Date

1-4-2017 12:00 AM

Major

Kinesiology and Health

Department

Kinesiology

College

College of Human Sciences

Project Advisor

Spyridoula Vazou

Project Advisor's Department

Kinesiology

Description

Studies show a positive overall effect of different types of physical activities in early childhood education on cognitive functioning. This project evaluated the effectiveness of the Move-for-Thought Pre-K/K curriculum available through the Iowa Department of Education Team Nutrition. The curriculum focuses on the development of executive function, social-emotional, behavioral, and motor skills in young children using cognitively engaging physical activities and motor skill games. The purpose of the project was to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of the program over an eight-week period in 16 preschool centers (eight as intervention and eight as control) in Iowa. Before and after the implementation period, teachers rated students’ attention and behavioral control in the classroom. Results showed a significantly larger improvement on attention for the intervention group, compared to the control group, regardless of the gender of the students. For behavioral control, the effect was similar but had a marginally significant interaction with gender, showing that it was stronger for female, compared to male students. Further, the program was highly enjoyable for both students and teachers and easy to implement in the preschool classrooms. The Move for Thought Pre-K/K program is promising in helping teachers better prepare preschool children for future educational success.

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Apr 1st, 12:00 AM

Integrating Physical Activity with Academics: Evaluation of the Efficacy of the Move for Thought Pre-K/K Curriculum

Studies show a positive overall effect of different types of physical activities in early childhood education on cognitive functioning. This project evaluated the effectiveness of the Move-for-Thought Pre-K/K curriculum available through the Iowa Department of Education Team Nutrition. The curriculum focuses on the development of executive function, social-emotional, behavioral, and motor skills in young children using cognitively engaging physical activities and motor skill games. The purpose of the project was to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of the program over an eight-week period in 16 preschool centers (eight as intervention and eight as control) in Iowa. Before and after the implementation period, teachers rated students’ attention and behavioral control in the classroom. Results showed a significantly larger improvement on attention for the intervention group, compared to the control group, regardless of the gender of the students. For behavioral control, the effect was similar but had a marginally significant interaction with gender, showing that it was stronger for female, compared to male students. Further, the program was highly enjoyable for both students and teachers and easy to implement in the preschool classrooms. The Move for Thought Pre-K/K program is promising in helping teachers better prepare preschool children for future educational success.