extracurriculars vs academics

Essay by Whippeach March 2014

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The History of extracurricular activities

Extracurricular activities were unpopular in the beginning. It was just a simple trend that would eventually fade out of style. One of the early philosophies stated that "they should grow out of curricular activities and return to curricular activities to enrich them" (Millard, 1930, p. 12). After some time, people including educators began to see the advantages of extracurricular activities but it took a while to accept. According to Marsh & Kleitman, 2001, paragraph 5, "school should focus solely on narrowly defined academic outcomes. Non-academic activities were viewed as being primarily recreational and therefore were detrimental to academic achievement, and consequently were discouraged". Early experts such as Deam and Bear, said, "Extra-curricular activities supplement and extend those contacts and experiences found in the more formal part of the program of the school day". It was not until recently that "educational practitioners and researchers have taken a more positive perspective, arguing that extracurricular activities may have positive effects on life skills and may also benefit academic accomplishments" (Marsh & Kleitman, 2002, para.


According to ehow.com, the bad effects of extracurricular activities on students are: early pressures, physical stresses, and frustrations.

Early pressures: Putting children in extracurricular activities too early can cause burn out. Scholastic states parents should not think that an early start in anything will lead to a career because most children do not grow up to be professional musicians or athletes. Extracurricular activities can teach children discipline, teamwork and other life skills but early involvement might be overwhelming for young students.

This disadvantage can grow into resentment as well. Later, older children might feel they gave up part of their childhoods. Children could want to quit the sport or activity but fear disappointing their parents. Parents and children...