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Teachers’ and Students’ Perceptions of the Active Science Curriculum: Incorporating Physical Activity Into Middle School Science Classrooms

Kevin E. Finn, Kyle J. McInnis

Abstract


Many children get little to no regular physical education during the school day.  National recommendations call for schools to offer physical activity as part of planned academic lessons that teach math, language arts, science, and other subjects through movement. The purpose of this study was to analyze the student and teacher perceptions of the Active Science curriculum to determine the feasibility of incorporating a classroom-based physical activity program into middle school science lessons. Forty-seven fifth and sixth grade female students and two science teachers were the subjects in the study.  The instruments used to evaluate the student and teacher perceptions of the curriculum included (a) individual interviews with two science teachers; (b) written perception questionnaires completed by the students; and a (c) focus group interview with a sample of 8 students.  Findings revealed that the students enjoyed incorporating physical activity into class, learned science content and skills, and utilized technology within the curriculum. Teachers felt that it was feasible to incorporate physical activity into the lessons and they identified that the curriculum improved students’ science knowledge and inquiry skills, exposed them to the use of technology and integrated fun and interactive physical activities into class. 


Keywords


classroom-based physical activity; technology; science

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