The Effectiveness of an Online Community of Practice as an Intervention for Childhood Obesity
A significant portion of the children in the United States do not reach the recommended amount of physical activity (PA) each day. Childhood obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are associated with a cycle of deficits to physical and psychological health that continue throughout the lifetime. Schools are ideal locations for improvement, and implementing programs that include PA in the classroom is one promising solution; however, teachers are not provided with adequate support to apply this strategy. It is imperative that effective ways to increase teachers’ inclinations to incorporate PA be found. The purpose of this research was to examine the effect of an online community of practice (CoP), named “Move for Thought”, on pre-service teachers’ intentions and perceived competence to include PA in their future classrooms. The “Move for Thought” CoP supplied participants with a location to interact, share ideas and train each other to successfully implement PA in the classroom. Pre-service elementary teachers at Iowa State University and University of South Carolina participated in the Move for Thought CoP for ten weeks. Level of participation, and pre-posttest surveys of perceived competence and intention were collected. Results and discussion on the effectiveness of the “Move for Thought” CoP will follow.