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The Benefits Of Movement In Schools

3251 words - 13 pages

Introduction
Background: Teachers and administrators are recognizing what students need to acquire mastery learning in the classroom. In order to enhance their learning, students need the opportunity of frequent breaks. Research has shown when recurring breaks are given in the classroom, academic achievement improves (Jensen, 2000). Educators have observed more students with a positive attitude since these breaks have been implemented. As movement breaks are occurring within a classroom, teachers have witnessed more engaged students. During the school day, studies have proven consistent movement advances academic performance and decreases disruptive classroom and off task behaviors (Barkley, 2004). Findings reveal brain breaks have been effective among all age levels. The younger students need more frequent breaks for an optimal learning experience. Students will be successful when more opportunities for movement are included in their regular routine at school.
Issues: The researchers have observed several off task students, disruptive behaviors, decreased engagement, and diminished academic results in the classroom. The purpose of this study is to observe and report on how movement affects students’ academic performance in regards to attention, learning, emotions, and behavior. To better assist with why the researchers have chosen the connection between learning and academic performance, the researchers will be discussing students’ learning, attention, behavior, and emotions in the classroom. This section will further discuss these topics in depth since they are some of the central themes that keep reoccurring in relation to movement and students’ academic performance.

Academic Performance
Introduction: Many educators witness inactive children in classrooms. Students are expected to sit in their desks for extended periods of time. Since there is no interaction, students seem bored and restless. Researchers and educators believe meaningful learning isn’t taking place in these classrooms. Without meaningful learning in the classroom, there will be no positive gain in students’ academic performance. It has been proven that when students sit for extended periods of time, students cannot process information effectively (Pellegrini & Bohn, 2005).
Brain Function: Ratey (2002, p. 178) stated, “Evidence is mounting that each person’s capacity to master new and remember old information is improved by biological changes in the brain brought on by physical activity.” Without the movement in the classroom students will not be able to reach mastery learning. Movement allows students to focus better which enhances memory recall (Jensen, 1998). The beneficial effects of movement are proven through multiple studies. The studies conclude that students’ memory, focus, and behavior are better when movement is used in the classroom. Brain activity is required for learning and growth of new brain cells. This growth occurs from...

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