Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Dr. Maryanne Longo


Physical education classrooms often have low levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity levels. This is a problem since many young elementary students are not building a foundation of fundamental movement skills necessary to be lifelong participants in physical activities. This study investigated how elementary physical education teachers used auditory modalities in their classrooms. The research question explored the emergence of rhythmic competency in fundamental movement skills to increase overall moderate to vigorous activity levels. This concurrent, mixed-methods, multiple case study used a constructivist paradigm using the schema and dynamic system theories as the underlying motor system theoretical framework. Two research sites were selected: a suburban Maryland public school system and a private liberal arts college located in the same county. The participants included 21 elementary physical education teachers and 6 physical education or exercise science majors from nationally recognized programs. Data were collected from a focus group, interviews, classroom observations, and a 10-item response Likert style survey designed for elementary physical education teachers to recognize current trends in the field of auditory modalities and rhythmic competency. The data were analyzed to identify auditory modality instructional methods for the emergence of rhythmic competencies. The results consisted of a list of best practices for use such as musical rhythms, verbal cues, and sound cues by physical education teachers and specialists. This research promotes positive social change by providing information for successfully planning interventions in the discipline of motor skill and rhythmic development that can lead to overall increased more-vigorous physical activity.