Caterino and Polak article

Caterino and Polak article - PercepflralandMotor Skills...

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PercepflralandMotor Skills, 1999, 89,215-248. O Perceptual and Motor Skills 1999 EFFECTS OF TWO TYPES OF ACTIVITY ON THE PERFORMANCE OF SECOND-, THIRD-, AND FOURTH-GRADE STUDENTS ON A TEST OF CONCENTRATION ' MARIA C. CATERINO AND EMANUEL D. POLAK West Deptford (N]) Tozurzship School Dislrirr Sz~mmary.-The appropriateness of recess in the elementary program concinues to be questioned although generally it is believed to be useful by elementary principals despite a dearrh of supportive dara. This study was a developmental study of.the ef- fects of physical activity on concentration. Comparison of passive and directed physi- cal educarion activities on che concentration of second-, third-, and fourth-grade chil- dren was made. The Woodcock-Johnson Test of Concentration showed better per- formance by the fourth graders and within Grade 4 in favor of the physical activity group. A structured physical activity or a classroom activity immediately prior to a concentration task was not detrimental to children in Grades 2 and 3. Fourth-grade children performed significantly better on a test of concentration after engaging in a physical activity. Given the ever-increasing demands to assess children in the elementary school, the relative scheduhg of physical education class is a concern of school administrators and teachers. The time of day to schedule physical edu- cation to minimize the possible influence on testing or classroom learning has been a concern, but quantitative data are limited, and even theoretical discussion has often not involved the elementary school population. One area in which physical exercise has been viewed as increasingly beneficial and not causing educational interference is in the counsehg literature. Ac- cording to Scherman (19891, stress interferes with school performance but physical activity reduces stress and enhances positive attitudes. The use of exercise to promote emotional health positively has been reported for chil- dren with dsruptive behavior and adults with moderate depression (Karper, 1981). Carlson (1982) wrote of the rnultimodal effect of counsehg and the benefits of physical exercise in enhancing emotional, cognitive, social, imagi- native, and behavioral processes of the child.
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Caterino and Polak article - PercepflralandMotor Skills...

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