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Six fifth grade students experiences participating in active gaming during physical education classes

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Title:
Six fifth grade students experiences participating in active gaming during physical education classes
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English
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Hansen, Lisa Witherspoon
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University of South Florida
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Tampa, Fla
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Subjects / Keywords:
Childhood obesity
Physical activity
Technology
Exergaming
Video games
Play
Flow theory
Dissertations, Academic -- Physical Education and Exercise Science -- Doctoral -- USF   ( lcsh )
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bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

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Abstract:
ABSTRACT: As technology and sedentary lifestyles have become an integral part of children's lives, so too has the prevalence of childhood obesity. Although video games are often associated with influencing sedentary behaviors, active gaming is a new genre that requires children to become physically active while playing the games. In this inquiry I explored six fifth grade students' experiences participating in active gaming in physical education classes for 30 minutes, twice weekly, during an eight week (16 sessions) study. I used qualitative methods including interviews, journal entries, and observational field notes. Analysis of data revealed students have a "Persistence to Game" (P2G) when participating in active gaming during physical education. When students experience P2G I considered them to be at "play" demonstrating play-like attributes. Persistence to game includes eight elements. Although not all elements need to be present at the same time, when these elements interact, students experience flow. The discoveries of this study suggest active gaming can be an appropriate tool used in 21st century physical education classes that appeals and is desirable to students.
Thesis:
Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2009.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
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Mode of access: World Wide Web.
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System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
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by Lisa Witherspoon Hansen.
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Title from PDF of title page.
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Document formatted into pages; contains 233 pages.
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Includes vita.

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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aleph - 002317835
oclc - 662475201
usfldc doi - E14-SFE0002987
usfldc handle - e14.2987
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Six Fifth Grade Students Experiences Pa rticipating in Active Gaming during Physical Eduction Classes by Lisa Witherspoon Hansen A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Physical Edu cation and Exercise Science College of Education University of South Florida Major Professor: Steven Sanders, Nell Faucette, Ed.D. Janet Richards, Ph.D. Stephen Graves, Ph.D. Roger Brindley, Ed.D. Date of Approval: July 9, 2009 Keywords: childhood obesity, physical activity, technology, exergaming, video games, play, flow theory Copyright 2009, Lisa Witherspoon Hansen

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Dedication I dedicate my dissertation work to my fam ily. First, a special feeling of gratitude to my loving parents and sister, Denni s and Betty Witherspoon and Amy Robinson, whose on-going support and words of encourag ement have truly assisted me not only through this journey, but through life itself. I love you so mu ch; this work could never quantify the appreciation and gratitude I feel. Sincere appreciation to my husband and be st friend, Mike Hansen, for providing me with unconditional love, patience, and support through this incredibly difficult pursuit of a dream. Your becoming a part of my life added the needed ambition and passion to help keep me on track. I love you and understa nd how fortunate I am to have you as my soul mate. In addition, MiKenzie Jade Ha nsen, our unborn baby gi rl who has provided me with much aspiration and determination to continue working hard during exceedingly rough stages of this journey. It has been an amazing process with you being a part of accomplishing this goal. To Kada, our first “baby” black Labrador, who has been my biggest fan, provided me with immense, unres erved love, and has been by my side (and feet) every step of the way. I also dedicate this dissertation to my loving grandmother, Dorothy Young, for trusting and helping support this journey and always providing me w ith the genuine love and wisdom that makes my vision of the future brighter. Our mornings together at your breakfast table will remain with me forever. To my mother-in-law, Barbara Hansen, who has been a positive voice and listening ear along the way. Thank you for always being interested, showing support, and bei ng optimistic during this process.

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I dedicate this work with passion and fa ith to our Lord and Savior. Without his love and support, nothing accomplished would have been possible.

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Acknowledgements First I would like to thank Kadia Elementary school, the teachers, and the students who volunteered to participate in this i nquiry. The physical education teacher and students were instrumental in making this research a successful journey. In addition, Victoria Fogel, my research assistant, for volunteering and making the commitment to help me with this study. Second, I would like to thank my committee members Dr. Nell Faucette, Dr. Janet Richards, Dr. Stephen Graves, and Dr. Roger Brin dley for your willingness to be a part of this learning process for me. Your readiness to review, edit, and challenge my work has helped me grow as a researcher, writer, and more importantly a teacher educator. A special thank you to Dr. Janet Richards for the additional time, support, and encouragement spent working with me independently. To George Graham, a colleague but mo re importantly a great friend, who has provided life direction related to my career fo r many years. Your sincere belief in my ability alone helped encourage me to keep pushing through the difficult times to achieve this dream. To my colleagues who have assisted me throughout this process whether it was with computer formatting or simply offeri ng support. Thank you as you will never realize how much you have helped. Finally, and most of all, I want to show tremendous gr atitude and thanks to Dr. Steve Sanders. I cannot write in words how much you have meant during this process as I know it has not been easy. You have become more than my advisor and mentor; you have

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become a great friend. Your patience, encour agement, and assistan ce through these years have been invaluable. A simple thank you can certainly not demonstrate the appreciation I have for you.

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i Table of Contents List of Tables vList of Figures viAbstract viiChapter 1: Introduction 1Physical Activity and Obesity 2Physical Education and Physical Activity 3Physical Activity and Video Games 4Purpose Statement 5Research Questions 6Significance of the Study 6Delimitations 7Limitations 7Definition of Terms 8The Researcher 11Organization of Remaining Chapters 13Chapter 2: Literature Review 15Childhood Obesity 15Physical Activity 18Video Games and the Gamer Generation 21Physical Activity and Gaming 24Research in Active Gaming 27Children’s Attitudes toward Physical Education 30Gender Appropriateness in Physical Activity 34Theoretical Framework 36Play Theory 37The Zone of Proximal Development 46Flow Theory 53

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ii Summary 63Chapter 3: Methodology 64Case Study Design 64School Setting 67School Description 67Active Gaming Room Description 71Front wall – Entrance/Exit 73Right Wall 74Back Wall 75Left Wall 76Center Room 77Participants 78Description of Participants 80Planned Lessons and Pedagogy 93Data Collection 94The Role of the Researcher 95Interviews 96Student Interviews 96Teacher Interviews 97Fieldnotes 97Journal Entries 99Data Analysis 100Summary 101Chapter 4: Descriptions of Stude nts’ Active Gaming Experiences 102Knowledgeable Students 102The Students’ Daily Experiences in the Active Gaming Room 105Experiencing the Curriculum 107Lesson Plan #1 107Lesson Plan #2 113Lesson Plan #3 119Lesson Plan #4 123

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iii Lesson Plan #5 129Lesson Plan #6 131Student Experiences with Leslie’s Role 136Experiencing Learning During Active Gaming 139Summary 141Chapter 5: Discoveries 143The Persistence to Game 143Fun 146Opportunities for choice 147Peer interaction 149Peer and independent learning 151Perpetual movement to be engaged 154Reluctance to cease game play 156Unremitting interest 157Video Game Motivation 159Discussion 161Summary 165Chapter 6: Discussion, Implications, a nd Suggestions for Future Research 167Summary 167Discovery 169Persistence to Game 170Implications 170Suggestions for Future Research 174References 179Appendices 202Appendix A.1: Student In terview Questions – 1st Interview 203Appendix A.2: Student In terview Questions – 2nd Interview 204Appendix A.3: Student In terview Questions – 3rd Interview 205Appendix B.1: Physical Education Teacher’s Interview Questions – 1st 206Appendix B.2: Physical Education Teacher’s Interview Questions – 2nd 208Appendix B.3: Physical Education Teacher’s Interview Questions –3rd 210

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iv Appendix C.1: Student Jour nal Guiding Questions – 1st Entry 212Appendix C.2: Student Jour nal Guiding Questions – 2nd Entry 213Appendix C.3: Student Jour nal Guiding Questions – 3rd Entry 214Appendix C.4: Student Jour nal Guiding Questions – 4th Entry 215Appendix C.5: Student Journal Gu iding Questions – fifth Entry 216Appendix D: Physical Education Teach er’s Journal Guiding Questions 217Appendix E: Fieldnote Record ing Form – Researcher 218Appendix F: Fieldnote Recording Form – Graduate Student 219Appendix G: Active Gaming Fitness Unit Lesson Plans 220About the Author End Page

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v List of Tables Table 1 Ethnicity and Demographics of Kadia Elementary School Year 2007-2008 65 Table 2 Kadia Elementary School Academic Report Card for 2007-2008 school year 66

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vi List of Figures Figure 1 Csikszentmihalyi’s flow state. From Beyond boredom and anxiety: The experience of play in work and games, by M. Csikszentmihalyi (1975). 51 Figure 2 Different players have di fferent flow zones. From “Flow in Games (and Everything Else),” by J. Chen, 2007, Communications of the ACM, 50 (4), p. 32. 60 Figure 3 Kadia Elementary School 68 Figure 4 Illustration of the Active Gaming Room Layout 71 Figure 5 Active Gaming Room – Front Wall 71 Figure 6 Active Gaming Room – Right Wall 73 Figure 7 Active Gaming Room – Back Wall 74 Figure 8 Active Gaming Room – Left Wall 75 Figure 9 Active Gaming Room – Center Room Facing Front Wall 76 Figure 10 Active Gaming Room – Center Room Facing Back Wall 76 Figure 11 P2G Flow Chart and Eight Element Key 164

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vii Six Fifth Grade Students’ Experien ces Participating in Active Gaming during Physical Education Class Lisa Witherspoon Hansen Abstract As technology and sedentary lif estyles have become an integral part of children's lives, so too has the prevalence of chil dhood obesity. Although video games are often associated with influencing sedentary beha viors, active gaming is a new genre that requires children to become phys ically active while playing the games. In this inquiry I explored six fifth grade stude nts' experiences participati ng in active gaming in physical education classes for 30 minutes, twice weekl y, during an eight week (16 sessions) study. I used qualitative methods including intervie ws, journal entries, and observational field notes. Analysis of data revealed st udents have a “Persistence to Game” (P2G) when participating in active gaming during physic al education. When students experience P2G I considered them to be at “play” demonstrati ng play-like attributes. Persistence to game includes eight elements. Although not all elements need to be present at the same time, when these elements interact, students experi ence flow. The discoveries of this study suggest active gaming can be an appropriate tool used in 21st century physical education classes that appeals and is desirable to students.

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1 Chapter 1 Introduction Technology has undeniably become an inte gral part of society (Lindstrom, & Seybold, 2003). The television has taken sec ond place to other fasc inating electronic devices such as computers, cell phones, iP ods, and video games. Children now grow up in a culture that functions around the utiliz ation of appealing and motivating technology driven gadgets; many of which are screen-bas ed activities. The amount of time children engage in screen-based activ ities is astonishing. Children between the ages of 8 to 18 spend more than 44.5 hours per week in front of a computer, television, or game screen (Kaiser Foundation, 2005) and 49 minutes per day are spent playing video games alone (Roberts, Foehr, & Rideout, 2005). Children su ggest these screendr iven activities are fun, which is significant give n that 86.2% of adolescents consider having fun as the single most important element in th eir lives (Lindstrom, & Seybold, 2003). One popular screen-based activity that children appear to enjoy is the video game. Eighty-three percent of American children betw een the ages of 8 – 18 have one or more video game consoles, such as Sony Pl aystation, Microsoft Xbox, and Nintendo GameCube (Roberts, Foehr, & Rideout, 2005). Eighty-six percent of children also have access to computers at home and 91% of those play video games on their computers (Chapman & DeBell, 2003). The amount of the time children spent playing videogames

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2 nearly doubled from 1991 to 2003 from 29 to 49 minutes per day (Foehr, Rideout, & Roberts, 2005). Because of the amount of time this generation spends playing video games, it is often referred to as the “Gamer Generation”, including over 90 million children (Beck & Wade, 2004). Furthermore, as technology graphics continue to improve, video games will likely remain a de sired part of the Gamer generation’s lives (Lindstrom, & Seybold, 2003). Physical Activity and Obesity The amount of time this generation spe nds playing sedentary screen-based activities leaves little time to engage in other activities, including the recommended amount of daily physical activit y. This lack of physical activ ity contributes to a serious condition, childhood obesity. During the past several decades, childhood obesity has risen greatly worldwide. Over the past 30 y ears, the prevalence of overweight children ages six -11 increased fro m 6.5% to 18.8% and in children ages 12-19 from 5.0% to 17.4% (CDC, 2008). Additionally, one in three children is considered overweight or obese (CDC, 2008). Obesity in childhood causes a wide range of serious complications and is strongly associated with co morbid c onditions such as cardiov ascular disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, coronary artery dis ease, hypertension, stroke, and heart failure (Daniels, 2006; Weiss & Caprio, 2005), Obesity also increases the risk of premature illness and death later in life (Ebbeling Pawlak & Ludwig, 2002). According to the CDC (2008), obesity is the number one health threat in the United States and the second preventable cause of death next to smoki ng. Unfortunately, the number of children who face overweight and obesity today continues to escalate with no apparent indication of it ending (CDC, 2004).

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3 The rise of overweight and obesity in ch ildren parallels the rise in the lack of engagement in physical activity (CDC, 2004). Not only is it known that physical activity levels decline throughout the lifespan (Caspers en, & Meritt, 1995), but research indicates that a decrease in physical activity levels occurs greatest duri ng adolescent years (Caspersen, Pereira, & Curran, 2000; Van Mechelen, Twisk, Post, Snel, & Kemper, 2000). National organizations s uggest that children obtain at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity on al most every day of the week (NASPE, 2006; CDC, 2008). Some children, such as those with risk for overweight, may need more than 60 minutes per day in order to maintain or re gain adequate health status. Many children do not acquire even the minimum amount of physical activity recommenced and needed on a daily basis (NASPE, 2006). Physical Education and Physical Activity Lack of physical activity in children is a result of various factors; one of which may result from unfavorable experiences in the physical educa tion classroom (Dyson 1995). Although children gene rally enjoy physical educ ation class (Dyson, 1995), physical education classes are di fficult places for children w ho are not physically skillful and fit (Suomi, Collier, & Brown, 2003). It is inarguable that individual differences in motor ability exert a significan t influence on children’s decisi ons to engage in activities in physical education classes (Solomon & L ee, 2008). Children who have difficulty executing tasks are at risk for lower perceptions of competence if they struggle to succeed when others can perform motor skills easily leading to negative e xperiences in physical education (Solomon & Lee, 2008). When childre n have negative experiences in physical education classes they are more likely to a void engaging in physical activities, which can

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4 have negative consequences fo r their long-term health, and th ey may be at risk for low self-esteem because of low perceptions of competence in physical activities (Solomon & Lee, 2008). Based on National Standards, physic al education teachers should create an environment that is individualized to meet th e needs of all children in order for physical activity experiences to be enjoyable (NASPE, 2006). After all, enjoyment is one of the most important characteristics of qual ity physical educati on programs (Wechsler, McKenna, Lee, & Dietz, 2004). The vision of NASPE, which reflects the goa l of physical education curriculum is to guide children in becoming healthy a nd physically active for a lifetime (NASPE, 2008). Regrettably, research shows that chil dren become less physically active as they progress in age (Sallis, Alcaraz, McKenz ie, & Hovell, 1991; Telama & Yang, 2000) indicating that physical education programs do not accomplish this important goal. Research suggests that experiences in physical education that meet children’s need for fun and accomplishment will encourage futu re participation in physical activity (Robertson-Wilson, Baker, Derbinshyre, & Cote, 2003; Weiss, 2000). Physical Activity and Video Games Finding ways to motivate children to be physically active can be difficult task with this generation, yet one of great importa nce. According to research children choose to spend more time playing video games in stead of engaging in traditional physical activities. However, in this era largely influenced by technology, a new movement has emerged that involves video game play and physical activity. This contemporary phenomenon is called active gaming and is growing in popularity (Bogost, 2007). Active games are technology driven activ ities that are “scr een-based” and requir e participants to

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5 engage in physical movement in order to play the games (Hansen & Sanders, 2008). This innovative genre of video games allows child ren to participate in the activities while being physically active. A not eworthy aspect of active gaming is that children do not believe they are exercising; they are simply playing video games (Hansen & Sanders, 2008). It is recognized that experiences in physical education, which meet children’s needs for fun and accomplishment within a social context will encourage future participation (Robertson-Wilson, Baker, Derbinshyre, & Cote, 2003; Weiss, 2000;). Research explains that this generation of children desires to engage in video games (Beck & Wade, 2004; Chapman & DeBell, 2003; Robert s, Foehr, & Rideout, 2005) Therefore, it is important to explore how children percei ve physical activity and video game play while participating in active gaming. Active ga ming is a relatively new field and more research is needed to understand the potent ial benefits active gaming activities may have on children. Yet, it is also important to unders tand how children feel about active gaming during physical education. In addition, there is value in learning how the physical education teacher’s perceptions assist in cl arifying the students’ experiences with active gaming in physical education class. Purpose Statement The purpose of my research was to expl ore the experiences of six fifth grade children as they participated in active gaming during physical education classes. In my inquiry I also explored the expe riences of three boys and thre e girls as they participated in active gaming.

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6 Research Questions Little research regarding active gaming in physical e ducation exists. Learning how children perceive this new phenomenon is important to better understand this popular physical activity. In orde r to facilitate an investigation of fift h grade children, the following research questions guided my study: 1. What are the experiences of six fifth grad e students as they participated in an eight week active gaming unit in physical education class? 2. What are the experiences of three fifth grade boys and three fifth grade girls as they participated in an eight week active gaming unit in physical education class? Significance of the Study This study is significant for many reasons. First there is a need to learn more about active gaming in and outside of the phys ical education classroom. This modern day movement is largely under researched that allows for limited information in the current literature regarding active gaming. It is important to understand if children enjoy and desire active gaming as a part of their physic al education class. This is significant because research suggests when children enjoy activities in physical education they are more likely to want to participate and l earn new motor skills (Weiss, 2000; RobertsonWilson, Baker, Derbinshyre, & Cote, 2003).In addition, although organizations suggest that children engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity almost every day of the week, many children do not meet th is goal. It is important to learn if

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7 participating in active gaming may help mo tivate children to become more physically active in and outside of school. Furthermor e, investigating fifth grade children’s experiences while participating in activ e gaming will contribute to curriculum development for future practice in the physic al education field. Due to the universally scarce research on active gaming, information on children’s perceptions will contribute not only to the physical educat ion field but also the innovati ve field of active gaming. The results from this study may be used to guide future research. Delimitations In this study, I used case methods. In research, delimitations address how the study is narrowed in scope (Creswell, 1998), and case studies are by nature limited in scope (Yin, 2003). As a result, this study is lim ited to respondents w ho participate in the case study. I purposely limited this study to six fifth grade students and in clude the physical education teacher. I limited partic ipation because of the nature of the data collected for this case study and the time required to analyze qualitative data. I selected an ample number of participants in order to secure appropriate triangulation and a sufficient inundation of data to secure the credibility of the information fabri cated. Additionally, if participants chose to withdraw from the study the investigation could have proceeded as a case study as the participants remaining would have been sufficient (Yin, 2003). Limitations Limitations in research are meant to identify potential weaknesses of a study (Creswell, 1998). One main limitation in case studies is that gene ralizations cannot be

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8 made to larger populations (Yin, 2003). I cons idered this restriction throughout the study (Locke, Spirduso, & Silverman, 2000). The follo wing potential limitations are specific to this case study: 1. The fifth grade students disc ussed in this study cannot be representative of the total population of fifth grade students. 2. Students were videotaped and obs erved only during eight weeks of participating in active gaming. Their e xperiences and interp retations of their experiences may not be representative of experiences encountered during the entire school year or in active gaming f acilities outside of ph ysical education. 3. The experiences learned from the partic ipation in the selected active gaming activities may not be representative to all active gaming activities or settings. 4. The physical education teacher is not experienced in implementing active gaming in physical education class. Although I am experienced in active gaming and will train and provide the physic al educator with the lesson plans, this eight week study was the first experience she had implementing active gaming in a physical education class. Therefore, the students’ experiences cannot be representative fo r all fifth grade students. Definition of Terms Active Gaming – Technology driven ac tivities that are “scree n-based” and require participants to engage in physical move ment in order to play the games.

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9 Dance Dance Revolution (DDR)– A dance pad that requires a player to move his or her feet to a set pattern that matches th e general rhythm or beat of a song. Children stand on a “dance pad” in front of a monitor or television screen a nd step, stomp, or hop in the direction (i.e., up, back, ri ght, and left) of the arrows th at scroll up the screen to the rhythm of the music. DDR improves cardiov ascular endurance and muscular endurance in the leg muscles. Exergaming – A term interchangeable with active gaming referring to technology driven activities that are “scr een-based” and require particip ants to engage in physical movement in order to play the games. Gamercize Gamercize A fitness machine w ith an interface to a video games console. When in motion the fitness machine provides a signal to the interface module. The interface allows interact ion between the game controller and games console only when the signal is present. Gamercize ther efore requires the player to remain in motion in order to play the game. Gamercize impr oves cardiovascular endur ance, balance, and coordination. Game Cycle – An upper body ergometer bike that requires children to control onscreen actions by pedaling and st eering the bike with their ar ms instead of the legs. The Game Cycle improves muscular strength a nd endurance in the arm muscles and also improves cardiovascular endurance. Gamer generation – The term used to identify the current generation of children that are passionate about play ing video games and spend more time playing video games then on other activities.

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10 Interactive Fitness – Non screen-based technology driven activities that require participants to use th eir bodies to play the game. An ex ample of an interactive fitness activity is 3 Kick. Non screen-based – Technology driven activities that do not require a television screen or other monitor in order to play th e game. All interactive fitness activities are non screen-based. Screen-based – Technology driven activities that require the use of a television screen or computer monitor in order for participants to play the game. All active gaming activities are screenbased. Virtual Bikes -Virtual bikes resembling traditional bi kes that allow children to control all on-screen actions including steering, speed, tu rns, firing mechanisms and other strategies. The faster the player pedals the faster the objects on the screen moves. The children also control the movement of th e objects on the screen using the steering wheel. Virtual bikes improve muscular strengt h and endurance in leg muscles and also improve cardiovascular endurance. Examples of virtual bikes include the Cateye GameBike, the Expresso Bike and the Dog Fighter Bike. Virtual Sports Virtual sports allow children to play tennis, go bowling, practice boxing, or participate in a baseball game insi de of a virtual world on a screen. Children may actually hold an implement that simulates a bat, racquet, or paddle as well as wear a pair of boxing gloves during game play. Virt ual sporting games are capable of providing children with a variety of health benefits—i ncluding cardiovascular endurance, muscular

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11 endurance, balance, and flexibility—dependi ng on the sport chosen. The Xavix console and Nintendo Wii are examples of virtual sport exergames. XrBoard – A balance board simulator that allows children to experience the thrill of snowboarding down a mountain or practici ng complicated skate boarding tricks. The XrBoard improves balance and coordination, muscular strength and endurance in leg muscles, as well as ankle flexibility and stability. 3 Kick – A martial arts simulator designed w ith resilient foam pads that can be punched, kicked, slapped, or tapped with shoes or bare feet, a fist, or an open palm. A light comes on in the pad and an audible tone sounds, when the pad is hit the light goes off and randomly another comes on. The scor e is based on speed as more points are allocated the faster children are able to get to a light. 3 Kick deve lops cardiovascular strength and endurance, muscular st rength and endurance, and flexibility. The Researcher Patton, 2002 suggests it is important for re searchers to understand who they are in order to understand how they can influence and learn from experi ences during fieldwork and data analysis. In this section, I explain how my background and professional experiences relate to the research in this inqui ry. I grew up in a small, southern town with my parents and one sibling, a sister. My pa rents worked very hard to provide a good lifestyle for both my sister and me, and they have always provided us strong support. Being physically active has always been a pa ssion of mine. Growi ng up I was involved in many traditional sports and outdoor activities. Although I had access to video games, the majority of my recreational time was spent playing games with the neighborhood kids in

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12 the backyard. Experiencing success playing bask etball as a child inspired me to keep practicing and to pursue a college basketba ll scholarship. I spent many summers on the basketball court practicing or traveling to t ournaments instead of at the amusement park or the beach with my friends in order to achieve this goal. In addition, I was an organized and driven student. I strived to be the best in both academics and athletics as possible. As a result, I received a collegiate basketball scholarship to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. Initially, I desired to pursu e coaching as a profession. After becoming involved in the Physical Education program at Virginia Tech, I realized a sec ond aspiration I had was to work with people, including children and young adults, in the field of physically activity. I received a Bachelor’s degree in K-12 Physical Education and taught elementary and middle school physical educa tion and health for four years. Through various experiences teaching, I learned my u ltimate goal was to pursue a Ph.D. in the field of Curriculum and Instruction in physical education. Therefore, I went back to school and received my Master’s degree in He alth Promotion. Following this degree, I assisted in opening the first children’s fac ility based on active gaming activities in New Jersey. Having worked with children of varyi ng ability levels, I realized that my passion to be active and competitive and my natural ability regarding athletics was far from common nor shared by many children; yet, seeing children finding success while participating in active gaming influenced my decision to pursue a Ph.D. with a research focus in active gaming. In the Department of Physical E ducation and Exercise Science at the University in which I studied my Ph.D., a nd at a local elementary school there were

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13 empty classrooms available used to create active gaming research labs. I and another colleague worked with an active gaming compan y in order to develop both research labs. The active gaming lab on the University campus was developed through equipment donations from various manufact ures that worked with the active gaming company we had collaborated with for the project. The ac tive gaming lab at the elementary school was developed after having received federal funding from an earmark. Through the relationship with the active gaming comp any, I met my husband who also shares a passion for active gaming. Prior to beginning this res earch, I conducted three pilo t studies involving children in the active gaming lab on the University campus. In addition, I presented at State, National, and International conferences as well as at invitational events including a Congressional Summit on the topic of ac tive gaming. My previous involvement and experience with active gaming helped support Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval to conduct this research. The IRB is a formatte d application that rese archers must fill out related to how they plan to conduct their study. The main purpose of the IRB is to monitor the ethical intent and procedures used by the res earcher in order to provide protection to the participan ts involved in the study. Organization of Remaining Chapters In the remaining chapters, I present si gnificant information regarding my inquiry. Chapter 2 includes a detailed re view of existing l iterature related to the importance of understanding experiences regard ing active gaming in physical education class. Also in Chapter 2 you will find information supporting th e various reasons for the growth of the active gaming field, and a theoretical framew ork which will provide a foundation for this

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14 study. Chapter 3 provides a description and e xplanation of data collection methods and data analysis procedures I used in the study.

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15 Chapter 2 Literature Review The purpose of my research was to expl ore the experiences of six fifth grade students as they participated in active gaming during physical education classes. In my inquiry I also explored the expe riences of three boys and thre e girls as they participated in active gaming. A review of literature suggests there are no studies that investigate the experiences students have during physical e ducation while particip ating in an active gaming environment. In order for me to provide a foundation helpful when designing, conducting, and analyzing this re search, the literature review encompassed seven areas. The first section reviews childhood obesity. The second section provides a review on students’ lack of engagement in physical act ivity. The third secti on reviews the current generation’s involvement with technology, spec ifically video games. The fourth section discusses active gaming includi ng current research involving active gaming. Sections five and six provide information on children’s atti tudes toward physical education and gender appropriateness of physical activities. Section eight provides a review of several theories enveloping the nature and characteristics of students and active gaming. These theories were helpful when I analyzed the data collected for the study. Childhood Obesity One common problem related to lifestyle today is being overweight. Studies show there is a 50% increase in the prevalence of obesity si nce the 1960’s. Childhood obesity

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16 has reached epidemic proportions and its prev alence is increasing (Freedman et al, 1997). Worldwide, approximately 22 million children aged <5 are overweight (Deckelbaum & Williams, 2001). Over the past 30 years, the pr evalence of obesity in children ages 6 -11 increased from 6.5% to 18.8% and in child ren ages 12-19 from 5.0% to 17.4% (CDC, 2008). According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, recent data suggests that a third of American children a nd teens – about 25 million kids – are either overweight or close to becoming so, the highe st number ever recorded (CDC, 2008). In addition, about two-thirds of adults, about 136 million peopl e, are overweight or obese (CDC, 2008). It has been estimated that 80% of obese adolescents become obese adults (Schonfeld-Warden & Warden, 1997). Obesity in adolescence predicts a broad range of adverse health effects in adulthood (Dallal et al., 1992). Obesity is cons idered a major modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease and is strongly associ ated with comorbid conditions such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus, coronary artery disease, hypertension, stroke and heart failure (Eckel & Krauss, 1998) The seriousness of childhood obesity is illustrated by remarkable increases in type 2 diabetes among youths (Daniels et al., 1996). If this trend continues, proj ections indicate that one-third of children born in the year 2010 will eventually develop type 2 diabetes (Boyle et al, 2003); thus emphasizing the urgency of finding solutions for reducing the current epidemic of youth obesity. Behavioral strategies aimed at decreasi ng obesity are based on the first law of thermodynamics, which states that the amount of stored energy is equal to the difference between energy intakes and energy expended (W atts et al., 2005). Small imbalances of

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17 energy intake and expenditure, which favor en ergy storage over a long period of time, are principally responsible for fat deposition. Although many factors influence overwei ght and obesity in cluding hereditary tendencies, environmental and behavioral f actors, and ageing (Mar tinez, 2000); dietary factors and physical activity patterns strongl y influence the energy balance equation and are modifiable factors. These conditions are largely preventable through sensible lifestyle changes such as finding ways to encourag e this generation of children to replace sedentary activities with physical activities. A major report on overweight and obesity published in 1997 recommended that, in order to maintain healthy weight, children need to be involved in physical activity rather than dietary restriction b ecause of fears relating to the adverse effects of inappropriate ea ting patterns, particul arly during adolescence (Grau, Meyer, & Moon, 1999). It is reported that the increase in fat mass in children and adolescents has occurred in tandem with a decline in reported time fo r exercise (CDC, 2000). Physical inactivity, or a lack of regular exercise, contributes to a variety of h ealth concerns. Of all United States deaths from major chronic disease, 23% are linked to sedentary lifestyles that now begin at childhood (Bulwar, 2004). Given that non-physically active children are more likely to become non-physically active adults (Powell & Dysinger, 1987) it has been suggested that encouraging the development of physically activity habits in children, and reinforcing these habits in adolescents, he lps establish patterns that continue into adulthood (Riddoch, 2000).

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18 Physical Activity Physical activity levels decline throu ghout the lifespan (Caspersen, & Meritt, 1995), and a significant decrease in physical activity levels occurs during adolescent years (Caspersen, Pereira, & Curran, 2000; Van Mechelen, Twisk, Post, Snel, & Kemper, 2000). In the National Institute of Child H ealth and Human Deve lopment longitudinal study of Early Child Care and Youth Deve lopment, from 1991-2007, 1032 participants (517 boys and 515 girls) ages 9yrs and 15 yrs we re monitored 4 to 7 days in order to measure the amount of time the participants spend in moderate to vigorous activity (MVPA). The results demonstrated that starting at 9yrs MVPA was 3 hours per day including weekday and weekends. Weekday MVPA decreased by 38 minutes per year while weekend MVPA decrease d by 41 minutes per year. By age 15 adolescents were engaged in MVPA for 49 minut es per weekday and 35 minutes per weekend day (Nader, et al., 2008). In addition, boys spent 18 more minutes per weekday and 13 more minutes per weekend in MVPA than girls (Nader et al., 2008). Recommended guidelines suggest that children obtain at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity on almost every day of the week (NASPE, 2004; AHA, 2007); yet, many children are not acquiring even the minimum amount of phys ical activity needed on a daily basis (NASPE, 2006 ). Physical activity is associated with better cognitive performance and helps maintain cognitive function (Weuve, Kang, Manson, Breteler, Ware, and Grodstein, 2004). In addition, a physically active lifestyle can help prevent the development of many chronic diseases including cardiovascular dise ase and obesity. Therefore, it is important to understand ways to help children incorporat e more physical activity in their daily lives.

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19 One way is for children to develop motor sk ills that serve as the foundation for common forms of physical activity. It is widely be lieved that fundamental movement skills and habitual physical activity are related in childhood and adolescence (Booth, Okely, & Patterson, 2001; Hannah et al, 2006).There is a significant relationship between fundamental movement skills and self-repor ted participation in organized physical activity in adolescents (Booth, et al., 2001). It is clear th at children with developed motor abilities are more physically active and less likely to be sedentary than children with poorer coordination. Motor skills or alternative movement st rategies are essential to a child’s development, and they contribute to an active lifestyle duri ng every stage of life (Davis, Crim, & Leppo, 2000). Incorporating the fundamentals of movement into children’s daily activities can enhance cognitive and a ffective skills and build a foundation for an active, health ful lifestyle. However, lack ing the necessary movement skills is only one of many reasons children are physically inactive. A major cause for the decline in physical activity in chil dren is the reduction in physical education in American schools. Between 1991 and 2003, enrollment of high school students in daily physic al education classes fell from 41.6% to 28.4%. Even recess has been reduced or eliminated in some elementary schools (Davis et al., 2006). Only one-third of states require physical educati on for elementary and middle school students according to a new report by NASPE and the American Heart Association (Dotinga, 2006). One reason for the reduction of phys ical education in schools is the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Ac t. This act has pushed schools to focus on subjects that are routinely te sted and forcing school admini strators to think more “seat” time is better for education, l eaving little time for physical activity. Unfortunately, 65%

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20 of children ages 9-13yrs. report that they ar e not physically active outside of school hours (Davis et al., 2006); indicating the importanc e physical education may play in providing opportunities for children to engage in daily physical activity. The decrease in daily physical activity in schools may be a contribu ting factor to the increase in weight gain among American children. The decrease in physical ac tivity in children can also be explained by the growing concern of safety in communities (Ginsburg, et al., 2006). In the past, children spent time after school hours engaging in physical activity through pl aying in the neighborhood and parks located close to home. Due to the grow ing safety concerns today, children in these unsafe communities are not allowed to play outside of the home unless they are under close adult supervision and pr otection; resulting in a reduc tion in the opportunities to engage in active play (Ginsburg et al., 2006). Furthermore, as technology continues to develop, children spend more time engaged in sedentary activities such as com puter use, video game play, and television viewing. American society is being referred to as a “screen-based” culture due to the amount of time individuals spend with techno logy involving screens. Unfortunately, the use of screens is considered another reason children lack the n ecessary daily physical active. These screen-based activities (comput ers, video games, iPods, and televisions) are associated with sedentary activity a nd are taking up time trad itionally used for physical activity. Children consume approxima tely 40 hours of media each week, mostly on screens (Olfman, 2005). Walking 10,000 steps a day is recommended by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness in or der to produce long term health benefits (Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, 2004) The American Journal of Public Health

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21 published a study that found for each hour of te levision watched, there is an average of 144 fewer steps that are taken decreasing the pr obability that the desirable level of 10,000 steps a day is reached (Nagourney, 2006) Television is just one of the many scr een-based sedentary activities in which children engage. Computer and video games have become a popular screen-based activity with the current generation. Video games are c onsidered an enemy to physical activity advocates as they consume children’s attenti on typically in sedent ary activity (Mileham, 2008). Regardless of the need for children to be active instead of e ngaging in video game play, video games are enjoyable, desirable, and children are motiv ated to play them. Video Games and the Gamer Generation We live in a technology driven society wher e electronic games, especially video games, have become a global attraction for children. In fact, 267.8 million computer and video games were sold in 2007 (Entertainment Software Association, 2008). Due to this fascination with technology-driven games, the current generation of children is being called the gamer generation. The total size of the gamer generation is already far greater than that of our previous generation of baby boomers. According to the game industry and bureau census data, it is estimated that there are over 90 million in the gamer generation compared to 77 million baby boom ers (Lindstrom & Seybold, 2003). As the gamer generation continues to adapt to this electronic lifestyle, the children are visibly and measurable different than that of previous generations (Beck & Wade, 2004; Mileham, 2008).

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22 The United States leads the way with intern et saturation of 72.8 pe rcent while 45% of urban gamers worldwide use the internet regularly. In addition, surveys show an astounding 68.3 percent of gamers who access the internet buy or download games to play online (Lindstrom & Seybold, 2003). Eight y-three percent of American children between the ages of 8 – 18 have one or more video game consoles such as Sony Playstation, Microsoft Xbox, and Nintendo GameCube (Foehr, Rideout, & Roberts, 2005). Eighty-six percent of children also have access to computers at home and 91% of those play video games on their computer s (Chapman & DeBell, 2003). The amount of the time children spent playing videogames nearly doubled from 1991 to 2003 from 29 to 49 minutes per day (Foehr, Rideout, & Roberts, 2005). What is so intriguing about video games th at has the gamer generation attracted to playing? Koster (2005) suggest s that the attraction to games is simply instinctive while Beck and Wade (2004) suggest “games deli ver a ’reality’ where the rules are quite different from any found out he re in the rest of the world” (p.11). Games are a mix of entertainment content technology that are prove n attention getters, respond to the player, reward technical skills, and are pleasingly simple allowing players to escape from boredom (Beck and Wade, 2004). Although video games are often a ssociated with the simple pleasure of frivolous play, they actually provide children with lear ning opportunities (Gee, 2005; Koster, 2005). Video games are great practice for real life Games are models of reality, and teach players about the environment and spatia l awareness (Koster, 2005; Mileham, 2008). Videogames are more effective than just wa tching television because they instantly engage the user in the decision maki ng process (Beck & Wade, 2004; Gee, 2005).

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23 Specifically, they provide a beneficial tr aining environment for real life where collaborative problem solving is required. Wh en playing games, gamers make a lot of choices, in a wide range of settings, in a short period of time and they seem to automatically care about the outcome. The only big difference between games and re ality is the risks are lower with games (Koster, 2005). Therefore, another positive characteristic of gamers is they learn failure is acceptable (Beck and Wade, 2004). Failure is a huge part of the gaming experience. Before winning most games, gamers will have failed hundreds of times. Because of this, gamers believe failure is part of the process which leads to success. Their attitude toward failure allows them to accept more risk a nd feel comfortable making mistakes, because from their perspective the risk is just pa rt of the game. Allowing children to make mistakes seems to be a more effective way to learn than trying to constantly teach them (Koster, 2005). The reasons children engage in an activity matter; children want an activity to be relevant and enjoyable. Fun is defined as a source of enjoyment. Fun from games arises out of mastery of learning skills and the so lving of puzzles within the game. “…with games, learning is the drug” (Koster, 2005, p. 40). School may not be fun because it is taken more serious—it is not practice, it is real. If children are pushed by parents, teachers, or other external demands, they are more likely to resist the request (Koster, 2005). This generation of children is less ac cepting to authoritative figures teaching styles and would rather work with another peer or gain assistance via technology (Beck and Wade, 2004). Video and computer games ar e evolving to offer this assistance to

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24 children. In fact, “that’s what games are, in the end. Teachers. Fun is just another word for learning” (Koster, 2005, p. 45). Unfortunately, video games are considered sedentary activities occupying children’s time that would typically be sp ent being more physic ally active. As technology continues to develop, a new genre of video games have emerged. This new concept is called active gaming and is turning traditional video game play into a physically active activity. Physical Activity and Gaming Electronic media is such an integral pa rt of life that it no longer holds any significant attraction in and of itself, especially to the gamer generation. In many ways, the heavy emphasis on technology we saw in the 1990’s has shifted. The computer with its valuable and intriguing abilities is now th e vehicle for other activities. The emphasis is now on games, and how best to move th rough the levels, what modifications are available, and the release date of the next version. The in troduction of interactivity in games is set to follow the same pattern of excitement that the computer provided, the only difference being that the pe riod of market saturation w ill be shorter (Lindstrom & Seybold, 2003). In the past, the emphasis during physical activity was on the intensity of the activity because the underlying philosophy was that the hard er children are exercising, the greater the physical benefits. This appro ach has discouraged an entire generation not to participate in daily voluntary and involunt ary physical activity. Today’s emphasis is on less intense, more moderate amounts of physi cal activity in hopes to encourage children to make physical activity a regular and sustaina ble part of their lives Regardless, children

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25 must view activity as a fun way to learn and grow or they are less likely to adopt it as a lifestyle. Hence the reason that having fun was rate d by 86.2 percent as the most important element in adolescents ’ lives (Lindstrom & Seybold, 2003). The current technology revolution has been cr iticized as being a significant cause of childhood obesity because it has captured th e interest of children and has been adapted by them as a fun yet sedentar y lifestyle. Videogames have long been considered an enemy to advocates of children being physical active; however, it is now possible they may join teams to assist one another in this in activity crisis. There is a new genre of video games that requires players to physically move their bodies in order to control the actions in the game. The use of video game based technology-driven activities in order to increase physical activity levels in chil dren is called active gaming or exergaming (Hansen & Sanders, 2008). Active gaming require s children to use their bodies to play the games instead controlling the game in a se dentary form. This innovative movement is trying to bridge the gap between exercise a nd fun by suggesting that children can become more physically active and reduce obesity leve ls while still playing the videogames they desire. Although active gaming has just recently gained popularity, the concept of combining gaming and exercise surfaced almost 30 years ago (Bogost, 2007). Active gaming became more fashionable as the tec hnology revolution began to take hold of society rapidly in the late 1990’s. During this time, the capabilities of gaming consoles increased along with graphic quality, and with these improvements, prices began to fall. In 1998, Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) was introduced to the Japanese video arcades and quickly migrated to the Unite d States. By the year 2005, there were 90

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26 official versions of DDR including those made for the resi dential game console. DDR is often considered the activity that has pioneered the active gaming industry. The popularity it has received, along with the gr owing epidemic of childhood obesity, has encouraged other manufacturers to support active gaming by produc ing new activities that continue to improve in quality. Since this movement began, many activities have been developed, such as virtual bikes, XrBo ard, Cybex Trazer, Game Cycle, and virtual sporting games. Health clubs, YMCA’s, JCC’ s, recreation centers, and schools have gained interest in active gaming and have inco rporated the concept into their facilities in hopes that children will be encouraged to become more physically active. According to Hansen and Sanders (2008) active gaming activities have been deemed by children as being: 1. Fun – Children do not even realize they are exercising. Children may be sweating but they are smiling and seem to enjoy the games. 2. Challenging – These activities offer a va riety of self-motivating levels that children are able to progre ss through at their own pace. 3. Motivating – Walk into a room full of active gaming activities and you are immediately immersed in an atmosphere full of lights, noise, and plenty of action. Children are drawn to this environment. 4. Developmentally Appropriate – Active ga ming activities are designed to meet the needs for all ability levels. Success is essential for children to continue to be physical activity and active gaming fosters such success. 5. Individualized – Active gaming pr ovides a non-competitive environment without a focus on team sports. Children can create the competition level desired at their own discretion. 6. Contemporary – Children are living in a technology driven society that has ultimately changed every facet of the way we live from the way we think, work, and even the way we exercise. If we cannot beat this new generation, why not join them and bring technolo gy-based physical activities to our children.

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27 What does an active gaming environm ent look like? Imagine standing on a snowboard flying down a snowy mountain or dancing your heart aw ay stepping to the beats of your favorite music while earning va luable points that will advance you to the next challenging level. You may even choos e to jump on a bike and race a friend through an off-road course. These are just a few of the experiences children may have while participating in active gaming. Research in Active Gaming Although active gaming is a new concept in physical educatio n and largely under researched, research continues to emerge suppor ting these modern day physical activities. There is evidence demonstrating that playi ng active computer games uses significantly more energy than playing sedentary computer games ( Mellecker, R., McManus, A. 2008; Graves, Stratton, Ridgers, & Cable, 2008), and when playing active video games compared to sedentary video games energy expenditure more than doubles (LanninghamFoster et al., 2006). Maddison, Mhurchu, Jull, Jiang, Pr apavessis, & Rodgers (2007) found playing active electronic games resulted in moderate to high energy expenditure in children. Twenty-one children, ages 10-14yr s (11 males and 10 females) participated. Energy expenditure was significantly greater in the active videogames compared with the nonactive video gaming conditions. The activ e video games resulted in significantly greater heart rate and activity counts compar ed with the non-active resting condition and there were no differences found with genders. Additional research with active gaming activities include evidence that video game bikes are effective in enhancing exer cise adherence, and significantly improve several markers of health status in sedentar y college-aged males (Warburton et al., 2007).

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28 Widan, McDonald, and Abresch (2006) found that the Game Cycle, an upper body ergometer active game, is an adequate ex ercise device to improve oxygen uptake and maximum work capability in adolescents. This study also reported the video game component is enjoyable and provi des a motivation to exercise. Dance Dance Revolution is a popular exer game used in schools and health facilities globally. A study with 22 overwei ght and normal weight children ages 11-17 found that DDR increases players’ heart rates so that they obtain an aerobic workout and gain cardio-physiological benefits even at the easies t levels of the game (Unnithan et al., 2005). The study found that all children raised their heart rate w ithin the range for developing and maintaining cardio-respiratory fitness. The overweight children expended more energy to play than did normal weight children, but all raised their heart rate enough to reach an effective aerobic workout level. Another study looked at the exercise intensity of playing DDR at a medium level of difficulty and found th at it met official standards for developing and maintaining car dio-respiratory fitness in an active and aerobically fit population (Tan et al., 2002). A third study, with 35 adolescents, found that DDR raised participants ’ heart rates to double their re sting level during a 45-minute period, on average, and this is evidence that participation in DDR ca n achieve and sustain an aerobic exercise effect thr oughout a workout period (Hindery, 2005) West Virginia Public Schools conducted a study that identified the impacts of the DDR on students in 20 West Virginia schools that used DDR in physical education and health classes, and found that some of the children lost fi ve to ten pounds after playing the game every day during the first few week s (Barker, 2005). Another West Virginia public school study with 35 overweight children ages 7 to 12 found that playing DDR at

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29 least five times a week led children feeli ng more coordinated, less winded, and less selfconscious. The children developed stronger self-esteem, on averag e, improved their aerobic fitness, and reduced their chances for developing diseases associated with obesity, such as diabetes and heart disease. St udy participants’ parent s reported that most of the children stopped gaini ng their typical three or f our pounds a month and, with increased self-confidence, started exercising and playing sports regularly in daily life (Brubaker, 2006). Based on the positive resu lts of these studies, the state of West Virginia has now included DDR in all 765 public schools and is developing a schoolbased DDR curriculum. A study by Yang and Graham (2005) supporte d participation in DDR when they found that all but two children voluntarily chose to play DDR the designated 45 minutes allotted for activity time. This study also sugge sted that playing DDR can be classified as moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) according to NAPSE guidelines. Another study suggests that ADHD child ren demonstrated improved reading comprehension when they participated in Dance Dance Revolution (McGraw, 2006). In addition, a pilot study examined the feasibility of playing DDR in participants home to increase physical activity time and decrease sede ntary screen time. Results demonstrated that DDR reduces sedentary screen time and ma y facilitate slight increases in vigorous physical activity (Maloney, Carter, Kelsey, Ma rks, Paez, Rosenberg, Catellier, Hamer, & Sikich (2008). It is important that active gaming be fu rther researched to provide evidence that children enjoy the activities and are motiv ated to engage in them. Understanding

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30 children’s attitude toward physical activity is important in order to provide them with enjoyable experiences which may fo ster future participation. Children’s Attitudes towa rd Physical Education Although physical education programs may va ry in what is taught to children, a common denominator for most programs of value is the belief that enjoyment is one of the most important characteristics of quali ty physical education programs (Wechsler, McKenna, Lee, & Dietz, 2004). It is recognized that experi ences in physi cal education that meet children’s needs for fun and accomplishment within a social context will encourage future participation (Weiss, 2000; Robertson-Wilson, Baker, Derbinshyre, & Cote, 2003). In addition, research has s hown children who find physical education exciting and fun are more likely to learn new motor skills and accomplish a level of competence (Ntoumanis, 2001). This notion is significant given children are often more motivated to engage in physical activity if they feel competent in the skills needed to perform a task (Sallis, Prochaska, & Taylor, 2000; Ferrer-Caja & Weiss, 2000; Ntoumanis, 2001; Weiss & Ebbeck, 1996; Valle rand et al., 1993). Clearly, success or failure in performing curriculum tasks can infl uence children’s att itudes toward physical education (Graham, 1995). Sollerhed, A. C.; Apitzsch, E., Rastam, L., & Ejlertsson, G., (2008) conducted a study to identify factors asso ciated with, self-reported physical activity (PA), selfperceived physical fitness and, competence in physical education (PE) among children. The study included physical tests, anthropometric measur es and a questionnaire. The study group comprised, 206 children (114 boys and 92 girls, aged 8-12 years). Correlations between children’s self-perceived competence in PE and actual measured

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31 physical performance, between the, self-perceive d fitness any endurance performance and, between self-reported PA and physical performance could be seen as a form of concurrent validity. One implication suggested from this study for the physical education teacher might be that children’s own perceptions of their physical competence and activity levels could be used to roughly identify groups of children who are at risk of remaining physically inactive and therefore mo re prone to be unhealthy. In another study by Couturier, L. E., Chepko, S., &Coughlin, M.A., (2007), 5000 students were surveyed, to collect data about attit udes toward physical education. The data was analyzed for gender differences, and while boys and girl s responded similarly on many items, there were some significant differences based on gender. Boys and girls differed on activity preferences as well as responses to environmental and social obstacles. Girls were more interested in cooperative activities, fitness, and dance than boys. Girls also cited logistical issues, such as discomfort with showering and changing, as barriers to participation at higher rates than boys. This st udy suggests that physical educ ators need to consider the differing needs of girls and boys when planni ng and implementing the curriculum if they are to be successful in attracting and retaini ng the interest and participation of all their students. Additionally, another study investigated the relationships between perceived athletic competence and the fear of negative evaluation (FNE) in physical education, specifically with gender differences a nd with primary and secondary schools. The participants were 192 childre n in three primary schools (N =85, mean age=9.51.1 years) and two secondary schools (N=107, mean ag e=14.50.8 years). Results indicated Girls had a higher FNE but lower perceptions of at hletic competence than did boys. Older girls had a higher FNE and lower perceived comp etence than the remaining three groups.

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32 Additionally, a significant and reverse but w eak correlation was observed between girls' perceived athletic competence and FNE. The fi ndings suggest that girls with a high FNE report lower perceptions of th eir athletic competence. Indi viduals who are high in FNE behave in ways to avoid the prospect of be ing evaluated negatively. However, they may seek feedback from significant others as a si gnal that unfavorable evaluations have been avoided. Therefore, positive, en couraging feedback used in physical education may foster feelings of competence in boys and girls and could reduce girls' social anxiety (Nicola, Della, & Stuart, 2007). These studies indicate there is an importance for physical education teachers to understand the perceptions of children in order to provide the most successful experiences in phys ical education possible. A variety of studies have ai med to learn children’s perceptions regarding physical education experiences by h earing their voices through inte rviews. Sanders and Graham (1995) reported that discussions with four kindergarten children suggested that children have a relentless pers istence to play when physical education environments are less structured by the teacher, such as with st retching activities. Dys on (1995) learned that children enjoy their physical education experiences more when the emphasis is on personal goal setting and not comparing onese lf to others. Dyson also learned that children are willing to express thoughts, feelin gs, and experiences when they had more choice and a voice with the inst ruction. Hopple and Graham (1995) wanted to discover what students of varying fitness levels knew and understood about the mile run test during physical fitness testing in physical education class. Results indicated that most students do not have a clear understanding of why they take the mile run and many students dislike taking the mile-run test so mu ch that they become “test dodgers”. In

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33 addition, many students suggested they would change the mile run test to make it more fun if possible. Portman (1995) studied 13 6th grade children and learned that these children did not feel physical education was fun because they were not highly skilled. Portman suggested that it is reasonable to beli eve that if low-skilled children experienced some success and received support from teachers and their peers, they might experience physical education classes as fun. These studies suggest th at hearing ch ildren’s voices about their physical education experiences can and should be valuable for physical education teachers when providing childre n with appropriate physically active opportunities. Graham (1995) discussed an interesting analogy regarding education’s similarity to a business model. His main goal was to express the concept that education should “…satisfy its consumers, in this case th e youngsters attending sc hool” (364). Graham posed questions about students as the cons umers in physical education, “What would they be thinking and saying about their phys ical education programs? Would they be satisfied consumers, or would they take ‘the ir business’ to fitne ss clubs and after-school programs at the YMCA or a gymnastics or dance studio?” (p.364). Graham further discussed the fact that as a profession, physical educa tion teachers do not know how students feel about their programs and this needs to be addresse d. He mentioned if a company were to guess at what the consum ers liked or disliked about products, the company would more than likely not be in bus iness long. Therefore, it is important for physical education teachers to find out how children feel about physical education in order to redesign and continue to improve the curriculum to satisfy the children.

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34 Gender Appropriateness in Physical Activity Another area of concern is gender diffe rences related to physical education experiences. It is important to unders tand how and why girls and boys may not experience physical education equally. It is widely stated that phys ical activity levels decline during adolescent years for both boys and girls (Caspersen, Pereira, & Curran, 2000; Van Mechelen, Twisk, Post, Snel, & Ke mper, 2000); yet, well established that boys’ physical activity levels are greater than girls (USDHHS, 1996, 2000; Sherar, Esliger, Baxter-Jones,& Tremblay, 2007; Thompson, Campagna, Rehman, Murphy, Rasmussen, & Ness, 2005; Bungum, Dowda, Trost, & Pate, 2000). A Canadian study with normal-weight children (N=1057), f ound boys in the grades 3, 7, and 11 spend 9%, 22%, and 27% more time in moderate to vigo rous physical activity (MVPA) than girls (Thompson, Campagna, Rehman, Murphy, Rasmussen, & Ness, 2005). A large sample (N = 2185) European Youth Heart Study demonstr ated that 9and 15-yr.-old boys spend 20% and 36% more time than girls in daily moderate physical activity (Riddoch, Andersen, & Wedderkopp, 2004). Another study measured MVPA in 410 children (194 boys and 207 girls) using accelerometers. Continuous MVPA (CMVPA) and vigorous physical activity (VPA) measures were also derived from the accelerometer data. Boys had higher MVPA levels at 10-13 years, high er CMVPA at 9-12 year s and higher VPA at 9-13 years than girls (Sherar, Esliger, Baxter-Jones, & Tremblay, 2007). More specifically, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development was a longitudinal study from 1991-2007 with 1032 participants (517 boys and 515 girls) at ages 9yrs and 15 yrs. The researchers measured the mean MVPA minutes per day, determined by 4 to 7 days of monitored

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35 activity. The results demonstrated that boys spend 18 more minutes per weekday and 13 more minutes per weekend in MVPA than girls (Nader, Bradley, Houts, McRitchie, O’Brien, 2008). For children to voluntarily participate in physical activity, both boys and girls suggest the activity needs to enjoyable a nd in a social environment (Weiss, 2000; Robertson-Wilson et al., 2003). Therefore, expe riences in physical education that meet children’s needs for fun and accomplishment w ithin a social context should encourage future participation. Yet, one reason ch ildren do not find activities enjoyable and therefore do not engage in them is they lack the competency needed to enjoy the activity. In general, boys consistently report hi gher perceptions of th eir overall physical competence and are more positive than girls ab out their ability in most traditional sport and physical activities (Eccles, Wigfield, Fl anagan, Miller, Reum an, &Yee, 1989). Boys also tend to be more positive toward physical education and appear to enjoy competition and risk taking. Girls, in cont rast, often appear to enjoy onl y the aesthetics of movement experiences and the social aspects of class participation (Malina, Bouchard, & Bar-Or, 2004). Consequently, research suggests boys outperform girls in many motor tasks and the magnitude with the differences increases with age (Smoll & Schutz, 1990; Thomas & French, 1985). In addition to girls feeling less compet ent towards physical activity than boys, research shows physical maturity influences adolescent participation (Sallis, Prochaska, & Taylor, 2000; Sherar, Esliger, Baxter-Jone s, & Tremblay, 2007). As children begin to physically mature, physical activity levels have been shown to decrease (Sallis, Prochaska, & Taylor, 2000; Sherar, Esliger Baxter-Jones, & Tremblay, 2007. Because

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36 girls are known to mature more quickly than boys (Malina, Bouchard, Bar-Or, 2004), girls’ physical activity levels may be lo wer than boys duri ng adolescent years. At an early age, children learn gender st ereotypes and match their behavior to the information. They evaluate the appropria teness of their participation and effort accordingly (Solomon & Lee, 2008). Unfortunatel y, girls tend to perceive themselves as less competent regarding physical activity resulti ng in insufficient time spent in physical activity. Biologically, girls also mature mo re quickly than boys adding an additional reason activity levels are lower. The interest in studying gender di fferences in physical activity patterns is driven by evidence indi cating the many health benefits of regular physical activity and the concern that females are at risk for health problems associated with inactivity (USDHHS, 1996). There are se veral intervention pr ograms developed to help this problem of gender differences in physical activity : (1) Trial of Acivity in Adolescent girls (TAAG) (Stevens, Murray, & Catellier, 2005), (2) Project FAB, (Jammer, Spruijt-metz, Bassiin, & Cooper, 2004), and (3) Girls on the Move (Robbins, Gretebeck, Kazanis, & Pender, 2006). Each of these programs aim to provide girls with more daily physical activity. Theoretical Framework The following literature review discusses theoretical frameworks taken from play theory, The Zone of Proximal Developmen t, Flow theory, and look at how each contributes to the founda tion of active gaming.

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37 Play Theory Play is something children do because it is natural and they enjoy the experience. Children all over the world play regardless of th e culture in which they reside. In fact, children will engage in play whenever the oppor tunity exists (Rogers & Sawyers, 1988). Some play theorists believe play is how ch ildren learn life skills (Johnson, Christie, & Wardle 2005; Koster, 2005), and how they le arn about their world and their relationship to it (Davidson & Quinn, 1993). According to Fein, Rubin, and Vanenberg (1983) and Rogers and Sawyers (1988), th ere are six factors that make up what might be called the disposition of play: (a) Play is intrinsically motivated, (b) Play is relatively free of externally imposed rules, (c) Play is carried out as if the activity were real, (d) Play focuses on the process rather than any product, (e) Play is dominate d by the players, and (f) Play requires the active involvement of the player. The concept of play may remain consistent; the way children engage in play c ontinues to evolve due to the ever changing society in which children live. Elements of Play. Play is intrinsically motivating and can be largely influential with children. Universally, play is consider ed intrinsically motivating – a child does not need to be directed to play. Play is not motivated by the basic needs or obligations, but by the intrinsic motivation for th e enjoyment of play itself (Johnson et al., 2005); Fein, et al., 1983). When children are engaged in pl ay, they are learning and enjoying every minute of it. Play does not need external re wards or additional intrinsic encouragement (Leeper, Greene, & Nisbett, 1973). External rewards may taint the child’s own feelings and motives, and eventually even replace them Self-paced, child-controlled play is the best way for children to make the most of their lives (Rogers & Sawyers, 1988).

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38 Children need to be able to pick the level of skill and challenge with which they feel comfortable. Children who frequently experience failure or frustration with tasks that are too difficult are not likely to want to pursue the activity a nd may learn to avoid them (Rogers & Sawyers, 1988). Another important element of play is that it is free of externally imposed rules. In physical education classrooms, if curriculum is saturated in direct instruction it does not allow the children the freedom to play. T eachers may “over teach” or not allow children time to explore and discover their learning. Wh en adults interfere inappropriately with play, children’s interest will diminish and the activity they are engaged in may cease (Rogers & Sawyers, 1988). As well as if mo re rules and structure are implemented, the need for external feedback will increase. If adults take too much control of an activity, children may begin to feel helpless (Seligman et al., 1984) and their self-esteem and sense of competence is affected by this feeli ng of not being in charge of their own play experience (Connell, 1985). Children who have a strong sense of self-worth are much more likely to be well rounded, mature individuals (Rogers & Sawyers, 1988). Play and Development. Although play is most of ten associated with young children, children of all ages and adults need to play. It is unfortunate play is often referred to as “fun” or frivolous as many believ e play lacks the rigor that learning or work desires (Elkind, 2007; Koster, 2005; Johnson et al., 2005). On the contrary, researchers consider play as an important element in life to achieve optimal de velopment. Play is perhaps the only human behavior that integr ates and balances a ll aspects of human functioning as it is a necessary component for all of us to develop our full potentials (Rogers & Sawyers, 1988). Play has been l ong recognized as a critic al aspect of child

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39 development. Play at a minimum reinforces cognitive development with respect to representational competence, ope rational thought, and problem solving; yet, also serves as a context and vehicle for the expression a nd consolidation of de velopment, providing opportunities for new learning (Johnson et al., 2005) Play is an active form of learning that unites the mind, body, and spirit (Levy, 197 8). The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently published a study entitled: "The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Pare nt-Child Bonds". The report states that free and unstructured play is not only healt hy, but essential for helping children reach important social, emotional, and cognitive developmental milestones as well as helping them manage stress and become mo re resilient (Ginsburg, 2006). Recently, valuable information regarding the powerful impact that play has on brain development has been emerging. Play keeps children’s minds actively involved in interacting with the environment and results have shown that optimal brain development occurs when the child interacts with the e nvironment and the environment is responsive to that interaction (Johnson et al., 2005). Play experiences mediate brain development first by helping with the creati on of the large number of synapses that are formed in the first three years and then by helping with the formation of the more complex neuronal structures that are create d over the childhood years (Elki nd 2007; Johnson et al., 2005). For this to occur, play must be meani ngful to the child, adding to the child’s understanding of the world and ab ility to adapt. Play can then optimally stimulate brain activity and growth and produce a positive chan ge in structure of the brain (Johnson et al., 2005).

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40 Prominent researchers in the field of ps ychology have viewed play as a critical trait to the human species (Patrick, 1996) Lev Vygotsky (1987) pointed out the importance of play in his theories in regards to both social and cognitive development. He believed play has its origins in emotions and it helps children cope with frustration. In his theory of the Zone of Proximal Devel opment, skills that have not quite emerged can be further developed with the assistance of another more skilled peer or adult. (Miller, 2002; Patrick, 1 996; Mooney, 2000; Vygotsky, 1987). This adult or peer stimulation is often capable of sustaining a child’s play (Caldwell, 1995). In addition, Johnson et al. (2005), suggest that play al one promotes development by serving as a scaffold within the children’s ZPD helping them to attain higher levels of functioning. In fact, play was so important to Vygotsky that he suggested it actually creates a child’s Zone of Proximal Development: “Play also creates the zone of proximal development of the child. In play, the child is always behaving beyond his age, above his usual everyday behavior; in play, he is, as it were, a head above hims elf. Play contains in a concentrated form, as in the focus of a magnifying gla ss, all developmental tendencies; it is as if the child tries to jump above his usual level”(Vygotsky, 1978, p.74). Piaget believed that children are able to learn only when their curiosity is not fully satisfied. He believed that children’s curiosity actually drives their learning (Miller, 2002). Piaget suggested that ch ildren learn best when they are playing and actually doing the work themselves and creating their own understanding of what’s going on, instead of being given explanations by adults. He believed children need every possible opportunity to have control of their activities and play (Piaget, 1963). As children mature, it is common to believe that their skills develop and the way they play may

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41 change. Play becomes more complicated wi th age as children begin to manipulate environments or change reality when they become less dependent on toys or materials and begin to use their imaginations (Rogers & Sawyers, 1988). Piaget originated the stages, the taxonomy of play, he thought chil dren experienced as they continue to develop (Piaget, 1963). His practice stage, sy mbolic stage, and games and rules stage explain how play changes as this maturation occurs. According to Piaget, children ages 7-12 years reside in the Games with Rules stage. In this stage activities begin to involve motor skills and rules and ge nerally involve symbols because children are able to think more logically and systematically. Children are more likely to enga ge in play but set boundaries and parameters within the play activity. Team sports and self-imposed competition become more popular during this st age as children become more attracted and desire to accept games with rules. Diminishing Play. Research suggests discouraging ch ildren’s play is harmful to healthy development as children use play to foster cognitive, social, and emotional development (Elkind, 2007; Ginsburg, 2006; John son et al., 2005). However, in recent years, children’s play has become less preval ent because of the high-tech commercialized world we have created. Outdoor pickup games that once filled neighborhoods have largely been replaced by organized team spor ts and computer games. Children’s lives are being controlled by adults more and more w ith little time for free play. Karate class, music lessons, or sport sessions occupy much of a child’s free time af ter school – all of which are instructed and controlled by an a dult. Even our school s are now contributing to the suppression of curiosity, imagination, a nd fantasy by eliminating recess in favor of

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42 more time for academics and the physical education programs are imbedded with direct adult instruction. For the programs that are available in schools today, physical education practices often put an end to fun and free play as soon as the child enters firs t grade (Patrick, 1996; Rogers & Sawyers, 1988). Our society poses rules on children and wa nts them to hurry and learn the rules without the exploration pr ocedure allowed. Physical education classes add structure and too many rules to activities involving skill development when they need to let children have more choice and control over activities in which they participate. A problem exists if the activity is not meani ngful, skills learned in a highly structured setting will not necessarily tran sfer to other settings (Linder, 1993) and become useless to the child. Instead of this adult imposed structure, Rogers & Sawyers (1988) suggest schools should offer a safe environment, be sensitive to and responsive to children’s play, and offer toys or games which provide sensory st imulation or feedback. Children need to enjoy an activity and want to voluntarily participate in physical play. Unfortunately, children are suggesting traditiona l activities are not fun and as a result are not engaging in play. One result that has occurred from this reduction of play is th e increase in childhood obesity. Type 2 diabetes which used to be rare in children is now becoming more common (Sutterby & Frost, 2002). Because pl ay in the form of physical activity is enjoyable, physical play develops in each ch ild a disposition toward physical activity – a positive habit which is continued in the future (Katz, 1985). Providing children with play activities they enjoy will help to increase voluntary physical activity time and reduce the hours spent in sedentary engagements.

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43 Games and Technology. Piaget suggests as children mature they pass through certain stages in cognitive develop and the wa y they engage in play will change. As mentioned previously, Piaget de fines one type of play as game play. Game play is a popular form of play for children all over the world. Games, in gene ral, are a cognitive advanced form of play that requires children to conform to some kind of external rules while offering an enjoyable means for childr en to learn new academic skills and to practice skills that have al ready been taught (Johnson et al., 2005). Kamii and Lewis (1992) suggest that play of games compared to traditional drill-and-practice are more beneficial for children because of three major concepts: 1. In games the motivation to wo rk comes from the children. 2. In games children invent their own stra tegies and ways of achieving their goals. 3. In games children supervise and correct each ot her which foster peer interaction. Beck and Wade (2004) suggest “games deli ver a ’reality’ where the rules are quite different from any found out here in the rest of the world” (p .11). Therefore, if games are models of reality, then the things that ga mes teach us must reflect on reality (Koster, 2005). Some games teach children about the environment and spatial awareness (Koster, 2005) while other educational games may teach content related to nutrition, exercise, math or science. Since games are teaching to ols, children seeking to advance in a game will always try to optimize what they ar e doing. This often leads to making many mistakes in the game which they are able to problem solve and continue playing. In the modern society, it seems as if children have a more difficult time learning when they are being taught; they need to make mistakes themselves to encourage the learning and if they are pushed by parents, teachers, or even their own logical brains they often strongly

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44 resist (Koster, 2005). Game play is an eff ective teaching tool that provides children with an encouraging approach to learning. Simulations are games based on a model of a real situation designed to teach principles which operate a particular situ ation (Clegg, 1991). Simulation games tend to be more complex than dramatic play and ot her types of games and lend themselves to teaching academic concepts and skills. Because children playing simulation games engage in role playing and fantasy, simulati ons are regarded as being playful and fun which leads to high levels of engagement and effort (Johnson et al., 2005). One genre of simulation games is video ga mes. Although video games are presently one of the fastest growing indus tries (EAS, 2006), they have been a part of our society for years. Looking back in the early 1900’ s, video games and computer games have continued to evolve and develop to suit th e maturation of our cu lture (Koster, 2005). Since children are living in a society imme rsed in technology, they often find modern electronic games more attractiv e than traditional games. Koster (2005) believes that the attraction to electronic games by children is instinctive because they find these games intrinsically motivating and mo re fun to play. Even computer programs and games for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers are gr owing in number and becoming more popular with the belief that this pl ay will prepare them for the demands of a technology driven and demanding society (Johnson et al., 2005). Computer programs engage a child in active thinking and problem solving providing them with a cognitive benefit (Johnson et al., 2005). Another important academic concept is that video game and computer game play can help solve the problem of indivi dual differences in learning since curriculum materials can be presented in different game formats addressing di fferences in learning

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45 styles and ability patterns (J ohnson et al., 2005). There is a game for everyone as they offer different patterns of inte rests, talents, and abilities. The stage independent part of Piaget’s th eory is influential when discussing game play using technology. Learning is define d as the construction of new knowledge resulting from the resolution to a conflict (Rieber, 1996). According to Piaget, learning can only occur when an individual is in a state of disequilibrium or when mental structures or schemes are not in “balance” (P iaget, 1952). When an individual arrives at a resolution or solution to this imbalance, the situation is solved as fitting an established mental structure (assimilation), or a ne w structure is formed (accommodation). Assimilation is the process of understanding th e world through existing schemes, whereas accommodation is the process of building new schemes based on the refinements or blending of existing schemes (Piaget, 1952). If there is no resolution to the disequilibrium, no learning takes pl ace. Electronic games serv e as a vehicle for both play and imitation, two functions that Piaget (1951) considered crucial to the equilibration process (Rieber, 1996). Piaget considered pl ay as an assimilation strategy and imitation as an accommodation strategy. Play, as noted earlier, is intrinsi cally motivating, child centered, and enjoyable. Imitation refers to the reproducti on or performance of an act stimulated by the perception of a similar act by another person (Enc yclopedia Britannica, 2008). When children are involved in digital game play, they are able to use both play and imitation to create lear ning experiences through the co nstruction of new mental schemas (refine existing schemas) and thr ough existing mental schemas. What the children experience during the dig ital game play may be imitated in a real context or the real context is practiced during the game play.

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46 When playing games, especially video games, fantasy is often used to encourage children to imagine that they are completing an activity in a context in which they are really not present. This fantasy context can be further classified as being either endogenous or exogenous to the game’s contex t (Reiber, 1996). Re iber (1996) suggests with exogenous games, the game is easily separated from the content; unlike endogenous games, which weave the content into the game Physical educational games intend to serve the purpose of endogenous games by initiating learning th rough the play of games. It is with the endogenous games that childre n are able to experi ence more intrinsic motivation and encouragement fo r learning (Reiber, 1996). Although many may continue to doubt the use of technology in fostering play habits in children, beliefs about play are beginning to change due to the alterations with new digital devices. Research ers are beginning to understand new forms of play have been made possible by technology and they are learning that elaborate forms of play can be stimulated through the use of certain com puter software (Johnson et al., 2005). When children are playing games they often refer to the experience as having fun. Games in the digital form have become a popular aspect of play and can be an effective approach to learning. Koster (2005) suggest s, “That’s what games are, in the end. Teachers. Fun is just another word for learning” (p. 45). The Zone of Proximal Development Vygotsky’s sociocultural th eory continues to have a strong influence in many educational practices. The major theme of Vygotsky's theoretical framework is social interaction plays a fundamental role in th e development of cognition. Vygotsky believed personal and social experience cannot be separa ted; therefore, the world children inhabit

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47 is shaped by their families, communities, socioeconomic status, education, and culture. He showed that children’s cognitive devel opment is affected not only by their physical development, but also by their social su rroundings and interac tions (Mooney 2000). Vygotsky (1978) stated: "Every function in the child's cultural development appears twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level; first, between people and then inside the child." (p57). An important aspect of Vygotsky's theory is the potential for cognitive development depending upon the "zone of proximal devel opment" (ZPD). Vygotsky (1978) defined ZPD as ‘the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers’ (p. 86). There are basi cally two levels associated w ith a child’s zone of proximal development. The lower level reflects what the child can already do independently and the higher level reflects what the same child can do with assistance (Bodrova, 2003; Beliavsky, 2006). The space between these two levels is the zone of proximal development. The assistance given can be in th e form of a more competent adult or peer. The range of skill that can be developed with this guidance or adult/peer collaboration exceeds what can be attained by the child alone. Vygotsky referred to the assistance a teacher or peer offers a child as scaffolding. This assisted performance entails the active mediation between what is known and what is yet to be known by the students (Miller, 1993; Salomon, 1998; Subramaniam, 2007). The zone of proximal development defines t hose functions in a child which have not yet matured but are in the process of matu ration. A group of children may have equal

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48 levels of mental development, but their ca pability to learn under a teacher’s guidance could vary considerably (Vygotsky, 1978). Some children will benefit more than others. The difference between independent performa nce and aided performance seems to be peculiar to each child. Vygotsky believed the measurement of ZPD is a more accurate way to predict the child’s future developm ent or potential then by simply using a standardized test (Beliavsky, 2006). Therefore, a child w ho is able to profit from assistance with a task has a larger ZPD and will essentially do better in school based on the idea that learning has occurred and the previous task can now be completed independently (Beliavsky, 2006). In accordance with Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development is the notion child’s cognitive development occurs within a social milieu (Beliavsky, 2006; LeBlanc & Bearison, 2004). The teaching-learning process (i nstruction) does not occur in isolation. The role of instruction for enhancing cognitive developmen t is a joint activity – a collaborative effort between the child a nd assistance by a more knowledgeable partner such as a parent, a peer, or a teacher (Beliavsky, 2006). Th e instructional information presented by the teacher is a reflection of both the instructional requests presented by the learner and the teacher’s perceptions of the in structional needs of the learner. The way a teacher provides information to a learner is influenced, among other things, by his or her perception of the learner’s cogni tive abilities (Bruner, 2006). This perception is directly influenced by the prior interactions betw een that teacher and learner (LeBlanc & Bearison, 2004). Brophy (1999), also known for his motivational ZPD theory, contends the features of an activity must be ali gned with the learner’s prior knowledge and experiences in such a way as to stimulate interest in pursu ing the learning. This would

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49 occur when the activity is familiar enough to th e learner to be recogni zable as a learning opportunity and attractive e nough to interest the lear ner in pursuing it. In the present culture that is driven by digital technological games, children enjoy video games and also enjoy being engaged in ‘exploration’ of these games in the social environment with others. However, they may reach a stage where they may need assistance from a more competent counterpart to advance their skills. Children participating in these interactive activities seem to naturally be more inclined to helping one another. Beck and Wade (2006) suggest that this generation enjoys strategy guides and prefer to learn from one another, not th eir elders as they are not as motivated by authority figures’ demands. This peer sca ffolding offers a great opportunity for social interaction and leadership roles to emerge At the Summit on Educational Games, 2006, it was suggested “games and simulations can offer scaffolding, providing learners with cues, prompts, hints, and partial solution to keep them progressing through learning, until they are capable of directing and controlli ng their own learning pa th” (p.19). In this sense, the video game itself may become the guidance needed for the children to further develop these skills as they learn to use th e tools provided on the sc reen to enhance their level of play. Vygotsky (1987) believed learning is a soci al process before it is an individual function. He stated that learning processes are no t synonymous with internal development but consist of a unity in which ‘ one is converted into the other’ (91). If instruction proceeds ahead of development but leads development then the instruction is within the zone of proximal development (V ygotsky, 1987) and it is in this sense that

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50 development and instruction are inseparable. Learning how a child responds to assistance guides how the learning precedes development (Rowlands 2000). Wertsch (1985) suggests that we shou ld not concentrate on the product of development, but instead on the process. The ZPD treats cognitive development as a development in process and change rather than as an-end-product esta blished as a set of discrete levels. To understand the maturation of a child as a process, teachers have to facilitate the child’s completion of a task in which the child cannot do unaided (Rowlands, 2000). How a child responds to th e mediation in completing a task enables us to explain the abilities of the child as th ey mature, rather than simply describe the abilities that have already de veloped (Rowlands et al., 1996). To engage children in the processes of l earning and development, we must know who they are and where they come from (Delpit, 1995). Vygotsky’s theory requires us to pay attention to the cultural contexts in which ch ildren are situated, to interactions between children and those who are more competent in skills, customs, and practices valued by the culture, and to what the children them selves bring to develop and understand during the interactions (Scrimsher & Tudge, 2003). Te achers have to understand the historically derived differences in backgrounds and the im plications for interactions between our students and themselves. They also have to learn how to learn from their students, changing the traditional teaching mode that many still use in classrooms to one that allows a more collaborative learning process to develop, one in whic h teachers learn as our children are learning. Taki ng Vygotsky’s theory seriously im plies that we try to learn from our children while teaching them, as well as having the children teach teachers

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51 while learning. Classrooms must ther efore be designed, both physically and conceptually, to allow this to happen (Scrimsher & Tudge, 2003). Today’s children live in a culture where technology is shaping their learning and development. Within the context of teach ing with computer technology (the physical tool), there is potential for mediation with in the zone of proximal development by the teachers’ psychological insights (psychological t ools) as students interact with teachers, curriculum, and computer technology (Subramaniam, 2007). Teachers’ roles are more than spatial and temporal movements in th e classroom; teachers teaching with computer technology work at different and complex leve ls. Looking at participants’ teaching with the integration of computer technology from the zone of proximal development construct reveals that the mediation process involves more than just the interaction of cultural tools (Subramaniam, 2007). Assisted performance w ithin the zone of proximal development is achieved through the participan ts’ perceptions of access, e ngagement and membership. Students are considered as part of the teach ing-learning processes; this enables students to construct their own knowledge and not ju st pick up concepts from the computer technology (Subramaniam, 2007). Adult-guided Instruction. Vygotsky also suggested a theory on adult-guided instruction. Because he was a constructivist, Vygotsky believed that children construct their own knowledge and do not simply mirror what is being taught to them (Bodrova, 2003). In Vygotsky’s view, a child’s knowledge is not simply modified by other people or cultural artifacts, such as technologies, that make up th e environment – these things actually shape both the content and the na ture of this child’s emerging cognitive functions (Bodrova, 2003). Vygotsky propos ed a distinction between spontaneous

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52 concepts and scientific concepts. He belie ved spontaneous concepts could be discovered through a child’s independent e xploration but the scientific concepts need a type of formal instruction (Vygotsky, 1987). This form al instruction he described as assisted discovery, where the child integrates the resu lts of his/her independe nt discoveries with the new nonempirical knowledge taught in a systematic and structured way. The teacher’s goal in the assisted discovery me thod is to provide the child with specific “cultural tools” that will allow him/her not only to solve problems at hand successfully but will also contribute to the development of more advanced mental competencies. The child’s role is then to take the tools and apply them within the context first and then adapt them outside of the context (Bodrova 2003). According to Litowitz (1993), the use of th e ZPD ‘can come perilously close to a description of learning as a ne obehaviouristic shaping of behavi or’ (p. 190) and that it is an ‘adultocentric’ view of th e child’s behavior which is ‘t oo exclusively concerned with what is being done by the di spensers of knowledge’ (p.190). Litowitz (1993) proposes, as a better ‘capture’ of the ch ild’s perspective, Winnicott’s ‘potential space’ which is the range of the child’s control, power, and supr emacy. ‘In that space, the child sees himself as more capable than he real ly is’ (p. 190). If there is no correct understanding of what the ZPD really is, then it becomes a si gn for the various individual pedagogical perspectives. For example, if the ZPD is rega rded as too ‘adult orientated’, then it will be better to have a child orientated metaphor, such as ‘potential space’ that represents what the child doesn’t know or unders tand. Litowitz argues that the benefit of ‘potential space’ unlike the ZPD includes fantasy and illusion. Litowitz prefers Winnicott’s

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53 ‘potential space’ because of the inclusion of ‘fantasy’ and because it reminds us of where the child is coming from. Flow Theory Motivating children to be physically active can be a difficult challenge for physical education teachers. Motivation is define d as being an internal state that arouses, directs, and sustains human behavior (Aultman, Glynn, & Owens 2005). Motivation is associated with students’ desire to partic ipate in activities. Although students may be equally motivated to perform a task, the foundation of their motivation may differ. A student who is intrinsically motivated undertak es an activity for the enjoyment it provides or the feelings of accomplishment it evokes (Lepper, 1988). An extrinsically motivated student participates in an activity in order to gain some reward or avoid punishment. Extrinsically oriented students are inclined to put forth the minimal amount of effort necessary to get the maximal reward (Lepper, 1988). The efforts st udents are likely to invest in a task will be determined by how mu ch they value the rewards associated with successfully completing the task and the degr ee to which they expect to be able to succeed on the task (Brophy & Good, 2000). Students who are intrinsically motivated to perform a task often experience “flow” (Aultman et al., 2005). Csikszentmih alyi believed that people are most happy when they are in a state of flow or a state of total oneness with the activity at hand and the situation. The flow state is an optimal state of intrinsic motivation where the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975b). Csikszentmihalyi (1990) described flow as being an experience th at is so gratifying that people are willing to do it for its own sake or with little concern for what they will get out of it, even when it

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54 is difficult. An important pr ecursor to a flow experience is a balance between the persons’ skills and the challenges associated w ith the task or activity. If the task is too easy or too difficult, flow ca nnot occur (See Figure 2). CHALLENGESABILITIESANXIETY BOREDOM Figure 1. Csikszentmihalyi’s flow state. From Beyond boredom and anxiety: The experience of play in work and gam es, by M. Csikszentmihalyi (1975). Elements of Flow. Through interviews and questionnaires with basketball players, dancers, musicians, rock climbers, a nd surgeons, Csiksentmihalyi (1975a, 1975b) theorized 9 components of flow:

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55 1. Balance between a challenging activ ity with an individual’s skills. The accepted activity must represent a certain perceived challenge to the indi vidual and must be balanced with the individual’s skills. 2. Clear goals. Prerequisite to an optimal e xperience is a clear, non-ambiguous goal. This helps focus attention and discri minate between relevant and irrelevant information. 3. Immediate feedback The activity itself should provide clear, specific feedback to the person’s. 4. Merging of action and awareness . An individual in flow is aware of his or her actions but not of the awareness itself. 5. Intense concentration. The merging of action and awareness is made possible by a centering of attention on limited stimuli in the field. 6. Loss of self consciousness. Although a person becomes le ss self aware in flow, they do not lose touch with their physi cal reality. In most flow activity one becomes more intensely aware of internal processes. 7. Sense of Control During flow, rather than feel ing that the activity must be mastered, individuals usually feel that their skills were adequate to meeting the challenge of the activity cr eating a sense of control. 8. Intrinsically motivated. A flow experience needs no goa ls or rewards external to itself. Individuals voluntarily participate in the activity because it is enjoyable, not because they have been instructed to do so. 9. Altered sense of time In a flow experience, the indi vidual is in such an intense state that time no longer seems to pass in a typical manner.

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56 Csikszentmihalyi (1990) states not all co mponents are needed for an activity or technology to give users the experience of flow; yet, mo st of today’s video games incorporate all components (Chen 2007). Research in Flow.There are a variety of studies that have looked at Csikszentmihalyi’s (1975, 1993) flow theory in terms motivation, skill development, and engagement. O'Neill (1999) adapted the theore tical and methodological approach used in flow theory to examine motivational and soci al factors associated with young musicians' development of musical performance skills conc urrent with, and in the context of, their everyday life experience. The study employed the Experience Sampling Method (ESM), developed by Csikszentmihalyi to record young musicians' descriptions of thoughts and activities at random moments during the course of a typical week. The experiences of three groups of young musicians aged 12-16 year s were examined: high achievers from a specialist music school (n=20), moderate achievers from a specialist music school (n=20), and young musicians from a non-special ist state school (n=20). The results indicated that high achievers spent significantl y more time practicing during the course of the week than average achievers from both school s. Analyses of data collected revealed a significant difference in the extent to whic h the young musicians in each group reported "flow" experiences when engaged in musical compared with non-mu sical activities. In particular, high achievers at the music sc hool and students at th e non-specialist school reported more "flow" experience when practic ing than the moderate achievers at the music school.

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57 In a longitudinal study a sample of 5 26 high school students across the United States were investigated in order to learn how adolescents spend their time in high school and the conditions under which they re ported being engaged. Results indicated participants experienced increased engagement when the perceived ch allenge of the task and their own skills were high and in bala nce creating a Flow experience (Shernoff, Csikszentmihalyi, Schneider, Shernoff, 2003). Another study investigating the effects that perceived challenges and skills in activ ities have on the quality of everyday life experience used The Experience Sampling Me thod (ESM) on a sample of 208 talented adolescents to measure daily variations in four dimensions of e xperience (concentration, wish to do the activity, involvement, and happi ness) in four contexts (in school, with relatives, with friends, and in solitude ). Findings confirmed the prediction of flow theory that the balance of challenges and skills has a positive and independent effect on the quality of experience (Moneta & Csikszen tmihalyi, 1996). Additionally, researchers investigated the relationshi p between motivation and a ffect in upper elementary mathematics classes from the perspective of flow theory The researchers examined the relationship between students' motivation and teachers' instructional practices. Students' reported classroom experiences formed 4 factors--Social Affe ct, Personal Affect, Efficacy, and Challenge/Importance. On the basis of student reports, the researchers concluded that (a) affect is essential to st udent experience in mathematics lessons, (b) skill is perceived in conjunction with affective variables, (c) challenge is identified as a threat to students' efficacy, and (d) importance of a task is more relevant to motivation than is its challenge. A qualitative inves tigation of teacher in structional discourse suggested that the following te acher practices related to st udent motivation: (a) provision

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58 of substantive feedback and clarificati on of concepts; (b) su pport for autonomy, cooperation, and social relatedness; and (c) emphasis on learning for its own sake. Results suggest that emphasizing the balan ce of challenge and skill, supporting selfefficacy and value for mathematics, and fostering positive affect can enhance student motivation in the classroom (Schweinle, Me yer, & Turner, 2006). Furthermore, a study investigated whether flow occurs in the fo reign language classroom and from what sorts of tasks it might likely result. Data was coll ected from one class of 13 fourth-semester, secondary school Spanish language learners a nd their teacher. Findings indicated that flow seemed to occur in this Spanish forei gn language classroom and suggested that teachers can theoretically facilitate the flow experience for students by developing tasks that might lead to flow (Egbert, 2004). These studies sugge st it is not only important to provide children with opportuni ties to experience flow in or der to foster motivation in a task, but they also discuss the importance of children engaging in tasks in which their skills are in balance with the challenge provided. Flow Research in Physical Activity Environments.The use of Flow Theory to examine the quality of physical activity e xperiences is a growing phenomena. Jackson (1992) surveyed 16 national figure skating ch ampions to learn how they defined their deepest flow experience. Although 13 skaters or iginally admitted that they were not familiar with the term, they all agreed that a flow state was an apt descriptor of their most optimal experience and one where they experi enced high levels of satisfaction and would remember for the rest of their lives. Such experiences were charac terized by high ratings of challenge and skill, high levels of atte ntion, clear objectives, focused concentration, perceived control, enjoyment, clear feedbac k, altered sense of time, and being at the

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59 "cutting edge". General qualifications of flow included positive mental attitudes, positive pre-competitive and competitive affect, ma intenance of appropriate focus, physical readiness, and partner unity. Similar qualitati ve results were also uncovered with 28 elite athletes representing a variet y of sports (Jackson, 1996). Jackson and Roberts (1992) took a quantita tive approach to gain an understanding of flow states of 200 collegiate athletes from a variety of varsity sports programs. Results indicated the frequency of flow was predicted by perceived ab ility and task orientation. In addition, those who reported high levels of mastery and perceived ability reported significantly higher levels of flow as measured by a flow state questionnaire. When describing their best and worst athletic pe rformances, athletes reported significantly higher scores on the flow scale during their best athletic performances compared to their worst performances. The best performance de scriptions were also characterized by high perceived challenge and skill values while low performance descriptions were characterized by high perceived challenge a nd low perceived skill values. Interviews asking athletes to describe th eir best performances indicate d that terms such as focused attention, enjoyment, control, focused concentration, mind and body unison, and clear goals were prominent. Chalip, Csikszentmihalyi, Kleiber, and La rson (1984) used the ESM procedure to compare adolescents' physical activity experi ences within organized sport, physical education and informal sport environments. The results revealed that the adolescents reported significantly higher levels of positive mood in informal sports and physical education classes and a significantly higher se nse of skill competence and motivation in

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60 informal sports. In addition researchers f ound that sense of control was highest in physical education classes and lowest in info rmal sports, sense of skill was lowest in physical education classes, a nd the level of what was at stake was higher in organized sports than informal sports or physical educa tion classes. In applyi ng the flow theory to the three environments, participants were mo re likely to report a balance between skill and challenge in informal sports and were more likely to report challenges exceeding the skill levels during organized sport and physical education classes. Kleiber, Larson, and Csikszentmihalyi (1986) reported that compared to other daily activit ies that adolescents did, games and sports resulted in higher amounts of intrinsic motivation, perceived freedom, positive effect, concentration, and challenge. Compared to other courses in school, adolescents reported their highest le vel of affect and activation during physical education (Csikszentmihalyi & Larson, 1984). In an attempt to evaluate children's expe riences in a physical activity environment using flow theory as a theoretical fr amework, Mandigo and Couture (1996) asked children ages nine to 14 to rate their percei ved challenge, skill, fun, boredom and state anxiety immediately following six specific activitie s in a new physical activity program that was integrated into thei r physical education classes. Th e results demonstrated that when participants were coded in the flow quadrant (i.e., higher than average skill and challenge), they were more li kely to report higher levels of fun than when they were coded in the anxiety (i.e., hi gher than average challenge and lower than average skill) and apathy (i.e., lower than average challenge a nd skill) quadrants. Sanders and Graham (1995) reported that kindergarten children were in a flow state when their skills and interests were at a level to successfully complete a task in physical education without

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61 being bored or frustrated. This balance wa s often reached when children were allowed more control of their envir onment through play as opposed to more structured activities proposed by the physical education teacher. These findings demonstrate that particip ants who experience a flow state during physical activities often report a high level of optimal experience. Optimal experiences are characterized by high levels of intr insic motivation, perceived freedom, positive affect, concentration, challe nge, skill development, enj oyment, satisfaction, clear objectives, peak performance, positive mental states, a nd perceived success. The variables that contribute to pr oducing a flow state or quality physical activity experience are essential in creating environments where pa rticipants choose to voluntarily participate or participate for an ex tended period of time. Video Games and Flow. An individual exper iences flow most often in activities with clearly established rule s for action, such as in gam es (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975a). Games have been defined as being voluntar y and enjoyable, separ ate from the real world, lacking external rewards, and governed by rules (Caillois, 1961). One popular form of games today is the video game (Koster, 2005). Researchers suggest people play video games and computer games because they are fun and entertaining (Koster, 2005; Sweetser & Wy eth, 2005) and believe children who are heavily exposed to video games are likely to develop a new attitude toward learning (Zuhal, 2003). Parker and Lepper (1992) examin ed the use of fantas y in instructional programs and found that learning was enhanced when content was embedded in such contexts.

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62 Chen, (2007) suggests the description of Cs ikszentmihalyi’s Flow Theory appears identical to what a player experiences when totally imme rsed in a video game. Although Csikszentmihalyi (1990) states not all co mponents are needed for an activity or technology to give users the e xperience of flow, most of t oday’s video games incorporate all components (Chen, 2007). In addition, vide o game play will continue only if the individual’s greatest effort and involvement optimally matches the demanding levels of the contents of the game. In this sense, the flow state s hould be understood as the result of an optimal balance rather than a simple match between skill and challenge in a given situation (Chen, 007). Individuals value video games and will continue game play based on whether or not the games can provi de flow experiences (Holt, 2000). The length of time that children remain engaged in video games depends on the duration of their flow experien ces and whether or not they re ach the Flow Zone (Sweetser & Wyeth, 2005). Different “gamers” will have va rious skills and need challenges specific to their personal skill levels. The novice gamer will need challenges that are less demanding than those desired by a “hardcore” gamer to stay in “the zone” (Chen, 2007). Figure 3 depicts the flow zones for players of varying skill levels.

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63 Figure 2. Different players have different fl ow zones. From “Flow in Games (and Everything Else),” by J. Chen, 2007, Communications of the ACM, 50 (4), p. 32. Summary Learning more about the perceptions of children regarding physical activity is necessary in order to better understand the childhood obesity epidemic. The purpose of this research was to explore the experien ces of six fifth grade children as they participated in active gaming during physical education classes. In my inquiry I also explored the experiences of three boys and three girls as they participated in active gaming. This review of literature assists in this task by providing a foundation from which to begin.

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64 Chapter 3 Methodology The purpose of my research was to expl ore the experiences of six fifth grade students as they participated in active gaming during physical education classes. In my inquiry I also explored the expe riences of three boys and thre e girls as they participated in active gaming. I used qualitative methods to collect and analyze data for the study that included interviews, observational field notes and journal entries. I describe these methods in sections that follow. The following questions guided my inquiry: 1. What are the experiences of six fifth grade students as they pa rticipated in an eight week active gaming unit in physical education class? 2. What are the experiences of three fifth grade boys and three fifth grade girls as they participated in an eight week active gaming unit in physical education class? Case Study Design In this inquiry, I employ case methods. In addition, I applied a phenomenological framework with the case study design.

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65 “A case study is expected to catch the complexity of a single case. A single leaf, even a single tooth pick, has unique complexities… We study a case when it itself is of very special interest. We look for the detail of the interaction wi th its contexts. Case study is the study of the particularity and comp lexity of a single case, coming to understand its activity within important circumstances” (Stake 1995; xi). A case study is a comprehensive, holistic description and analysis of a single entity, experience, or phenomenon (Merri am, 1998). Researchers use the case study methodology when they develop a descriptive and heuristic account of a specific situation or setting (Merriam, 1998). Mo st research scholars concur that a case study is the exploration of a ‘bounded system’ (Creswell, 2003; Stake, 2000). The defining feature of a case study is the boundaries that establish the parameters of the unit of study. Thus, case study methods involve the study of an issue explored through a case within a bounded system (Cresswell, 2003). By concentrat ing on a single entity (the case), I aim to uncover the interactio n of significant factors characte ristic of a phenomenon (Merriam, 1998). In this single case study, six fifth grade students serve as one entity, the single case, and active gaming experiences serve as the phenomenon. Therefor e, I designed this study as a phenomenological case study. A common focus in phenomenology is on exploring how human beings make sense of an experience (Patton, 2002). Ph enomenology allows for observation of the phenomenon within the context of its occurrence (Yin, 2003). In this approach, a goal of the researcher is to capture and describe how people experience some phenomenon including “…how they perceive it, describe it, feel about it, judge it, remember it, make sense of it, and talk about it with othe rs” (Patton, 2002, p. 104). Researchers focus on

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66 interpreting a phenomenon in such a way as to develop a worldview. At this point, there is no objective reality from others; only what they know the experience is and means (Patton, 2002). Patton 2002 describes two imp lications in phenomenology that are often confused in qualitative research. The first is that it is important to understand what people experience and how they interpret the world wh ich is the focus of the inquiry. The second is the methodology involved. Patton (2002) expl ains the only way for researchers to really know and understand how another pers on or people experience something is to experience the phenomenon for themselves as directly as possible. In either case, reporting the findings in a language that shows the lived quality and significance of the experience entirely is significant. This study was a phenomenol ogical case study with active gaming serving as the phenomenon to be studied and six fi fth grade students’ experiences providing perspectives to be observed and analyzed through multiple forms of data collection. This case study employe d a general phenomenological perspective in order to illuminate the importance of using me thods that capture stude nts’ experiences of active gaming without conducting a phenomenol ogical study that focuses on the essence of shared experience (Patton, 2002). In addition, cases studies are identified as being intrinsic or instrumental. An intrinsic case study focuses on the actual case while an instrument al case study focuses on an issue (phenomenon) that can be illu minated by studying the case (Stake, 1995). I classified this study as an instrumental cas e study with active gaming serving as the issue and the six fifth grade students’ experien ces provide the illuminating information.

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67 School Setting Kadia Elementary school (a pseudonym) serv ed as the data collection site. Kadia Elementary is a school in the southeastern Un ited States with 534 st udents in grades K-5. Students at Kadia Elementary School partic ipated in physical education class with a certified physical educator 30 minutes twi ce weekly. I selected Kadia Elementary because it had an active gaming facility. In addition, the physical education teacher agreed to participate in this research proj ect and used active gaming as a part of the planned curriculum. During physical education class, students participated in active gaming activities for 16 visits (twice a week for 30 minutes for 8 weeks). School Description Kadia Elementary School opened in th e fall of 1959. The founder of the school was born in Werts Center, N.Y. and she taught school in the same county in which the school is now located. The school was named after her because of her dedication to teaching. The school mascot, the wildcat, and the colors of red, white and black, were selected by the student body. Kadia is a Ki ndergarten through fifth grade elementary school in which 534 students attend a nd 75 faculty and staff are employed. Approximately 62% of the student population is African American and 26% is Hispanic. Ninety-four percent of st udents are considered a minority (See Table 1).

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68 ETHNICITY / DEMOGRAPHICS 2 0.37% American Indian / Alaskan Native 10 1.87% Asian / Pacific Islander 331 61.99% Black (African American), Non Hispanic 136 25.47% Hispanic 22 4.12% Multi-Racial 33 6.18% White (Caucasian), Non Hispanic 534 100.00% TOTAL Table 1 : Ethnicity and Demographics of Kadia Elementary School – School Year 2007-2008. Kadia Elementary is a Renaissance Sc hool. The local school system defines a Renaissance school as having greater than 90% of students on free or reduced lunch. Kadia Elementary school has 92.32% of student s considered economically disadvantaged and 94% of students on free or reduced l unch. Approximately 23% of students are ELL (English Language Learners) and 13% of Kadi a students had a disability. There was a Hispanic interpreter available for parents, guardians, and visitors who do not speak or understand the English language. Kadia elementary is located in a low socioeconomic neighborhood. Yards of many homes are insufficiently landscaped, the grass was in need of trimming, weeding, and watering, and the trees were overtaken by moss. Debris and tras h are visible in the yards and the outside many homes needed ex tensive painting. My conversation with the physical education teacher suggested the ne ighborhood was not safe. She mentioned that

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69 homes were often vandalized. The school had be en broken into twice in the school year. As a result, the administration decided to put up a more durable fence enclosing all of Kadia Elementary for added security. Kadia’s academic standards are a central fo cus at the elementary school. In fact, the start of second semester is dedicated to the students practicing the FCATs (Florida’s Comprehensive Assessment Test). The stude nts are not allowed to attend specialty classes such as art, music, and physical e ducation periodically in order to take the practice FCATs which made it difficult to inte rview students. Kadia is considered a failing school based on FCAT testing but impr ovements were made the previous school year of 2007-2008. See the academic report card for the 2007-2008 school year below: Grade including learning gains C Meeting High Standards in Reading 46% Meeting High Standards in Math 51% Meeting High Standards in Writing 80% Meeting High Standards in Science 13% Making Learning Gains in Reading 57% Making Learning Gains in Math 67% Percent of Lowest 25% Making Learning Gains in Math 70% Table 2 : Kadia Elementary School Academic Report Card for 2007-2008 school year

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70 Kadia Elementary has a mandatory uniform policy for all students; however, the policy is not consistently enforced. Many stude nts are not in uniform with school colors, which are red or white for shirts and navy or khaki for pants. Th e school administration believes the uniform policy promotes school safety, improves discip line, and enhances the learning environment. In addition, the staff at Kadia Elementary believes school uniforms help students experien ce a greater sense of school identity and belonging. Shoes must be worn and securely fastened to the f eet and have a low heel height. In addition, all footwear has to be suitable for outdoor physic al education classes. Unsafe shoes such as "skate tennis shoes" were not allowed. Kadia has spirit day on the last school day of each week where students are encouraged to w ear the school's spirit shirt with jeans. Figure 3: Kadia Elementary School Based on the school setting and test scores, the school system is making a concentrated effort to improve the quality of the school environment. Kadia Elementary was renovated in the summer of 2008. The school is 50 years old and in need of remodeling. All classrooms are painted beige as well as the cafeteria which has made the

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71 decor of the school much brighter and clean er. All doors are painted a cherry red. The school is all one level and has five wings of classrooms. Two cherry red picnic tables and two trees are located in the grass area be tween the wings. Unlike the yards in the neighborhood the campus grounds are well groome d. The mascot is a wildcat. At the entrance of the school th e wildcat is painted on a poster th at says, “Welcome to Kadia, home of the wildcats where we are wild a bout learning.” The school uses a theme of street signs to label the sidewalks that di splay a positive affirmation including Honesty Street, Respect Street, Self-respect Street, Courtesy Ave., etc. At the end of each sidewalk are two small red wildcat paws. Wh en students are walking down the sidewalk in their class line, they are taught to stop at these two paws and wait for a teacher’s instructions to continue moving. Active Gaming Room Description The active gaming environment is located in one of Kadia Elementary School’s newly remodeled classrooms. The classroom is approximately 900 square feet. The walls are painted beige during the remodeling phase in the summer of 2008 to match the beige cabinets and tile flooring. When the active ga ming room was installed, the dcor of the room changed. The walls are painted a bright sunshine yellow and murals were placed along the top portion of the walls as well as on the top row of cabinets. The murals are dark red with images of acti on figures splashed in black. Th e school’s art teacher painted the name of the school and a pi cture of the school mascot on one wall as well as character building words (e.g. Discipline, Respect, At titude) on the other walls throughout the room.

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72 The active gaming room appeared as if students had just stepped into a video game arcade environment. The room contai ns a variety of activities with screens dispersed throughout the room, and bright colored yellow walls with busy dcor. The room is carefully designed to allow necessary space for the games to be played safely. In addition, all cords to the television screens and activities are secu rely fastened and covered to avoid potential h azards. The game consoles (e.g. PS2, Xbox) are secured inside a locked box. The active gaming room hou ses 17 activities and 9 stations in which 19 students could be active at one time. The following is a desc ription of the layout of the active gaming room from a pers pective of the back wall being the wall directly across from the entrance and exit (Figure 4). When entering the room, there is a wall on the right, a wall on the left, the back wall directly across, and the front wall directly behind Back Wall Left Wall Right Wall Entrance/Exit Front Wall Figure 4 : Illustration of Active Gaming Room Layout

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73 Front wall – Entrance/Exit Figure 5: Active Gaming Room Front Wall On the front wall there are two doors to enter and exit the active gaming room. When facing the two doors from the outside, th e door on the right is the main entrance to enter and exit. Located on the wall between th e two doors is a scree n. Above the screen closest to the main entrance is a small sh elf containing a lockbox for the Playstation 2 console Below and in front of each screen are two Cateye Gamebikes. The Gamebikes resemble a traditional recumbent bike with an adjustable seat and pedals; yet, have a steering wheel resembling that of a race car wi th a video game controller located in the middle. Students control onscreen actions by pedaling and using the steering wheel. The faster the students pedal, the faster the acti on figure on the screen moves. To the right of the main door entrance on the front wall is a screen with a consol e lockbox below the screen. There are boxing gloves sitt ing beside the console as they are required to play this game. The game is called Xavix Boxing and is a game in which students wear gloves each with an electronic sensor in order to vi rtually participate in boxing matches against a variety of characters.

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74 Right Wall Figure 6: Active Gaming Room – Right Wall The right wall houses an activity called GameCycle. The GameCycle is an upper body bike in which the students’ arms and hands are used to pedal th e bike, not the legs. The students pedal and steer with their arms controlling an onscr een action figure truck trying to pass checkpoints and gather points in the game. Th e GameCycle is connected to a Game Cube console and a built in screen. Moving further along the right wall, there is a whiteboard that the teacher uses for her phys ical education lessons to write cues the students could read related to the activity as well as the classroom rules. This whiteboard took up the majority of the re mainder of the right wall.

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75 Back Wall Figure 7 : Active Gaming – Back Wall In the corner between the right wall and back wall is an activity called 3 Kick. 3 Kick is a large, 3 tower durable activity with 3 foam pads on each tower. A light is embedded in the middle of each pad on each tower. When a light illuminates on the pad, the students’ try to hit, kick, or punch the pa d with the light as quickly as they can. Once they hit the light, it disapp ears and another light illumina tes on another tower and pad. The quicker a light is hit, the more points ar e scored. There is a kiosk box attached to the bottom of the right side panel of 3 Kick. Th is kiosk is the contro l center for the game. Above 3 Kick is an air-conditio ning unit built into the wall. To the left of 3 Kick are two large activities called Dog Fight Flight simulators. These machines resemble large arcade games that function similar to a bicycl e with a seat and foot pedals; yet, with moveable handlebars on each side of the seat There is a red fire button on the end of each handlebar and a small trigger controller on top and at the end of the left handlebar. These are the “firing” functions A large built-in screen is lo cated above the pedals. There

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76 is a control panel under the screen which cont ains game functioning categories. Students pedal to move their selected aircraft forw ard and use the handlebars to control the direction in which the aircra ft flew. The firing buttons ar e used to shoot down visual targets throughout the game. Left Wall Figure 8: Active Gaming – Left Wall Next to the dog fight flight simulators are wall beige cabinet s. The cabinets are located along the left wall. The video camer a used to video tape all sessions and interviews is located in the space between the cabinets and the back wall. On the left wall before the cabinets are two screens. Be low each screen is a lock box containing a Nintendo Wii console. Between the screens is a classroom desk where the remote controls are placed before and after game pl ay. Students play virtual sports including boxing, tennis, baseball, golf, and bowling us ing the remote controls. There are two

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77 remote controllers at each Wii station so st udents can play a two-player game. In the corner next to the two screens for Nintendo Wii is a small bathroom. Center Room Figure 9: Active Gaming Room – Center Room Facing Front Wall Figure 10: Center Room Facing Back Wall

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78 In the middle of the room is a mobile kiosk called iZone. The iZone has four congruent sides resembling a large tower. On each side of the tower is a mounted screen. There is a small door at the bottom of the iZone on the side closest to the front wall that is used to hold four game consoles and the cord s for each. This door closes and locks when needed. In front of the screen above th is small door are two Gamercize activities resembling steppers and attached to video ga me are hand held cont rollers. Students began stepping to activate the controll ers in order to play the video game. If movement stopped, the video game paused. Student s are required to continue st epping in order to play the video game. To the right of the Gamerci ze activities are two Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) electronic pads. Students at this station follow arrows on a screen by stepping in the appropriate direction to score points wh ile dancing to the b eat of a chosen song. Located in front of the screen to the right of the DDR pads are two platforms with snowboard simulators called XrBoards. On the XrBoards, students are balancing on a board resembling a snowboard and their m ovements on the board control the onscreen character’s actions. Students virtually race down a mountain performing tricks to earn points and compete to cross the finish line first. On the la st side of the iZone, are two more DDR electronic pads. Participants I selected six fifth grade elementary school students to participate in the study. I selected the fifth grade level because th e active gaming room was located in an elementary school and physical activity levels between the ages of nine and 15 years have been shown to drop dramatically (Nader, Br adley, Houts, McRitchi e & O’Brien, 2008). I

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79 selected six students due to th e time constraints related to conducting interviews as well as needing to have an equal number of boys and girls. Prior to data collection, I obtained pare ntal permission forms and consent forms for all participants. The physical education t eacher gave the forms to the parents of the students and then collected the forms from each student willing to participate. I assigned a pseudonym to protect the anonym ity of all participants. I pr ovide a detailed description of the six fifth grade students and the physic al education teacher that included but was not limited to gender makeup, the physical education teacher’s teaching style and strategies, and the students’ general attitude toward physic al education in the section below. The physical educator selected a class in which the music teacher and the reading and language arts teacher were willing to provide assistance with the study. The music teacher provided time during class for me to interview students, and the reading and language arts teacher provided time during cl ass for students to complete journal entries for the study. I purposefully selected the six students from this class. “The purpose of purposeful sampling is to select informati on-rich cases whose study will illuminate the questions under study” (Patton, 2002, p. 46). I looked for three criteri a as I purposefully selected the six participants: 1) Student s who were willing to carry on quality conversations during interviews; 2) Student s who provided quality information while journaling, and 3) Gender makeup – three boys and three girls. I discussed with the physical education teacher and the reading a nd language arts teacher the importance of selecting students that would provide suffici ent, quality information during interviews and with the journal entries. In addition, be fore the study began I spent 4 classes with the

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80 students during journaling sessions and during traditional physic al education. During this time I initiated conversations with students in order to learn which students may be more willing to work effectively with me during the study. Leslie, the physical education teacher se rved as a key informant during the study. I interviewed her three times and also aske d her to discuss in journal entries her perceptions on the students’ e xperiences in active gaming. I used this information to support and provide triangulation to the resulting themes that emerged from this study. Description of Participants Joey Joey is a light skinned African American boy. He ha s course, black, closely trimmed hair. Joey’s eyes are dark brown and when he smiled his teeth appeared straight and a dull white color. Joey is noticeably ove rweight and his face is round with chubby cheeks. Joey often wears baggy jeans, t-shirts and usually a black zi p up jacket which is not the recommended school uniform. Joey may r ealize he is more ove rweight than other students because he made several comment s about being the “fat boy” in general conversations with his peers. Joey appears to be a happy student who rarely complains and smiles often. Joey enjoys assisting his te achers at Kadia Elementary School and when having general conversations with these teachers, they consid er Joey a nice kid and good student. Joey’s physical educati on teacher is concerned about his weight but believes he is a friendly and happy student and has a chan ce to continue enjoyi ng physical activity in the future. The following is a passage from an interview with the physical education teacher concerning Joey’s enjoyment in exercise: “…just because of his size, that I would really lik e to look into; though he likes PE, he always wants to help me, he goes out and he

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81 tries 100% and he’s always sweating buckets out there. He really tries and everything like that. But, I’m concerned about him just because of his weight. So, that he is this excited about it (active gaming) that he’s going around and ta lking to people and his teacher is excellent. Hopefully this is gonna hook him into something. He’s a big guy. Maybe football. Something, that he’s gonna say ‘I really like exercise, I really want to do something where I’m going to be involved.’ He’s such a nice kid, he really is.” Joey is not a shy student and is extr emely verbal while playing many of the games whether he is s talking to himself or a peer. The following are short passages from fieldnotes taken while Joey is participating in active gaming: Joey is in between them (his partners) watching close and making comments on the game. Joey has a red face and is perspiring already from having been on the bikes. Joey says, “I want to play Harris, I want to play Harris. Restart it…ohhh….no don’t restart it.” Then he tells Harris to get off the equipment so they can restart it. Joey is watching Wilson on DDR and got real excited for him by saying, “Wilson, Wilsonnnnn” smiling so big and laughing as he watched Wilson on a level too hard fo r both players. Shortly after the screen says ‘Failed’ and the two boys look at each other and start laughing. Joey is back on boxing and says, “Oh my god, Oh my god – I’m so tired and my ribs are hurting.” I as ked, “why are your ribs hurting” and he said, “cause all the punching I have been doing. It’s so fun, I would do this at home.” Joey’s face is red and dripping with sweat. Joey is animated student often smili ng, laughing, or showing a focused look on his face while playing the games. Joey tends to be an aggressor when it comes to choosing which activities he and his partners play and is often the first to be participate in activity in his group. He is aggressive a nd does not want to wait to play a game; however, he works well in groups and is resp ectful to his peers by sharing and taking turns on the activities. When Joey is not active, he is on task and involved in his peers’

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82 game play. In addition, Joey is a very good student as he listens to instructions and always completes assignments for the lessons in physical education class whether it be individually or a ssisting his group. Although Joey enjoys traditional physical e ducation classes, he believes physical education class is better since ac tive gaming has been implemented: For me this room is just amazing. Dogfight, three kick those games I didn’t know existed and so I found out what it all is. and its just awesome, everything. And we are lik e the only class that can do this for now. I would have these in every single school, because the games they have here, the game room; it would ge t kids to have more fun. Like for PE, it would be fun too. But this one you just get thei r little minds going and just have fun. The following is a passage from fieldnotes that demonstrates Joey’s excitement regarding active gaming and his desire to share with his peers and teachers: I walked out with Joey and Wilson a nd I heard Joey say, “I love this room.” Then he saw his teacher and said, “Mrs. Cross, I LOVE (drawn out) this room. I wish I had one in my house, especially DDR.” Mrs. Cross said “what is that?” He said, “The game where you have to step to these arrows on the screen to music.” She said, “Great”. Joey turned to Wilson and said, “I’m gonna beat you next time.” Wilson just grinned. The following interview response from Leslie summarizes Joey’s personality regarding physical activity and his enjoyment participating in active gaming: …Joey who is a big guy, still loves PE and he always did everything I said. I mean he’d be sweating bu llets out there, but he would do everything. And which I hope he keeps up because I’m worried about him. You know, I don’t want him to get any bigger than he is, I hope he gets into football or something like that because he’s a big guy. But

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83 I mean he went crazy in here, I mean he is going every second in here. Because he had the chance to be th e one who would do it, the one who could be in control of his own de stiny kind of thing. Sometime when you’re out and in a game you don’t real ly have that much control. And you really say how motivated he is He is really doing something all the time in here, and when he isn’ t he is dying to get on something. Angela Angela is a tall, Hispanic girl w ho is noticeably overweight. She has long, wavy, dark hair and wears glasses. A ngela dresses conservatively and in my opinion she appears to want to hide her weight by wearing la yers of clothing or a light jacket. She is quiet and avoids confrontations. Angela is a great student because she remains on task and is concerned about comp leting worksheets correctly during class. She is considered academic by her teachers as she always turns in assignments on time and with great quality. Angela is capable of articulating her thoughts intelligently using complete, well developed sentences. The follo wing are examples of responses to journal entries: I like it (active gaming), it’s so fun. I mean, still being fit while playing games and having fun too. There is really nothing wrong (with active gaming) so I guess I’ll just compliment it. I just think they (active games) are awesome and I’m still being active. I love DDR because I like the dancin g. I think it’s fun to dance. I like 3 kick because I like having to think where the next light will pop up. Also, it’s just fun. When it comes to being active, Leslie s uggests Angela is typi cally lazy or less aggressive although always on task. However, while participating in active gaming, she was much more outgoing as documente d in an interview with Leslie: …Angelic who might normally be very laid back and not be very motivated, she’d actually seemed exc ited and that is a change, I think,

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84 for her. She comes and does what she’s supposed to do just because she’s a well behaved girl. But you don’t normally see, she’s a laid back kid, you don’t normally see a lot of excitement. But I could tell, even if she is like (making loud sc reeching noise) that she is about what is going on. So that is nice to see… And I think it is a good thing that Angelic is one of the kids th at we had. Because there’s your typical overweight kid. Highly academic, not into PE at all, and yet we saw a big change in here. Angela is not an animated student ar ound her teachers or her peers; yet, enjoyed playing with her peers during ac tive gaming. She usually had a serious or straight look on her face but w ould often smile or giggle when playing with her peers. Angela is on DDR watching the screen intently. Her eyes are focused on the screen and her mouth is open with her tongue changing positions in her mouth as she contin ues to step. Every once in awhile she will smile but quickly go back to a serious look. The girls (Ashlyn and Angela) are focused still playing DDR. Ashlyn, “Ohh gosh” on a double jump – she had a big smile on her face. Angela, ”Gosh” when missing an arrow. At the end of the game Angela is sweating with a red face. Ashlyn gave her a high five and both are smiling. Ashlyn said, “Sam e score again.” Angela smiled. Angela is on 3Kick with two others playing one at a time, but they will help each other out if a light comes on near one of them waiting to play. Angela is near a tower when a light comes on and she tries to hit the light before th e peer gets to it. The girls start laughing when this happens. She tr ied to play in front of another peer and the peer said, “It’s my turn” and Angela smiled and took a step back and let her play first. Harris. Harris is a tall, large in stature, dark complexioned African American boy. He stood well above the rest of his peers. His head is closel y shaved to the scalp leaving on a small appearance of hair on his head. He has dark brown eyes and a bright white smile. He is a larger boy that may have a ch allenging weight issue in the future if not attended too. Harris often wore baggy jean s with a red polo shirt. Although not the

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85 suggested attire for the school uniform, the red shirt is aligned with the policy. Harris is quiet and shy with adults; however, he is an imated and talkative with his peers when playing the games or waiting to play. He is a competitive student. The following passage demonstrates a conversation between Harri s and a peer when playing an activity: Harris is on the XrBoards. Peer says “So, we tied?” and Harris says, “How dare you. Oh, now we tied, how about that.” Peer says, “No” as he smiles. The game finishes and they compare scores pointing at the screen. “I got you” Harris said, smili ng and pointing at the score. Peer just shakes his head and smiles. The physical education teacher stated th at Harris is a “good student and really good kid”. Harris is also a calm student when it comes to discipline and responds appropriately to demands from Leslie even if he does not agree with them: Herbert is sitting quietly watching Leslie...Leslie looks at Herbert and says, “Get your hand off of him (the student beside him) or get out. I mean it. I am not dealing with this.” Herbert had a look of amazement as his hand is actually on the heel of his own shoe. He sunk down in posture, crossed hi s legs, propped his elbow on one knee and rested his head in his ha nd, still listening with his eyes on Leslie. Harris gets excited about playing the games as he is frequently seen hurrying to jump on an activity when rotating stations. Ha rris is often focused on the screen with a more serious expression; yet, he often smiles and laughs with his peers as he is playing the games. Harris is aggressive and ambitious when being physically active. He pedals fast on the Cateye Gamebikes and Dog Fighter Fight simulators as well as punches hard at Xavix boxing, stomps heavy on DDR, and st eps rapidly on Gamercize. He seems to enjoy being physically active because he en joys playing sports. The following is an

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86 interview conversation I had with Herbert about the relationship of active games to sports: Harris: I like the boxing, um... what’s it called? Researcher: Three kick. Harris: And, the baseball game. Researcher: Why do you like those activities? Harris: Because they’re s ports, and I like sports. Harris enjoys traditional physical education but is excited to have the active gaming room at his school. The following is an interview c onversation I had with Herbert about active gaming in physical education: Researcher: Before this past w eek, when you were not able to come in here (active gaming room) for PE, how did you feel about your physical education class? Harris: It is good but it’s be tter now that we have this. Researcher: Let’s pretend you are the P.E. teacher. How would you use active gaming in your cl asses throughout the year? Harris: To be honest, I’d probably want to get on it with them. Researcher: We talked about ex ercise earlier, how do you feel about active gaming being a sour ce of exercise, or type of exercise? Harris: I feel that it has made PE better than what it was before. Ashlyn. Ashlyn is a short, petite Caucasian girl with long, thick brown straight hair that she often wore in a ponytail. As hlyn dresses according to the school uniform policy, yet also wears a zip up, li ght blue jacket. She has larg e, brown eyes and tan skin. Ashlyn is considered a great st udent by her teachers. She is always on task and polite. Ashlyn is serious about her behavior and fo cuses on getting along well with her teachers

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87 and peers. In addition, Ashlyn takes the FC AT testing serious and desires to do well in school. The following interview responses de monstrate Ashlyn’s focus on academics and getting along with her peers and teachers after I asked her how she felt about active gaming and exercise during physical education class: I was feeling that I was really get ting along well with my teacher and other students. I feel so excited, and that my group gets along very well. And we take turns doing all the equipment. Uhm. Like, if they don’t wanna do that one, I would say would you mind switching, because I want it to be fair for other students. Yeah. And and like if they don’t want to do Dance Dance Revolution, and I’m like ‘oh well, would you mind goi ng to the (clear throat) Dance Dance Revolution,’ because I want it to be fair. And they’d say ‘Yeah yeah I’d love to,’ and it’d be good. No (I would not spend time at home playing active games), because it is taking away from my learning time and I want to get up my score on my FCATs. Ashlyn enjoys physical education class a nd exercise in general. The following are interview responses fr om Leslie regarding Ashlyn’ s enjoyment for physical education class: Ashlyn is usually just very happy and motivated at PE things anyways, she’s very athletic. So, um, they a ll seemed to really be into it.Ashlyn is very athletic. Ashlyn w ill probably be involved in sports, she’s a natural. Although Ashlyn is considered a quiet girl by her teachers, while participating in active gaming with her peers she is often verb al. She would illustrate excitement in her words and various expressions. The following fieldnotes illustrate Ashlyn’s animated interactions with peers and enjoyment while participating in active gaming:

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88 Ashlyn is playing baseball on the Wii with Tonya. She is watching the screen close and says, “yeah….no….yeah ” not sure if the ball she hit is a foul or a homerun at first. Tonya missed the ball again and threw both hands up in the air and back down and watches the screen to swing again. Tonya said, “I have hit a homerun” (in response to Ashlyn telling her she just hit a homerun) and Ashlyn said, “You didn’t hit a homerun.” And Tonya sai d, “the first time I did.” Ashlyn threw a strike and said, “You’re out, yeah.” Ashlyn is now on DDR with a peer ta lking “I feel weird” giggling. The other student started laughing and sa id, “What am I doing” as she is missing the steps and getting “boos ” on the screen. Ashlyn died laughing and the peer said while laughing, “Shut up”. Ashlyn kept laughing very hard and then the boys behind them waiting started making comments about Ashlyn on DDR missing some of the steps. Ashlyn kept laughing (the boys ar e laughing) and she turned around and said, “Stop” then turned b ack around and said giggling, “Where am I stepping”. The boys behind her are giggling and smiling. Ashlyn just finished a game on 3 kick by herself and she looked at her score and squealed a high pitched, “yeahhhh”. She went straight to the paper on the wall and wrote her name as part of the 100pt club with 107 points. Her peer started playi ng and Ashlyn turned around to the board and traced her name and points with her finger. She appears to be proud of herself. Wilson. Wilson is a petite, light skinned Hispan ic boy. He stands at average height with his peers, approximately 4’8 feet tall. Wilson is always well groomed in a collared shirt and khaki pants both well ironed. He is always in school uniform. Wilson is a well mannered student and speaks politely about his teachers and peers. He would look me in the eyes during conversations and respectfu lly discuss his appreciation for having the active gaming room at his school. The followi ng is an interview response from Wilson when I asked if he had anything else he would like to say about active gaming: I wanna, I wanna say that every single school should have these because every single students like sports and activities but they don’t think that games is some exercise I want like ever y single school should have these so every single student can have fun.

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89 Wilson is quiet around his peers and teacher s and is not animated when involved in game play. He smiles while he plays, and when others are playing the games, he is watching and occasionally making a comment: Wilson is watching Harris and Joey closely and very engaged in their competition. Joey finally caught a rail and Wilson said, “oooohhhh, you got it.” Wilson seemed excited to play DDR with Joey. Wilson had a huge smile on his face. He looked at me and said “I love this game.” Joey is looking at me and agreed by sayi ng, “Me too, I love this game.” Wilson said smiling, “I put it on expert (mode), and I am gonna be like, er er er (making funny noises)” as he is showing me how he is going to be moving his feet really fast to catch up. Joey and Wilson are back on DDR. Wilson keeps a smile on his face the entire time…They finish the song and quickly get off and wait one turn to play again. They star t bouncing up and down waiting for the arrows to move up the screen. The li ghts go out to quit in the middle of the song and they keep stepping. They wait until all others are sitting before they get off. Wilson is smiling the entire time he is dancing to the song. The following is an interview response from Leslie discussing Wilson’s demeanor: “I (Leslie) recall Willy being very ex cited, and Willy isa lso a very laid back guy. He just seemed very excited to me, from his normal demeanor. He is a normally calm guy, smiles a lot, he is very pleasant-mannered kid. But he doesn ’t normally include a lot of excitement, but I did see that from him with active gaming. Although Wilson is quiet, he is competitiv e when playing with his peers. Wilson enjoys challenging other peers when part icipating in active gaming. The following fieldnotes demonstrate Wilson’s competitive attitude: Joey and Wilson are still on Dogfi ghters and all of a sudden Wilson found Joey and shot him down. Wilson looked up at me and said, “I got him.” He seemed so proud! Jo ey said, “I’m gonna hurt him now” and Wilson said, “Sure you are” and is grinning ear to ear.

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90 Wilson and another girl are challe nging one another on DDR. This is the girl that Wilson told me ha d beat him before…They are waiting behind the pad singing to “Get Bu sy” and practice stepping. Wilson and his peer are now on light mode and play the same song (“Get Busy”). She received a score of a C and he received a D. Wilson just smiled and said, “Ok, 2 to 1. I will beat you next time.” Wilson just finished a game on DD R against his peer and won. He looked at me and said, “I have 2 points and she got 2 points.” As he pointed at the girl smiling big. Wilson is back on against his peer and playing on Standard mode. They both are not doing great. The light s go off to finish up for the day and they finish their song. Looking at the score he says to her, “Yeah, I won.” She said, “No we both got an E”. Wilson said, “No, look at the actual score, right here” as he is pointing to the number score. She said, “Oh, ok”. Wilsons said w ith a huge grin and sense of accomplishment, “Yeah, 3 to 2, I won”. She said, “I’ll get you Monday” and they both sat down quietly. Tonya. Tonya is an African American girl a pproximately 4’6 inches tall. She has thick, dark black hair that lies directly be low her shoulders. Tonya changes her hair style frequently and is always well groomed in appearance, including well dressed. She often wears clothes not aligned with the school dre ss code. Her attire is stylish as she wears designer jeans from “Baby Phat” and cute button up collared tops with shoes that resembled that of a dancer. Tonya is passi ve, patient, and non confrontational. She follows her peers when participating in sma ll groups agreeing to play the games her partners choose. Although Tonya is not out going, she remains on task and does what she is asked during instruction. She tends to not attract attention because she is quiet and does not misbehave. Leslie suggested Tonya is “very quiet, participat es does everything, but very quiet. And tends to not attract my attention just because she’s always doing what she’s supposed to be doing, ve ry quiet, doesn’t cause a problem.”

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91 Tonya is not emotional verbally or nonverb ally. However, when participating in active gaming she is often seen with a big smile on her face. Tonya is intense when playing the active games (stomps hard on DDR and hits with more force on 3 Kick) but never loses a smile from her face. Tonya enj oys physical education especially now that she is participating in enjoy active gaming: I feel like whenever I go in there it like I just meet new physical games and I don’t know why maybe I feel great, awesome, abnormal, about this but I no (know) I don’ t feel normal like I ha ve done this already. Well I really enjoy everything I mean every things great good awesome and I like the way they make it for you to have fun and still physical but I loved everything. The physical education teacher noticed Tonya ’s enjoyment with active gaming and made comments about it during interviews saying: And Tammy is also a quiet kinda gi rl, but she is just smiling, and you could tell she is enjoying it. Well they all loved it, there is no qu estion, they enjoyed it, all of them. The two that I noticed the most ch ange would be Tammy and Angela. Tammy, again, because I don’t really know her that well, but I saw a lot more of her personality, a lo t more smiling, a lot more, which maybe she did before and I didn’t notice… I think Tammy and Ashlyn love it. It ’s just that they’re more reserved in their whole demeanor about it. But they’re smiling, and you can really tell they’re enjoying it. The point isjust that they’re kinda “ahh ahh!” (high pitched excited yell). Leslie Leslie is the physical education teach er at Kadia Elementary School. She hold an undergraduate degree in Physical E ducation and a master’s degree in Adapted Physical Education. Leslie has taught physical education for 23 years in both elementary and middle school settings. This is Leslie’s second year at Kadia Elementary. Leslie is a white, middle-aged woman approximately 5’4 tall She has dark, tan sk in and her hair is

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92 black with natural grey. Although Leslie comes to class each day in gym shorts and a Tshirt that is not tucked into her shorts she appears clean and well groomed. Leslie mentioned she is a “very organized individual who tends to be anal and in control of classes.” When I was organizing my inquiry, Leslie, without delay, responded to emails, distributed and retrieved necessary do cuments on time, and relayed necessary conversations from teachers and administrators. Leslie is a confident woman serious about teaching physical education. Leslie suggests her main focus at Kadia Elementary is behavior and discipline control. She believes if student s are “on task and active the cl ass is successful”. She has a one warning rule where she warns a student of misbehavior in her class and the second offense leads to the student being sent out of class. Due to Leslie’s focus on discipline, learning objectives in her lessons are not the main priority in physic al education class. She mentions that her typical lessons are “not hing like the lessons the local University’s interns are required to plan or the lessons you (researcher) have prepar ed with the active gaming unit. She believes students at Kadia El ementary benefit more from being active, learning how to behave, and st aying on task, rather than focusing on various learning objectives and a progression of skill development. Th e following journal entries demonstrate Leslie’s focus on staying on task and being busy: Today the students continued moving around the room freely. They did an excellent job of having only one person waiting their turns at the stations. The students were all keep ing busy and they looked excited as they waited for their tu rn. All the research stud ents looked busy when I observed them and I did not notice any behavior problems at all…In general, the students remained activ e and well behaved for the duration of the class.

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93 This was the last week for the research study. The students were allowed to go to whatever stations they wanted again. The students did very well with this on Monday. To my knowledge, the research students were not involved in any misbehavior and they remained on task during class. Whenever I obser ved them, they appeared to be enjoying themselves and keeping active. Although Leslie seems strict and unemotiona l in her discussions about discipline control, she is often seen smiling and la ughing with the students and even hugging them when they accomplish or achieve something they feel is important and worth sharing. She is responsive to her students with both behavior issues and successful, positive experiences as demonstrated in th e following excerpt from fieldnotes: Wilson had been on the bike pedaling with Joey and then with Harris. Wilson got off and said to Leslie, “Wow, feel my heart” (smiling and holding his hand to his ches t). Leslie put her hand on his chest and said with a big grin on her face, “Ooooh, y eah, really beating fast.” Wilson smiled with his hand on his chest an d went back to watch his group on the bikes. Planned Lessons and Pedagogy I developed the lesson plans for this st udy because the physical education teacher, Leslie, did not have the knowledge of how to implement active gaming in physical education. I consulted with and expert adviso r to make sure the lessons I was developing were appropriate. I discussed the lesson pl ans with Leslie to make sure she felt comfortable implementing the le ssons with her students. I cr eated the lesson plans based on the students participating in an eight week fitness unit. The lessons focused on what the students should be learning first (component s related to fitness), and then used the active gaming room as a tool to accomplish the desired objectives. The active gaming lessons were based on Florida St ate and National standards.

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94 In a quality physical educa tion classroom, lessons s hould have objectives based on National or State standards. In additi on, each lesson should include at least one learning objective. Students should be made aware of the learning objective, provided with appropriate activities to practice the l earning component, and then assessed in order to understand if they have successful accomplished the learning component. In a conversation I had with Leslie, she mentione d her traditional physic al education classes focused primarily on behavior, discipline, a nd activity time. She di d not focus on learning outcomes. Leslie stated that the population of students at Kadia Elementary “were not disciplined at home appropriately and therefore, did not behave at school.” Therefore, she believed the students would benefit more from a strict, discipline focused environment that fostered activity time over skill developm ent or other learning objectives. Leslie did mention her lesson objectives were intended to meet Florida State standards; however, the learning objectives were not discussed or re lated to the students before class began or discussed at the conclusion of class. Accordingly, Leslie did not implement the active gaming lessons with the students’ learning the ob jectives as the focus. Leslie’s priority continued to be behavior and getting the st udents up and moving as quickly and as long as possible. The active gaming lessons are di scussed in Chapter 4 and can be found in Appendix G. Data Collection Data collection involves the attainment of information needed to answer research questions. I collected data for this stu dy based on a qualitative case study approach (Stake, 1995; Yin, 2003). In qualitative resear ch, it is important to provide enough data for validation of data to occu r (Cresswell, 1998). Validation or justification re fers to the

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95 strength of qualitative research made possibl e by the extensive time spent in the field, the detailed descriptions produced by the data, and the closeness to the participants during data collection (Cresswell, 1998) I justify the data through triangulation, or the use of multiple methods and sources of data collecti on to verify the consistency of the final report. Triangulation builds a consistent justification for the themes that will evolve during data analysis (Cresw ell, 2003). My inquiry ach ieved triangulation through the examination of evidence through interviews field notes, and journal entries across multiple participants. The Role of the Researcher Patton (2002) defines participant observat ion as a continuum that varies from being completely immersed in a setting as a full participant to only being a spectator. My role as the researcher in this study was in the middle of the continuum serving as an observer and a participant obser ver. I did not participate in the active games; yet, I observed and talked with the participants about what was happening while they were experiencing active gaming in physical educa tion classes. Additionally, I was involved in developing the active gaming lesson plans an d assisted with tec hnological difficulties with the active games during the study. I provided a manual to the physical educator that explained how to use the active gaming equipment, and provided ways to us e the equipment including ways for students to rotate in the active gaming room, a variety of challenges, and suggestions for assessing the students (Oh, A., 2007). I developed the active gaming lesson plans and worked with the physical educator to deve lop appropriate lesson plans to use during this study. The lesson plans include structured (i.e. stations or fixed rota tions), unstructured (i.e. open

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96 play or student’s choice), and semi-struc tured (i.e. activity ca rds or scavenger hunt) rotations. Each type of rotation was implemented before the 4th week of the study and again before the conclusion of the study in or der to learn if the wa y students move around the active gaming room influenced their expe riences during active gaming participation. I provided training for the physical educa tion teacher to learn about the active games, including how they function, possible options for game pla y, and instructional strategies that may be used. During the training, I explained and demonstrated each activity in the active gaming room. This trai ning was videotaped as well as observed by a colleague in order to provide verifi cation of activities that occurred. Interviews Student Interviews Interviews serve as one of the most important data s ources in case studies (Yin 2003). I conducted interviews with the six st udents. Although I was pursuing a consistent line of inquiry, the questions I posed to the st udents were fluid rather than rigid (Rubin & Rubin, 1995). In order to provide a convenien t and comfortable time and place for the participants’ interviews (Maykut & Morehous e, 1994), I rotated stud ents out of their music class (as arranged with the music teache r), and taken to the active gaming room for interviews. The students have music class tw o times each week for 30 minutes. After the initial interview with three students I decide d interviewing them in pairs would provide me with more quality data. The remaining inte rviews were conducted with the students in pairs.

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97 I interviewed the students three times during the study during week one, week four, and week eight. I reco rded the interviews using a Sony ICD-8500 voice recording device. I asked the students 10-12 open -ended questions (Appendix A) with each interview lasting approximately 15 minutes. The information I learned from recording fieldnotes and reviewing the vi deo tapes influenced the deve lopment of future interview questions that were asked. I c onsulted with and expert adviso r to make sure the interview questions I had developed were appropriate and effective in reaching the goal of answering my research questi ons (Appendix H). All student in terviews were immediately transcribed into a Word Document format that was used during data analysis. Teacher Interviews In addition to student interviews, I conducted interviews with the physical education teacher. Interviews with Leslie provided insigh t supporting the six students’ experiences while participating in active gami ng during the physical education classes. I conducted three intervie ws with the physical educator during week one, week four, and week eight. I recorded all interviews with the physical education teacher using a Sony ICD-8500 voice recording device. Each interview was approximately 35 minutes in length and was guided by 15 open-ended ques tions (Appendix B). I transcribed all interviews with the physical education teacher into a Word Document format that was used during data analysis. Fieldnotes The six fifth grade students particip ated in active gaming during physical education class twice a week for 8 weeks. During each session I observed the students

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98 and recorded fieldnotes, a written log of th e events being observed (Stake, 1995). The first day of each week I ob served the six students during active gaming in the general environment. I used a spiral bound journal to collect this data. During the second session of each week I collected detailed, in-depth fieldnotes on a specific recording form (Appendix E) in order to explain what was ha ppening with each participant’s experience during active gaming in the physical education classes. I reco rded any informal interview sessions I had with the stude nts during the active gaming sessions in the fieldnotes. Furthermore, I recorded personal impression s and thoughts related to what the students were experiencing during exergame play. In addition to taking fieldnotes on the st udents’ experiences, a graduate student assisted me with fieldnote data collection. The graduate student used a recording form (Appendix F) to document what the student s were doing at various times during the active gaming session. I provided a pseudonym fo r each of the six students to use for identification. Every minute the graduate st udent rotated observation to a different participant and recorded the activity in whic h the student was participating as well as other thoughts and/or expressi ons that occurred dur ing that time frame. All six students were equally observed; therefore, the gr aduate student used a rotation where the participants each had an equa l opportunity to be the first and last observation. The data collected was immediately transferred in a word document with my observation fieldnotes. This data did not provide significant di scoveries; however, this data did provide support to the fieldnotes recorded. In addition to recording fieldnotes, I reco rded each session using a video camera. The video camera assisted me in several ways: (1) I was able to review the information

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99 recorded on tapes during class to validate th e fieldnotes; (2) I was able to review the session that was recorded with the ability to capture any information pertinent to the study that may have been missed at the time when collecting the fi eldnotes; and (3) I generated interview questions ba sed on the information I reviewed in the video tapes. The video camera was mounted on a tripod and pos itioned to the side of the active gaming movement area which enabled the camera to cap ture a full view of the room. The video camera was turned on before students entered the active gaming room. The students were aware that they would be videotaped each session and consent forms were signed prior to participation in the study. The video camera did not have a significant influence on the reactions of the students. At the completion of each session, I wrot e a summary describing the six fifth grade students’ experien ces in active gaming. I reviewed the video tape to verify the fieldnotes were accurate and cap tured other information that was beneficial to the study. At the end of each session, I transferred all fi eldnotes from the spiral paper journal to a Word Document so data could be analyzed. Journal Entries Journal entries completed by the six fifth grade students served as another data source. Following experiences with active gaming, students discussed those experiences through journal writing assignments. The r eading and language arts teacher organized the journal writing assignments as part of the students’ reading and language arts class. I provided Leslie with the journal questions on a one page word document for each student to submit their entries. Students were give n guiding open-ended quest ions related to the

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100 purpose of the study. Students submitted journa l entries once a week on five out of the eight weeks of the study. Thei r first entry was before they experienced active gaming. This initial entry required them to discuss their experiences in physical education. The remaining four journal entries were collected at the conclusion of weeks two, four, six, and eight of the study. I collect ed the students’ journal en tries after each journaling session and immediately transfer red the data into a Word Document Program. Future journal questions were derived from what I learned from the students’ discussion about active gaming in their journal entries. Sample open-ended j ournal questions can be found in Appendix C. In addition to the students’ journal entrie s, the physical education teacher also submitted a journal. She wrote a journal entry following 10 of the active gaming session. Guiding questions for the entries can be found in Appendix D. A more experienced colleague assisted in the review of both in terview and journal question development. This process assured the questions were appropriate in order to provide the best information to answer the research quest ions in the study. Data Analysis “Data analysis in qualitative research c onsists of preparing and organizing the data for analysis, then reducing the data into themes through a process of coding and condensing the codes, and finally representing th e data in figures, tabl es, or a discussion” (Cresswell 2007, p. 148). To prepare and manage data collected, following each interview session I transcribed them using a wo rd processing program on the computer. Also, data from journal entries and field not es were transferred to a word processing

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101 program. All documents were stored in a s ecure file on the com puter and on a backup storage drive. Following the organization of data, I conti nued analysis by getting a sense of the entire database. By reading the transcri pts in their entirety several times for each fieldnote, interview, or journal transcription I was able to get a sense of the data as a whole before breaking it into parts (Agar, 1980). Next, I wrote short memos (e.g., short phrases, ideas, or key concepts) in the margins of the transcripts. Using an inductive analysis approach wh ich involves the discovering of patterns, themes, and categories in one’s data (Patton, 2002), I reflected on th e larger thoughts that were presented in the data and formed initia l categories. Then, I looked at multiple forms of evidence to support each category (Cresswell, 2007). I di d not use all the data I collected. I discarded the data that did not provide suffici ent support to a category that was used. This lead to the list of tentativ e codes I developed that then evolved into themes. As I reviewed and re-reviewed th e database, the number of categories were reduced and organized into themes (Cresswell, 2007). The themes were used to write a descriptive narrative in which I presented an in -depth picture of the case and it’s setting using a descriptive narrative approach. Summary The purpose of my research was to expl ore the experiences of six fifth grade students’ as they participated in active gaming during physical education classes. In my inquiry I also explored the expe riences of three boys and thre e girls as they participated in active gaming.

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102 Chapter 4 Descriptions of Student’s Active Gaming Experiences The purpose of this inquiry was to expl ore the experiences of six fifth grade students as they participated in active gaming during physical education classes. In my inquiry I also explored the expe riences of three boys and thre e girls as they participated in active gaming. This chapter will focus on describing the six st udents’ experiences while participating in active gaming during phys ical education classe s. The six students in this study were Joey, Harris, Wils on, Angela, Ashlyn, and Tonya. Their physical education teacher was Leslie. These are pse udonyms used to protect their anonymity. In addition, this chapter discusses the student s’ prior knowledge regarding exercise, the active gaming lesson plans and how the stud ents experienced th is curriculum. Knowledgeable Students Prior to the students participating in active gaming, I explored how the students felt about their physical educat ion class, what they had al ready learned about exercise, and how they felt about exercise. The student s reported enjoying thei r physical education class. Harris said, “My feelings for physical education class are deep. School would be a pretty boring place if physical education wasn’t involved,” and Joey mentioned, “Physical Education outside was like fun. Sh e (Leslie) gives us footballs and you pair up,

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103 and you just throw it, have fun, talk to your friends, and just have a good time.” Other students commented by saying, “Yeah I enjoy very much b/c you’re with you’re friends. You play with your friends.” (Wilson) I think P.E. is good the way it is. We practice throwing and other stuff to and its fun. (Angela) When discussing the word ‘exercise’, the si x students had a basic understanding of what exercise meant. The students believed exer cise was “good for the body” and “important to include in a healthy lifestyle.” Harris believed exercise was important by stating, “Exercise means a lot to me not only does it he lp my body it is a way of life.” Joey also felt exercise was good for him by saying, “Exerc ise means to me like if it’s helping me and my body getting more healthy and feeli ng great about myself.” The other students agreed by reporting: It’s fun and get’s your heart rate up, and it gives you excitement it makes you breathe harder. (Wilson) It means to do things or activit ies that keep you fit. (Angela) It means to get my body moving like not to just sit at home all day at lease go outside. (Tonya) Exercise means to me that it will give me a good heart rate and stronger abs (abdominals). (Ashlyn) It was clear before the students started pa rticipating in active gaming that they not only understood exercise, but they related it to participating in physical education. As Ashlyn stated, “My feelings for P.E. are exc itement because I like working out. I also like to gain more protein. But not just on pr otein bars but on P.E. In addition, Tonya

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104 explained, “Well my feelings about P.E. are that when I exercise it gives me this feeling that my body’s getting stronger.” The students clearly connected active gami ng to an enjoyable form of exercise. Ashlyn commented, “I feel really good. This is a wonderful opportunity to play games at the same time you are working out. I feel all worked out because these games give you all types of exercises.” Angela defined active gaming simply being fun, however, she was happy to know she was also being active. A ngela said, “Active gaming is when you play games that are fun, but still your being activ e and staying fit…There is really nothing wrong (with active gaming) so I guess I’ll just compliment it. I just think they (the games) are awesome and I’m still being active.” The other students agreed: Sometimes our PE (pause), some people think it’s boring. And when they play games when they’re exerci sing they think it’s fun. So that’s why active gaming is here. (Wilson) I think it’s awesome, because you’re playing games and you’re having fun, but you’re still doing physical work (Tonya). I feel excited on Mondays’ and Tues day’s when we go to the games room. But I also feel exhausted when we leave the game room (Harris). I really, really love it. I get en ergy and I also get active with the machines. It is the best that happened to this school (Joey). Ashlyn Active gaming is a game that is an exercise, but you really don’t know that it is exercize (exercis e). It feels great because we got to exercise and play video games at the same time. It’s great because people love playing video games. Also people love being strong too. Leslie supported the concept that exercise should be fun and active gaming was another tool to provide students the concept that exercising can be an enjoyable process.

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105 “Well, exercise can be fun and doesn’t have to be some horrible grueling thing and it doesn’t have to be jumping jacks. This is just another tool to get them excited about exercising, especially the ones that’s not their thing. ‘We ll you know this is kinda fun, but it’s not so bad, I got sweaty but I really felt good af ter this,’ and say afterwards ‘well maybe I should make this more a part of my life,’ it’s a wonderful thing to a dd to the program that is already here. To expand their horizons to that exercise can be fun.” The Students’ Daily Experience s in the Active Gaming Room This section describes the students’ ge neral experiences while participating in active gaming. Sections that follow will provid e detailed descriptions of the students’ experiencing the active gaming sessions including their experiences with the implemented lesson plans and social interactions with peers. The students participating in the study were scheduled to come to physical education on Monday and Tuesday afternoons fr om 1:45 to 2:15. This was the last class period of the day. The students had class with their homeroom teacher prior to coming to physical education. Their homeroom teacher ha d a policy in which the students would not leave for physical education class until all students were quiet and on task. As a result, the class was consistently 4-6 minutes late to physical education class each day. As soon as the students arrived, Leslie was at the doo r waiting for them. The students would leave their book bags outside by the door to the ac tive gaming room to prevent any safety hazards. The students walked in quietly and sat down in front of the 3 Kick facing the middle of the room waiting for instructions by Leslie. Each lesson plan included an introducti on to assist Leslie in implementing the daily instructions. Leslie w ould spend a brief 2-4 minutes discussing the lesson for the

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106 day, occasionally mentioning or revisiting the previous lesson if applicable. In addition, Leslie would always remind the students of various management issues such as remembering to rotate when asked, sharing equipment, finishing their worksheets, and respecting one another. After this brief intr oduction, the students w ould be released to begin playing the active games according to the lesson. In some cases, partners were selected by the teacher. In other instances the students were allowed to choose their partners. In both situ ations, the students were up and moving in the active gaming room quickly. Students would then be considered “ on their own” as they would follow the instructions from the daily lesson. Some le ssons required the students to rotate when asked by Leslie. If this was the case, Leslie would turn the lights o ff, say “rotate” loudly, and then proceed to turn the lights back on. The students would then know they were to rotate to the next activity. If the students were not asked to rotate at a designated time period, they would complete activities on a worksheet and move around the room accordingly or they experienced “free play” where they could choose any activity they wanted to play as many times that lesson. Once the students became familiar with each of the active games after the first week of classes, there was li ttle interaction between Leslie and the students. Regardless of the daily le sson the students would participate in the active games independently or with a partne r with little assistance from Leslie unless there were technical issues w ith the equipment or behavior problems. Once the students started playing a game, they were in the vi rtual world of the game often experiencing it with a peer.

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107 At the end of class, the afternoon sch ool announcements would be heard over the intercom. Leslie did not stop the students to listen to the ann ouncements nor did the students stop playing the games to try to he ar them. At the end of each class, Leslie would turn off the lights and tell the stude nts to stop game play and have a seat. Although the students were often reluctant to hurry and sit down, they would come together as a class sitting in front of 3 kick facing the center of the room as they had prior to the beginning of class. At this time, Leslie would spend 1-2 minutes discussing the lesson that day. Some classes she would me ntion the learning components associated with the lesson while other days she would si mply give praise for positive behavior and proceed to take roll and di smiss the students for the day. Experiencing the Curriculum This section describes the active gami ng lesson plans and how the students’ experienced each lesson. The data provided describing the students’ experiences with each lesson plan illustrates th e social interaction the stude nts engaged in during active gaming participation. All lesson plans can be reviewed in Appendix G. Lesson Plan #1 The first lesson covered the first three sessions in the active gaming room. This lesson was designed to be semi-structured in order to let the students explore the activities; yet, there was a learning obj ective intended for each student to understand therefore some structure was necessary. The fo cus of the first lesson was for students to learn various muscles of the body using the active gaming equipment as the tool to accomplish this goal. After students participated on an active game, they were asked to

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108 write on their worksheet the muscle groups they felt were used in the activity. Students were put into groups of three by Leslie a nd asked to fill out a worksheet about the muscles of the body. The three girls in th e study were in one group and the three boys were in another group. The students had five mi nutes to explore an active game and then were asked to rotate to a new activity. They were encouraged not to repeat an activity until they had been to each activity once and had completed the worksheet. The activities allowed for two out of the three students to be active, the third stude nt (not active) had the job to record group responses on the work sheet. The students were often engaged socially by talking to or watc hing their peers instead of working on the worksheet. Leslie mentioned to me that the students were not used to filling out worksh eets in class, so she needed to do a better job of reminding them to focus on what they are learning as they play the games. Leslie reiterated the importa nce of the worksheet at the beginning of the second class and the students paid more atte ntion to completing the assignment. Leslie would also remind them that they were not to repeat an activity until they had been to all activities and the worksheet was complete. As the students entered the active gaming ro om the first day of class, their eyes quickly searched the room looking at the diffe rent activities they were about to play. Leslie had instructed them to “walk in and si t down in front of the 3 Kick immediately.” There was little talking, but a rumble of wh ispers could definitely be heard. The six students sat down and faced Leslie waiting fo r instructions. Harris was sitting beside a peer pointing at the Gamebikes and Joey was sitting beside Wilson looking at the Gamercize (GZ) activities. The three girls were sitting quietly with their legs crossed and their eyes on Leslie. Leslie began putting students into groups and handing out the

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109 worksheets for the lesson. As the boys groups was called, all th ree quickly stood up. Harris took the worksheet and pencil and they hurried to the XrBoards. Harris and Joey jumped on first while Wilson watched. Harris was talking about the game while staring at the screen the entire time. Joey had a smile on his face as he was playing. Wilson was smiling and talking to the other boys as he was watching them play. They were racing each other down the snowy hill on snowboards. Every once in a while the boys would make comments like, “oh no” or “check that out”, or “that was so cool.” The girls chose to play the Gamebikes. Angela and Ashlyn jumped on the bikes and Tonya watched. Tonya was watching the screen and would occasionally smile when Ashlyn wrecked her bike while playing th e game. Angela was smiling and started pedaling faster on the bikes as if she began to realize the faster she pedaled the faster the bike would move. Ashlyn was focused and her eyes were locked on the screen. Ashlyn was pedaling fast and seemed to lose control of her bike and said, “oh my gosh. Where is it going?” Angela just smiled and kept pedaling. Due to the large number of students in the class, during this lesson plan the students were in groups of th ree where only two could play at a time. If an activity appeared to be open to play, students woul d move to play the open game instead of waiting with their group. Duri ng one rotation, the boys went to the Wii station where Joey and Wilson played and Harris was wa iting and watching. As fieldnotes stated, “Harris tried to go to Xavix boxing since it was open assuming he did not want to wait to play; however, he was quickly told by Leslie that he needed to stay with his group. He apologized and quickly walked back where he watched his partners and continued to talk

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110 through the game with them. Joey and W ilson smiled and laughed while they bowled together.” When students did have to wait, they we re intently involved in their partners’ game play. Students would make comments about the characters in the screen or about strategies related to the game. During one rotation in the first lesson the girls went to GZ. Tonya and Ashlyn were both on the steppers but only Ashlyn was controlling the game as the game was on single player mode. Alt hough Tonya was not actually controlling the game, she continued to step in sequence with Ashlyn while watching the screen intently. Tonya smiled and said, “Where are you going.” Ashlyn giggled and kept playing. Tonya had a grin on her face as she continued to step and watch Ashlyn play. Ashlyn said, “This is so cool,” as she st arred at the screen. Ashlyn seemed to become frustrated with the game and said out loud, “How do I get up there? I need to ge t up there but it won’t go.” Tonya kept a huge grin on her face while watching the screen and pointing she said, “try to move over there first. Maybe you have to get that over there first.” Both girls continued to step while watc hing the screen. Angela was working on the worksheet but would stop and look up and watch the game play periodically. In a ddition, the students would engage in competitive discussions. During one activity Joey and Harris were playing baseball on Nintendo Wii. Joey was swinging the remote missing the ball several times in a row. He said, “Dang it. I am missi ng it!” Harris said, “C ause I am blowing it by you.” Then Joey made virtual contact with the ball and said, “OHHH….yeah, home run. Home run! I got you boy, I got you” (pointing at Harris). Harris shook his head and laughed and said, “You better get ready.” Both boys starred at the screen ready for the next play.

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111 The following fieldnotes illustrate additiona l experiences the students encountered playing the active games during the first lesson: The boys went right to the Gamebike s during the last rotation. Harris jumped on to play against Wilson. Harris was pedaling very fast while talking to the character on the screen, telling it where to go and what to do. He was laughing hard. Wilson was smiling as he was pedaling trying to be more in control by slowing down his pedaling when he was about to wreck. Joey asked to switch and Harris jumped up and let him. Harris went over to watch Xa vix and was laughing with the other boys that were boxing. Then he went back to stand by Joey and watched the bikes. Joey said, “Ah, I love this”. Harris asked to switch with Joey quick again so Joey got up. Joey’s face was red and he was sweating and smiling. Joey said as he was switching “Man, this is good (giggled)….this is hard”. Harris appears to be eager to play. The boys jumped on GZ first – Harris was first. He figured it out quick and was talking to the screen with Joey as he stepped and controlled the game. Joey was intent in watching and making comments. All comments were related to the game and not the exercise. Joey then switched with Harris after a few minutes and was quickly into the game. Wilson was wa tching and pointing at the screen discussing where Batman and Robi n should be going and what they should be doing to win. Joey was sm iling as he was stepping and his face quickly became red. It was almost time to rotate and sweat was starting to fall from his face. The girls went to Xavix and Ashl yn jumped in first to box. She was boxing fast and staring intently at the screen. A ngela was looking around at the room. Tonya was watchi ng the screen closely. Angela switched with Ashlyn. Angela was passively punching but was engaged in the game. The custodia n came by before leaving and said “oh, you knocked him out!” Angela said “that’s the second time” while she smiled at him. Girls went to 3 kick and each took a tower to play. After each game they would reset a new game to 30 seconds. Angela would use her knee to hit the middle and low lights. Tonya was laughing and smiling every time a new light would illuminate. At the end of one game, Ashlyn pointed at the sc ore and said with a huge smile, “113 points.” Ashlyn reset a new game to 30 seconds again.

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112 During the last rotation, the boys went to Xavix boxing and Harris jumped on first. Wilson sat down in a chair to watch and wiped his face that was dripping with seat. Joey was working on the worksheet and then was around the room. Harris was punching intensely as he watched the screen closely. In the middle of the game, he said as he grabbed his arm, “Oh, my arms,” and then handed the gloves to Joey. Joey boxed for a short amount of time and said, “This is hard” as he c ontinued punching fast. Harris went over to the Gamecycle and started pedaling but Leslie told him to stay with his partners. He stoppe d pedaling but started again when she left. When another group came over, he respectfully went back to Xavix boxing to watch his peers. Then he sat down in a chair with an exhausted look on his face and pink cheeks. The last day of lesson one Leslie was adam ant to provide extra time after class in order for the students to complete the worksh eet. She was concerned that they may need more time due to a lack of experience work ing on assignments in Physical Education class. Although the learning objectives related to the le sson were not discussed, the students’ experiences with the first lesson di d demonstrate involvement with learning the various muscles. As Tonya stated, “I feel this is great and that it is very physical and you can learn things like parts of your muscles and me I haven’t learned any before but I really want to and that is why it is called physical education and th at’s how I feel.” In addition, during one rotation the boys had move d to the Gamebikes. Harris and Wilson jumped on the bikes first and Joey was watchi ng. Harris was pedaling very fast while he was talking and laughing with his peers. Af ter approximately 1 min and 45 seconds into playing Harris said, “I can feel it!” as he was pointing at his calves. When class time was over, Leslie would turn off the lights to signal for the students to finish game play and sit down in front of 3 Kick. During the first lesson, the students were reluctant to imme diately stop their activ ity. Leslie would turn the lights off again to warn the students a second time to be seated. Once, Wilson was in the middle of

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113 playing DDR after Leslie had turned the lights off the second time. Although Wilson’s partner Joey had followed instructions and sat down, Wilson conti nued to play. Leslie walked over to Wilson and said sternly, “W ilson, come on, that’s the second warning you need to sit down now.” Wilson looked around and jumped off the DDR pad and then sat down quietly. At the end of the class, Leslie briefly re viewed the lesson with the students. Leslie asked the students to discuss an activity they played and what muscle they felt was being used. Harris answered with, “my calves, when I was on the bikes “(pointing to his legs). Joey volunteered to answer the same questi on and said, “The biceps when playing the Gamecycle” as he pointed to his biceps sm iling. Angela raised her hand and answered “My quadriceps on the bikes” (pointing at the Gamebikes). Lesson Plan #2 The second lesson plan covered four cla ss periods (Sessions 4-7) in the active gaming room and focused on a semi-structure d rotation. The students were in groups of three and played two activities each class period in order to complete a “Feel the Beat” worksheet. The students were supposed to be able to choose thei r groups of three; however, Leslie forgot and put them in the same groups they were in during the first lesson. The lesson focused on understanding the three intensity leve ls (low, moderate, high) in order for the students to begin payi ng attention to their bodies and how they felt a particular activity made th eir heart beat. The students were asked to circle on a worksheet whether the active game they comple ted would be classified as low, moderate, or high intensity. The students had 8-10 minutes at each station before they rotated and

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114 chose their next activity. Students were asked not to repeat an ac tivity until they had completed the worksheet. The allotted time (8-10 minutes) was a modification from the first lesson as the intent was to let the student s restart games in order to take ownership in how they performed in the game and five minutes would not have been a sufficient amount of time. Leslie introduced the lesson with an an alogy of two different types of activities. She explained that sitting still, not being active, would be a low intensity activity. She compared low intensity to running in place as fast as you can for two minutes bring a high intensity activity causing the heart to beat faster. She passed out the worksheets and asked the students go to their first activity. The students were into the routine of ente ring class quietly and sitting in front of the 3 Kick. The students would point to game s as they walked in whispering to their peers. The three boys and three girls were pl aced in the same groups for lesson two as they had been in for lesson one. The boys were sitting together pointing at various games around the room. Once Leslie called their gr oup, the students ru shed to take the worksheet and pencil and to find their first activity to play. Every once in awhile, the students would phys ically touch their chest to feel their heart beat in order to determine the intensity level of the activity during class time. During one incident, Willie had been on the bike pedaling with Joey and then got off to let Harris take a turn. Willie went up to Leslie and said, “Wow, feel my heart.” And Leslie put her hand on his chest and said, “Ooooh, yeah, really beating fast.” Willie smiled as he put his hand back on his chest a nd then went back to watch his group on the bikes. Ashlyn and Tonya had finished a song on DDR and both girls tried to feel their

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115 heart beat by putting their hands on their ch est. Tonya smiled and Ashlyn said, “Mine’s not that high.” Tonya did not say anything just smiled. Ashlyn stepped off the pad and said, “Mine must be moderate so DDR was not high intensity.” The following is an excerpt from fieldnotes captu ring a learning experience with two students before class during lesson two. Joey walked in and sat down beside Willie. Joey said to Willie, “Let’s take our heart beat” and both boys put their hand on their chest. Joey stood up while other students were s till coming into class and started running in place. Then he sat down and put his hand on his chest again. “Wow, it’s a lot faster not” grinning as he talked to Willie. Throughout the four days of lesson two, th e students experien ced playing each of the active games. Regardless of which activ ity the students playe d, they were engaged and interacting with the game and their peers. Sometimes the students would assist one another in learning the game or strategies within the game. During one activity, Angela had tried a mode on DDR that too difficult for her. The arrows were flying up the screen and although she was stepping quickly she was not experiencing success. Noticing Angela struggling, Ashlyn, who was standing behind Angela watching, said, “I got the back arrows, you take the other ones” and she stood behind the pad stepping on the back arrows while Angela tried to hit the other 3 arrows. Angela remained focused at first but when Ashlyn began to laugh she too starte d giggling. Both girls finished the song laughing and stepping together. The girls also experienced assisting one another while playing the Gamercize (GZ) activity. The girls were smiling and laughing playing Batman and Robin and talking back and forth about strategies in the game. “I’m up here now Batman” Ashlyn said to Angela. Ange la was not moving her character to the suggested area on the screen and Tonya said, “Go help Robin” (Ashlyn’s character) and

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116 was pointing on the screen where she needed to go. Angela said sternly, “I’m trying to help but she keeps going over there and I can’t get over there” as she pointed at a location on the screen. Ashlyn said, “Oh, I didn’t know I had to go there, wait for me there.” The following are brief fieldnote excerpts illustrating additional peer assistance experiences: Joey and Wilson jumped on the dogfighters first and Harris was watching. Harris then turned ar ound to help two peers on the Gamercize activity. He explained ho w to use the controller to be Batman or Robin and was pointing at the screen. Harris then turned back around and started watching Joey on the Dog Fighters. Harris said to Joey giggling, “Take a deep breath in between” as Harris was smacking Joey’s knee every time he would pedal and his knee would raise up as if he was trying to mo tivate Joey to pedal faster. Wilson said to Joey, “shoot it, shoot it” a nd Harris said, “You got to shoot the air balloon” and Joey said, “OHHHH” (not aware of the strategy of the game). Wilson switched with Joey because Joey crashed and Harris jumped on the other DF and was pedaling with Wilson although his bike was not working. Joey was gr abbing the handlebars to help Wilson play and Leslie came by and told him to stop and let him play his own game. Joey said, “I’m sorry, ok” and then began to encourage Wilson during the game verbally. Wilson and Harris jumped on the DDR pads first. Joey watched and was suggesting songs for the boys to choose. Joey’s face is red again. They choose the popular song by Chri s Brown that the entire class seems to want to play and sing along too. Both boys are staring at the screen intently with little expres sion. Harris switched with Joey after one song. They are trying to figure out which song to play. Wilson wants a faster song so it is more difficult but did not know which song to choose. Harris helped the other bo ys realize which songs are faster by pointing out the BPM (beats per mi nute) on the screen. He said, “You just look right here and if it is higher than the song is faster. That way you don’t have to move up another level yet.” The students once again demonstrated a rele ntlessness to want to participate in game play to the point where they took a ri sk of getting into trouble by not following

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117 instructions. Not only did the students continue to play once Leslie signaled for class to be over, but they also continued playing wh en it was time to rotate to a new activity. Once, the girls were on 3 Kick when Leslie signaled for the students to rotate to a new activity. The girls had just started a new game so there was almost 45 seconds left to play. The girls continued to play, each on a to wer, not seeming to care that another group of three was waiting to play. One of the peers waiting said, “Hey, it’s our turn, hurry up.” Ashlyn said, “We are almost done, just wait a second.” Leslie did not notice the girls had not rotated. The girls finished the game and quickly left the game. In addition to the students not finish game play when instructed, they were eager to engage in game play. Before the last class started during the sec ond lesson, the girls had created a “game plan” in order to start on DDR. As soon as Leslie called the first group up for the day to get started, Tonya snuck to DDR to hold it for he r group. The girls were not supposed to be at DDR again as they had already completed this activity on their worksheet. However, this did not seem to bother them. When th e girls group was called, Ashlyn quickly got on the other pad and Angela gra bbed the worksheet and pencil. The girls quickly picked a song and started playing without saying a word. Furthermore, Leslie had warned the student s not to repeat an activity before they had completed their worksheet. In fact, she wa rned them before and during class several times. However, many students did not follow th ese directions. During one class, Leslie told the students during the introduction that the ELP students would be leaving early. She said, “When I turn off the lights for the ELP students to line up, they need to do so immediately but the rest of the class can continue playing. Harris and Wilson were ELP students. When it was time, Leslie turned th e lights out for the students to stop playing

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118 for dismissal of the ELP students. Harris a nd Wilson did not line up. They both continued playing DDR. Harris finished the song and got off the DDR pad as if he were going to line up. Then he jumped on the Gamebikes wi th another peer while the line of ELP students was walking out the door. Leslie l ooked at Wilson and he immediately jumped off DDR, handed me the pencils, and hurried to the end of the line to leave. A peer peaked inside the room and yelled at Harris, “Harris, come on”. Harris jumped off the bike and ran out the open door. The girls were guilty as well: Ashlyn and Tonya are back on the DDR and Angela is watching. This is the second game in a row they have played on the DDR but Leslie does not seem to notice no r do their other peers. Yesterday (3rd session of this lesson), the gi rls played several games on DDR as well. They do not seem to care that Leslie has instructed them to complete their worksheet before repeating an activity. They have not gotten into trouble yet so I am assuming that is why they continue to play. Leslie expressed enjoying letting the students stay on each activity for a longer period of time (compared to the first lesson). She believed it allowed all students in each group to experience the activity during each rota tion. In addition, she believed the longer rotations “reduced transition time which made them behave better.” The following excerpts from Leslie’s journal entries expl ain how she felt about the second lesson plan: I really liked having a10 minute interval at each station. The students got to spend enough time to learn the ins and outs of the activities. Also, the students seem ed to do a better job of sharing and taking turns with the 10 minute intervals. I think that because they had more time, the whole cl ass did a better job with the worksheet as well. The students did well today continuing with the 10 minute interval stations. Questioning them as I went around the room, they appeared to understand the concept of low, moderate, and high intensity.

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119 Lesson Plan #3 The third lesson covered two classes (s essions 8 and 9) and focused on the students learning the difference between musc ular strength and muscular endurance. This lesson was designed to be unstructured. Students could move around the room with free choice playing the activities they wanted to play. They could also choose to play independently or with other peers. There wa s an affective objective in the lesson plan focusing on the student’s sharing the equipmen t and taking turns with peers in order for all students to have an opportunity to play an activity if desired. The lesson plan asked the students to try to remain active as of ten as possible limiting waiting time to only one student waiting for an activity at a time (E.g. two students playing the DDR pads and only two students waiting to play the next game). Dance Dance Revolution was a very popular game with the students, so by impl ementing this affective objective it was the intention that all students would be able to play desired activities. The students were asked not to wait long periods of time for the equipment. As Leslie finished explaining the instruc tions, the students seemed excited to get started as many were already starting to sta nd or were scooting on their bottoms closer to the activities. Joey was up on one knee ready to run to an activity. She said, “Joey (smiling) you need to sit down. I know you are ex cited”. She then let all the girls go first and then dismissed the boys. Most kids ran to DDR including Ashlyn, Wilson and Harris. Angela went to GZ with a peer and played it the rest of the class. Joey jumped on an XrBoards with a peer and T onya went to Nintendo Wii. Being an unstructured lesson the students were able to play the games they wanted and when they wanted as long as th ey took turns. Initially, the students would

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120 play a game and then get back in line to play the same game again. They would repeat this behavior until there were too many students waiting to play or they seemed to be ready to try a different activity: Harris finished his song on DDR an d went right behind the pad to play again. Harris was waiting on DDR and said, “Ah man that was perfect” as he watched a peer step fast and “perfects” ran up the screen. Harris played two more times on DDR and then rotated with a peer to 3 kick. Joey and Wilson are back on DDR together. Wilson keeps a smile on his face while Joey smiles and then gets serious. When the song is over, they quickly get off and get back in line to wait one turn and then play again. When it is their turn again, they start bouncing up and down waiting for the arrows to move up the screen. Wilson is on DDR, smiling and finished playing. Looked at peer and slapped a high five with him. He did not want to get off and a peer waiting that was much larger grabbed him around the waist and gently moved him off the pad. Wilson was smiling and immediately got back in line to play again. In addition to the students initially rep eating activities, this unstructured lesson compared to the semi structured and stru ctured lessons, encouraged additional peer interaction as students moved around the r oom freely with different partners. The students were not just interacting with their partners, but they were interacting with any peer playing an activity that th ey were interested in at th e time. During one activity, Joey was on 3 kick playing alone. A female peer wandered over and jumped in to play with him. Joey gladly accepted the assistance as he was smiling and so was she. Joey’s face was turning red as sweat was dripping down hi s forehead. The students waiting to play an activity were also interacting with the game play. In one experience, Ashlyn was playing DDR with a peer and two boys were wa iting to play. Ashlyn sa id “I feel weird”

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121 giggling and her peer playi ng started laughing and said, “What am I doing” as she was missing the steps and getting “boos” on the sc reen. Ashlyn died laughing and the peer said while laughing, “Shut up”. Ashlyn kept laug hing very hard and then the boys waiting behind the girls started ma king comments about Ashlyn on DDR missing some of the steps. Ashlyn kept laughing (the boys were laughing) and she turned around and said, “Stop” turned back around and said gigg ling, “Where am I stepping”. The boys behind her were giggling and smiling. Additional peer interaction experiences during this lesson are illustrated in the following fieldnotes: Tonya had jumped on 3kick and anot her girl ran up to her to hit a few lights. Tonya seemed to we lcome the peer’s help. Tonya was smiling the entire time on 3 Kick running to the lights kicking and punching. She then slowed down as if she was getting tired and walking fast to the lights instea d of running. The timer went off and both girls smiled at one another and set the timer to play again. Tonya was still smiling. Joey is waiting and watching Wilson on DDR. Joey got real excited for Wilson and said, “Wilson, Wilsonnnnn” smiling so big and laughing as he watched Wils on stepping fast trying to match the arrows on a level that appeared too difficult for him. Shortly after the screen said “Failed” a nd the two boys looked at each other and start laughing. Ashlyn was on DDR and put it on heavy mode that was too hard for her and her peer. Ashlyn was jumping around trying to hit as many arrows as possible as fast as possible. She is dying laughing with her peer and the peers watc hing. Her tongue is pushed to the side of her cheek making it protrude – she continues to giggle and make noises like, “ohh, ah man, oh my gosh.”Wilson is practicing behind her with a slight grin but focused trying to play. The students were more willing to challe nge one another to a game during this lesson. This may be because they were more comfortable with the games and had a choice with whom they competed and in which activities they chose to compete. Wilson

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122 had been playing DDR several times during one class. As he finished a game and stood back in line to play again, he glanced over to another classmate that was playing DDR on the other side of the room. Wilson walked ove r and whispered to the girl playing that he wanted to play her. Another peer in line sai d, “You gotta get in lin e though” and he said, “Nah, I just want to face her” and walked b ack to the other DDR and got back in line. The girl he challenged got off and came and waited with Wilson to play. The students remained on task throughout the entire three cla ss periods covering lesson three. As I would pe riodically look around the room all students were either playing a game or closely involved in watchi ng another peer’s game. At one point during the last class of the third le sson, I listened to the majority of the students singing the Chris Brown song that was playing in DDR. This song was popular with many of the students and they would play it over and over agai n while playing DDR. The other students would sing as they played the other activities or were engaged watchi ng their peers’ game play. Initially, Leslie had expresse d concern about letting the kids move freely with a lack of structure. However, after this less on, she began to feel more comfortable with the students’ ability to be responsible in an unstructured environment. The following are excerpts from Leslie’s journal and an inte rview response on this unstructured lesson: The students were allowed to move around the room as they wished today. The directions were that only one person could wait for each of the activities. Initially, the students did not follow the directions and there were too many waiting at some of the stations (mainly DDR). After reminding them of the rule, the students did a good job of moving around to the various activities and only having one person waiting for a turn. All the students seemed to enjoy this method of freely moving around. I thought in general that the class went very well in both activity leve l and behavior.

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123 Today the students continued moving around the room freely. They did an excellent job of having only one person waiting their turns at the stations. The student s were all keeping busy and they looked excited as they waited for their turn. “I think the kids have been better than I expected. Especially with a lot of this let them go on your ow n type of thing. I’ve just been pleased about how they’ve responded to everything. I think they’ve done a pretty good job. And they’re pretty much paying attention, know what we’re talk ing about with the muscles and endurance and all that. I mean, if I asked them every single one they probably wouldn’t know. But if some of them are getting it; it means the information is getting th ere. And if they’re willing to listen and getting it. I’ve just been pleased with how things are going so far.” At the end of each session, Leslie would ask students what activities they played and if they felt like they we re developing muscular strength or muscular endurance. Not many students raised their hand including th e six participants. The students that did answer the question were not probed to explain why they gave their answer. Lesson Plan #4 The fourth lesson plan covered four cla ss periods (sessions 10-13) and focused on understanding heart rates and how to calculate average and maximum heart rates. Students selected their own groups of three for the fourth lesson plan. Students rotated in a structured station set up – ni ne total stations. They spen t approximately 8-10 minutes at each station before they were asked to rotate Before starting student s were asked to find their resting heart rate by calculating their pulse (10 second count and multiply by 6) and record it on the provided worksh eet. Before students started class, before each station rotation, and at the end of the class, Leslie asked the students to take their pulse for 10 seconds and multiply it by 6. At the end of each class, the worksheet instructed the

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124 students to find their minimum heart rate, ma ximum heart rate and their average heart rate; however, Leslie did not discuss this with the students. The students did not calculate their maximum and average heart rates. As soon as Leslie mentioned the students would choose their groups of three, the students began shifting closer to one another as if they were secretly picking partners. One peer put her hang on Ashlyn’s shoulder and Ashlyn turned and smiled but remained sitting quietly for further instructions. Les lie called up the name of a student and that group would grab a pencil and worksheet and choo se a station at which to begin. Harris’s group ran to the Nintendo Wii’s where one gi rl was already standing. The girl said, “We were here already,” and Harris responde d by saying, “No you weren’t, nobody else is here but you. You can’t hold, you can’t hold it. ” The girl turned ar ound and left. Harris and his partners started pl aying baseball together. All students were quickly in groups and at a station playing. Angela’s group went to Xavix boxing and GameCycle (GC) first. Angela began playing GC and her partner was boxing. Leslie walked up to Angela a nd commented on her game play by saying, “Wheeeew, you are doing good!” Angela was smili ng as her other peer was watching and waiting to play. The partner on boxing got o ff and the peer watchi ng Angela said, do you want to go (play boxing), Angela?,” and Angela said, “Sure” and left Gamecycle to go to the Xavix boxing. Angela had expressed in an interview and journal en try that she did not enjoy the boxing game because she, “didn’t like to punch things and the game did not always punch when it was suppose to.” Althoug h Angela had expressed this frustration with Xavix boxing, she had a different experience while boxing this time:

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125 Angela was boxing at a consistent pace and soon knocked out her computer opponent. She said, “ knockout” and watched the screen as it counted to 7 and then th e opponent got up. She started boxing again and quickly knocked out the opponent again and said, “Yeah, knockout again but stay down th is time. Hey, where’s Tasha (turned to find her partner). He y I knocked him down and it was already a knock out. Now I go to the championship.” Tasha laughed and was watching the sc reen. Angela was grinning and back in position ready to play again. Once again, competition became an obvious fo rm of peer inter action as all six students competed with anothe r peer during an activity. Ange la was considered the least competitive of the six students and she a ppeared to enjoy engaging in competition. During one rotation, Angela was on 3Kick with two others playing one at a time for 30 seconds each. Although they were comparing scor es, the students wai ting would try to hit a light before the student playing if it illu minated on a pad close to them. Angela was near a tower when a light came on and she trie d to hit the light before the peer playing would get to it. The girls started laughing wh en this happened. When the game was over, she tried to play in front of another peer and the peer said, “It’ s my turn” and Angela smiled and took a step back and let her play fi rst. When it was Angela ’s turn to play she moved quickly trying to hit the lights as fast as she could, keeping a slight grin on her face. At the end of the game, she looked at th e score and said, “Who is next” then rotated out to watch. The following fieldnotes demonstrate other students competing against themselves or other peers during lesson four: Harris is on the XrBoards snow boarding down a mountain against a peer. The peer says, “So, we tie d?” and Harris says, “How dare you. Oh, now we tied, how about that.” Peer says, “No” as he

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126 smiles. The game finishes and they compare scores pointing at the screen. “I got you” Harris said, smiling and pointing at the score. Peer just shakes his head and smiles. Wilson and another girl are cha llenging one another on DDR. This is the girl that Wilson told me had beaten him before. The entire rotation they challenged one anot her on DDR. Right now they are waiting behind the pad singing to “Get Busy” and practice stepping. Wilson and his peer are on light mode and play the same song (“Get Busy”). The song ended and his peer received a C and he received a D. Wilson just sm iled and said, “Ok, 2 to 1. I will beat you next time.” Wilson is back on against his peer and playing on Standard mode. They both are not doing great. The li ghts go off to finish up for the day and they finish their song. Looki ng at the score he says to her, “yeah, I won.” She said, “no we both got an E”. Wilson said, “no, look at the actual score, right here” as he was pointing to the number score. She said, “oh, ok”. Wilsons said with a huge grin and sense of accomplishment, “yeah, 3 to 2, I won”. She said, “I’ll get you Monday” and sat down quietly. Ashlyn just finished a game on 3 ki ck by herself and she looked at her score and squealed a high pitched, “yeahhhh”. She went straight to the paper on the wall a nd wrote her name as part of the 100pt club with 107 points. Her pe er started playing and Ashlyn turned around to the board and tra ced her name and points with her finger. She appeared to be proud of herself. In addition to competing, students were once again assisting one another during game play and communicating about the games. The following demonstrates a conversation Joey had with his peers playi ng Gamercize (GZ) with a new game called Spryo. Joey had played it at home and was excited to help his peers with the game: Joey went over to watch his tw o partners already on GZ playing spyro. Joey was into this game and was commenting as they were playing: “Ahhhh…dragons. This gu y is hard” a peer said. “I know, I told you. Oooohhh, did you see that fire!” Joey said, “Yeah….no that one is spyro no me” a peer said(one of the peers thought he was spyro and was not). If I were you I would just stay

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127 in the back,” Joey suggested. “A hhh…he did a roll in the air. Did you guys see that? I still think I am better than that” Joey commented. Joey’s peers are talkin g back and forth and one said, “Oh, you are spyro now” to his pa rtner playing. “No, but now I am” the peer replied. Joey commented, “You beat em? Yes, you be em. I want to be Spryo. Who’s spyro? I want to be spyro now. This is really cool!” One peer was assisting Tonya while playing the XrBoards. The peers said, “Ride that rail. I think you get more points.” Tonya res ponded, “But how, I don’ t know how to get on it up there.” The peer pointed to the screen, “You just ge t over to it and you just go, it just goes or you can press this button and try too” as she pointed at the button on her own controller. Then the peer sa id, “And anyway, it’s easier to play if you hold on and bend your knees like this” showing her how she be nds her knees while standing on the board. “My legs be burning after it but it works be tter.” Tammy modeled the girls form and started slightly be nding her legs when she was playing. During this lesson, students were hesitant to rotate stations when Leslie turned out the lights as the signal to move to the next st ation. Leslie had turned the lights out for the second time during one class and Tonya was still on DDR stomping hard and smiling as usual. She was trying to finish her game befo re rotating. She started to get off and then kept stepping back on the mat in front of a nother peer that jumped on to play. She then went to the side of the mat and continued watching and stepping to the arrows until the song went off. Then she rotated to Wii. She se emed relentless to want to finish her game, even if another peer started playing and she finished off to the side pretending she was playing. It was during this lesson that Leslie warned th e students a second time about ending the class more quickly. She explained, “I am trying to let you play all the way up

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128 to the end of class; but, if I do that then you ha ve to cooperate when it is time to finish. If not, I will have to start endi ng class earlier.” The students ju st sat quietly and listened. By the end of the 4th class during this lesson, most students appeared capable of finding their pulse. Some students were excited to try to find their pulse individually or with peers before and after class. I noted dur ing one class, “Several students came in the active gaming room talking about their pulse and immediatel y started taking their pulse. Lynda walked in and the students were al ready finding their pulse. Lynda seemed happy to see this and decided to spe nd a little extra time with studen ts that still were unable to find their pulse.” As additional fieldnotes suggest: After the last class during lesson f our, I walked out with Joey and he said to me as he walked out, “I love this place.” He then went over to Wilson and said, “I want to be in a group with you. I want to be in your group.” Wilson just grinned. Joey said, “Let’s take our pulse” and both boys put their hand on their wrist and tried to take their pulse. Neither boy co mmented on what they thought their pulse was. The lights went out and Lynda sa id, “Everyone find your pulse and get ready.” Lynda then said, “S tart now” and the students were silently counting thei r heart rate. Lynda said, “Stop, and have a seat. Make sure you remember th at number.” When Lynda asked the students what their heart rate was, a hand from almost every single student went up desiring to share with the class. “Angela, what was your heart rate” Lesl ie asked. Angelic responded by saying quietly, “Like 120.” Then Le slie asked a few other students before she let the students leave for the day. Initially, Leslie did not believe lesson four was structured enough for the students by letting them remember the stations they w ould be rotating to each day. In addition, she did not believe the students were capable of finding and taking their pulse correctly:

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129 She basically laughed at me when I said the kids were going to pick their own partners and when I talked about them taking their pulse for 10 sec and multiplying it by 6. Then she also had a problem with them thinking they coul d rotate in stations in order. But, she was willing to try as she sa id, ‘Hey, this is your study so I will try whatever you want’.” Leslie was surprised to learn that the student s enjoyed taking their pul se and were capable of performing this lesson appropriately. As she wrote in a journal entry: This week we were to continue with the students taking their resting/exercising puls e. I reviewed the procedure for taking a pulse again. The students seemed qu ite interested and they really tried to find their pulse point. I am pleased with how the students are doing with the lesson. They are getting along and rotating in order. They are doing well. Lesson Plan #5 The fifth and final lesson plan fo cused on understanding the importance of obtaining moderate to vigorous physical activity 60 minutes a day on most days of the week as recommended by the National Associ ation of Sport and Physical Education (NASPE, 2008). The goal for students was to obtain as many minutes as possible of moderate to vigorous physical activity duri ng physical education cl ass and to recognize the importance of being physically active ou tside of school. The lesson plan suggested Leslie introduces the unit by briefly explaining the goal a nd importance of obtaining 60 minutes of physical activity a day. She then explained that there was a scavenger hunt card to complete during the next two classe s. The goal with the scavenger hunt was to obtain as many of these minutes in class as possible. Students work ed independently or with a partner in order to complete as ma ny activities on the scave nger hunt worksheet. Students were asked not to re peat an activity until the scavenger hunt was completed. After each class it was suggested that Leslie let students discuss how many activities they

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130 were able to complete, review the 60 minut e per day goal, and possibly let them suggest how they can get more physical activity at hom e. Unfortunately Leslie came to class the first lesson without having reviewed the le sson plan and was not familiar with the scavenger hunt games as they were differe nt from previously played activities: This is the first day of the fifth lesson plan focusing on the scavenger hunt and amount of minutes spent being physically active. Leslie had not reviewed the lesson plan I sent and handed to her previously. She did not intr oduce the lesson u nderstanding the main learning component. She focused on the worksheet and them getting it done…She got them in and quickly going because she was leaving 5 minutes early. She ju st told them that each student needed to complete the worksheet but they could play with a friend or partner if wanted. She hands out the pencils and papers and then lets them go. As a result, the students were playing activities that were not listed on the scavenger hunt card; they were not playing the appropriate games when at the activities listed on the card. For example, during one act ivity Harris jumped on the XrBoards with his friend even though this activity was not on the worksheet. Harris was on the XrBoards just playing having not once looked at this worksheet. He finished first place and threw his hands straight up in the ai r and smiled. His peer kept play ing but shook his head with a smile on his face. They started a new game and continued to stay on the XrBoards. Leslie did not realize they were not supposed to be on this activity according to the lesson plan worksheet. In addition, I recorded in fi eldnotes that Joey had been playing on the Gamebikes with a peer the entire class. Hi s worksheet was blank so he was just playing to “play” and not concerned about what th e worksheet was asking him to do at this station.

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131 Leslie had to leave quickly the first day of the less so at th e end of class she briefly mentioned continuing the worksh eets for the next lesson, collected the worksheets, and then dismissed the class. After reviewing the worksheets that were turned in, it was clear the st udents did not understand the dire ctions for the lesson. The worksheets were either not filled out or were not filled out appropriately. Leslie and I decided to let this be a one day lesson and leav e the last two classes for unstructured play. Lesson Plan #6 The last two days (sessions 15and 16) reviewed a previous rotation style, unstructured play. This lesson was designed to be completely unstructured where students would move around the room with free choice regarding the activitie s they wanted to play. The affective objective of focusing on students sharing equipment and taking turns in order for all students to have an opport unity to play was reviewed. The lesson asked students to remain active as often as po ssible limiting waiting time to only one student waiting for an activity at a time in order to increase the number of physical activity minutes they could accumulate in one class period. The goal was to achieve physical activity minutes in class toward the recommende d 60 minutes of daily physical activity. As with the previous lessons, student inte raction was demonstrated as recorded in fieldnotes, “All students are enga ged either playing the activity or watching another peer play a game. The noise level in this room is incredibly loud with the sounds from the games mixing with the conversations from the students. Some student s yell and scream at the game or at their peers with excitement while others simply talk to the screen or with a friend about the game. This place does not a ppear to be a typical classroom setting where learning actually takes place. It sounds more like an arcade room.”

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132 The students had clearly become more comfor table with all activities in the active gaming room. As a result, during most game play rotations, students were engaging in competition whether it were independently, ag ainst the computer character, or with another peer. During one experi ence, Angela was playing DDR with another peer on light mode which appeared too difficult for her. Sh e was clearly not successful the majority of the time but did not give up. After the game, th e peer looked at Angela and said, “I won”. Angela justified the comment, “Because you have played it so many times. It’s because you have played it so many times” with a slight grin on her face. She went to the back of the DDR line with the peer to play again. Ange la said to the peer, “I am going to try a different level this time That was too hard.” The following fieldnotes further describe competitive experiences during the last lesson: Joey and Wilson went straight to the Dogfighters. Joey immediately said, “Wilson, press fire. Do you want moderate or easy. Go easy”. Wilson just listen ed and followed instructions while smiling. Joey then showed an adult that there was an eject button. Pointing at it he said, “I thought it wouldn’t really do this but it does. It really works. It is so cool.” Joey and Wilson were pedaling intensely on. Joey has a red face already. Both crash and Joey said, “I saw you once but didn’t’ shoot. What happened? game over? Ahhh, nobody won no points. I don’t know what I will do, shoot balloons or Wilson? I am going to shoot you down Wilson.” Wilson just smiled and continued setting up the new game. Joey and Wilson are still on D ogfighters and all of a sudden Wilson found Joey and shot hi m down. Wilson looked up at me and said, “I got him.” He seem ed so proud. Joey said, “Im gonna hurt him now” and Wilson said, “Sure you are” and was grinning ear to ear.

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133 Wilson and Joey moved over to 3Kick and played one game together. They both quickly took their jackets off during game play. Joey has a dark red face and sweat is beaded up on his forehead. Then they challenge one another for 1:30sec. Wilson played first. Joey stayed to watch Wilson and cheered him on, “Over there, it’s over there. I’m gonna get you Wilson. Come on, hurry up so I can play.” A p eer came over and started helping Wilson. Wilson and Joey both said, “No Michael (pseudonym), stop.” Michael immediately stopped and left the game smiling. After Wilson’s game was over, he le ft and did not watch Joey play his game. Wilson went to the Gamebikes to play. Joey finished and went to find Wilson on the bi kes and told Wilson, “I beat you. You lost.” Wilson did not say anything and just smiled while he continued to pedal. Wilson’s peer got up from the bike and Joey sat down and started playing against Wilson. Ashlyn has gone to Wii with a peer to play tennis. Ashlyn serves the ball and they begin swinging back and forth. Ashlyn wins the point and her peer says, “Ohhhhh NO” and Ashlyn says smiling, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I got it in there” (in bounds). “Oh my gosh,” Ashlyn squealed as the ball landed out of bounds this time. She said smiling, “We are so tied right now.” Part of the intention of this unstruc tured lesson was for the students to be responsible and take turns on the equipment. This affective objective would allow for all students to have the opportunity to play the games they wanted to play in addition to reducing behavioral issues. The students successfully accomplished the affective objective. The students would play a game a nd if someone was not waiting they would go get back in line to play again or simply move on to a different activity. Many students would survey the room and find an open game and hurry to the game to play and then move to another activity. During one activity, Joey was on the Gamebikes playing against the computer. A peer then jumped on the othe r bike in the middle of the game and said, “Can you start it over so we both can play?” Joey sa id, “Ok, I am gonna beat you anyway” as he was smiling restarting the ga me. Another example was when Ashlyn and a

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134 peer were playing DDR. The song was too fast for both girls playing but they seemed to be enjoying themselves still trying to dance to the song and laughing with one another. The song was not yet over and one peer waiti ng said, “Ok, it’s our turn now” suggesting the game was over because the song was too ha rd for the girls to play. Ashlyn politely said, “No, we are still playing, hang on pleas e.” The peers waiting just grinned and continued watching the game and waiting patiently. The students summarized that moving ar ound freely in the active gaming room was most desired. The students expressed that they enjoyed choosing their partners, the games they played, and how long they played them. Harris made the simple statement, “I think the best way to move around is by your self or whom you choose to be with. Because you’re free and you really wouldn’t have to wait for your turn all the time you could just hop right on.” In journal entrie s and interview responses, the other students agreed that having a voice when participa ting in active gaming wa s most desirable: I think the best way to move around the room is for the kids to go to their favorite active game and it can only be two on the game and two waiting and that’s enough but there could only be a group of two because that would be too much for just one game. (Joey) I will pick free play because you can choose whoever you want to play with. (Wilson) “Um, if I was the teacher… I woul d let the students actually go where they want to go in this room. Um like…Free Play…Uhm. Like, if they don’t wanna do that one, I would say would you mind switching, because I want it to be fair for other students. (Pause) Yeah. And like if they don’t wa nt to do Dance Dance Revolution, and I’m like ‘oh well, would you mind going to the (clear throat) Dance Dance Revolution,’ because I want it to be fair. And they’d say ‘Yeah yeah I’d love to,’ and it’d be good.” (Ashlyn)

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135 “Free play. Like I would go over th ere for one game. Then I go to one game over there. An d do it again.’ (Joey) “Free play and choosing my own partner. Because you don’t have to wait like, ‘cause sometime wh en you have to wait for the stations you only get to two games and it’s time to go. And I like to be with my friends playing games with them.” (Tonya) “Free play because you don’t have to stand and wait for someone.” (Harris) Leslie supported the students’ statements regarding that less structure was the preferred way to move around the active gaming room. Leslie seemed to enjoy this lesson structure as she believed the students remain ed on task and worked well together. As her journal entries stated: The students were allowed to move around the room to whatever activity they wanted as long as there was only one person (or no one) waiting at a station. The students really enjoyed this and they did a good job with the one person waiting rule. Everyone stayed busy and appeared to be having a lot of fun. The research students have continued to do well when ever I observed them. This was the last week for the research study. The students were allowed to go to whatever stations they wanted again. The students did very well with this on M onday. To my knowledge, the research students were not involved in a ny misbehavior and they remained on task during class. Whenever I ob served them, they appeared to be enjoying themselves and keeping active. During the last session of the inquiry, Le slie started the class as she typically introduced every class with the students sitting in front of the 3 Kick and providing them with the instructions for the le sson. At the conclusion of the cl ass, the students were once again hesitant to stop game pl ay. Angela was on the XrBoards trying to finish her game after Leslie had signaled for the class to fi nish game play. All students were finally seated except Angela and another peer pointed at her and told her sh e had to quit playing.

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136 Angela said, “I am almost done” and conti nued to play her game to the end. Once the class was seated and quiet, Leslie reminded them that this was the last day of the research and that I would not be there watching them anymore. One student raised his hand and asked if they still were able, “to keep the game room?” Leslie grinned and assured him that the game room was stayi ng at Kadia Elementary school for awhile. Harris then raised his hand and asked Leslie, “When do we get to co me back in here again?” Leslie told the class she was not sure but she promised they would be coming back in the active gaming room to play. As she proceeded to call the roll for the students to line up, many students walked by, smiled, and thanked me. Joey walked up to me and said, “This is still the coolest room ever. I love this place.” He had a huge smile on his face as he walked out the door. Student Experiences wi th Leslie’s Role This section describes the lesson plans th at were developed and how they were implemented during physical education class while the students were participating in active gaming. I quickly realized Leslie’s main focus in physical education class was behavior. Leslie mentioned that as long as her class was “on task and busy” she felt the lesson was successful. She explained that the students’ at Kadia Elementary “needed discipline due to the lack of behavior cont rol at home.” She sugge sted that the most beneficial concept for her stude nts to learn was how to behave appropriately. In addition, she believed the students need ed to get active quickly and st ay active as long as possible. As a result, learning components related to National and State standards were not a primary focus. After interviewing Leslie a nd receiving her journal responses, it was obvious she was not only focused on the students ’ behavior, yet, she was pleased with the

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137 behavior of her class while part icipating in active gaming. Leslie believed that in general, the students’ behavior around the school had changed in a positive manner since the active gaming room became a part of the phys ical education curriculum. She explained that the students were “frighten ed that they may not be able to play in the game room if they did not behave in their re gular classes.” Leslie also prided herself on the fact that she had a strong discipline plan in action so that alone could be a solid reason why the students are behaving better knowing she w ill enforce consequences. The following comments are interview responses from Leslie regarding the student s’ behavior while experiencing active gaming duri ng physical education class: Considering the difficult group that they are and the time of day it is, I thought they did a phenomenal job. And I think that part of that just goes to the discipline plan that is in place and the fact that they are highly motivated to be in here so they didn’t want to do anything wrong and get into any kind of trouble. We still have a few who are talkative and that ki nd of thing. And these activities lend itself to that. So those kids didn’t get into trouble, because they were allowed to talk, and th at kind of thing. That’s a good thing for them. But in general, just once they were notified that this thing was here, and that they needed to behave to do it, the whole fifth grade is behaving better The rest of the two classes are saying ‘When are we going in, when are we going in, when are we going in?’ And they’re behaving better. In general. So the whole fifth grade is behaving better, at least for me and that’s very good thing that’s happening. And like I sa id, the class has been in here two times. No one has gotten in trouble. They’ve gotten their points, which is a big deal here. I was telling the lady from a National television station who was evidently looking at our website and demographics. That makes me nervous when people start asking me questions like that. I told her in general, in regular PE, as well as in here, behavior has improved. So just the fact that th is is here, even the kids that haven’t actually been in here but have heard about it and everything else, seem to be be having better…But in general the

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138 class is behaving better. So it’s de finitely having an effect. And it’s a positive effect. Yes, getting along with each other which is always a challenge. I was happy, just the motivation in them to participate in this that when I put them in groups, they normally would complain because they don’t like so-and-so or want to be next to this one. They want to be with their friend so-and-so which, they didn’t complain. Which is unusual. So, that was a bonus. They knew they just needed to be quiet, take our group an d just get going. So they all, in their groups all seemed to ge t along. And they didn’t notice, even when they were in the gr oup that I put them in. They all seemed to get along pretty well, I di dn’t notice a lot of bickering or anything like that. But not bothering somebody, annoying somebody. There’s a lot of that that goes on. You know, just poke somebody or just anything to annoy. And I haven’t really seen that going on. There could be a little of it. I haven’t noticed, much of that going on…But generally, they are getting along very well. Which is a big deal in fifth grade. Because fifth grade does not get along well. There’s a lot of kids in there that have a lot of difficulty in social skills. They don’t wanna take turns. It’s all ‘me, me, me.’ And they’re not ye t in the ‘we’re all in this together.’ It’s all ‘me, me, me, me me.’ So, I feel like, even with the little bits of things that have gone on that socially it’s been very good. For them, it’s been a big improvement, as to how they’re getting along. Socially, physicall y, and behaviorally, you know, all the way around I’d say that we are doing better. According to NASPE (2008), the role of a physical education teacher is to assist students in developing the appropriate skills related to health and wellness in order to guide students in becoming physically active and healthy for a lifetime. The students did not relate their ac tive gaming experiences with l earning. They mentioned their experiences to be “fun and enjoyable” but di d not discuss what they learned from the eight weeks during the inquiry. I asked the students how they felt about needing a teacher what they felt the teacher role was in the active gaming room. The students agreed that

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139 they do need a teacher but only to control behavior issues. As Angela stated, “We need a teacher because the class is kinda crazy a nd people would go everywhere and people get pushed and all that stuff, and we still need a teacher to keep it unde r some control.” The other students’ explained why they believed they needed a teacher: I think so (we need a teacher) because it will get all crowde d and your head will explode into a big ‘Boom!’ with a headache. Because, the kids will be screaming out loud without Leslie being here. (Ashlyn) It would be kinda like.. diffe rent. Because, mostly it would be really hard because it would be going crazy and people would be in each other lines and then the machines will break and then we would have nothing. We need a teacher in here for discipline. (Joey) You need a teacher because you never know what they’re going to do and they bring food in here and act bad. (Tonya) Experiencing Learning During Active Gaming To have successful experiences particip ating in the active games it was important for the students to learn strategies related to the activity whether it be physically or cognitively. The students expresse d Leslie’s role was to control behavior not to assist in learning. The students participated in active gaming independently or with another peer during each lesson. When participating in active gaming the students would often learn about the game by exploring it independently or through assistance from a classmate. Some students suggested they would rather “fig ure it out themselves” while others stated they would “choose a peer to help them”. The following are comments from the students when asked if they would rather have help learning from the video game, a more educated friend, or an adult or teacher: I’d rather figure it out by myself, because I did it without the adults and can probably learn more stuff without them. (Harris)

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140 Wilson: Yeah, I’d also figure it out by myself because there are things in life you gotta’ figure out yourself without anyone helping you. I think do it by myself because we can get responsibility and like start learning. (Wilson) I would just figure it out myself b ecause I just wanna see what it can do, myself. (Tammy) Hmm. (thinking). I would pick the peer. They would tell me the way I need to know. (Joey) The students’ were often communicating with one another about what was going on in the game and/or assisting one another during game play. In a ddition, the students appeared to learn independently by reading ons creen instructions or by simply exploring the games opposed to asking for assistance fr om Leslie. The following fieldnotes capture the students assisting other peers and/or teaching themselves about the active games. Angela was still on GZ and very focused on the screen. I walked up to her and asked, “what is the goal of this game?” Still stepping she said, “You try to kill the bad guys, that’s what you are suppose to do. I pointed at Batman and said, “who is that?” and she said, “That is batman and he is in his demolition suit which means you can blow up stuff. I said, “How did you know th at” she said, “because it tells you things like that right here” pointi ng at the bottom middle of the screen – still stepping and focused. During the game Ashlyn said, “it’s not working for mine”. She was referring to the pad not working or the censor on the DDR game. After the game she looked straight down to the wire connecting the pad to the console and said, “oh, that’s w hy”. She smiled and reconnected the wire and said, “Mine’s working now – its cause mine was loose”. Angela put her mode on Standard and it was way too difficult for her to play. Ashlyn said, “I got the ba ck arrows” and she played the back arrows while Angela tried to hit the other 3 arrows. Harris is at DDR talking with his p eers about the different songs. They are trying to find a fast song on basic level. His peers are listening to all of the songs not understanding ho w to tell which songs will be

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141 faster during game play. Harris qu ickly speaks up and helps the other boys realize which songs are faster by pointing out the BPM (beats per minute) on the screen. Joey jumped on the dogfighter firs t and Wilson watched him and was smiling. Harris turned around to help 2 peers on the Gamercize activity. Harris said to Joey, “take a deep breath in between” Wilson said, “shoot it, shoot it” and Harri s said, “You got to shoot the air balloon” and Joey said, “OHHHH”. Wilson switched with Joey because Joey crashed and Harris jumped on the other DF and was pedaling with Wilson. Joey was grabbing the handlebars to help Wilson play and Leslie came by and told him to stop and let him play his own game. Angela is on GZ still – “no don’t di e. You get to go get that” while pointing at the screen and teaching her peer the game while continuing to play herself. “Whoa!!!! That was so cool. Did you see that?” talking to her peer. Joey and Wilson went straight to th e Dogfighters. Joey immediately said, “Wilson, press fire. Do you wa nt moderate or easy. Go easy”. Wilson just listened and followed instructions – smiling. Joey has played this several times and is more experienced with it. Joey then showed an adult that there was an ej ect button. Pointing at it he said, “I thought it wouldn’t really do this but it does. It re ally works. It is so cool.” Joey went over to watch his 2 part ners already on GZ playing spyro. Joey was into this game and was commenting as they were playing. “Ahhhh…dragons. This guy is hard” a peer said. “I know, I told you. Oooohhh, did you see that fire” Joey said, “Yeah….no that is spyro (one of the peers thought he was s pyro and was not). If I were you I would just stay in the back” Joey suggested. “Ahhh…he did a roll in the air. I still think I am better th an that” Joey continued to comment. His peers are talking back and fo rth, “Oh you are spyro” one peer asked. “No, but now I am” the other peer said. Joey commented, “You beat em? I want to be Spryo. Who’s spyro ? This is really cool!” Summary The primary purpose of this chapter was to describe the students’ experiences participating in active gaming during physical education. Data analys is suggested that

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142 both the boys and girls experiences were para llel to the experience s described by the six students in this chapter. Chap ter 5 describes the themes which were generated from this representation of st udents’ experiences.

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143 Chapter 5 Discoveries The purpose of my inquiry was to explor e the experiences of six fifth grade children as they participated in active gaming during physical education classes. In my inquiry, I also explored the expe riences of three boys and thre e girls as they participated in active gaming. Data analysis suggested th at both the boys and girls experiences were parallel to the experiences de scribed by the six students. Because the experiences were deemed parallel little effort is made here to discuss gender experiences. It should be noted that differences in the experiences of these six children while gaming appeared to be influenced more by the character and natu re of the individual children than by any male/female gender characteristics. The discoveries examine one major inclusive theme from the research. This chapter includes an explanation of this major theme which emerged from an analysis of observational fieldnotes, interviews, and j ournal entries. The analysis was done by comparing data sources in an attempt to c onfirm, eliminate, modify, and/or combine emerging discoveries. The Persistence to Game Based on my observations in the physical education setting for 8 weeks, the students’ experiences participating in ac tive gaming can be summarized by suggesting

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144 their participation was a “persistence to ga me.” The students enjoyed active gaming and desired to remain engaged in the technology dr iven games. As the students walked into each active gaming session, they looked around th e room pointing at the different games. When instructed, students would hurry to the activities and quickly become engaged in game play. They took advantage of a less st ructured environment by choosing characters and competition levels that met their competitive needs and when provided the opportunity they enjoyed selecting the game s they played. Regardless, smiles were on their faces and laughter was often heard th roughout the class while the students were gaming. The students were actively involved in peer interaction as they discussed strategies in the game, challeng ed one another, or assisted classmates while playing. Even when the students were not playing, they were engaged in their peer game play. It was as if I was in a room just watching and listeni ng to kids play a va riety of video games outside of physical education class. Through observations I also learned th e students were vi sibly non-compliant when asked to end game play. They demonstr ated a consistent desire to want to be engaged in physical activity in order to play the games. As it came time to rotate or switch to a new activity, students were reluctan t to quickly follow instructions. I observed students in the middle of game play trying to remain engaged even when the teacher warned them several times to move on to th e next activity. In addition, when class time ended, the teacher had a difficult time getting the students to finish game play so class closure could occur. In addition to ga me play during physical education student interviews suggested a strong desire to par ticipate in active gami ng away from school. Some students even suggested they would enga ge in the games every day after school if

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145 given the opportunity. As I watched the stude nts laugh, smile, interact, play games, and engage in physical activity session after sessi on, there was one clear characteristic of the students’ experiences; active gaming was fun. The “persistence to game” (P2G) is defined as a natural characteristic of children to voluntarily engage and remain engaged in technology driven physical activities. Each of the students was consistently motivated to game play and remain engaged in physical activity while gaming duri ng physical education. A similar theory to P2G was suggested by Sanders and Graham (1995) when they suggested children have a relentless persis tence to play when provided structured environments. Kindergarten students did not want to do exercises which were extremely structured so they continued to be off task finding other things to do. They participated more during game play and skill activities which were less structured. Sanders and Graham (1995) suggested when students are given an opportunity to play they will do whatever it takes to continue playing in a wa y that is individually acceptable or desired. Based on the data, P2G in the studied physical educa tion environment can best be described as including eight elements. Thes e elements are the attributes, that when collected together, make up the students’ persistence to game. The elements of persistence to game include: 1. Fun 2. Opportunities for choice 3. Peer interaction 4. Peer and independent learning 5. Perpetual movement to be engaged 6. Reluctance to cease game play

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146 7. Unremitting interest 8. Video game play motivation Fun Data analysis suggests fun was manifested when students participated in active gaming. Considering having fun was rated by 8 6.2% of adolescents as being the single most important element in life (Lindstrom & Seybold, 2003), this element suggests active gaming provides students with activities they enj oy. When students consider an activity to be fun, they are more likely to remain enga ged or engage in the activity in the future (Robertson-Wilson, Baker, Derbinshyre, & Cote, 2003; Weiss, 2000). This is one reason why enjoyment is considered one of the most important characteristic s of quality physical education programs (Wechsler, Mckenna, Lee, & Dietz, 2004). Having fun was certainly observed to be a major element in student ’s participation in active gaming during physical education. During active gaming sessions, I observed ea ch student having fun. The students’ enthusiasm as they engaged in game play was evident through their verbal and nonverbal communication. I would often hear the student s laughing, giggling, or squealing as they played the games. Fieldnotes even demonstr ated students singing songs together during game play: Harris and his friend are singing to gether a rap song call “Sweet Life” (I think). They are singing in harmony and they emphasize “This is a sweet life” by singing the lyrics very loud and then laughing. At the same time, they are starring at the screen playing the game. Harris finished and said out loud, “I finished first” threw his hands up in the air, and th en kept singing. His peer shook his head and kept singing as they started a new game.

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147 In addition, big smiles were glued to thei r faces whether they were playing or waiting to play the games, and ‘high five s’ were a common observation during the sessions. The students never appeared bored or uninterested while participating in active gaming. In fact, they seemed excited whether th ey were actively engaged in game play or waiting their turn to play. The students expressed to me that they enjoyed active gaming and believed it was fun. One student stated, “For me this r oom is just amazing…and it’s just awesome, everything. I would have these in every single school, because the games they have here, the game room; it would get kids to have more fun. Like for PE, it’s just fun too. But this one you just get their little minds going and ju st have fun.” Another student commented, “I think it’s awesome, because you’re pl aying games and you’re having fun.” Students also suggested physical education was more enjoyable now that active gaming was a part of class. One student expressed, “I think it’s be tter now that this (active gaming) is here.” Another student agreed by saying, “PE is good th e way it is but it’s more fun with these games now.” Opportunities for choice Active gaming in this PE environment prov ided opportunities for a less structured environment allowing participants to have mo re choices. Research suggests that selfpaced, child-controlled play is the best wa y for children to optimally develop (Rogers & Sawyers, 1988). Children are more willing to express thoughts, feelings, and experiences when they have more choice and a voice in instruction (Dyson, 1995). If children are pushed by teachers or other external demands, th ey are more likely to resist the demand

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148 (Koster, 2005). When children experience act ivities with fewer externally imposed rules and more choice, they are more likely to enjoy and remain engaged in the activity (Rogers & Sawyers, 1988). During active gaming in physical educa tion, the students were provided many choices during game play. The unstructured environments allowed them to choose the activities they played, how l ong they played them, and w ith whom they played. I observed some students choosing to repeat act ivities for extensive periods of time while others would play one game and quickly move to a new activity. As fieldnotes recorded, “Wilson has finished his second game on DDR a nd has gotten back in line to play again. He has chosen to play DDR the entire class period.” When the students were allowed to select whom they played wit h, they would often show exc itement by grabbing their peer while moving around the environment, choosing to play alone during certain activities and engaging in competition during other activities. Additional choices included the character in which to identify and the comp etition level in which they felt comfortable playing. During one experience, “Angela a nd Tammy are on the Dogfighters setting up their game. Angela said, ‘what level are you going?’ Tammy said, ‘Me? I am going easy level.’ Angela responded, “You go easy but I thin k I will try this moderate one first.” It was obvious that providing the students with more choice did not cr eate an unorganized or off task learning environment; this less structured environment may have actually fostered a more enjoyable and successful active gaming experiences. Students expressed a desire to participate in an environment with fewer externally imposed rules. The students suggested the more choices they had the more enjoyable their experiences were during active gaming. One student made a clear summarization by

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149 saying, “I would go to this game, and once I ge t tired of this game, move on to another game. And when I get tired of each game I go to a new one. And I would be with partners I choose because it’s more fun.” A nother student suggested, “I would let them pick their game, and the group goes to their ga me. I don’t know, I think it’s better. If I don’t like that game then they don’t want to play it. Let them go to the one that they want, do the exercise game, and then they’ll have fun.” Peer interaction While the students were participating ac tive gaming, social pe er interaction was present. For voluntary physical activity to occu r, children suggest the activity needs to be enjoyable and in a social environment (R obertson-Wilson et al., 2003 Weiss, 2000). In physical education, when experiences meet students’ needs for success in a social environment, future participation in physic al activity is encouraged (Robertson-Wilson, et al., 2003; Weiss, 2000). The students in my inquiry chose to participate in peer interaction while playing the ac tive video games. Regardless if they were able to choose their partners, play independen tly, or were assigned a part ner or group, the students were consistently involved in social, peer rela tions. Students would discuss strategies and instructions about the game, engage in competitive conversations, or simply make random remarks. Peer interaction was evid ent during each active gaming session. Students were engaged in conversations with one anothe r during game play. Some conversations discussed various strategies during the ga me. For example, during one experience participating in active gaming, fieldnotes captured two students working through strategies in a game, “The girls are sm iling and laughing playing Batman and Robin.

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150 They are talking back and forth about strate gies in the game. “I’m up here now” Ashlyn said. The teacher told Angela to go help R obin. Angela said, “I’m trying to help but she keeps going over there and I can’t get over there.” Ashlyn replied, “I didn’t know you can’t get there. I will come back. Just wait on me.” Angela said, “Ok, but see that (pointing at the screen, don’t go there. Go this way because…” Other discussions were obviously focused on the students competi ng against one another. I often heard competitive remarks such as, “I am better than you”, “bring it on”, “I beat you”, or “will you versus me” while observing the students. The following excerpt from fieldnotes demonstrates one competitive game play experience: Wilson and another girl are challe nging one another on DDR. This is the girl that Wilson told me had beat him before. The entire rotation they are challenging one another. Right now they are waiting behind the pad singing to “Get Busy” and practice stepping. Wilson and his peer are on light mode and play th e same song. She got a C and he got a D. Wilson just smiled and said, “Ok, 2 to 1. I will beat you next time.” Wilson is back on against his peer this time choosing to play Standard mode. They both are not doing great. The lights go off to finish up for the day and they contin ue stepping until they finish their song. Looking at the score he says to her, “yeah, I won.” She said, “no we both got an E”. Wilson said, “ no, look at the act ual score, right here” as he was pointing to the number score. She said, “oh, ok”. Wilsons said with a huge grin and sense of accomplishment, “yeah, 3 to 2, I won”. She said, “I’ll ge t you Monday” and sat down quietly. When students were not discussing strate gies or engaged in competition, they were typically commenting on each other’s game play. Sometimes I would hear the students get excited about their peer accomplis hing something “cool” in the game such as “catching a rail” on the XrBoards while s nowboarding down a mountain or knocking out an opponent during Xavix Boxing. Even when students chose to play games independently, other peers were often watc hing and commenting during game play, or

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151 they would ask to join the game and play with the peer. For example, one student had been playing 3 Kick with a peer and decide d to move to the GameBikes. There was no other student on the GameBikes so he set his game to single player and began playing. In the middle of this student’s game, a peer I ha d not seen him interact with sat on the other bike and said, “Will you restart your game so we can play each other?” The student immediately stopped game play and said, “Sur e, I am going to beat you anyway” as he grinned and reset the game to multiplayer. Students certainly believed active gaming involved peer interaction. One student commented about active gaming being social by saying, “We socialize on what game we want to play and we get along. If we don’t get along we just talk a bout it, or just calm down and talk about where we really wanna (want to) go… I’m talking about the game like, ‘Oh this is so fun!’ Then, when it’s done I say, ‘Oh I either beat you or you beat me’.” In addition, the teacher agreed that social interaction w ith peers was not only desired by the students, but it was important for the students to experience in order to continue to want to engage in the activit y. She suggested, “…But, um again the point being, you want it to be fun. If they’re not talking to their fri ends then they might not be having fun. The whole point is to make it a so cial experience and so that it is something they want to do with their friends, th erefore they are more likely to do it.” Peer and independent learning During active gaming, learning experien ces often occurred both through peer assistance and from independent exploration of the activity. Child ren enjoy video games and also enjoy being engaged in ‘exploration’ of these games in the social environment with others. However, they may reach a stage where they may need assistance from a

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152 more competent counterpart to advance their skills. This assistance is referred to as scaffolding (Vygotsky 1978). Beck and Wade ( 2004) suggest that this generation prefers to learn from the game or from one another, not their elders as they are not as motivated by authority figures’ demands. Peer scaffold ing offers a great oppor tunity for social interaction and leadership roles to emerge In addition, at the Summit on Educational Games, 2006, it was suggested “games and simu lations can offer scaffolding, providing learners with cues, prompts, hints, and partial solution to keep them progressing through learning, until they are capable of directi ng and controlling thei r own learning path” (p.19). In this sense, the video game itself becomes the guidance needed for children to further develop skills as they learn to use the tools provide d on the screen to enhance their level of play. Students participating in active gaming would engage in game play and explore the game independently in order to learn how to play; using the video game as a scaffold. Although the teacher briefly discussed the learning objectives at the beginning and end of class, she was rarely involved in the students’ learning process during game play. Students worked independently or with peers to progress and find success while participating in active gaming. When asked, the students suggested they would rather learn from the game or from a peer rather than from a teacher or another adult when participating in active gaming. The stude nts would often spend time reading the instructions on the screen and exploring in th e game in order to learn while playing. As a student stated, “I’d rather figure it out myself because I did it wit hout the adults and can probably learn more stuff without them. “ Another student demonstrated learning through the game as she played a game that sh e had never played before. I walked up to

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153 her and asked, “What is the goal of this game ?” While continuing to step she said, “You try to kill the bad guys; that’s what you are suppose to do. I pointed at Batman and said, “Who is that,” and she said, “That is batman and he is in his demolition suit which means you can blow up stuff. I said, “How did you know that” she said, “b ecause it tells you things like that right he re” pointing at the bottom middle of the screen. Independent learning also occurred thr ough the students learning how to resolve technology problems. At various times during the sessions, I also observed the students having difficulties with the game technol ogies that required minor troubleshooting. Sometimes students would be playing and the screen would freeze. They quickly learned to restart the game on the controller or ask the teacher to restart the game on the console. I watched and listened to the st udents discussing what to do and trying to fix the game by pressing buttons on the remote. One student simply said, “Just wait and stop moving, I will just restart the game lik e this,” (pressing restart on the menu screen). The peer watched and the game was quickly restarted. Another student expe rienced technological difficulties while playing a game; yet, decide d to troubleshoot the situation herself. “During the DDR game Ashlyn said, “It’s not working for mine.” She was referring to the pad not working or the censor on the DDR game. After the game she looked straight down to the wire connecting the pad to the console. She then looked at her partner’s wire that was securely connected to the pad and said, “Oh, that’s why.” She smiled and reconnected the wire and sa id, “Mine’s working now – its cause mine was loose.”In addition to learning independently, p eer assisted learning was demonstrated while the students’ participat ed in active gaming. As one student mentioned, “I would pick the peer to learn. They would tell me the way I need to know.” Students would

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154 discuss game strategies and assist one another in how to play the game. One student, Harris, was at DDR talking with his peers a bout the different songs. They were trying to find a faster song on the basic level. Harris’s peers were randomly choosing songs and listening to them trying to determine if th ey were too fast to play. They did not understand how to tell the BPM (beats per minut e) for each song by looking at the screen. Harris quickly spoke up and helped the othe r boys realize which songs were faster by pointing out the BPM segment on the screen. Another experience with peer assistance was evident when two students were playing on the Dogfighter game. Joey was helping Wilson set up the game. Joey said, “Wilson, press fire. Do you want moderate or easy. Go easy”. Wilson just listened and followed instructions while smiling. Joey then showed an adult that was watching there was an eject button. Pointing at it he said, “I thought it wouldn’t really do this (ej ect) but it does. It really works. It is so cool.” Perpetual movement to be engaged Data from my inquiry showed students cons istently desired to engage in an active game. In many traditional phys ical education classes, st udents are not excited to participate in the activities and act as a competent bystande r (Tousignant and Siedentop, 1983). The term competent bystander is used to describe students that are competent at not responding to an activity without dr awing the teacher’s attention. Competent bystanders act like they understand the lesson and pretend to be on task; however, this behavior is false and often misunderstood by the teacher. No competent bystanders were observed during active gaming in physical education class. When provided an opportunity to play, students chose to partic ipate in the games regardless of the physical activity involved. I observed a ll students on task being physica lly active when possible.

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155 In fact, the students suggested playing the active games made “exercise more fun” and they often “did not think about exerci sing.” One student wa s stepping quickly on Gamercize while playing Batman and Robin with a peer. I asked her if the game was fun and she nodded her head in a forward motion while saying, “Y es” and then continued, “I love this game.” I then asked her if she thought about having to step and she replied, “Not me. I don’t think about it at all cause I am just playing. It does not bother me.” I discovered a desire by students to be actively invol ved in the games as opposed to waiting and watching ot hers play. When working in groups students were often requested by the teacher to take turns play ing the games. If provided the opportunity, students would move to play an open game instead of waiting with their group as instructed. For example, during one rotation, th e boys went to the Wii station where Joey and Wilson played and Harris was waiting a nd watching. As fieldnot es stated, “Harris tried to go to Xavix boxing since it was open as suming he did not want to wait to play; however, he was quickly told by the teacher he needed to stay with his group. He apologized and quickly walked back where he watched his partners and continued to talk through the game with them.” When the students were wa iting to play, although they were involved in watching their peers’ game play, students would make comments to their peers saying, “Hurry up so I can play,” or “Are you almost finish ed, I want to play.” The students would even demonstrate frustrati on if others were still on games that they were supposed to be playing. During one e xperience, a peer was still playing Nintendo Wii when he was supposed to rotate. When a student arrived at the Wii station she said, “Hey, get off it’s my turn to play. You have to go now” as she walked in front of the

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156 screen and reached for the remote contro l the peer was holding. These students were clearly not compet ent bystanders. Reluctance to cease game play While participating in active gaming it was apparent the students were reluctant to cease game play. When the students were signale d to rotate to a new station or stop game play at the end of class, they were disincli ned to follow instructions. The students would either not listen to the teacher’s instructions, or were so occupied in the game they did not hear her instructions. Fieldnotes suggested that “t he students were not rota ting,” “the students were hesitant to end their game,” or “the stude nts insisted on finishing their game before rotating.” I observed these beha viors while the students were participating in game play on many occasions. It was obvious the students did not want to stop in the middle of playing a game to move to a nother activity. Fieldnotes also noted that the students who rotated were becoming frustrated when others were not rotating on time. I often heard comments from the students such as, “Just hold on I am almost finished,” “How is the time already over?,” or “Hurry up and let’s just finish first..” During one experience recorded in fieldnotes, “Tonya continued pl aying DDR after Leslie had turned out the lights. Tonya was obviously trying to finish he r game before rotating. She started to get off and then kept stepping back on the mat in front of another peer that jumped on to play. Tonya then went to the side of the mat and continued watching and stepping to the arrows until the song went off. When the song was finished, she rotated to the Wii station.”

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157 The teacher had to address the class severa l times to get the students to end game play for class closure. As reported in fieldnot es during one class, “The lights go off and the boys stay on the XrBoards because Wilson and Harris had just started their game. Then Leslie walks closer to them and they st ep off still looking at the screen. They sit and Leslie says to the class, ‘I am trying to let you play up until the very end as you can see but you have to cooperate at the end.”” Even after th is experience the students demonstrated continued reluctance to cease ga me play. I observed a situation where some students were called to leave the classroom early. When the teacher instructed the students to finish their games immediately and lineup, several continued to play. When the students in line began to walk out the doo r, the students were still engaged in game play. A peer happened to walk by the opene d door to the game room and peaked his head. He saw a one of the students still pl aying and yelled, “Harris, yo, come on.” Harris hesitantly looked up, jumped off the GameBike and ran out the door behind the line of students. The other students quickly followed. Unremitting interest I learned through data analysis that the students’ intere st participating in active gaming was unremitting. The students were engaged from the beginning to the end of each class as well as throughout the eight week inquiry. In addition, students suggested they were interested in participating in ac tive gaming away from the school environment. This element of unremitting interest is signi ficant because the recommended about of moderate to vigorous physical activity, 60 mi nutes daily (NASPE, 2006), is not being met by the majority of children (CDC, 2006). Howe ver, it is known that students are more

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158 likely to voluntarily engage in an activity if they consider it interesting and enjoyable (Robertson-Wilson, et al., 2003). Students were actively engaged in active gaming from the beginning to the end of each session. I did not witness students w ho wanted to stop class or who appeared relieved when class ended. In fact, the st udents were smiling, laughing, and enthusiastic throughout each class. Students’ comments and researcher observations at the end of the inquiry suggested students enjoyed participa ting in active gaming as much after eight weeks as they did when they started. One st udent said, “Well, during all those 8 weeks it has been the best days of my life and it’s like I‘ve never experienced anything like this before.” Another student shared similar feeli ngs when he said, “The past 8 weeks were the best gaming experience of my life, and it was so awesome, and I loved all the games and room… I wouldn’t change anything because th at room is the best game room in the entire universe. That room is awesome I w ould love if my house had that exact game room in my house.” Some students believe d active gaming was more enjoyable by the end of the eight weeks because they were ab le to learn the games and experience more success with the games. As a student comment ed, “It’s a lot better! A lot better. Really fun. Now that I got to play a ll the games and I know what they are like. And they’re real fun. Real fun.” The teacher supported the students’ stat ements and believed they remained enthusiastic when playing th e active games during the eight weeks. She reported,” I think the students really enjoyed the active gami ng. Their excitement was evident in their voices and facial expressions. The six selected students all seemed to be thrilled with the

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159 games. In general the class behaved well and I do think that the hi gh level of motivation to participate in the activity contributed to that.” The students’ continuous interest partic ipating in active ga ming during physical education class was evident; yet, they also repo rted a desire to engage in these activities away from school. Students suggested having the opportunity to pa rticipate in active gaming away from school would encourage th em to be more physically active. As students stated, “I would choose to go everyday just in case I feel lazy that day and the active gaming will get me off my feet,’ and “I will often do so because I love getting active and not being lazy so probably 2 hour s or 5 hours per day. Students suggested they would voluntarily participat e in game play as much as possible. One student said if he had active games at home he would choos e to play, “Always! Even every day after school.” Another student agreed by saying she would participate in active gaming, “A lot of time, like I’m going to wake up and eat then play before I take a shower. I’ll be in the game room from 9:00 in the morning until late at night.” Video Game Motivation The video game component in active gaming was clearly a motivation for the students’ engagement and enjoyment in my inquiry. Active gaming research supports this element by suggesting the video gaming is enjoyable and provid es a motivation to exercise (Widan McDonald, and Abresch, 2006). It is evident that children enjoy video games as 83% of American children between the ages of 8 – 18 have one or more video game consoles and spend on average 49 minut es per day playing these games (Foehr, Rideout, & Roberts, 2005). Video games are intr iguing to children because they deliver a sense of ‘reality’ through entertaining technol ogies that are able to capture children’s

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160 attention because the games respond to the pl ayer, reward technical skills, and allow players to escape from boredom (Beck and Wade, 2004). While I was observing the students in th e active gaming environment, they were visibly motivated to participate and remain e ngaged in the activities during each session. When I asked the students to share with me through interviews a nd journal entries why they enjoyed active gaming, the consistent res ponse highlighted an enjoyment of playing video games. One student made a simple st atement about why he enjoyed active gaming by saying, “All kids play video games” (whi le he smiled and shrugged his shoulders). Other students believed being able to particip ate in video game play made their physical education experiences more enjoyable. As one student stated, “I think that it’s amazing because it’s the first time that I’ve seen anyt hing like this. A lot of children that I know, like, a lot of children that I know like to play games like th is. A lot of these games, I don’t really know of. But I like to play them because it tends to be that I like… Like three kick; I didn’t know three kick was invented. So as soon as I tried it was fun...because it’s just fun. Videogames in your school is fun.” Another student added, “Sometimes our PE (pause), some people th ink it’s boring. And when they play games when they’re exercising they think it’s f un. So that’s why active gaming is here.” Not only did the students enjoy th e video games, but they were also able to make a distinct connection between the video ga mes and exercise suggesting the videogames made physical activity more enjoyable. As one student stated, “I think it’s (active gaming) awesome, because you’re playing games and you’re having fun, but you’re still doing physical work.” Another student suggeste d, “I feel really good. This is a wonderful

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161 opportunity to play games at the same time you are working out. I feel all worked out because these games give you all types of exercises.” Other students agreed: Active gaming is like you play and you exercise at the same time. It’s kind of weird because I thought video games were for fun not exercise. They’re both now. I feel excited on Mondays’ and Tues day’s when we go to the games room. But I also feel exhausted when we leave the game room. I really, really love it. I get en ergy and I also get active with the machines. It is the best that happened to this school Discussion Children are naturally inclined to play. Pl ay is something children believe is fun and enjoyable. Although play is sometimes st ereotyped as frivolous, researchers consider play as an important element in life to achieve optimal development. Although the concept of play may remain consistent, the way children engage in play continues to evolve due to the ever changing culture in wh ich children live. Piaget defines one type of play as game play. Traditional game play has been expanded in this study to include technology games and specifically video game s. Although many may continue to doubt the use of technology in fostering cognitive play experiences in children, researchers are beginning to understand new forms of play usi ng computer software can provide children with beneficial play opportunities (Johnson et al., 2005). Universally, play is considered intrinsically motivating – a child does not need to be directed to play. While participating in active gaming, the stud ents demonstrated a “persistence to play games,” a voluntary desire to engage and re main engaged in technology driven physical activities. The students were intrinsically motivated to play the videogames. Similar to

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162 play experiences, research suggests students w ho are intrinsically motivated to perform a task often experience “flow” (Aultman et al., 2005). Csiksz entmihalyi (1975b) believed that people are most happy when they are in a st ate of flow or “the z one” with a particular activity. The flow state is defined as an op timal state of intrinsic motivation, where a person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing. An important precursor to a flow experience is a balance between the individual ’s skill level and the challenge of the task. If the task is too difficult or becomes frus trating, the individual may experience anxiety. If the task is not challenging enough, bor edom may result. In addition to finding a balance between the individual’s skill level a nd the challenge of the task, Csiksentmihalyi (1975a, 1975b) theorized a eight other com ponents of flow. Csiksentmihalyi (1975a) suggested not all nine elements had to be pres ent in order for a flow experience to occur. However, most of today’s video games incorp orate all components (Chen 2007). The students participating in active gami ng during physical education class were certainly in “the zone” or fl ow while demonstrating a persistence to game. The eight described elements that encompass P2G were found to be present when the students participate in active gaming (F igure 10). More elements ma y be included but were not found in this inquiry. The P2G flow zone is visibly wider in this model than in Csikszentmihalyi’s original model suggesting that the students were in flow more often than they were out of flow. Students during P2G rarely experienced extended periods of anxiety or boredom. Anxiety was observed when the students were reluctant to end game play in order to rotate to a new activity or for class closure. In contrast, boredom was only evident when the students had either repeated and activity multiple times and decided to rotate, or when the students had to wait to play an activity. Although all eight

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163 elements were present at various times in my inquiry, not all elements were present simultaneously. For this reason, the eight el ements highlighted in the model should be envisioned as being in continuous motion. The eight elements in motion simply s uggest the students’ experiences while participating in active gaming would change depending on the at tributes that were present at the time. For example, during some activ e gaming experiences I observed the students engaging in peer interaction, le arning through peer scaffolding, and engaged in the video game while being reluctant to end game play. I would not necessarily observe the students experiencing a perpetual movement to play the games. During other experiences, I observed students’ perpetual movements towa rds the activities while choosing to play independently. In this situation, the stude nts did not necessarily experience peer interaction or peer learning. Two active gami ng occurrences with different P2G elements; yet, both created flow experiences for th e students. Additionall y, the students may initially choose to play alone; however, when the opportunity to engage in peer interaction presented itself, th e students would adjust to this element and remain in flow. As fieldnotes suggested, Wilson is playing 3 Kick alone. He is setting his game to 30 seconds each time. A peer just walked over and jumped in the game with Wilson. Wilson does not seem to care as he continues playing and has a smile on his face. When the buzzer sounded for the game to end, Wilson and the peer smile at each other and the peer said, ‘Want to play again?’ Wilson shakes his head and the peer resets the game to 30 seconds.” Although not all elements were n ecessarily present at the same time, all eight elements were observed during the stud ents’ experiencing participating in active gaming during my inquiry.

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164 The P2G Flow Zone represents the students flow experiences while participating in active gaming during physical education clas s. The eight described elements are the attributes that create the flow experiences as those elements intera ct during participation in active gaming. The wide “flow” zone in the model signifies that the students were in flow the majority of time wh ile playing the active games.

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165 The Eight Elements of P2G 1. Fun 5. Perpetual movement 2. Opportunities for choice 6. Re luctance to cease game play 3. Peer interaction 7. Interest is unremitting 4. Peer and independent learning 8. Video game play motivation Figure 10: Persistence to Game (P2G) Flow Chart and Eight Element Key Summary This chapter described the Persistence to Game discovery generated by the elements developed from the students’ experi ences while participating in active gaming.

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166 In addition, a model illustrating the students’ P2G was suggested and described based on Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow theory.

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167 Chapter 6 Conclusions, Implications, and Suggestions for Future Research This chapter summarizes the purpose of the study, the data collection methods employed during the investigation, and the disc overies. Implications are presented along with suggestions for future research. Summary National organizations are calling childhood obesity an epidemic (CDC, 2006) one that needs serious attent ion. It is suggested that phys ical activity levels decline throughout the lifespan (Caspersen, & Meri tt, 1995), and a significant decrease in physical activity levels occurs during adoles cent years (Caspersen, Pereira, & Curran, 2000; Van Mechelen, Twisk, Post, Snel, & Kemper, 2000). Although it is recommended children acquire at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily (NASPE 2004; AHA 2007), the majority of children are not achieving this goal (NASPE 2006). One major cause for the decline in physical activity in children is the reduction in physical education in American schools (Davis et al., 2006). Only one-t hird of states require physical education for elementary and middle school students according to a new report by NASPE and the American Heart Association (Dotinga, 2006) .Unfortunately, 65% of children ages 913yrs. report that they are not physically ac tive outside of school hours (Davis et al., 2006) indicating the importance physical education may pl ay in providing opportunities

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168 for children to engage in daily physical activity. Anothe r significant cause of the increasing rate of childhood obesity is the expanded use of technology. As technology continues to develop, children are spending more time engaged in sedentary activities such as computer use, video game play, a nd television viewing. American society is being referred to as a “screen-based” culture due to the amount of time individuals spend with technology involving screens, esp ecially video games. Children spend approximately 49 minutes per day playing video games (Foehr, Rideout, & Roberts, 2005), time that in the past was spent bei ng physically active. Active gaming is an emerging concept that involves participating in physical activity while playing video games. Participants must be physically active in order to play the games. It is important to note that if children enjoy and desire active gaming as part of their physical education classes they are more likely to want to pa rticipate and learn new motor skills (Weiss, 2000; Robertson-Wilson, Baker, Derbinshyre, & Cote, 2003). The ultimate goal is to increase voluntary physical ac tivity levels in adolescents The primary purpose of my inquiry was driven by those thoughts and explored the expe riences of six fifth grade children as they participat ed in active gaming during phys ical education classes. To assist in answering these questions, I collected data on six fifth grade children while participating in active gaming during phys ical education classes for eight weeks in the spring of 2009. Specific techniques I used to gather data included observational fieldnotes, interviews, a nd journal entries. I observed the six selected students each ti me they participated in active gaming during physical education class for eight week s (16 consecutive classes) for 30 minutes each session. Each class was videotaped for subsequent review as part of the data

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169 triangulation process. In addition, fieldnotes were recorded during each observation. At the conclusion of each class, I reviewed the fieldnotes and videotapes in order to draft a detailed description of what occurred during the physical education class. In addition, I reviewed the fieldnotes recorded by a research assistant and drafted a description of the experiences of the six children. I also collected data through teacher and student interviews. Interviews centered on reflective and probing questi ons to assist in learning th e teacher’s insights on the children’s active gaming experiences and on the children’s persona l experiences during active gaming. I interviewed the six children in pairs for 15-20 minutes on three separate occasions. In addition, the physical education teacher was interviewed on three separate occasions. All interviews were videotaped and audio recorded and transcribed for analysis. A description of the physical educati on active gaming curriculum was drafted from the data sources. Descriptive profiles of the six children and the physical education teacher were compiled from the observational fieldnotes, interviews, and the videotapes. Many themes describing the children’s e xperiences while participating in active gaming were then developed from the analysis of data sources. I an alyzed the generated themes and subsequently a number of those these were eliminated and many combined to produce one confirmed theme detailed as the discovery of this study. Discovery From the data collected during my inquiry one major theme, the Persistence to Game, was derived from the students’ experi ences participating in active gaming during

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170 physical education classes. Th e data suggested eight elemen ts or attributes make up persistence to game. Following is a brief summary of persistence to game. Persistence to Game The “persistence to game” (P2G) is defined as a natural characteristic of children to want to voluntarily engage and remain engaged in technology driven physical activities. P2G can best be described as including 8 elements. These elements are the attributes, that when collected together, ma ke up the students’ pers istence to game. The eight elements are: 1) Fun, 2) Opportunities fo r choice, 3) Peer interaction, 4) Peer and independent learning, 5) Perpetua l movement to be engaged, 6) Reluctance to cease game play, 7) Unremitting interest, and 8) Video ga me play motivation. These eight attributes assisted in creating flow experiences while the students were participating in active gaming. Implications Active gaming experiences as provided in physical education class are new to most students and teachers. However, over the past 10 years active gaming has grown exponentially and is quickly becoming one of the most popular leisure physical activity outlets for children. This trend might suggest that in the next 10 y ears a large number of school systems will have active gaming facili ties as part of their school physical education program. Based on the data from my inquiry, six major implications are suggested: 1) Create play-like environments, 2) Cultivate the element of fun, 3) Foster individual and peer learning, 4) Explore the role of the physical education teacher, 5) Incorporate out of school programming, 6) Prepare teachers.

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171 Create play-like environments Based on the data of my inquiry, physic al education teachers should establish active gaming curriculums based on “play-like” environments. Play theorists suggest that children at play are intrinsically motivated to participate in the activity. The students participating in active gaming reported they de sired to participate in the activities and wanted to continue game play. Research al so suggests that play ing, including playing with technology in the form of games, promotes learning and additional cognitive benefits in children. While playing the act ive games, the students in this inquiry demonstrated learning independently th rough exploring the game and via peer scaffolding. In addition, the students in this inquiry suggested an environment that provided them with more choices, and less structure with fewer rules from the teacher was preferred. The students experienced movi ng around the active gaming room in a structured, semi-structured, and open-struct ured environment. Having more choices created positive, successful experiences. Based on this discovery, teachers should consider creating play-like le arning environments when stud ents are participating in active gaming. Cultivate the element of fun This study suggests active gaming was fun and students aspired to participate in the activities because they were enjoyable. As a result, implementing active gaming in Kadia Elementary School’s physical education program encouraged students to want to be and remain engaged in physical activit y. As suggested in the data active gaming

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172 activities were naturally motiv ating and fun. This discove ry implies the necessity for physical education teachers to consider creating active gaming environments that focus on the element of fun in order to en courage self-motiva ting experiences. Foster individual and peer learning Furthermore, the students’ suggested they preferred to learn independently when exploring the game and that th is learning should come from a knowledgeable peer rather than an adult or teacher. This discovery s uggests teachers should consider what the most effective strategies are for individual and peer scaffolding to occur and create active gaming environments that allow students to learn independently via exploration or from more educated peers. For example, teachers sh ould create lessons that encourage students to assist one another with learning objectiv es as well as independe ntly through the game. In addition, maybe the older students become the teachers for the younger students; the fifth grade students at Kadia Elementary are now experienced and can teach the 2nd or 3rd grade students how to play active gaming activities. Explore the teacher’s role The students believed the teacher’s main role in active gaming was for discipline control not necessarily to help students learn new conten t. Although this discovery should not be generalized to all activ e gaming environments, it is ap propriate to consider what the teacher’s role may be or if a teache r is even necessary in the active gaming environment. Should students receive instruct ions via computers and participate in active gaming independently or without teacher guida nce? Should the teacher become more of a facilitator for the students? It may be that active gaming technology will serve as a

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173 conduit for increased learning and physical activity and that the role of the teacher in the teaching/learning process in this environment will change dramatically. Incorporate out of school programming Students suggested a desire to particip ate in active gaming outside of physical education class. If this is true, schools may want to cons ider including an active gaming room that incorporates before and after sc hool programs, as well as weekend and summer programs in order to provide students with increased physical ac tivity opportunities. Parent involvement with providing activ ity gaming environments at home may also be a positive movement to increase daily physical activity. Teachers should be able to educate parents on how to incorporate active gaming at home including the cost and effectiveness of the activities. Prepare teachers If active gaming is going to become a part of university physical education curriculums, University physical education teacher preparation programs (PETE) must prepare to provide training and education to beginning teachers on curriculum and instruction strategies and assessment proce sses in an active gaming environment. NASPE has accepted the concept of active gaming be ing incorporated in physical education programs and is currently developing deve lopmentally appropriate practices for PETE programs (Mears, Hansen, Fine, Lawler, & Mason, 2009). It is necessary that PETE programs realize active gaming can be an effective 21st century technology tool and should be adopted as part of their curriculum and instructi onal strategies when preparing teachers.

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174 When implementing active gaming in PETE programs, the cost of the equipment should be considered. Active gaming facili ties can be expensive and may not be reasonable to employ in all school systems or university settings. If funding is not available for a full functioning active gaming f acility, acquiring several active games to include in teacher preparation may be suffici ent if implemented a ppropriately. Regardless of how many active gaming activ ities are available in a PETE program it is important for teacher educators to understand the value active gaming has in the physical education curriculum. Active gaming should be considered a tool which teachers use to accomplish learning objectives. Therefore, active gaming may be inco rporated into the method courses associated with the PETE program. It is not the responsib ility of PETE programs to understand how each active game available operates. However, it is important for PETE programs to assist future teachers in understanding the role active gaming plays in the physical education classroom and the be st teaching strategies associated with implementing these activities. Cost of the e quipment, space require d, and setting up the environment to maximize participation are a few ideas teacher educators should be prepared to share with future teachers. Suggestions for Future Research My inquiry contributed to the limited am ount of research conducted not only on student’s experiences in activ e gaming during physical educ ation classes, but also on students experiencing outside th e physical education environment. This study helped to provide a foundation for future research whic h may include: 1) Explore developmentally appropriate teaching strategies, 2) Investigat e Flow theory as it relates to active gaming, 3) Peer learning, 4) Determine the physiological effects of particip ating in active gaming,

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175 5) Conduct a longitudinal stud ies exploring student experi ences in active gaming over time, 6) Explore how teachers’ process a nd use information in an active gaming environment, 7) Further investigate gender experiences during active gaming. Explore developmentally appropriate teaching strategies Based on the discoveries of this inquiry, st udents believed the teacher’s role was discipline control not teachi ng learning objectives. Future research needs to explore developmentally appropriate instructional st rategies for use during active gaming. What should be the role of the teacher during activ e gaming? How does the teacher’s role in this setting influence student learning? S hould learning be admini stered through more sophisticated technology instead of a teacher ? Should teaching environments be free of externally imposed rules? Should teachers ta ke on more of a facili tator’s role? These questions amongst others should be investigat ed. This research should be conducted for all age levels elementary through high school. Investigate Flow theory as it relates to active gaming Another recommendation would be to study how the theory of flow outlined by Csikszentmihalyi (1990) relate s to active gaming. The current literature does not provide any evidence about flow theory and active ga ming. It would be inte resting to determine the level of flow students may experience a nd how long they remain in the flow zone while participating in active gaming.

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176 Peer learning In addition, further research should be conducted which investigates how children learn from their peers in an active gaming environment and what the most effective teaching methods may be to foster peer learni ng. It is obvious from this study that fifth grade children participating in active gaming prefer to lear n from peers rather than a teacher. Other age groups may or may not desire to learn by interacting with their peers. Research in active gaming dealing with wo rking with a partner and small groups is needed with all age groups. Determine the physiological effect s of participating in active gaming Research based on determining the phys iological effects active gaming has on students should be considered. This informa tion is needed in order to learn if these physical activities are providing students with a physical benefit in terms of heart rate, blood pressure, Vo2, etc. NASPE suggests students obtain at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous daily physical activity. This resear ch would also assist in understanding if active gaming pr ovides students with an appr opriate level of fitness. Conduct a longitudinal study exploring student experiences over time Another investigation might take the form of a longitudinal research effort. The primary purpose of that study would be to de termine if and how students’ experiences and feelings about active gaming during physic al education change over time. Another purpose of this study may be to understand th e sustainability of active gaming with students in physical educati on. This knowledge may assist teachers in understanding the

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177 best instructional strategies to employ for different age groups in the active gaming environment. Explore how teachers’ pro cess and use information Although the research literatur e in active gaming is in its infancy stage, further research exploring how teachers’ process information about students’ experiences participating in active gaming during physical education would provide unique insights. It is critical that physical e ducators understand students’ ex periences and feelings about active gaming when they develop physical educ ation curriculums. It would be interesting to learn to what extent teachers currently use the knowledge of student’s experiences and perceptions in designing activ e gaming leaning activities. Further investigate gender experiences This study explored three girls and three boys’ experiences while participating in active gaming during physical education cl asses. Although this study resulted in no significant findings based on gender experiences with the selected participants, gender experiences during active gami ng participation do deserve further investigation. Are there differences in the way boys and girls participate in active gaming activities? Are their activities that are more or less popular wi th boys or girls? Th ese questions as well as others deserve further investigation. In conclusion, investigating student e xperiences while participating in active gaming during physical education class is an elaborative process. It is evident that additional studies using both qua litative and quantitative me thods are needed. It is apparent that this generation has a strong de sire to play video games and this desire

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178 influences the way students feel about act ive gaming experiences in physical education. Through the establishment of techno logy based committees, workshops, and presentations, NASPE has recognized the importance of learning more about active gaming and how to implement these activities e ffectively in physical education settings. With this said, ten years from now active gami ng facilities may clearly be a part of every physical education program in the country. Ac tive gaming is not a fad, will continue to grow in popularity, and certainly deserves further exploration.

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202 Appendices

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203 Appendix A.1: Student In terview Questions – 1st Interview 1. What does exercise mean to you? 2. Tell me about your physical educat ion class before this week. 3. You have now participated in active gaming two times in physical education. Tell me about your experiences. 4. How do you feel about active gaming in physical education? 5. Were there any games you did not enjoy? Why did you not enjoy them? 6. You were able to play many different activities and games in the active gaming room this week. Tell me some of the ac tive gaming activities you like and tell me why. 7. Pretend you are the physical education teacher, tell me how you would use active gaming in your class? How often would you use it? 8. How often would you like to play activ e gaming at home or away from school? 9. What do you think the benefits are of active gaming? 10. Is there anything else you would like to tell me or share with me about active gaming?

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204 Appendix A.2: Student In terview Questions – 2nd Interview 1. You have been participating or playing in the active gaming room for 4 weeks in physical education. Tell me how you feel about active gaming. 2. You have now played all of the active games several times. Tell me some of the activities you enjoy a nd please tell me why. 3. Are there activities you do not enjoy and if so, tell me why? 4. How do you feel about active gaming as pa rt of your physical education class. Why? 5. If you were the physical education te acher, how would you use active gaming in your physical education class? 6. If you could participate in active gaming at anytime including away from school, how often would you like to pa rticipate in active gaming? 7. How do you feel about active gaming being a type of exercise? 8. Tell me how you like working on the equi pment best? Partners? Choosing your games? Why? 9. Why do you think active gaming is a part of your physical edu cation class? Do you think it should be? 10. Is there anything else you would like to tell me or share about active gaming?

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205 Appendix A.3: Student In terview Questions – 3rd Interview 1. You have now participated in active gaming for 8 weeks in your physical education class. Tell me how you feel about active gaming. 2. You are familiar with all of the activities in the active gaming room at this point. What are your favorit e activities? Why? 3. Were there any games you did not enjoy? Please tell me why? 4. Try to think back to when you participat ed in physical education class and active gaming was not a part of the class. Disc uss how you feel abou t physical education now that active gaming is a part of the class. 5. If you had to choose between PE with active gaming, without active gaming, or a combination of both, what would you choose? Why? 6. How would you include active gaming in your school schedule each day? 7. How often would you like to participate in Active gaming away from school? 8. In your own words, tell me what you think exercise is? 9. You have been participating in active ga ming for 2 months or 8 weeks at this point. What have been the outcomes of it for you? Why? 10. Is there anything else you would lik e to tell me about active gaming?

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206 Appendix B.1: Physical Education Teacher’s Interview Questions – 1st 1. Tell me what your perception of active ga ming was before you implemented it in your classroom. 2. Tell me about your students ’ initial experiences with active gaming after the first week of implementing it with your fifth grade class. 3. After this first week, tell me what you like about active gaming in your physical education class What do you dislike? 4. What kind of experiences do you feel your students are receiving from participation in active gaming activ ities during physical education? 5. How do you perceive girls ar e experiencing active gaming? 6. How do you perceive boys are experiencing active gaming? 7. Discuss any thoughts about your students participating in active gaming you may have at this point. 8. How do you feel about active gaming being a compliment to traditional physical education activities? 9. How do you feel active gaming activ ities can impact your students? 10. Which active gaming activities do you f eel your students will enjoy most and please tell me why? 11. Which active gaming activities do you f eel your students may not enjoy and please tell me why.

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207 12. How do you feel about active gaming activities in physical education? 13. Is there anything else you would lik e to tell me about active gaming?

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208 Appendix B.2: Physical Education Teacher’s Interview Questions – 2nd 1. Tell me how you feel about active ga ming after the first four weeks of implementing it with your fifth grade class. 2. Tell me why you like using active gaming in your physical education class. Why do you dislike using it? 3. What kind of experiences do you feel your students are receiving from participating in active gaming activ ities during physical education? 4. How do you perceive girls ar e experiencing active gaming? 5. How do you perceive boys are experiencing active gaming? 6. Discuss any thoughts with using ac tive gaming in your classroom. 7. How do you feel about active gaming being a compliment to traditional physical education activities? 8. How do you feel active gaming activ ities can impact your students? 9. At this point, how you feel about implem enting active gaming as a part of your physical education curriculum? 10. Discuss students’ behavior relative to active gaming in physical education. 11. Who do you feel might bene fit from active gaming? 12. Now that the students have moved around the active gaming room in various ways, discuss if you believe particular rotations have an effect on their participation.

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209 13. Is there anything else you would lik e to tell me about active gaming?

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210 Appendix B.3: Physical Education Teacher’s Interview Questions –3rd 1. Tell me how you feel about active gaming after the eight weeks of implementing it with your fifth grade class. 2. Discuss how you think your students have felt using active gaming in physical education. 3. What kind of experiences do you feel your students have received from participating in active gaming activ ities during physical education? 4. How do you perceive your girls are experiencing active gaming? 5. How do you perceive your boys ar e experiencing active gaming? 6. Discuss any thoughts or issues you fore see with using Active gaming in your classroom. 7. How do you feel about Active gaming bei ng a compliment to tradition physical education activities? 8. Describe any benefits you believe ac tive gaming may have on your students? 9. Discuss students’ behavior relative to active gaming in physical education. 10. If another physical education teacher asked you about using active gaming in physical education, how would you respond? 11. What do you think the student’s overall experience has been using active gaming in physical education?

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211 12. Now that the students have moved around the active gaming room in various ways, discuss if you believe particular rotations have an effect on their participation. 13. Is there anything else you would lik e to tell me about active gaming?

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212 Appendix C.1: Student Jour nal Guiding Questions – 1st Entry 1. What does exercise mean to you? 2. Discuss your feelings about your physical education class. 3. If you could plan the perfect physical e ducation class, what would students be doing?

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213 Appendix C.2: Student Jour nal Guiding Questions – 2nd Entry 1. Write how you feel about active gaming in your physical edu cation class. 2. Out of the following list of activities, Ci rcle your favorite activities and write why you like those activities the most. DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) Gamecycle (Arm Bike) Cateye Gamebike XrBoards (Snowboards) Dogfighting Bikes 3 Kick Nintendo Wii Gamercize (Stepper) Boxing 3. Out of the following list of activities, ci rcle your least favorit e activities and write why you did not enjoy these activities. DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) Gamecycle (Arm Bike) Cateye Gamebike XrBoards (Snowboards) Dogfighting Bikes 3 Kick (3 Tower punch and kick) Nintendo Wii Gamercize (Stepper) Boxing

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214 Appendix C.3: Student Jour nal Guiding Questions – 3rd Entry 1. How you feel about active gaming in physical education class.2. How do you feel about active gaming as a type of exercise? 3. How often would you participate in active gaming away from school? 4. Out of the following list of activities, circle your favorite and write why you like those activities the most. DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) Gamecycle (Arm Bike) Cateye Gamebike XrBoards (Snowboards) Dogfighting Bikes 3 Kick Nintendo Wii Gamercize (Stepper) Boxing 5. Out of the following list of activities, circle your least fa vorite activities and write why you did not en joy these activities. DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) Gamecycle (Arm Bike) Cateye Gamebike XrBoards (Snowboards) Dogfighting Bikes 3 Kick (3 Tower punch and kick) Nintendo Wii Gamercize (Stepper) Boxing

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215 Appendix C.4: Student Jour nal Guiding Questions – 4th Entry 1. Write about how you feel about your phys ical education class since you have been participating in active gaming. 2. What would you say if someone asked you, “What is active gaming”? 3. How have you changed since beginning active gaming in physical education?

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216 Appendix C.5: Student Journal Gu iding Questions – fifth Entry 1. Write about how you feel about participating in active gaming in physical education class the past 8 weeks. 2. If you could create the perfect physical e ducation class, what would students be doing? What would you be doing? 3. If you could participate in active gami ng anytime you wanted to, including at home or away from school, how often would choose to do so? 4. Out of the following list of activities, circle your top 3 favorite and write why you like those activities the most. DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) Gamecycle (Arm Bike) Cateye Gamebike XrBoards (Snowboards) Dogfighting Bikes 3 Kick Nintendo Wii Gamercize (Stepper) Boxing 5. Out of the following list of activities, ci rcle 3 of your least favorite activities and write why you did not en joy these activities. DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) Gamecycle (Arm Bike) Cateye Gamebike XrBoards (Snowboards) Dogfighting Bikes 3 Kick (3 Tower punch and kick) Nintendo Wii Gamercize (Stepper) Boxing

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217 Appendix D: Physical Education Teach er’s Journal Guiding Questions 1. Describe your students’ experiences with active gaming in your physical education class today? 2. Discuss any positive or negative experiences with active gaming in class today. 3. How do you feel about active gaming as part of the curriculum? 4. How do you perceive girls ar e experiencing active gaming? 5. How do you perceive boys are experiencing active gaming? 6. Discuss if you feel the way the students rotate or move in the active gaming room effects their participation. 7. Discuss any behavior changes you may see with your class part icipating in active gaming. 8. Discuss active gaming in terms of any successes the students may have experienced.

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218 Appendix E: Fieldnote Record ing Form – Researcher Date: Session #: Time Started: Time Ended Total Time: Participant 1 Participant 2 Participant 3 Participant 4 Participant 5 Participant 6

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219 Appendix F: Fieldnote Recordi ng Form – Graduate Student Date: Session #: Time Started: Time Ended Total Time: Time Participant 1 Participant 2 Participant 3 Participant 4 Participant 5 Participant 6 1.00 2.00 3.00 4.00

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220 Appendix G: Active Gaming Fitness Unit Lesson Plans Active Gaming 8 Week Fitness Unit – Lesson #1 Lesson – Understanding the muscles in the body while participating in active gaming (30min) Grade : fifth Objectives: 1. Students will explore the active gaming environment with a partner to gain a better understanding of the activities. 2. Students will understand which muscles they are using with 80% accuracy using a variety of muscle groups while playing the active games. a. PE.5.L.2.4: Explain how technology can assist in the pursuit of physical fitness. b. NASPE Standard 2 : Demonstrates understanding of movement concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics as they apply to the learning and performance of physical activities. 3. Students will complete the muscle activity worksheet with 80% accuracy. a. PE.5.L.1.4: Use technology and/or information literacy to enhance regular participation in physical activities. b. NASPE Standard 2 : Demonstrates understanding of movement concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics as they apply to the learning and performance of physical activities. 4. Students will be able to name other sports or activities that utilize the same muscles used during the active gaming activities. a. PE.5.C.1.8: Compare and contrast skills/sports that use similar patterns/concepts. b. Standard 2: Demonstrates understanding of movement concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics as they apply to the learning and performance of physical activities. 5. Students will work responsibly with their peers 100% of the time. a. PE.5.R.1.4: Recognize and appreciate similar and different activity choices of peers. b. NASPE Standard 5: Exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others in physical activity settings.

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221 Materials/Equipment : Active Gaming P.E. facility, worksheet and pencil (1 for every pair) Cues : Where do you feel it? Find the muscle Introduction: The teacher will introduce the unit by briefly explaining the term fitness. The teacher should introduce words such as heart rates (beats) and the various muscle groups. The students will touch each of the larger muscles as the teacher discusses them (e.g. biceps, triceps, thighs, hamstrings, shoulders, abdominals, back, and chest muscles). Description of Activity: Students will work with a partner to complete the muscle activity worksheet as they participate in a variety of active gaming activities. The students will choose their active game and will play for 5 minutes. At the end of the 5 minutes the students will feel in the worksheet for that particular activity and then rotate to a new activity. As they are playing, the focus should be on having the children ask what muscles they feel working and what is that muscle called. This is a two day activity so activities played on Day 1 should not be repeated on Day 2. *This should be semi structured so the teacher should not decide where students rotate – they need to explore the environment and maintain responsibility when moving to a new activity. Closure/Assessment: Day 1: Review the concept of fitness and the muscles – check for understanding visually Day 2: Review the Muscle Worksheet – ask students about their worksheet. Discuss next week’s fitness focus being on the intensity levels of the active games and how it affects their bodies.

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222 Names:__________________ ______________________________ Where is that Muscle? 1. Cateye GameBikes: Where did you feel it? _____________________ 2. XrBoards: Where did you feel it? _____________________ 3. Gamercize: Where did you feel it? _____________________ 4. Nintendo Wii: Where did you feel it? _____________________ 5. Xavix Boxing: Where did you feel it? _____________________ 6. Gamecycle: Where did you feel it? _____________________ 7. Dog Flight Simulators: Where did you feel it? _____________________ 8. 3 Kick: Where did you feel it? _____________________ 9. Dance Dance Revolution: Where did you feel it?_____________________ ***On the back, list a sport or activity for each of the muscles listed below*** The Muscles: Arm Muscles : Biceps (Front of Arm) and Triceps (Back of Arm)

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223 Leg Muscles: Quadracepts (Front of Leg) and Hamstrings (Back of Leg) and Calves (Bottom and Back of Leg) Shoulder Muscles: Deltoid & Trapezius Chest Muscles: Pectorals Back Muscles: Rhomboids & Lattisimus Dorsi

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224 Active Gaming 8 Week Fitness Unit – Lesson #2 Lesson – Understanding your heart beat during different active gaming activities (30min) Grade : fifth Objectives: 6. Students will explore the active gaming environment with a partner in order to categorize the activities as low intensity, moderate intensity, or high intensity. 7. Students will complete the Feel the Beat Worksheet 100% by putting various active games in low, moderate, and high intensity categories. a. PE.5.L.2.4: Explain how technology can assist in the pursuit of physical fitness. b. NASPE Standard 2 : Demonstrates understanding of movement concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics as they apply to the learning and performance of physical activities. 8. Students will recognize their heart beating at various intensity levels with 80% accuracy while participating in the active games. a. PE.5.L.1.4: Use technology and/or information literacy to enhance regular participation in physical activities. b. NASPE Standard 2 : Demonstrates understanding of movement concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics as they apply to the learning and performance of physical activities 9. Students will be able to name other sports or activities that make the heart beat at high, medium, and low intensity levels. a. PE.5.C.1.8: Compare and contrast skills/sports that use similar patterns/concepts. b. Standard 2: Demonstrates understanding of movement concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics as they apply to the learning and performance of physical activities. 10. Students will work responsibly with their peers and value their opinions 100% of the time. a. PE.5.R.1.4: Recognize and appreciate similar and different activity choices of peers. b. NASPE Standard 5: Exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others in physical activity settings

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225 Materials/Equipment : Active Gaming P.E. facility, worksheet and pencil (1 for every pair) Cues : Feet the beat Introduction: The teacher will discuss the heart beat and the three levels of intensity (low, moderate, high). The teacher should give brief examples of an activity that may fit each intensity level. The teacher should have the students run in place for one full minute and then ask them to pay attention to their heart beat – they can actually tough their chest if preferred to give them an idea of how to be aware of how fast their heart is beating (without taking a pulse). Description of Activity: Students will work with a partner to complete the Feel the Beat worksheet as they participate in a variety of active gaming activities. The students will choose their active game and will play for 10 minutes. At the end of the 10 minutes the students will feel in the worksheet for that particular activity and then rotate to a new activity. As they are playing, the focus should be on having the children pay attention to how hard their heart is beating at various activities. This is a four day activity and activities should not be repeated. Students will not get to all stations but will have the opportunity to choose the 8 stations out of 9 available. *This should be semi structured so the teacher should not decide where students rotate – they need to explore the environment and maintain responsibility when moving to a new activity. Closure/Assessment: Day 1: Review the concept of the heart beating at various intensity levels Day 2: Review the Feel the Beat Worksheet – ask students about their worksheet. Discuss why some students may have different answers. Discuss next week’s focus being on the determining heart rates while participating in active gaming. Day 3: Review the worksheet again – focus on not going to activities they have already been to before. Day 4: Closure to activity – review other sports with varying intensity levels as mentioned on the worksheet

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226 Names:__________________ ________________________________ Feel the Beat!!! ***Circle the intensity level you feel best fits each activity. Activity Intensity Level 10. Cateye GameBikes: Low Moderate High 11. XrBoards: Low Moderate High 12. Gamercize: Low Moderate High 13. Nintendo Wii: Low Moderate High 14. Xavix Boxing: Low Moderate High 15. Gamecycle: Low Moderate High 16. Dog Flight Simulators: Low Moderate High 17. 3 Kick: Low Moderate High 18. Dance Dance Revolution: Low Moderate High *** Name one sport or activity that makes the heart beat at a… High Intensity Level___________________________________________ Medium Intensity Level________________________________________ Low Intensity Level_________________ ___________________________

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227 Active Gaming 8 Week Fitness Unit – Lesson #3 Lesson – Understanding the difference betw een muscular strength and muscular endurance Grade : fifth Objectives: 1. Students will actively participate in ac tive gaming the full time in each station rotation. 2. Students will understand how physical ac tivity affects the rate at which their hearts beat 3. Students will complete the Heart Rate worksheet with 80% accuracy. 4. Students will respect their peers and work cooperatively 100% of the time. NASPE Standards: This lesson addresses NASPE Standards 1, 2, 4, and 6 Sunshine State Standards: This lesson addresses the Sunshine State Standards: PE5.C.1.3, PE5.L.2.1, PE5.L.2.4, PE5.R.1.4 Materials/Equipment : Active Gaming P.E. facility Cues : Be active, strength or endurance Description of Activity: The teacher will introduce the lesson by br iefly explaining the difference between muscular strength and endurance. The teacher sh ould tell them at the end of the class she will be asking the students the games they played and whether they felt the activity focused on muscular strength or endurance. St udents will then have the choice of the activities they will play and w ith whom they want to play them. The main objective is for the students to remain active. Discuss waiting for DDR – only 2 at a time can wait and should practice behind the pads. Only 1 pe rson can wait for an activity (if someone is playing a Wii game, only one studen t can be waiting for that activity. Closure/Assessment: Review the concept of muscul ar strength and enduranceor ask students to discuss these concepts. Ask the students what they pl ayed and whether it focused on strength endurance.

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228 Active Gaming 8 Week Fitness Unit – Week 4 Lesson – Understanding heart rates and how to calculate average and maximum Heart Rates Grade : fifth Objectives: 11. Students will actively participate in ac tive gaming the full time in each station rotation. 12. Students will understand how physical ac tivity affects the rate at which their hearts beat 13. Students will complete the Heart Rate worksheet with 80% accuracy. 14. Students will work responsibly with their peers 100% of the time. NASPE Standards: This lesson addresses NASPE Standards 1, 2, 4, and 6 Sunshine State Standards: This lesson addresses the Sunshine State Standards: PE5.L.1.4, PE5.L.2.4, PE5.R.1.3 Materials/Equipment : Active Gaming P.E. facility, worksheet and pencils (1 each students), MIO Heart Rate Monitor Cues : Feel the Beat Introduction: The teacher will introduce the unit by briefly explaining the idea of heart heats and heart rates – how the intensity of an activity aff ects the heart beat. The teacher should then discuss that she will use her MIO heart rate m onitor to help them find their heart rates to record on their worksheet so they can late r determine their average and maximum heart rates. Description of Activity: Students will choose their groups of 3 for this four day lesson. They will rotate in a structured station set up – 9 total stations. They will spend approximately 8-10 minutes at each station. Before the students begin, they will find their resting heart rate. This heart rate can be used for each of the sessions fo r this activity. During the station the teacher will walk around to the students 3-4 times dur ing the station to let students find their heart rates. The students w ill record each heart rate on the worksheet. While waiting to participate on one of games, students shoul d begin to calculate their average and max heart rate for the activity. Each session the students will complete the worksheet.

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229 Closure/Assessment: Review the concept of h eart ratescheck for understanding visually. Ask some students to talk about how they got their max heart rate and average heart rate. Why is it important to them?

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230 NAME:_____________________ Date:_________________ Active Gaming Heart Rate Worksheet Activity #1______________Activity #2_______________ 1. Record your resting Heart Rate____________ 2. Find the highest number listed. This is your maximum heart rate for todays lesson_______ 3. Record your average heart rate by adding all heart rates recorded in the chart and divide them by your total number of readings a. Sum of all heart rates___________ b. Sum of heart rates divided by # of readings___________________ 4. What would make your heart beat faster on these activities?_________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ 5. Give at least two examples of activities that you think would make your heart beat over 130 beats per minute. _____________________________________ __________________ _____________________ Readin g # Heart R ate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 T otal:

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231 Active Gaming 8 Week Fitness Unit – Lesson #5 Lesson – Understanding the importance of obtaining moderate to vigorous physical activity 60 minutes a day on most days of the week – Obtaining as many minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity during physical education class. (30min) Grade : fifth Objectives: 1. Students will understand the importance of obtaining 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity on most days of the week. 2. Students will obtain a minimum of 15 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity during each class. 3. Students will complete the scavenger hunt worksheet with 80% accuracy. 4. Students will work responsibly with their peers 100% of the time. NASPE Standards: This lesson addresses NASPE Standards 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7 Sunshine State Standards: This lesson addresses the Sunshine State Standards: PE.5.C.1.3, PE.5.L.11, PE.5.L.1.4, PE.5.L.2.4: PE.5.R.1.3 Materials/Equipment : Active Gaming P.E. facility, worksheet and pencil for each student Cues : Pump it up Introduction: The teacher will introduce the unit by briefly explaining the goal and importance of obtaining 60 min of physical activity a day. She will then explain that the goal with the scavenger hunt is to obtain as many of these minutes in class the next two days. Description of Activity: Students will work independently or with a partner in order to complete as many activities on the worksheet – Scavenger Hunt. Students should not repeat an activity once completed. .Closure/Assessment: After each class let students discuss how many activities they were able to complete. Review the 60/day goal. Possibly let them suggest how they can get more physical activity at home.

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232 Name:______________________________________ Video Game Scavenger Hunt #1 Game: Xavix Boxing Cues: Quick Punches Count your knockdowns!!! 1. (Mode) Training: Complete 2 sections in Exercise session One: 1_______ 2_______ 2. (Mode) Training: Complete 2 sections in Exercise session Two: 1_______ 2_______ 3. (Mode) Training: Complete 2 sections in Exercise sessi on Three: 1________ 2_______ Comments: #2 Game: GameBikes Cues: Control 1. (Mode)Freestyle High Score Challenge Score:_____________ 2. (Mode)Race_____________________ Time:_____________ Comments: #3 Game: Gamercize Cues: Steady stepping 1. One 8 minute session _____________ Comments:

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233 # 4 Game: Dance Dance Revolution Cues: Feel the rhythm 1. Song #1 Mode: Beginner Light Standard Heavy Letter Score________ 2. Song #2 Mode: Beginner Light Standard Heavy Letter Score________ Comments # 5 Game: 3 Kick Cues: “Listen” Quick Feet 1. Round 1: 1 minute _______ Score ______ 2. Round 2: 1 minute _______ Score ______ 3. Round 3: 1.30 minutes_______ Score_______ 4. Round 4: 1.30 minutes_______ Score_______ Comments: # 6 Game: Nintendo Wii Tennis Cues: Firm wrist Weight on front foot 1. Tennis: Complete all 3 training modes _______ 2. Bowling or Golf (your choice):Com plete all 3 training sessions_______ Comments:

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234 About the Author Lisa Witherspoon Hansen is Co-Director of the USF XRKade Active Gaming research laboratories in Tampa, FL. Lisa has taught elementary and middle school health and physical education for four years and is cu rrently an instructor in the department of physical education and exercise science at the University of South Florida. In the past three years Lisa has given over 15 presenta tions ranging from local to International conferences and events, and (co) authored seven print publications and five video publications. Lisa has been actively involved in Active Ga ming since 2005, ranging from the development of the first Active Gaming facility for children to serving as a consultant and International presenter on the topic of Active Gaming. Lisa currently serves on two NASPE Technology Committees with a focus on developing effective teaching practices implementing technology in the physical educat ion classroom. This dissertation has been written as part of the requirements for th e Ph.D. degree in Early Childhood Education at the University of South Florida.


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Six fifth grade students experiences participating in active gaming during physical education classes
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Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2009.
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ABSTRACT: As technology and sedentary lifestyles have become an integral part of children's lives, so too has the prevalence of childhood obesity. Although video games are often associated with influencing sedentary behaviors, active gaming is a new genre that requires children to become physically active while playing the games. In this inquiry I explored six fifth grade students' experiences participating in active gaming in physical education classes for 30 minutes, twice weekly, during an eight week (16 sessions) study. I used qualitative methods including interviews, journal entries, and observational field notes. Analysis of data revealed students have a "Persistence to Game" (P2G) when participating in active gaming during physical education. When students experience P2G I considered them to be at "play" demonstrating play-like attributes. Persistence to game includes eight elements. Although not all elements need to be present at the same time, when these elements interact, students experience flow. The discoveries of this study suggest active gaming can be an appropriate tool used in 21st century physical education classes that appeals and is desirable to students.
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