• Cognitive Benefits

    Children learn through a variety of modalities (e.g., visual, auditory, tactile, physical). Teaching academic concepts through the physical modality may nurture children’s kinesthetic intelligence. Academic constructs have greater meaning for children when they are taught across the three realms of learning, including the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains. Greater depth and relevance can be achieved when the subject matter constructs are related to each domain of learning. Research has demonstrated that children engaged in daily physical education show superior motor fitness, academic performance, and attitude towards school versus their counterparts who did not participate in daily physical education. Physical education learning experiences also offer a unique opportunity for problem solving, self-expression, socialization, and conflict resolution.


    Research suggests that young children learn through active engagement with the “stuff” of their world. Children in elementary school acquire knowledge through physical exploration of their environment. Physical education may provide children with learning experiences essential to the formation of mental schemes (i.e., mental patterns or systems that describe the ways people think about the © July 2001 National Association for Sport and Physical Education, an association of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance 2 world; building blocks of thinking). Children form more effective schemes by physically interacting with their environment. Quality physical education programs facilitate exploration of movement in various contexts that enhance acquisition of knowledge.