Learning to Move, Moving to Learn: Exploring Junior Primary Teachers’ Use of Movement in Their Classroom Practice

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Hay, Stephen

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McKay, Loraine

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2017
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Abstract

Movement-based curricular tasks enrich learning by using sensorimotor experiences to support children’s understanding of abstract concepts. Technological advances have yielded empirical evidence of the connection between movement and cognitive function with the affective benefits of participation in movement noted as enhanced engagement, social competency and the opportunity for self-expression. This evidence is reflected in the holistic view of child development employed in early childhood settings. However the transition to primary school signals a considerable change in the way movement is viewed and used for learning. In recent years, curriculum reform and an emphasis on high-stakes testing has led to the perpetuation of traditional transmission pedagogies in many junior primary classrooms in Queensland. Routine practices such as whole-class direct instruction provide few movement opportunities for the young students who they serve. While policies have implications for classroom practice, the teachers who enact them are acknowledged as the key stakeholders in the decision-making process that facilitates (or avoids) movement activities for their students.

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Thesis (Masters)

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Master of Education and Professional Studies Research (MEdProfStRes)

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School of Education and Professional Studies

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The author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.

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Subject

Movement and cognitive function

Movement-based curricular

Sensorimotor experiences

Classroom practice

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