Improved Cardiovascular Fitness Brings Additional Social/Emotional Learning and Academic Benefits as Students Take Part in PE Cycling Unit
By improving their cardiovascular fitness through a new physical education cycling unit, students are also boosting their Social/Emotional Learning wellness.
“The focus is mostly on cardio fitness first,” said Portage Central Middle School (Portage, Mich.) PE teacher John Dunlop. “We want to learn what you get out of certain types of workouts. There’s physical fitness and then there’s emotional and social fitness that also needs to be considered.”
Dunlop and Portland High School (Portland, Mich.) PE teacher Andy Pulling each won Riding For Focus Grants from the Specialized Foundation for the 2017-18 school year. The grants provided each teacher with a fleet of bicycles and helmets along with a curriculum designed to teach fitness through cycling. In the program’s early stages, the teachers see improvements in other areas as well.
“[Along with] Specialized [we] want to prove that cycling will increase student focus and therefore have improvement in academic and personal fitness,” Pulling said. “You can absolutely see the psychological and social impact from day to day.”