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Learning to Integrate Movement in Elementary Classrooms: Field Experiences of Preservice Classroom Teachers

Collin A. Webster, Robert Dan Michael, Laura B. Russ, Catherine A. Egan


Given that preparing preservice classroom teachers (PCTs) for movement integration (MI) has gained traction in recent years as a focus of policy and research related to children’s school-based physical activity (PA) promotion, the purpose of this study was to examine PCTs’ field experiences of learning to integrate movement in elementary classrooms. PCTs (N = 23) who enrolled in a university course focused on school PA promotion participated in the study. Participants’ MI-related field experiences were investigated through focus group interviews, PCT reflections, researcher field notes from observations, and PCT-developed MI plans. Data were qualitatively analyzed for themes pertaining to challenges, successes, and lessons learned. Findings show challenges with planning and preparation, lack of experience, and classroom management. Successes were characterized by positive elementary pupil responses and learning from experience. Lessons learned included to plan extensively and that MI is easy to learn and beneficial. This study highlights the value of field experiences in PCTs’ learning to integrate movement and identifies aspects of such experiences that should be considered in preservice training. 

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Classroom physical activity; movement integration; comprehensive school physical activity program; teacher education

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