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Extracurricular Activities: An Essential Aspect of Education


by Jennifer Fredricks May 23, 2011

In this commentary, the author makes the case for broadening our notion of education to consider organized out-of-school activities (i.e., extracurricular activities, after school programming) as an essential aspect of education. She describes the reasons why these activities provide unique opportunities for learning and development and reviews the research linking participation to higher achievement, physical health, and mental health functioning. She concludes by arguing that cuts to extracurricular and after-school programming is a misguided and costly policy decision.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: May 23, 2011
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 16414, Date Accessed: 10/19/2017 5:16:08 AM

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About the Author
  • Jennifer Fredricks
    Connecticut College
    E-mail Author
    JENNIFER FREDRICKS, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Human Development at Connecticut College. Her research focuses on extracurricular participation, positive youth development, school engagement, youth sports, and motivation. She is interested in how to create school and out-of-school contexts that optimize positive academic and psychological outcomes for children and adolescents living in diverse environments.
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