Implications of the link between : physically active learning and children’s executive function
1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)|
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:oulu-201802031144
|Publish Date:|| 2018-02-08
|Thesis type:||Bachelor's thesis
Continual changes in culture and society in Finland and other developed countries has resulted in a decrease of physical activity and an increase of time spent sitting. Negative health causes of physical inactivity are detrimental to well being and school success. Physically active learning, promoted in Finland through the Finnish Schools on the Move program, is a teaching method for increasing physical activity during the academic lessons of a school day. This method has been considered difficult in practice by some teachers since the physical activity disrupts student concentration and lowers productivity of a lesson. The part of the human brain, the executive function, regulates concentration and is influenced by physical activity. This thesis aims to synthesize what physical activity, physically active learning and executive function are, and what the implications of the link between physically active learning and executive function may be. Physical activity is movement produced by the skeletal muscles of the body, while physically active learning is the result of implementation of physical activity in a lesson. Executive functions (EF) are the cognitive processes that allow for goal-directed cognition and behavior that are used daily, such as when shifting attention from one task to the next. The link between physically active learning and executive function conveys potential that the physically active learning method may help activate and develop a child’s executive function. The goal of this thesis is to present credible international literature on these topics in an accessible and understandable way. This thesis is a descriptive literature review that is largely based on the ideas of internationally distinguished researchers in the fields of physical activity, physically active learning and psychology, along with other credible research and empirical studies. The use of physically active learning is not the only solution for increasing the amount of physical activity during everyday life or supporting school success in children, but is a potential tool to aid the development of learners. Implementing cognitively engaging physical activity learning should be used for optimal learning results and promoting a developing executive function in a child, especially concerning the problematic disruptive nature of physically active learning.
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