Behind the Bench

Don Winsor
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Community schools

I know, it’s hard to fathom, it was only a few days ago our kids started their summer vacation, but a week from now they will be winding their way back to school.

With that in mind, I want to talk for a little bit about the very important role these physical plants we call institutes of learning play in the physical, social, cultural, and recreational lives of our communities.

Over the past number of years, the physical education programs in the schools of this province have grown by leaps and bounds. As well, physical education is continuing to take great strides towards being accepted as an academic discipline. This has come about due to the fact that both programs and facilities are improving.

Education is the guidance of the intellectual, moral, physical, and social development of the individual. And while learning is not confined to formal education, a large part of the responsibility for organized education falls upon the school. In this province, a system which is both tax supported by the government and the general public.

The school, whose role it is to pass on to each generation the fundamentals of man’s accumulated knowledge, which sifts the useful from the useless, and centers its education experience upon the individual, usually during the impressionable years. Therefore, because the school, as an institution, is an instrument and reflection of the culture and the society in which it exists, its role is necessarily shaped by them.

Life and culture are in a constant state of change. Thus, the role of the school changes with changing conditions.

Due to the fact that yearly more and more time is being made available to more and more people, education is being confronted with the challenge of helping individuals to learn how to use that leisure time in ways that will contribute to their fullest personality expression. This is what brings the re-creative use of leisure — recreation — into the sphere of interest and shared responsibility of learning’s most formidable ally — the school. The educated person is the person who is not only prepared to work but also to live, to live fully and completely in his or her discretionary, as well as obligated time.

Life and culture are in a constant state of change. Thus, the role of the school changes with changing conditions. Today’s school, for instance, add planning and community service to the teaching process. The school now serves more people in more ways than thought possible. It has now taken on the role of a community facility for many other things other than physical education.

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