Physical activity and on-task behaviour in adolescent classrooms of a Further Education college

Hupton, Jimmy (2020) Physical activity and on-task behaviour in adolescent classrooms of a Further Education college. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Teachers commonly report that high-levels of off-task behaviour hinders learning in their classrooms. Previous research in school children under ~12-years-of-age has demonstrated physical activity(PA) interventions may decrease off-task behaviour. The current thesis planned to extend the literature to UK Further Education College classrooms of 16-19-year-old learners via a mixed-methods design of observations and student interviews.
111college sport and drama students were observed for on-task behaviour via momentary time-sampling (70 male and 41 female, age 17.1+0.8years). In a cross-over design, observations occurred in classroom lessons immediately before and after a PA-based lesson in a sports hall/drama studio, or a seated classroom. Mean on-task behaviour was higher only in the lesson after a PA-based lesson(p<0.001). Individual-level analysis; however, highlighted that a quarter of students saw no change or a decrease in on-task behaviour after the PA-based lesson.
To further explore these quantitative outcomes,36 students were questioned on their perceptions of on-task behaviour before and after PA via semi-structured interviews, with responses analysed via thematic analysis (20 male and 16 female, age 17.2+0.6years).Surprisingly, the most common factors for variations in on-task behaviour students mentioned in the interviews were not directly related to PA. For example: coursework deadlines, time-of-day variations and differences in classroom delivery. Themes students directly linked to the PA-based lessons centred on feelings of fatigue, energisation and recovery. Several students specified fatigue could help their ability to be on-task, while other students implied insufficient recovery and/or cool-down opportunities prior to subsequent lessons hindered on-task behaviour.
These findings have implications for practice, principally providing empirical evidence that PA in UK FE colleges can improve classroom on-task behaviour but likewise is influenced by a range of other variables that PA may not always mitigate. These factors should be considered alongside PA interventions by teachers and academic planners for optimum on-task classrooms.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2020 12:40
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2020 12:40


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