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Facilitating Diverse Learning Contexts and Content on Children’s (School-Relevant) Cognitive Performance: Effects of Music and Movement Expression

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In this study, 64 African-American and 64 White school children were exposed to two different short stories. One story was presented in a learning context with movement and music, infusing syncopated music and high levels of kinesthetic activity (HME context); while the other story was presented devoid of such factors (LME context). Further, half of the participants were presented stories with high movement content themes, embodying character and thematic content depicting high activity and kinesthetics (HMC); while the other participants were presented with stories embodying low movement content themes, depicting low levels of activity and movement expression (LMC). Performance was measured via recall of story information/encoding-inferring. Salient findings revealed the best performance emerged for African-American children when the HMC stories were presented under the HME contexts. In contrast, facilitating effects emerged for White children when the LMC stories were presented under the LME contexts. Other results are discussed in relation to previous findings. Implications for schooling practices are addressed, as are directions for future research.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, North Carolina Central University ; 2: Department of Psychology and Capstone Institute, Howard University ; 3: Lincoln University, Department of Psychology, Winston-Salem State University


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