Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


Current research acknowledges and continues to investigate how the brain functions and communicates with itself and the body. The focus of this thesis project is the intersection of brain function and physical movement, and with that in mind, it explores the question, how does the Brain Gym program impact student attention, motivation, and achievement? The literature section looks at the current discussion of brain function and physical movement as well as the Brain Gym program and relevant results of educators and researchers regarding its use. The active research section of the project examines the possible benefits of physical movement on students in a third grade classroom over a four-week time frame. The researcher chose four students for this case study. Student surveys and interviews were used to gather assessment data in addition to field note documentation. Conclusions from the study include the acknowledgment that motivation is difficult to measure but the research notes some subtle indications of increased engagement as well as positive academic achievement by the case study group. The greatest measurable difference with the Brain Gym program through the study was noted in increased attention during instruction. Students reported they found it easier to focus, finish independent work, and “felt less fidgety.” The study conclusions, while understanding that motivation remains difficult to measure, affirms the positive outcomes of Brain Gym in an academic setting to increase attention and achievement.


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