Physical activity-academic achievement: student and teacher perspectives on the 'new' nexus

Macdonald, Doune, Abbott, Rebecca, lisahunter, Hay, Peter and McCuaig, Louise (2013) Physical activity-academic achievement: student and teacher perspectives on the 'new' nexus. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, Published online 1-15. doi:10.1080/17408989.2013.769510

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Author Macdonald, Doune
Abbott, Rebecca
Hay, Peter
McCuaig, Louise
Title Physical activity-academic achievement: student and teacher perspectives on the 'new' nexus
Formatted title
Physical activity – academic achievement: student and teacher perspectives on the ‘new’ nexus
Journal name Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1740-8989
Publication date 2013-03-28
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/17408989.2013.769510
Open Access Status
Volume Published online
Start page 1
End page 15
Total pages 15
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: The association between physical activity/fitness with cognitive and academic functioning has become a topic of considerable research interest. Increasingly, schooling systems are being expected to respond to these relationships through curricular and extra-curricular interventions.

Purpose: This paper reports on the qualitative findings of the impact of the Active Kids Active Minds (AKAM) intervention that included one hour of moderate to vigorous daily physical activity for the promotion of learning in a regional primary school in Australia. It gives student and teacher voice to the corpus of literature on physical activity and academic performance intervention studies that are gaining momentum in the bid to justify and promote forms of school-based physical activity.

Participants: Twelve Year 5 students, their classroom teachers, and the school principal's perspectives are shared in this paper. They were key informants from 107 students and 5 teachers who participated in the intervention.

Data collection: Students, their classroom teachers, and the school principal were interviewed individually or in groups by a member of the research team. Researcher field observations, along with a diary kept by the dedicated AKAM teacher, were used to interrogate the complexity and pragmatics of both delivering the intervention and succeeding in the intervention.

Data analysis: Transcribed interviews were reviewed independently by the authors for recurring themes. Field observations and the AKAM teacher diary were used to triangulate interview data.

Findings: Data suggested that the intervention group benefited from and welcomed the additional daily physical activity when it offered high time-on-task, fun, and reflected students' interests. The intervention design with a dedicated physical activity leader and professional development support seemingly promoted teachers' confidence and enthusiasm.

Conclusions: While this intervention was designed to complement physical education, we raise questions about how physical activity in schools may be channelled towards a new wave of instrumental outcomes.
Keyword Physical activity
Academic achievement
Policy implementation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 28 Mar 2013

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 3 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 12 Nov 2013, 09:33:04 EST by Dr Louise Mccuaig on behalf of School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences