Athletes Academic Support Programs For High School
This review of the literature looks at academic support programs for high school student-athletes. Excellence in academics and athletics is an enterprise we can never forego. Today, learner’s capacity is fetched deeply from not only in classroom activities but also participation in co-curricular on goings. The purpose of the education system is to provide an all-round person who is free, creative and innovative. In this review of the literature, resource materials having been farfetched from more than a few sources to demonstrate aspects of academic support for high school athletes. The researcher breaks the subject into several subtopics to aid in research. These include academic support programs, high school athletes, theories of student learning and how they relate to support programs, perception of students on these programs and their impact. It is in the heart of the researcher that the findings here will help in filling identifiable research gaps.
Academic support refers to a large array of instructional methods, educational services, resources that are made available for learners to supplement conceptualization of ideas. As a result, they aim at making them have an improved understanding of the teaching learning concepts. In addition, they help in accelerating learning progress, catching up with peers, meeting the standards of learning and further make them succeed in schools. There are a number of strategies which sums together to entail academic support. They include, tuition sessions, supplementary courses, learning experiences during summer. Out of schools learning programmes, teacher advisors, voluntary mentorship, grouping, counselling and giving instructions to students (Atherton, et al., 2017; Alony, 2018; Mahlangu & Fraser, 2017).
Provision of academic support programmes is done to particular students or specific groups of students such as athletes, sport students, learners with special needs, non-English speakers among others. In the United States, federal policies require schools to provide academic support to certain students. On the other hand, schools create support programmes to address performance and trends such as dropout cases, course failure, behaviour problems. Further the schools provide these programs for enriching especially the high performing learners (Dweck & Bempechat, 2017; Willingham, Hughes, & Dobolyi, 2015).
The educational world is dynamic and thus academic support programmes varies from one school to the other. This is because they seek to address, particular issues of their students. As a result, design and purpose of academic support programs varies widely. Some of the most common forms of academic support include the following. Classroom based techniques where teachers progressively monitors performance and learning needs of the students. Consequently, they are able to improve on content, approach and methodology during the teaching learning process. In line with this, schools organise their own strategies such as coming up with learning labs where students struggling academically may receive instructions from. In addition, provides room for use of more available resources to aid in understanding of abstract concepts (Mahlangu & Fraser, 2017; Dweck & Bempechat, 2017; Willingham, Hughes, & Dobolyi, 2015).
In the contemporary society, schools have organised for after or before hour strategies to tutor and mentor students. This equips them not only with knowledge but also skills in several fields. Communal and not for profit organisations collaborate to provide programs such as reading for the young children which are in line with school curriculum. Summer schools helps learners to get to the next grade especially if they had academic challenges (Alony, 2018).
Researchers and academicians are in agreement of the role athletics are playing in the life of high school students. More than a few generations have embedded education and athletics so as to identify making it be a culture in the education systems. In the past, sports were seen to make boys into men promoting values of team work, being accountable, responsible, sacrifice and dedication. As a result, sports were seen as vital in building character and engendering principles of sports in young men. Researchers who subscribe to this thinking argue that organising sports contributes to development of all round and educated children. Over the years athletics and performance in academics have been researched on extensively. Findings mainly concentrate on university students but no consensus reached for high school studies. However, recent studies are also on high school athletics and academics (Grimit, 2014).
Several times from official high school athletics communications we hear them claiming of profound influence of the athletics on youth, schools and community. Fu
rther promoting sports as path way towards maturity gains support from studies which found that, participating in extracurricular activities has effect on academic performance, addon to schools and social growth among high school students. In addition, participating in sports helps learner to develop values of team work, dedication and sacrifice (Kohs, 2015). They are also able to integrate academic skills in other areas leading to well-rounded education.
From the above findings we cannot hesitate to recognise and appreciate the pervasive and powerful nature of sports in the life of high school students. Researchers are still battling on interplay between academics and sports. In other words, researchers are still struggling to prove empirically rhetoric of sports surrounding it as demonstrated by time. That is the extent to which participation in sports improves non-cognitive areas towards personal growth such as self-motivation and consequently establish correlation on performance (Sturm, 2016).
Research demonstrates that there are some short-term academic improvements resulting from physical activities, especially considering concentration. Conversely, no substantial improvement in academics resulting from more extensive and vigorous effects. Furthermore, relationship between academis improvement and physical activities requires further exposition i.e supplementary rewards and reinforcements to make learners pursue their academic work (Atherton, et al., 2017; Sturm, 2016).
As research continues, findings contradict significantly from one research to the other. GPA scores of participating students varies significantly during the sporting season for male students but no recognisable change for female students. However, athletic girls perform between than their non-athletic counterparts and this is a similar case for the boys. Further athletic students have an increased chance of finishing schools as compared to their counterparts (Kohs, 2015).
To balance academics and athletics is a set of unavoidable and unique challenge that faces student athletes in their life. To them academic and athletic excellence are equally important and thus taking an opportunity cost option proofs invalid. To foster athletic skills among students, learning institution are providing numerous resources for nurturing them. In the United States of America, sports are seen as a profession thus lots of funds are put into this arena. For this reason, therefore, participants and more so the coach has great pressure of winning in the matches. Studies to establish student’s perception on academic support programs have agreed in several ways. Paying heed to the theory of identity development, we are able to able to understand the development of student athletes especially on new environment (Dweck & Bempechat, 2017; Willingham, Hughes, & Dobolyi, 2015).
Findings indicate that students feel there is a great need for them to receive academic support programs. Student athlete’s often times fails to attend to lessons during training and this may lead to poor performance and consequently fail to graduate. To attend classes, practice and working on homework calls for the need for the student to have exemplary time management skills. This will enable hm/her achieve success in all aspects of their schools. Athletic academic support programs play key role in ensuring progressive eligibility in athletics and graduation. This therefore calls for enough resources to staff sufficiently thus maintain athletic academic centre (Atherton, et al., 2017; Kohs, 2015).
Research from South Dakota State University sought to establish whether benefits of participating in academics outweighs disadvantages. They found that it is extremely beneficial as they performed better in class, were able to develop impressive time management skills, had intrinsic motivation to compete their studies, attend classes and transition from one level to the other was quite easy for them. An experiment was designed to examine academic performance differences among athletes and their counterparts at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Researchers used construct of confidence to provide a mechanism for examining possible academic differences in performance (Sturm, 2016).
A hypothesis was formulated and read, student athletes will demonstrate high level of confidence as compared to non-athlete students. Accordingly, will have a greater GPA than non-athlete students among genders and overall. Students were then supplied with questionnaires capturing the main areas of study i.e. gender, type of student, GPA and questions on confidence on a Likert Scale. They established that, there was significant confidence between athletes and non-athlete students. In contrary there was no significant difference in academic performances among student-athletes and their counterparts. Consequently, the researchers argued that confidence has no significant effect on academic performance (Sturm, 2016; Grimit, 2014).
From the discussions above academic support programs for high school athletes are inevitable so as to grant them an opportunity to perform like their counterparts. In conclusion, the researcher calls for the need by the schools to provide these programs to help students in their academics.
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