The Research Behind In-Class Movement
Authors: Alexis Downey, Morgan Adams, Keri Steverson, Brandi Jordan, & Emily Sines
Teresa Peeples, M.S.
As CCGA teacher candidates, we have looked into the research behind how movement can positively impact students throughout the school day. Through our partnership with Oglethorpe Point Elementary School, we have spent time promoting movement in our own classrooms and implementing various movement patterns to see if the students gained anything from the activities. According to Hruska and Clary, “The integration of physical activities into other areas of curriculum is not new, but there has been renewed interest in the topic as evidence by recent publications on the subject” (Hruska, Barbara; Clary, Mary E. May). It has been assessed that adding sessions of physical activity to the curriculum can improve academic performance, attention, and memory. The research is overwhelming; regular movement not only increases performance, but also assists in regulating a child’s behavior. With an abundance of studies in support of this, there is no better time to advocate for a change in our school systems. We want to encourage our students to become healthier and to engage in a more active lifestyle. Why not initiate this change in the school system? Instead of being forced to sit 8 hours a day, which is very detrimental to one’s health, why don’t we institute healthy and active classroom policies. We can make a difference in our student’s lives, by encouraging healthier lifestyles and in turn boosting our student’s academic performance. One teacher at a time, we can change the mindset in the school system and encourage acceptance of movement as a valuable and beneficial asset of learning, rather than a detriment.