to sophomores at PHS and recommended to students whom the Director of Athletics, Health & Physical Education and Director of Guidance feel would most benefit. The official presentation of the award will take place at the CTAPHERD annual fall conference on Nov. 15, 2018 in Cromwell, CT.