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Why Teachers Should Advocate for More Co-Curricular Activities

It is well known that a healthy mind and body make for a more successful academic career. As a teacher or parent you may be wondering how you can support your students or children in leading a more balanced life. Co-curricular activities are a great way to help with this!

If you are a teacher reading this then you we will be well versed with Co-Curricular vs Extra-Curricular vs Curricular Activities however for our parents reading this article, let’s take a minute to explain the difference:


Extracurricular activities are those that fall outside the realm of the normal curriculum of school 


Co-curricular refers to activities, programs, and learning experiences that complement, in some way, what students are learning in school.


Curricular activities are those that are required by the school and are often built into the school day, such as physical education or math’s class.

All have their benefits in supporting a student ‘s development, however, in this article we will focus on the benefits of Co-Curricular activities.

Here are the top six reasons why teachers should advocate for more Co-Curricular Activities:

Improved academic performance

Regularly participating in co-curricular activities can aid in improving academic performance. This improved academic performance can be attributed to a number of factors, including increased time management skills, better concentration, and greater motivation

A  research article on ScienceDirect applied machine learning to investigate the correlation between co-curricular activities and students’ academic performance. The study used data from a comprehensive dataset, including both academic and co-curricular activity records. The results indicated a positive relationship between involvement in these activities and academic success. The study suggested that participation in co-curricular activities could enhance students’ motivation, personal skills, and overall academic performance


They Provide a Balance to Academic Life

In our fast-paced society, it is easy for students (and adults for that matter) to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Co-curricular activities provide a much-needed break from the academic grind and allow students to explore their interests and talents outside of the classroom. Education should be delivered in a way that engages all parts of the student, not just their intellect. Offering opportunity for experiential learning through a co-curricular activity can give students a well-rounded education and break the cliché ‘stuck in the classroom’ image of school. They give students an outlet to relax and have fun while still providing opportunities to learn new skills. This can lead to increased engagement back in the classroom and improved academic performance. 

It is important for students to find a healthy balance between academics and co-curriculars in order to be successful in both areas. When students are able to find that balance, the results are remarkable.

Increased social and emotional development

Co-curricular activities also promote social and emotional development, which are essential life skills. Co-Curricular activities are a great way for students to meet new people and make friends outside of their normal social circle. They provide an opportunity for students to interact with peers from different backgrounds and with different interests.

The paper “Exploring the relationship between student success and participation in extracurricular activities” found that participation in extra-curricular activities increased the sense of belonging among students. This suggests a positive impact on social development.

Found that participation in extra-curricular activities increased the sense of belonging among students. This suggests a positive impact on social development.

Exploring the relationship between student success and participation in extracurricular activities

They Help Develop Life Skills

Co-curricular activities are not just a great way to make friends and have fun. They also play an important role in developing life skills. These are the skills that cannot be taught in a classroom but must be learned through experience. Think of skills like teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and leadership.

Life skills can be defined as the abilities that help you cope with the daily demands and challenges of life. They are the skills that enable you to effectively manage your time, set and achieve goals, communicate with others, and deal with stress. Co-curricular activities are a great way to develop life skills because they provide an opportunity to practice these skills in a safe and supportive environment.

Greater Community Involvement

Co-curricular activities also tend to lead to greater community involvement. Studies have shown that students who participate in co-curricular activities are more likely to vote, volunteer, and engage in other forms of civic engagement (Eccles & Barber, 1999). This is important because it helps create a sense of connection between young people and their communities. It can also lead to positive social change. When young people feel like they have a stake in their community, they are more likely to work together to make it a better place.

Student Team Building

They Support the Curriculum

Co-curricular activities are carefully designed to support the curriculum and the goals of the school. For example, if a school is trying to promote healthy living, they might offer co-curricular activities like sports, dance, or cooking classes. If a school is trying to promote building independence, they might offer co-curricular activities like a School Edventure or city escape program. In this way, co-curricular activities can be used to supplement and support the curriculum.

They provide opportunities for students to practice what they are learning, make connections between school and the real world, and develop higher-order thinking skills.

There you have it, some of the many reasons why teachers should advocate for more co-curricular activities. These activities provide valuable benefits to students, and when used effectively, can be a powerful tool for supporting student learning. So next time you are looking for ways to help your students succeed, don’t forget about the importance of co-curricular activities.

What do you think? Are co-curricular activities important for students? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments below.