An elementary school teacher in Kentucky has installed pedal desks in her classroom so her students can pedal while they work. Faith Harralson teaches kindergarten and when she won a $12,000 grant from the education department she decided to use the money for pedal desks. Her reasoning for installing them was to help the children who get tired of sitting still for too long.
“I’ve seen a shift in my students’ behavior and engagement since the bikes arrived,” Harralson told NBC. “Thanks to good engineering, the pedals are essentially noiseless and don’t interfere with instruction or activities.”
No one denies the fact that children need exercise and that it helps them focus in class but somehow I think schools can do better than simply installing pedal desks. In fact that $12,000 may have been better spent buying new sports equipment and letting the children have an extra recess.
Young children will no doubt get restless when they’re asked to sit still for too long, heck even I need to stretch while watching a 2 hour long movie, so why don’t we just adjust our classroom methods so that our children aren’t being made to sit for too long.
Or even better why not give children longer recess or even an extra recess session. In fact when a Texas school expanded their recess time to two 15 minute breaks in the morning and two 15 minute breaks in the afternoon, they got immediate positive results. Teachers got more out of their students as they were more focused and less likely to lose interest and start fidgeting.
What do you think? Are pedal desks a good idea?