Chair and Associate Professor
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning OR Rethinking physical activity as an intervention for wellness in youth
While the positive health outcomes associated with being physically active are well understood, particularly for school-aged youth, what is becoming better understood are the other outcomes that come along for the ride. In particular, behavioral outcomes and academic readiness outcomes. I have been active in providing professional development to the P-12 educational community over the last 6 years on this transformation. Superintendents, Principals, Assistant Principals, Teachers, School Nurses, Guidance Counselors, etc. are better suited to support student wellness in this manner when they possess global understanding of the key features of an efficacious physical activity intervention for their students. Ultimately, they can better support students when they know the key factors of implementation and comprehensive strategies for physical activity interventions to achieve these outcomes. My work in this area is evidenced-based as I frame the physical activity-based interventions I provide from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) professional organization. Specifically, I assess the impact of my work using the mini-DESSA, which is a validated instrument to assess the SEL changes from various targeted interventions. Additionally, the work I engage in is interdisciplinary as I work with professionals from a few backgrounds in the planning and implementation the programming; including the assessment. Finally, my work is goal-oriented and helps in two distinct ways. First, the results of my the work have, both, short-term and also long-term benefits for each of the populations I target. First, the enrolled students in the partnering school. This is accomplished by teaching and fostering key behavioral outcomes that lead to both social and emotional learning while promoting academic readiness. Second, I include the IUPUI students enrolled in the senior level course that I teach. I am able to assess their dispositional changes from this service-learning opportunity by their reflections after each session. As a result, I can determine the extent to which they not only see first-hand how a campus-communty partnership works, but also, the key parts of planning, preparing, and delivering evidence-based programming for students. In a sense, I am professionally developing them on the front-end of their career as opposed to the all too common model of professional development on the back end of a career. Ultimately, when they become a teacher they will be able to start their career delivering these intentional programs, as an expectation of their job, not as an extra-curricular element to their job.