Thursday, December 13, 2012

Griffith Institute for Educational Research: Swimmers are Smarter! - And I don't think so!

Can swimming make kids smarter? A study from Australia thinks so and I feel the results are incredulous.
From the Washington Times:
The study found that the younger the child began swimming lessons and the longer they continued, the greater the benefits. Benefits come not only in the form of reaching physical developmental milestones early, but also those involving language and mathematics. Swimming helps with coordination and visual motor-skill development, but also with more intellectual skills, like counting or following verbal instructions.

I suspect soccer, ballet, T-ball may have the same effect for any stimulation is going to help but I wonder if affluence is also the key?

Kids born to affluent families, those parents that can afford and can provide good nutritional delivery, understand homework assignments or can afford tutors do really well and that to me is the real "brain effect" happening here.

Swimming is expensive to learn and I suspect most swim families are doing pretty good. I also suspect swimming is just one part of the puzzle of raising an "above average kid."

Also this study was conducted in Australia which is not exactly a melting pot either. Ethnic demographics: White 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal and other 1%. The average median income per household there is also $55,000. In West Virginia, USA it's $38,482


Mark Rauterkus said...

So, do you think that playing a musical instrument can help one be smarter too?

Would reading books help one be smarter?

I tend to think that the training one does, be it studies or swimming on a competitive swim team, helps to better oneself in that discipline as well as in other pursuits via transferable skills.

There are plenty of benefits with swimming and I would love to have every 7 year old on a competitive swim team / or a swim lesson plan that graduates to ROOKIE Camp status.

The building blocks of understanding time and distance and REAL numbers is so valuable. Do 25 x 25 yards on :25 and you'll have a good grip on the number 25. That abstract number in a concrete way for a child is a FANTASTIC lesson that pays dividends.

And, I'm not sure ballet has the same impact.

Tony Austin said...

Touché for you. That sure shows me.

I do enjoy your comments.

But I do believe the mathematics in ballet such as counting time and remembering when to execute a Plié or a pas de bourrée does involve planning ahead.

In fact I think ballet and swimming have a lot in common. Especially the three words: Athleticism and grace.