Mind, brain, and education research findings suggest the physiological benefits of school- and classroom-based physical activity are essential to learning mathematics in the middle grades (e.g., De Smedt & Verschaffel, 2010; McClelland, Pitt, & Stein, 2015; Sibley & Etnier, 2003). This study examines the effects of a classroom-based physical activity intervention in rural, middle grades mathematics classes on students’ academic performance, attitudes about mathematics, and attitudes about physical activity as part of mathematics instruction. A quasi-experimental trial and nested, repeated measures analysis of variance and covariance were employed to: (a) measure students’ academic performance using formative assessments and mathematics course means; (b) identify potential differences in performance that may be associated with several covariates to include the following: the physical activity intervention, grade level, and teacher; (c) describe students’ self-reported measures of academic behaviors, cognitive skills, and cognitive attitudes throughout the study; and (d) discuss teachers’ perceptions of the effects of classroom-based physical activity on students’ mathematics learning and academic behaviors. Although evidence of interaction between grade and school were present, the intervention students outperformed their counterparts on measures of academic performance for each grade level. Statistically significant differences in intervention students’ post-intervention measures of formative assessments and course means were evident for grades 6 or 7, controlling for teacher; null findings were present for grade 8 students. In addition, there were significant differences among classes per grade level. Similarly, statistically significant differences in students’ self-reported measures of cognitive skills and academic behaviors were detected among groups. Evidence suggested students’ cognitive skills and cognitive attitudes changed throughout the trial. There were similarities among intervention and control teachers’ (a) perceptions of the effects of classroom-based physical activity on rural mathematics learners’ cognitive attitudes and academic behaviors and (b) perceived and experienced barriers to integrating classroom-based physical activity into mathematics instruction. Overall findings suggest that classroom-based physical activity interventions, such as Take 5, are potential resolutions to middle grades’ learners academic performance on formative assessments, their diminished opportunities to engage in physical activity (Howie & Pate, 2012), and the social and physiological issues that affect learning in the middle grades (Sibley & Etnier, 2003; Wells, 2012).
|School:||North Carolina State University|
|School Location:||United States -- North Carolina|
|Source:||DAI-A 80/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mathematics education, Middle School education, Physical education|
|Keywords:||Academic performance, Classroom-based physical activity, Cognitive attitudes, Embodied cognition, Pedagogy|
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