Ninth graders’ learning differences in a healthful-living curriculum

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ang Chen, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Physical education and health education are relevant avenues for adolescents to learn knowledge and behavior related to energy-balanced living. Grounded in the framework theory of conceptual change, this study examined ninth graders' energy balance knowledge (i.e., concepts, principles, and strategies underlying the scientific mechanism and the outcome of energy balanced/imbalanced living) and physical activity in a healthful-living curriculum (i.e. combination of physical education and health). The students (N = 195) were measured using concept mapping, accelerometers, and three-day physical activity recall. It was found that the students differed in energy balance knowledge where most (83%) lacked a higher-order relational understanding. Physical activity in physical education class or after school did not significantly differ by students' mental model levels concerning energy balance knowledge. The findings suggest that an ecological learning context with moderate physical activity should be provided to help students make sense of energy balance knowledge through lived experiences.

Additional Information

Learning and Individual Differences, 30, 170-176
Language: English
Date: 2014
Conceptual change, Energy balance knowledge, Physical activity

Email this document to