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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 19, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta f 'Phvs. ed. skills too low in elementary grades' J ,___._____ BobWasilenko.DhyricaleducationinstructorattheScnator of walking (tall, short straight slow'.JastJ By JIM GRANT Herald Staff Writer Teachers are dot being taught enough about elementary physical education during their university training. And as a result, the Lethbridge public schools physical education and health coordinator believes the standard of physical skills in the elementary grades is lower than it should Schools must be careful to avoid "falling into a situation" where secondary physical education programs are taught to elementary students, Ed Henderson warns. The requirements for elementary instruction of physical education are quite different from those of secondary education __m At__A 4U.M miiat nfkvPinn tnnrp The public schools now allocate between 60 and 90 minutes a week while Mr. Henderson advocates an hour a day. He also believes "every teacher should teach their own "Preachers can learn a lot about their students in a gym that roll which is within their they can't learn in the classroom." physffcapabUmes. Personality traits e confidence in their physical ability and be willing to participate in various sporting activities. Mr. Henderson was referring to personality traits and the general nature of the student. Elementary physical education in Lethbridge may not have reached the level of excellence that Mr. Henderson advocates, but it certainly has surpassed the quality of physical training in some of the other elementary schools in Canada. When they reach success with one type of roll, they then advance to a more difficult type. During rhythm of movement instruction, Mr. Wasilenko involves students in "fun" activities such as the toy shop. The children imagine they're toys and all their movements are made to music. "We have about 100 different exercises that are done to he says. A Mr. Wasilenko doesn't teach athletic game skills but the Change activity "is no are related to elementary physical activity are limited. A teacher can become an elementary physical education specialist two or three courses on elementary physical skills, Mr. Henderson claims. Reflecting attitudes he savs are not solely to blame for the mSry physical education training for SSrtBKSg society's attitude toward mr in sch'ools, he suggests, Mr Henderson applauded local public school instructors for doing "good work in the elementary grades" and for obtaining "good participation" from all students. But he would to see a higher level of skills developed. "TJie quality of (body) movement is an area that could be improved." t He also believes it is impossible to develop a high level of fitness in elementary schools with only an hour a week allocated for physical instruction. basic need for movement to develop rhythms, posture and creative expression. It also suggests "present programs are predominantly athletic even though 75 per cent of the students will not be athletic." The elementary physical education program in most Lethbridge elementary public schools is non-athletic, is designed to keep all students active and stresses basic movement skills, Mr. Henderson says. A good example of the type of elementary physical training that is being recommended for Saskatchewan schools is now in practice at this city's Senator Buchanan School, Agnes- Davidson School and T ateview School. of the placement and movement of others around them on the gymnasium floor and how to control the movement of their bodies. Weight transfer Total participation The program varies slightly from school to school but the emphasis on total participation and individual instruction is constant in all three schools. The students do play games but they're of an elementary nature... such as dodge-ball or take-away involving from two to four students. The Agnes Davidson School physical education instructor believes, it is important for youngsters to learn to transfer weight from one part of their body to the other. Barry Dobek also encourages his students to express themselves through movement. They imagine they're an object (a balloon, for example) and then perform the movements of the object. If it was the balloon they chose to imitate, their movements would express action of its movement through the air. Students may also be asked to perform the different forms aid Local news SECOND SECTION Lethbridge, Alberta, Tuesday, February Pages 13-24 The principal of the Lakeview School claims there point in formal instruction'" in physical training. Everyone must be kept active and given individual instruction, Elma Groves suggests. The type of activity must be constantly changed because elementary children "don't want to stick at something for very says Miss Groves, who also instructs physical education m Shealso believes in allowing children to take part in a "free practice" during the physical education program so they can experiment and practice the type of physical activity they enjoy The students are also taught physical exercises that can be practiced in the home. They include cartwheels, skipping, standing on the head, and climbing an apparatus. Parents may recall performing some of these activities in the home when they were youngsters as a method of entertaining themselves but it is now more natural for a youngster to gain his entertainment from the television and must be taught how to enjoy physical activity. Develop a hunger "We hope to develop a hunger for physical says She is an advocate of more time for physical-training during the school day but the gymnasium space in the school can t facilitate an expansion of the physical education program. She said the school may have to study the possibility of moving some of the physical training out of the gymnasium and into the school yard. At the Westminster School, Elton Tanne, principal, has established a three-year program that emphasizes game skills and charts the student's progress. They play modified versions of games such as basketball but only as part of the progression to learning about the game skills rather than just because they're fun to play. The objectives of each skill includes several levels of proficiency. And students advance at their own level of skill Predicted rates questioned Plant appraisal, vote asked 4You can't put dollar value on civic pride? By AL SCARTH Herald Staff Writer Demands for an independent appraisal of the city's power plant, a referendum on its future and disbelief that Calgary Power will curb annual rate increases to five per cent highlighted citizens' briefs to aldermen Monday. Citizens also said that every avenue should be explored for funds from senior levels of government to retain ownership of the river valley plant. And they wanted to know why aldermen agreed to a contract for the supply of electricity from Calgary Power Ltd. in 1969 against the recommendations of their utilities director and a University of 'Alberta consultant A brief from one group of citizens at the Monday night public meeting estimated the final cost of dispensing with the incomes of 25 workers at the city plant over 15 years at million. "One cannot put a dollar value on civic spokesman Roger Rickwood said. "But it is an important factor and it must be calculated when some people seek to destroy a cherished municipal institution that has served Lethbridge well over tbe years and even turned a tidy profit" The group said a recommendation from the CH2M-HU1 consulting firm that the city sell the plant and purchase all its power from Calgary Power was not justi- fied by the consultants. "We do not have all the information necessary for a rational the group said. A second citizens' group demanded an independent appraisal of the plant 'We would expect the city to have an independent appraisal done, should negotiations begin with Calgary Power on possible said spokesman Mary Helen Vicars. "Calgary Power would not only be purchasing a power plant; it would be acquiring a new market from winch it could expect to make considerable profit. The purchase price should certainly reflect this point, that Calgary Power would be buying more than a few old Ms. Vicars said. Left dangling before citi- zens at the meeting was an unexplained miukm price tag set on tbe plant in tbe city's 1970 financial statement. Montreal Engineering, on the other band, a company with directorship ties to Calgary PowerV -has. plant The group also called for a referendum on the future of the plant, a search for funds at the provincial and federal levels to expand the plant, possibly into a coal-fired facility, and more information on which to base a decision. "Comparing costs for only 15 years (the period of the study) can give a very distorted impression of the long-time situation and the public should be aware of this said Chester B. Beaty in another submission. In only seven years.." the increase in revenue to Calgary Power if Lethbridge were to purchase all rather than only part of its power would range from million to more than Dr. Beaty, a professor of geography and geology at the University of Lethbridge, said.v The true value of the city power plant to Calgary Power lies primarily in its elimination as a competing power Dr. Beaty said. He said the long-time worth of the plant to Calgary Power was considerably higher than tbe value of the plant's machinery. "Companies, including utility industries, operate on the basis of said physicist Sam Kounosu. "In the face of the worldwide energy crisis, whether real or politically manoeuvred, energy companies are netting the highest profits ever. And currently there are small communities ar-ound Dr. Kounosu said. "The calculations and thus the conclusion of the CH2M report are based on a five per cent rate of price increase... such calculations cannot be trusted unless the upper limit of price increases is guaranteed The Lethbridge Metro New Democratic Association asked council to consider a Southern Alberta power co-operative as an alternative to sale of the plant. "Such a co-operative, co- ordinated by the electric utility planning council of Alberta, might include Lethbridge, Medicine Hat Power and Calgary president Bob Tarleck said. "In the case of a public utility, the excess earnings go into the government's coffers and are used for schools, hospitals, roads and other necessary public purposes. In the case of a private monopoly such as Calgary Power, however, the profits accrue to the corporation's executives and to its he said. Aid. Vaughan Hembroff, chairman of the city's power plant committee, conceded under questioning from the floor that the city could have struck a harder bargain with Calgary Power hi 1969 for part of its electric supply. But he said he could say that only with the use of hindsight, that no one at the time could have predicted enormous growths in demand of up to 17 per cent in one year. Hard to project power rate hikes By ANDY OGLE Herald Writer 'Harold MoseT, chief author of the consultant's report which recommends sale of the city's power plant, told the public hearing on the power issue Monday his report is based on several assumptions. But, he said, many such assumptions are necessary in such a report because it is a look into the future. "Our responsibility was to make the best assumptions we knew said. Many" of the briefs presented to the Yates Centre hearing attacked one of those assumptions that Calgary Power would seek a rate increase of five per cent annually. Mr. Moser admitted it was hard to put a finger on; that there was no way to calculate it exactly. Informal quotes HAROLD MOSER But he said his firm had obtained several informal quotes from industry sources putting the projected rate increase at between three and four per cent annually. Answering questions as to why the power rate increases were projected at only five per cent when fuel costs hikes were estimated at a much higher increase, Mr. Moser said fuel costs were only part of the total cost of power production. The price of wholesale power sold by Calgary Power is based on the average cost of all its generating facilities, he said. Calgary Power has a lot of hydro plants with no fuel costs and older steam plants in which the capital costs have been paid off, he said. And they are building large steam plants which are less costly per unit than a small unit would be for a small city. "Calgary Power is also fortunate in that its large plants are located at the source of low-cost coal supplies. Last contract not unusual ROGER RICKWOOD "Our research indicates the cost of that coal will not likely rise as fast as the price of coal on the open market." Answering other questions, Mr. Moser, who was interrupted once but not flustered by a heckler who told him "to use language we understand we're not all engineers you know" said he had no preconceived notion of what city officials wanted from the report And be said, when asked to comment on the 1969 contract the city signed with Calgary Power for part of its power needs, that the contract was not an unusual or surprising type of contract. Mr. Moser also explained that tbe 1969 contract actually stipulated purchase of peak load power but it turned out to be more economic to purchase base load and produce the peak load. It's a fact of the business that peak power costs more whether it's purchased or be said. Mr. Moser also termed the present plant a poor negotiating tool because it is inefficient and can't be I-.WICM charts display the skills that each student has accomplished and gives the youngsters the challenge to do better, Mr. Tanne claims. "There is purpose in everything we do and we can measure it" Students who are able to develop proficiency quicker than their classmates are then encouraged to concentrate on the qua- lity of their skills. The charts also include coaching hints, games and activities as a guide for teachers who aren't highly skilled in physical education The students are not restricted to any grade level and their development of a specific skill could range from the Grade 2 to the Grade 8 level. Nobody is kept waiting to participate. Everybody is involved each working at his own level. Even the students who can't do physical education exercises because of medical problems are kept busy as score keepers or in some similar role as an assistant to the instructor. Teaching doesn't get easier with the program, but "in the lone run it has more Mr. Tanne claims. More meaning because it has a more beneficial affect on students and that's the "name of the game" according to Elton Tanne. Board credited In each one of the physical education programs studied by The Herald, it is always the individual student competing with him or herself rather than against other students. The physical education instructors and principals interviewed applauded the public school board for granting them the funds to purchase enough equipment to allow each child the opportunity to develop his or her individual skills. The schools have also developed several innovative stimulants to encourage students to enjoy participating in some of the more tedious physical activities. The running marathon is an example of a stimulant that challenges the individual as well as the whole school population. The students chart out a destination (Lethbridge to Edmonton) on the Alberta map and then begin running toward it by recording the number of miles they run as a class unit on the running marathon can be expanded to include the total school population. Their progress could be recorded on a map of Canada which has been marked with an eastern destination such as Montreal or Halifax. A restriction is placed on the distance each student can run in a day. The schools are also attempting to improve student attitudes toward winning and losing. "Some kids find it very difficult to lose" even in an activity eame, Mr. Wasilenko suggests. "Everything in socie'ty is win, win win" and this attitude is reflected by some of the students in athletic games played after school hours, he adds. Mr Wasilenko says he encourages the students to "congratulate rather than put down" others who they play with or against in game situations. He says the best method of developing a sportsmanlike attitude is to make each child a success at what he or she is doing through competition with themselves rather than with Lots more room less than capacity attendance at public hearing on power plant improvco- But perhaps a new plant or the opportunity for one would be a viable tool, be said. He also questioned the value of the present plant as a reserve factor in case of a power outage on Calgary Power lines. The existing plant can help, bat its reliability will decrease as it gets older, he- said, "It's a question of be said. "How much should one pay for a level of reliability. The general approach is to do a mathematical probability analysis and try to maintain that reliability." Mr Dobek said some "kids can really be mean" in their desire to win. He prefers to check unsportsmanlike conduct by stopping the activity of all the class and informing them that that type of behavior takes the fun out of physical activity. He doesn't single out the student who was creating the situation. Test of time The non-athletic program now being sttessed in some Lethbridge elementary sfbools is new and hasn't received the test of time so it is difficult to predict the affect it may have on the fitness of society in the future. The development of the physical skills of all students should result in a better attitude toward physical fitness among the next generation but it may also result in a deterioration m tbe quality of athlete the schools produce in the future. Now that physical education instructors are stressing tbe physical development of all students, tbe athletically inclined students win not be getting the special attention they received under the old philosophy of physical instruction the elementary level. However, since studies on physical fitness in Canada have already proven that physical fitness of tbe ordinary Canadian child deteriorates from the time of grade school entrance, the new iWNrthletic program until proven wrong appears to be the first step toward improving the attitude of people toward physical fitness. Wednesday: more lime needed for training ;