For decades, scholars in physical education pedagogy have done tremendous work to enlighten the research on student learning. Dr. Catherine D. Ennis was one of the leading experts in the past 3 decades (active contributor 1984–2017), who had a monumental impact on learning-related research in physical education. In this article, the authors synthesize Dr. Ennis’s scholarship on student learning in physical education, honoring her contributions to the field. They first define learning as a concept and learning in physical education and present how Ennis as a “curriculum specialist” viewed learning. They then cover Ennis’s insights and findings that originated from her series of impactful curriculum studies related to student engagement and learning and conclude by sharing lessons learned from Ennis’s scholarly wisdom for guiding future research in physical education pedagogy.
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Senlin Chen and Alex Garn
Zan Gao, Senlin Chen, and David F. Stodden
To compare young children’s different intensity physical activity (PA) levels in physical education, recess and exergaming programs.
Participants were 140 first and second grade children (73 girls; Meanage= 7.88 years). Beyond the daily 20-minute recess, participants attended 75-minute weekly physical education classes and another 75-minute weekly exergaming classes. Children’s PA levels were assessed by ActiGraph GTX3 accelerometers for 3 sessions in the 3 programs. The outcome variables were percentages of time spent in sedentary, light PA and moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA).
There were significant main effects for program and grade, and an interaction effect for program by grade. Specifically, children’s MVPA in exergaming and recess was higher than in physical education. The 2nd-grade children demonstrated lower sedentary behavior and MVPA than the first-grade children during recess; less light PA in both recess and exergaming than first-grade children; and less sedentary behavior but higher MVPA in exergaming than first-grade children.
Young children generated higher PA levels in recess and exergaming as compared with physical education. Hence, other school-based PA programs may serve as essential components of a comprehensive school PA program. Implications are provided for educators and health professionals.
Xiangli Gu, Senlin Chen, and Xiaoxia Zhang
The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between fundamental motor skills (FMS; including locomotor and object-control skills), moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and sedentary behavior among young Hispanic and non-Hispanic children. Using the prospective research design spanning one academic school year, we recruited 671 children (6.96 ± 1.6 years, 46% girls) from four primary schools in North Texas, 300 of whom were Hispanic and 371 non-Hispanic children, with 90% of the Hispanic and 74% of the non-Hispanic children from low-income families. All participants completed the PE Metrics™ FMS assessment and wore Actical accelerometers. Hispanic children demonstrated a lower level of MVPA on school days than their non-Hispanic peers. After adjusting for sociodemographic variables, both locomotor and object-control skills significantly predicted school-based MVPA for the non-Hispanic groups, while only object-control skills significantly predicted MVPA for the Hispanic group. For both ethnic groups, locomotor skills significantly predicted school-based sedentary behavior. The findings shed light on future motor competence–based interventions for physical activity promotion and obesity prevention among young Hispanic as well as non-Hispanic children.