Extracurricular activity

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Extracurricular activities or Extra Academic Activity (EAA) are those that fall outside the realm of the normal curriculum of school or university education, performed by students. Extracurricular activities exist for all students. And generally, volunteer activities aren't always extracurricular activities.

Such activities are generally voluntary (as opposed to mandatory), non-paying, social, philanthropic (as opposed to scholastic), and often involve others of the same age. Students often organize and direct these activities under faculty sponsorship, although student-led initiatives, such as independent newspapers, are common.


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The History of Extracurricular Activities

The development of extracurricular activities was slow in the beginning, with many seeing it simply as a fad that would pass and quickly fade out of style (Millard, 1930, p. xi). One of the early philosophies behind extracurricular activities was that they should, wherever at all possible, “grow out of curricular activities and return to curricular activities to enrich them” (Millard, 1930, p. 12). Eventually people, including educators, began to see the benefits of extracurricular activities, but it took a while to inure themselves to them. In fact, before 1900, educators were skeptical of participation in extracurricular activities, believing that “school should focus solely on narrowly defined academic outcomes. Non-academic activities were viewed as being primarily recreational and therefore were detrimental to academic achievement, and consequently were discouraged” (Marsh & Kleitman, 2002, para. 5). Deam and Bear, early experts on extracurricular activities, said, “Extracurricular activities supplement and extend those contacts and experiences found in the more formal part of the program of the school day” (Millard, 1930, p. 16). It was not until recently that “educational practitioners and researchers have taken a more positive perspective, arguing that extracurricular activities may have positive effects on life skills and may also benefit academic accomplishments” (Marsh & Kleitman, 2002, para. 5). It is obvious that extracurricular activities have an impact on academic performance and education ever since their inception.