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Overcoming Trauma with Physical Activity: Implementing Edutainment within a High School Physical Education class

Wheeler, Lauren M. (2023) Overcoming Trauma with Physical Activity: Implementing Edutainment within a High School Physical Education class. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the racial trauma in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has been named the "twin pandemics." While physical activity has numerous benefits, including mental health, physical activity declined significantly in youth during the COVID-19 pandemic. The problem of practice seeks to address high school students' low motivation within physical education classes, contributing to low levels of physical activity and poor mental and physical health, exacerbated by the twin pandemics. "Edutainment" integrates education and entertainment to enhance the participant's learning experience. The theory of improvement suggests that incorporating edutainment with physical activity will effectively increase students' participation and motivation within physical education courses to improve their exercise routines and overall health. At Henry High school, I implemented an edutainment model called PHAT Tuesday (Physically Healthy @ That). This program consists of the Minnesota National Guard working out with 9th-12th grade students weekly on Tuesdays for eight weeks during the school year (45-minute sessions) and during summer school for four weeks (130-minute sessions). Measures included post-program focus groups with districtwide summer school students housed at Henry high school and guest mentors about their perceptions of the program and its impact on the students and observations and field notes collected weekly by the primary investigator during the summer sessions. Data analysis of the focus group transcripts used the content analysis method of coding to identify key categories and themes. The findings show adolescents increased their motivation, participation in the physical education settings, and interactions between the guest mentors and their peers. However, for future implementation of the PHAT program, district stakeholders, HPE teachers, and school administrative support must be on one accord. Policy changes may need to be implemented to allow guest mentors to attend the building regularly to teach physical education courses. Funding for a future program will ensure that PHAT can be sustained, yielding important benefits to the students and community partners.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Wheeler, Lauren M.lmw131@pitt.edulmw131
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRoss,
Committee MemberBoulder,
Committee MemberSebera,
Date: 11 January 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 4 November 2022
Approval Date: 11 January 2023
Submission Date: 12 December 2022
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 80
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Health and Physical Activity
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Edutainment Physical Activity Physical Education Motivation Truma COVID-19 Twin Pandemic High School Students
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2023 19:31
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2023 19:31


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