Movement & Increased Cognition Functioning
Authors: Brenda Sloan, April Lake, Paige Middleton, & Leah Brown
Faculty Supervisor: Teresa Peeples, M.S.
Our service-learning project focuses on the relationship between movement and student engagement; thereby, enhancing a student’s academic success. Faced with diminishing resources, many educators have chosen to decrease funding for things they considered frills, such as physical education, music, art, dance, and drama. We chose to research whether these items were actually “fundamentals” verses “frills”. Can movement actually increase a student’s cognitive skills? Are movement and learning connected? In conjunction with improving a student’s morale and motivation, can student engagement also enhance one’s memory and retrieval? The research has produced overwhelming evidence that substantiates that movement and learning are indeed connected. Besides improving the functioning of the muscles, heart, and lungs, exercise also supplies more oxygen to the brain. Can increased student engagement grow better brains? We chose to test this hypothesis by engaging our students in movement patterns, brain breaks, and general exercise to see how it might improve the children’s capacity to learn and recall academic principles.