Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Wendy Allen PhD, LPC, BC-DMT


This thesis examines the benefits of integrating movement breaks within high school classrooms to enhance student engagement, focus, and overall well-being. The aim is to highlight the negative effects that a traditional classroom structure can have when looking at the evolving needs of the high school population. Drawing on personal experiences, observations, and existing research, this study highlights the disconnect between traditional teaching methods and the developmental needs of today's students. Using comparisons from previous teaching methods to the standards of an academic class today, the study identifies movement breaks as a useful tool to address issues such as student disengagement, attendance, and academic performance. By providing short bursts of physical activity throughout the day, movement breaks offer opportunities for students to reset their brains, improve their attention span, and enhance cognitive function. In addition, the use of social and emotional learning principles create a more supportive and inclusive classroom environment that can lead to reduced test anxiety and promote academic success. Drawing on successful models from existing literature, this study proposes a framework for implementing movement breaks within high school classrooms. Ultimately, this thesis advocates for the integration of movement breaks into the high school curriculum to create more inclusive, engaging, and effective learning environments. By recognizing the importance of holistic student development and addressing diverse learner needs, educators can better support student success and well-being in the modern educational space.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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