Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education


In education there are many factors outside of the classroom that can have an impact on student motivation; as a result school districts offer athletic and extracurricular activities that help promote learning and student success. Using the TaeKwonDo Institute’s Character Reward Program, this thesis project examines the relationship between after school program involvement and student motivation. The literature review defines and explores the history of after school programs, student motivation and character development, and how martial arts supports and encourages these attributes. The active research, a four-week study, was conducted with 20 students, grades 1-8, who were enrolled in a taekwondo after school program, as well as a control group of 20 students, grades 1-8, who attended taekwondo lessons twice a week but did not participate in the after school program. Pre and post surveys were given to both students and parents on motivation and academic achievement. Within the Character Reward Program, motivation was measured by time spent on homework, ability to complete homework and household chores without being asked, following directions from parents, and improvement shown in academic performance. Study conclusions support participation in after school programs, martial arts in particular, to increase student motivation and achievement.


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