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ERIC Number: EJ982499
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Apr
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0013-127X
Academic Value of Non-Academics: The Case for Keeping Extracurriculars
Kronholz, June
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v77 n8 p4-10 Apr 2012
With school districts struggling to keep their noses above choppy budget waters and voters howling about taxes, should schools be funding Ping-Pong and trading-card clubs? Swim teams, moot court, powder puff football? Latino unions, gay-straight alliances, the Future Business Leaders of America, the French Honors Society, the jazz band, the knitting club? As it turns out, maybe they should. There's not a straight line between the crochet club and the Ivy League. But research says there is a link between after-school activities and graduating from high school, going to college, and becoming a responsible citizen. The U.S. Department of Education last compiled data on extracurricular activities a decade ago, when it reported that more than half the country's high school sophomores participated in sports, that one-fifth were in a school-sponsored music group, and that cheerleading and drill teams, hobby, academic, and vocational clubs each involved about 10% of kids. The Education Department data show that kids from families in the top third by income and education are half again as likely to take part in sports and almost twice as likely to participate in music as kids from the bottom third. The data also show that kids with the highest test scores are the most active in after-school activities. The findings about extracurriculars aren't always consistent or conclusive. But some researchers insist there is a cause-effect relationship between activities and academic success, not just the other way around. Extracurriculars also make school more palatable for kids who otherwise find it bleak or unsatisfying. Grades improve not because of what kids are learning in the video club, but because the video club is making them enjoy school more, so they show up more often, find a circle of like-minded friends, and become more engaged in school.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A