School of Education
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Kathie C Morgan
Constructivist Theory, Early Childhood Education, Fundamental Motor Skills, Movement Education, Physical Activity, Preschool
Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology
Swirzinski, Martha, "Perceptions of the Role Physical Activity Plays in Early Childhood Education" (2016). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 1317.
The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to describe the perceptions early childhood educators who intentionally implement physical activity into their class day in Eastern Virginia have with regards to using physical activity with preschoolers ages three to five. The theory guiding this study was the social constructivist theory by Lev Vygotsky (1978) which maintains that each individual has a different perspective about any given experience based on their prior experiences and all experiences build upon themselves to create knowledge. The constructivist theory suggests learners must interact with their environments to gain new knowledge (Ogunnaike, 2015). The basic research question focused on the perceptions that selected educators have on the role physical activity plays in the preschool classroom. Data was collected through observations, semi-structured interviews, and review of documents. Data analysis strategies included detailed descriptions of the cases, analysis of each case for themes and then cross case analysis for common themes or differences. Data analysis generated key themes, which include: expending energy, cognitive and physical development, professional development, experience with physical activity, facility/director support and required physical activity. The study ended with assertions to provide interpretation of the data as well as recommendations for future research.