Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ( IDEA) and No Child Left Behind (NCLB) now mandate that all at-risk students receive empirical, scientific research-based interventions. 'Brain Gym' is a movement-based program designed to address a diverse range of students' academic and behavior needs by promoting whole-brain learning. However, the scientific research base supporting 'Brain Gym' is limited and findings are inconclusive. The goal of this study was to evaluate the effects of Dennison's 26 'Brain Gym' movements as a tier-one Response to Intervention (RtI) and a class-wide general education intervention on primary grade-level students' (the at-risk population as well as the overall population) academic performance and behaviors as measured by the TAKS Reading, TAKS Math, and BASC-II instruments. To accomplish this goal, an eight-month quantitative posttest experimental study with random assignment of 364 second through sixth grade students to classrooms and random assignment of participating classrooms to control and experimental groups was implemented in a school district located in East Texas. Based on two-tailed independent sample t tests at a 95% confidence level (α = .05), at-risk students demonstrated statistically significant gains in reading, t(66) = -2.13, p = .04, and math, t(71) = -2.42, p = .02, after receiving 'Brain Gym' as a tier-one RtI academic intervention. Similarly, students who received 'Brain Gym' as a general education classroom management strategy demonstrated statistically significant improvements in maladaptive behaviors (e.g., aggression, hyperactivity, inattention, depression, anxiety, somatization, and atypicality), t(46) = -2.71, p = .01, and adaptive behaviors (e.g., social skills, functional communication, and adaptability), t(46) = -2.95, p = .01. Therefore, educators may confidently use 'Brain Gym' as a tier-one RtI reading and math intervention and a general education classroom management strategy for primary grade-level students. Further research is needed to explore the efficacy of 'Brain Gym' with secondary and special population students.
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 71/06, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Behavioral psychology, Instructional Design, Special education|
|Keywords:||Academic performance, At risk, Brain Gym, General education, Response to intervention, Student behavior|
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