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Round 1. Rain King V chebob: PhysEd

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posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 05:57 AM
Debate 2

The topic for this debate is "Physical Education in schools should be compulsory."

Rain King will be arguing for this proposition and will open the debate.
chebob will argue against this proposition.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

No post will be longer than 800 words and in the case of the closing statement no longer than 500 words. In the event of a debater posting more than the stated word limit then the excess words will be deleted by me from the bottom. Credits or references at the bottom do not count towards the word total.

Editing is Strictly forbidden. This means any editing, for any reason. Any edited posts will be completely deleted.

Excluding both the opening and closing statements only one image may be included in each post. No more than 5 references can be included at the bottom of each post. Opening and closing statements must not contain any images, and must have no more than 3 references.

Responses should be made within 24 hours, if people are late with their replies, they run the risk of forfeiting their reply and possibly the debate.

Judging will be done by an anonymous panel of 11 judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. Results will be posted by me as soon as a majority (6) is reached.

This debate is now open, good luck to both of you.

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 01:41 PM
Good to be here. Good luck to my opponent and thanks to Kano.
Physical education, in a world saturated with hi calorie burgers, fries, and soda, has become an absolute necessity. Our society’s acceptance of fast food, vending machines, and microwave pizzas, combined with a remarkable trend of inactivity, has wreaked havoc on the health of young and old alike. Obesity and plain old laziness have combined forces against our nation’s health, particularly the teens.
Obligatory exercise will increase physical stamina and health of all participating students. That is the goal, the question is, should it be required?
Obviously schools cannot control student diets. Teens can grab snickers, three reeses cups and a giant Mountain Dew for lunch instead of the nutritional school cafeteria lunch. Schools can, however, control their curriculum. Therein lies the solution: Required physical education will cause students to participate in stamina-building, cardio health-promoting activity. If students want to pass school, they better get in shape

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 02:01 PM
Okay, I have to start by pointing out that Physical Education in Brittain and America is almost certain to have big differences, so I will try and focus on the basics rrather than individual matters.

Also, even if it harms my post, I will have to say that I DO think it should be compulsory, for 1 YEAR ONLY, namely the first year of High School.

The way I see it, people definately need more exercise, but from my experiences of Physical Education, it only benefits those kids with natural ability or a big interest in fitness and/or sport. The children that, no matter how much it's drilled into them, will never enjoy playing sport, will never be able to outrun the fit children, and will never benefit from Physical Education classes. For these children, it would be much more sensible to identify them after the first year, and then allow them to put extra effort into subjects that will benefit them.

For some children, all P.E. brings is misery, as they are taunted in the changing rooms, picked last for teams, and generally make fools of themselves on the playing field. I'm not saying that these individuals should not engage in fitness, but they should not be made to endure ridicule, as this furthe puts them off fitness, leading to a generation of bullied obese people (maybe....haha). But you get the point.

I think that rather than make P.E. compulsory, it would be far better to encourage health and fitness a lot more to the entire nation, including the children. A campaign on keeping fit woulld be far better, getting children and Adults alike to go to a local gym in their spare time, and work at their own pace, away from the comments and stares of classmates and teachers.

Then you can allow the children interested in sport to be concentrated n by the P.E. teachers, while the less fit or able can use their school time more productively, avoid demeaning themselves, and still able to keep fit and healthy away from others at a gym.

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 06:45 PM
We have a problem. The percent of children who are considered obese (excessively high amount of body fat or adipose tissue in relation to lean body mass) has more than doubled since 1970. A startling 15% of the population is overweight. That means 42 million Americans are overweight. There cannot be a single doubt in any mind that something must be done. The solution is simple and effective: Required physical activity in school. All American children are required to attend, therefore, every child is required to maintain a certain degree of physical fitness.

A lot of people make the mistake of equivocating physical education with sports training. PE is not designed to pit one student against the other. It was not created to compare on student to another.

In physical education, students are not graded by their athleticism. They are graded partially on completion of goals, (running a distance in a set time, for example) and mostly on their participation. It is preposterous to suggest that teens should not be enrolled in PE simply because they cannot run as fast as the ‘athletic’ kids.

How many students have been excused from math, science or English, because they don’t enjoy these subjects? My opponent suggests that “no matter how much it’s drilled into them, [they] will never enjoy playing sport[s], [and] will never be able to outrun the fit children”. (Parenthesized words added for clarity) Are we expected to excuse students from classes for the sole reason of preference?

PE is no different from the core classes. Math science and English are crucial to a student’s academic development. Physical education is critical to their physical well being and development.

It is true that in some situations students are made to feel inferior in physical education. However, poor physical health, especially in the years of puberty, (which occurs conveniently in high school through high school) can be potentially life-altering. Damage done to the body in its developing stages may never be undone.

We must ask ourselves which is more important: Sparing our students a small amount of ridicule (which occurs just as much outside of PE as it does during, so in truth keeping overweight kids out of PE protects them very little from humiliation) or providing them the opportunity of physical activity, and social progression. High school students especially need to learn to deal with awkward social situations. Shielding children from all scorn can be debilitating.

Encouraging health and fitness to the entire nation: Completely impractical. Children obtain most of their lessons and habits from their parents. Much like political socialization occurs strongest through family; physical activity is learned by the example of the family. The absolute ineffectiveness would be staggering. Those that need the encouragement the most, the children from families in which obesity is hereditary would not heed the advice.

A nation-wide program where everyone attends a gym in their spare time? Who is going to pay for this program? The government? Gym passes and transportation for every family that cannot afford it? Not bloody likely.

posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 05:18 AM
Well, the last post has shown me what I already know - P.E. is quite a bit different in America and Brittain. In the UK, there is at least 1 gym, and usually, 3 or 4, within every town. And as for memberships, to go once a week it costs an average of £2 (probably more in cities, but thats why people in citys get paid more). It is ridiculous to say that people could not afford to go to they Gym, or that they couldn't find one.

Even if the government was unwilling to invest in this, I was also suggesting a nationwide "Drive" to get people fit, not forcing people but giving them more encouragement and warnings than there currently are.

You have to realise, lack of Physical Education isn't to blame for rising obesity, it is diet. How do yo expect us to be as healthy and fit as our fore fathers when they were'nt conned into buying fast food every day? They were brought up on meat and potatoes, but in our international economy we have grown accustomed to Chinese food, Indian TAke a aways, and everyone has been beseiged my McDonalds and co. This is why children are 18 stone at the age of 10, because there is no reason for them to eat healthily. In the UK, it is a sort of joke between fat people that they would diet if they could afford to buy the healthy food. Try swapping your shopping basket of crisps and chocolate for healthy snacks and exotic vegetables - and watch your shopping bill double. So parents, and children, are being herded towards fast food, and there is no encouragement to eat healthily, apart from the age old "Five fruit and veg a day". This worked in the past when people had little choice, but todays children don't even need to consider it. They simply grab the mars bar and everyones happy........

P.E being about reaching goals and participating is all good in theor, but you find a P.E teacher that does that: No, in reality, they pick the "best" over the first year, concentrate on them to get them on the school sports team, and in most cases, think humiliating the less able children will somehow encourage them. This sets an example to the "fit" kids, who follow in suit, for the rest of the term.

I think, if you are serious about getting kids healthy, then after deciding who is "able" or not, then those who are not would benefit from seperate lessons, possibly on fitness itself, away from the entire sports element. Light excercise, lessons on healthy eating, lessons about how fod afects the body, lessons about how excercise affects the body. They will be much more likely to take this in if they are not stood around watching sporty kids and being humiliated.

So it is P.E., but not at the same level as the others, because there will never be a Year full of athletes, but you can still instil healthy thought and encourage health in children who are not able to "keep up".

Of course, all this means little in the end, as there are ways of keeping kids fit, failsafe, but they would be considered both economicaly damaging and totalitarion, 2 things The western world cannot deal with.
Imagine if one day you woke up and McDonalds didn't exis? where a Mars bar cost £10 and an apple cost 2p? Simply put money at the back of the mind, forget how much Fast Food restaurants do for the economy, and concentrate on health - don't let kids get fat so the government can get rich off McDonalds teet.

Alas it will never happen, just like fat kids will never participate in sports. But again, thats no reason they cannot be taught about health, encouraged to execise away from humiliation, and told exactly what they need to know about health.

posted on Sep, 4 2004 @ 11:32 AM
If you actually believe that diet alone is responsible for rising obesity, you are deluding yourself. I never suggested that lack of physical activity ALONE was accountable. On the contrary, diet bears the most responsibility for obesity. Physical education is the only median of health that public schools can control. Yes, the population needs a more healthy diet, but there is absolutely no way to make people eat right.

Given the amount of poverty in any country, how can you possibly infer that the majority can afford or have access to a gym? Most governments would not be willing to fund gym passes, transportation, and new gym construction, so we’re stuck with half of the population absent.

My opponents plan B is more government warnings and encouragement to become physically fit. Come on, let’s be serious. People already have trouble obeying principles of things they are supremely dedicated to, like religion and family. Does anyone believe that if the leader of some country stood up and announced that the nation needs to be more physically fit, the population would jump to their feet cheering and go exercise? Doubtful. More likely they’ll stuff another handful of artificially flavored, low sodium popcorn into their mouths, take a swig of lite beer and flip the channel to football.

So the fact remains, we badly need physical fitness. To be fair, I have no clue what physical education is like in the UK, but here in the US, we have separate classes for sports, we have separate classes for weight training, and we have PE. I have taken it. (In fact, when I went through high school, we were required to take 2 years of it.) In PE, kids do push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups. They also run. A lot. Ladders, distance, shuttle run, you name it. PE coaches don’t use their classes to find athletes. They hold tryouts for that. They already have enough of a job weeding through all the kids that try out without scrutinizing their PE classes. Physical education classes ARE NOT SPORT CLASSES. They promote physical wellness. PE is designed to get kids in shape.

There is a test in the United States. It is called the fitness test. It requires students to complete events under national standards. Events include long jump (you must jump a certain distance), pull ups (certain number), push ups (certain number in one minute), sit ups (certain number in one minute), shuttle run (certain time), and distance run (certain time). You earn points by doing well in each event, so you aren’t punished to harshly for your weaknesses. PE is geared toward preparation for this test. Where I went to school, we couldn’t pass PE without passing this test.

Separate lessons for “unfit kids”. (Besides the fact that my opponent is suggesting kids take a form of physical education) That sounds more humiliating than taking PE. NOBODY wants to admit to taking a special class. Kids in high school are highly concerned about their image. If you gave a child a choice to be enrolled in regular PE, or in a special class for overweight, ‘unfit’ kids, which do you think s/he would choose? Fat class?

posted on Sep, 4 2004 @ 11:57 AM
To start, it is not just unfit/fat kids that would want to choose a seperate course to the P.E. kids, there are plenty of fit children who simply don't want anything to do with sport, even if they do want to keep fit.

But in the U.K., There is no seperation of any Kind. P.E. is Sport, with a day of running and long jumps once a year. There is no seperate fitness or sport lessons. It is all sport.

I think it would have been better if the debate was titled "Physical Education in the USA" as there are abviously big differences, but never the less....

You say it is the only part of a childs health the school has control over - does the school not provide the dinner? They could certainly start by introducing healthier meal options than fries and burgers.......

And what I proposed was not simply Government appeals, but government sponsored incentives. To say they could not afford it is proposterous - how much do they spend on weapons, oil, business, needles expenses uncountable.....I'm not in charge of the budget, but thats not the question. If they really wanted to make people healthy, they would invest in it rather than rely on School to do it for them.

Do you honestly think that by telling a fat kid to run for an hour every week, he is going to magically become fit? No, he will go home, complain that he had to do excercise, and eat another cake. Harsh but true. P.E., at least in the UK, I really can't speak about USA because I have never experienced it whatsoever, only benefits those who want to be there. Those that don't are none the better for being made to do it, they will never get interested in fitness through mandatory schooling alone. Other methods SHOULD be explored, and there is no reason why a less vigourous form of P.E. would make said pupils feel at all ashamed - it simply means they don't care about sport, but are still wiliing to "learn up" on health and fitness.

And no one even needs to go to a gym. It is well within ANYONES limits to do exercise at home, without equipment. So there is no "Can't afford or get to the Gym" excuse, exercise can be done ANYWHERE, as long as people are taught which exercises will benefit them and how to do them properly.

posted on Sep, 5 2004 @ 01:19 AM
Whether we are discussing PE in the UK or PE in the US, it makes no difference. Kids still need physical education. You suggest creating separate classes for kids uninterested in sports. Is this not physical education? Your main argument seems to agree with the very topic you fight against. Is your solution in fact a concession?

Yes, schools provide kids with lunch, and it almost always nutritionally balanced. But there is no rule stating that the kids have to buy or eat it. In the US, most schools have vending machines, and many kids get their daily nutrition from waxy American chocolate and coke. (This is sounding much more repetitive than I’d like, let’s try not to cover this ground a fourth time.)

If you read any of my statement carefully, you will notice that nowhere did I suggest that the government couldn’t afford your proposal. I merely pointed out that it would be a cold day in hell before they did. Why would the government invest millions in your proposed program, when the money they already dish out to academics could serve the same purpose? The budget has enough stress on it as it is without needless spending.

In the interest of keeping this debate short, I will not run the risk of repeating myself any longer. chebob, back to you.

posted on Sep, 5 2004 @ 09:32 AM
As a matter of interest on the subject, the UK government today brought in a law to make School meals healthy, lol. Tony Blair is reading this debate....

But seriously, you seem to think that lack of P.E. is the biggest factor in obesity.

I disagree. I believe that the reason we are fatter IS because we don't do enough exercise, regardless of P.E. I know from experience and the experiences of others (in our school P.E was compulsory) that mandatory P.E. in school does nothing. Yes, the kids who were interested got better, and were doing well in local competitions............but, everyone else just saw it as a drag. It put more people off keeping fit than it encouraged, simply due to a conflict in the way it is taught and the attitudes of your everyday teenager. Can't be helped.

You say School Meals are nutritonally balanced. I can't speak for your old school, but in mine (and it is still like it, I have asked) the first 30 odd childrento get in line could have a jacket potatoe, and the rest of the "nutrition" consisted of cheeseburger, chicken burger, chips, beans, sauasages, gravy, bread. We NEVER had veg, and there was only a handful of fruit, like the jacket potatoes. Not nutritous I'm sure you'll agree.

But if we were to all suddenly decide we didn't want 24hr Reality TV, 1 minute microwave dinners and such over use of personal vehicles like Cars, would you be happy? Watch those obesity levels plummet, as no one has much choice but to keep fit. It's more totalatarion than compulsory education, but it also actualy wields results.

It's not up to me to decide how the government handles obesity, there are numerous things they could try.

But compulsory P.E., as I've said throughout, will not combat obesity, and neither will it re-ignite teenagers love of fitness. You may not think there is a difference in our countrys methods of P.E., but I can tell you there is, and furthermore I would have loved to have the P.E. you have. Weight Training? The whole school would have gone for that.........If you have such facilities and you still need to make it compulsory, there is probably no hope. Apart from tying fat kids to treadmills, it's a lost battle.

Kids need an all round fitness overhaul, throughout their childhood, if Obesity is to be combatted. If the government cannot be bothered to spend on it, then why should they be allowed to put it all into the hands of P.E. teachers, knowing it will have no effect? It is laziness on behalf of the govenment that prevents kids getting "fitness" opportunitys, compulsory P.E is simply the little-money little-effect option.

posted on Sep, 5 2004 @ 12:48 PM
Well, this debate has been an exercise (har) in repetition. Once again my opponent plunges headlong into argument without, it seems, more than skimming my replies.

“But seriously, you seem to think that lack of P.E. is the biggest factor in obesity”

Read carefully my statement in my second response: “On the contrary, diet bears the most responsibility for obesity.”

Plus, I am not quite sure where he is going with the “school lunch is NOT nutritional” theory, it just seems to undermine his argument.

But enough of that. I will, at risk of sounding like a broken record, repeat my arguments.

We need compulsory PE for the following reasons:

1. Obesity is rapidly rising. We must prevent it.
2. The logical and most effective place to start is with children. They are in their developing stages and need physical activity. And they all gather in public education across the nation.
3. Schools have no control over the diet (THE MOST RESPONSIBLE OF FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO OBESITY) of the children, but they CAN control curriculum, and thereby, can require PE, with certain amounts of activity.
4. PE is an effective form of physical fitness. It is designed to benefit all children, not just the sports oriented kids. It is not designed as a super-athlete strainer.
5. Activity participated in during PE will boost the cardio vascular, and all-around health of kids involved.

Thanks to my opponent chebob, for an entertaining debate, and to Kano for moderating.

posted on Sep, 5 2004 @ 01:42 PM

Well, it was a hard debate. The difference in school systems made it harder, and I didn't have much of an opinion so I had to manufacture one.

Never the less, I am confident that anything asked by Rain King WAS replied to in the only possible manner. I have tried to show how, from the point of view of the child, P.E. does NOT help them to keep fit OR ward off obesity, and only wastes teachers and pupils time if the child is not willing to work.

I disagree with my opponent in that I do not believe P.e. is the only, nor one of the better options to try and combat obesity in children. There is much more that needs to be done first in regards to their fitness and health, wether the government likes it or not. It is not down to Schools to control the childrens fitness, only the education of fitness, which in the UK P.E. DOES NOT COVER.

Well, It's been a tough one...........may the best man win.

P.s I do however believe P.E. (Public Enemy) should be mandatory.........get the kids boogying, that'll keep em fit!

posted on Sep, 5 2004 @ 09:43 PM
Ah first cab off the rank, top job guys.

The Judges have been unleashed, results in a day or so.

posted on Sep, 6 2004 @ 06:42 PM
The votes are in. The winner of this debate by a margin of 7-2 is Rain King. Commiserations go to chebob, we hope to see you back in future tournaments.

Judges Comments:

I suppose I am spoiled by the fastidious research and formatting pf previous debates. This one was a street brawl! Congratulations to both for rising to the challenge of entering the tournament, though.

I have to give this one to Rain King. Of the two he had the most structured and logical arguments and the best talking points.

Chebob pretty much shot himself in the foot by allowing 1 year compulsory P.E. He is now arguing against the proposition in a very weak and diluted form. His argument begins to fragment as he considers alternatives.

RainKing sharpens his prose as the debate continues. With his effective counters and critical analysis, I believe he has argued effectively; more so than Chebob.

On the whole this was a sub-par debate. It was hampered by a lack of thoroughness and critical evaluation.

While both presented very well organized and factual arguements, I felt that Cehbob provided the better arguement for his side. He presented many differnt theories,facts, and ideas to bolster his defence of his position. His defence nearly made me swing to his side. Rain King performed well but he seemed to focus on a few benefits for his position.

Not the best debate unfortunately. chebob didn't help his cause by admitting he believed the affirmative in his closing statement, not the wisest thing to do.
The problem is that the issue and needs for PE are much different in the UK and US, so I had to go with the cultural argument I understood most.

The debate was a 'so-so' and both participants could have utilized online data to further their positions/arguments. Other than that, both members and debate participants did quite well. My hats off to both. As such, I found Rain King's argument to be more persuasive.

Chebob, arguing against his own feelings, made good points and addressed the topic well, however, in my opinion; Rain King presented a better and more convincing argument.
Note for future debates: Never concede your argument and announce that you are for the other side.
p.s. offer a conversion for the Americans - £10, 2p, 18 stone?

The debate suffered under the problems arising from the differences between the American and English PhysEd.

The questions in this debate seemed to me: "Is PhysEd an effective way to decrease obesity and will making it compulsory increase the effectiveness?" and "Are there better alternatives to making PhysEd compulsory?" Rain King showed that it probably is effective, since it is designed to increase fitness. He then goes on assume that making it compulsory will increase the effectiveness. This is the logical conclusion, but I would have liked it more if Rain King showed some evidence that it does work.

That brings me to a comment I have on both participants. You both didn't use any external links, any references whatsoever. I think this is important. Back up your statements! More structure in your posts and maybe some more rhetorics (e.g. personal examples) would also help.

The second question was answered by chebob. He proposed other solutions to the problem. Diet does play a large role in obesity, as does exercise. I think Rain King responded well that schools can't help by controlling the diet, but that they can help using compulsory exercise. Overall, I found Rain King more convincing and I have decided that he has won this debate.

I think chebob makes a fine point that the topic was not well defined in the beginning – are we talking about UK or USA? However, chebob is responsible for not making that distinction, and arguing the fact sooner in the debate.

chebob lost the debate in his/her second post when it was basically agreed that kids need to take PE – just not take it together with the “fit” kids.

I think the debate lost sight of itself early on. The true topic was not whether PE was good/bad – but whether it should be REQUIRED in a school setting.

Rain King wins on several fronts. Good rebuttals to each point, a use of statistics and data to support assertions, and a strong line of communication.

I'm going to have to say that I like Rain King on this one.

His points were just more salient, and, though I hate to say it, I don't think chebob had the right perspective on the situation, as he's in the UK...

The US and UK systems are really, really different, and I have no experience with the UK one, just the hell I went through here in the US.

Alright, I'll just have to say that it didn't seem that chebob was reading everything. I think he was just a bit too excited to hold it down and read EVERYTHING Rain King posted.

Good job by both, though.

Best of luck to Rain King in round 2.


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