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How can sports help improve education in high school?

A high school I go to is currently experiencing academic difficulties where about 50% of students fail at least one class. This is shocking. I am going to be a senior this year and am concerned about education of my peers. However, my school is good at one thing - sports, especially at soccer. As an athlete and a member of National Honor Society, I would like to find specific ways to implement sports into a learning environment. Some ideas about projects related to sports and academics that can improve my school's academic performance would be helpful and much appreciated.


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    Jul 15 2013: I can't think offhand. Are you saying your school is unusual, that it's experiencing more academic difficulties than other schools? Why would that be? Or are you saying all schools are like this, and trying to think of a way to help all schools?
    • Jul 15 2013: My school isn't unusual, but is behind in academic sphere than other schools in the district. I am not sure why there is a big amount of students failing their classes. Perhaps there is not enough value to education in the minds of our students. I wish to help only my own school. And as stated in my question explanation, my school IS good at sports. I thought sports might increase students' academic performance, but so far I haven't come up with a decent project related to sports and academics.
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        Jul 15 2013: Well, forgive me, Asan, I'm trying to get a picture here. You're saying your school is better than other schools at sports, why would that be? How many people are really touched by soccer, isn't there a pretty limited number of people on the team? How do you even know people are failing their classes, generally when you're a good student don't you mostly interact with other good students, it was that way for me, I was a very good student and my only friends were other good students.
        • Jul 16 2013: You have nothing to apologize for, I appreciate your interaction. Although my school's demographics are diverse, more than 50% of the student body comes from Spanish-speaking areas. We have a lot of Mexicans. Mexicans are amazing soccer players! Even though not everyone makes it to the team, most of them still play soccer in parks and in other leagues outside of the school. My point is that the majority of students love soccer and other sports. As a president of NHS I get information about academics of our students in percents. And as a soccer player myself, I know that my teammates have difficulties with their classes. They pass them only because they have to maintain a certain GPA to be in the team. What about other students who do not have such motivation to learn? All I'm trying to do is to find a way to make those students study and since they love sports, I thought there is a way to implement athletics into academics. Somehow.
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        Jul 16 2013: Did you ask those amazing soccer players/failing students why they didn't do well?
        Did you ask if they want to succeed in school?
        I am going to guess that many don't like books. Unlike yourself, many athletic kids do not learn with their eyes. they learn with their hands and books don't move.. I told you it was an organizational problem. Your schools has classes where students read books and listen to lectures. The school is probably a one note organization and if the students don't/won't learn their way. they fail. The worse part of it, even if you were to devise a scheme that would get your failing students involved in sports and academic program, I would be surprised if the school would adapt it.
        What to do. You are bright. You go to school. You get a PhD in Education. Take a job as a school superintendent. Now, you are in a position to effect change. You can find ways to help students.
        You just have to plan for yourself and achieve those goals.
        • Jul 16 2013: I don't have to talk to them to know why they fail their classes. They just don't really care about education. They do not think globally. They know that education will help them in future, but they do not know how nor why? Why is it important to do your homework on a daily basis or why should they participate in class discussions...

          Also, thank you for your kind words. I do appreciate them!
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        Jul 16 2013: Thanks, Asan, now I have a clearer picture. A couple of ideas that occur to me is you could find out if there are any great books about soccer, for example, has any great soccer player, such as Pele, written his autobiography, you could read it and if you think it's a great book you could recommend it to your friends. It might get them more interested in books to where they'd want to read the books in their classes more.

        You could also go to all the soccer leagues around town and ask if they would require their players to keep a certain GPA, not just at your school. But remember, GPA is an average, even if someone fails one class, they might have a reasonable GPA if they do well in another.

        These aren't great ideas, but they're the best I can think of at the moment. I'm not 100% convinced your idea can work, I know this is a stereotype, but athletes in general might not be the most interested in academics. I wonder if you could set up some kind of tutoring program where the better students help the poorer ones, that seems like it might be more promising.

        If I think of any other ideas, and your conversation is still open, I'll share them. If you want to keep your conversation open longer, click "edit" and you can change it, give it a month. You can also enable email on your TED profile (maybe you already have, I can't check cause then I'll lose what I've written here), if you enable email then people can email their ideas even after your conversation closes.

        You might also go to your school counselor, tell him or her your idea about soccer and academics, and see if they have ideas. Or ask your fellow students. Or the principal of your school. Or go on the Net and see if anyone else has tried or thought about this. Or you could even think about how soccer relates to academic subjects, I'm sure it has aspects of history, psychology, mathematics, physics, and so on, and point these aspects out to your friends.
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        Jul 16 2013: Asan, you could also try pointing out to your friends that very few people can make money playing soccer, and if they want good jobs where they make good money, they'd better get on the academics. You could gather statistics on this so you can make a better case. But do your friends care if they get good jobs and make good money?
        • Jul 16 2013: At this point, NHS is working on some project to find out why our students are failing. Later on, we will take further actions. We do have a tutoring system for those in need, but the problem is that those who fail their classes usually are the ones who do not care about school. And this is where we have to demonstrate the importance of learning. Students to students. We will deal with the whole school, not just athletes.

          By this point I've gathered enough information on this conversation on TED and met different opinions about this matter. Thank you very much for your input! :)

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