Fizika Course Helps Schools Develop Active Learning Environments

(Lancaster, PA) March 16, 2015 — Fizika Group, LLC today announced that registration for the Spring session of the Active Learning Specialist Course, a graduate level educational program aimed at enabling educators and administrators to become certified as Active Learning Specialists, is now open. The course supports school leaders in the effort to integrate at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day into K-12 learning environments.

First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off the national Let’s Move! Active Schools initiative in March 2013 to ensure 60 minutes of physical activity is the new norm in schools. This course helps forward Let’s Move! Active Schools at local sites and prepares school leaders to shape and sustain an educational experience that ties physical activity to student academic success.

Since the online course launched as a professional development opportunity through Harrisburg University School of Science and Technology in July 2013, educators from across the globe have earned the Active Learning Specialist Certificate by applying the latest educational neuroscience, cognitive psychology and best practices to create active learning plans for their schools and organizations.

“The course enables Active Learning Specialists to strategically change their learning culture on a school wide or district-wide basis,” says Martha Lester Harris, President and Co-founder of Fizika Group, the company that created the Active Learning Specialist Course in partnership with Harrisburg University. “A mounting body of evidence supports the need for this type of applied learning and sharing of best practices,” says Harris.

Educators who earn the Active Learning Specialist designation are equipped with the educational neuroscience, cognitive psychology foundation and leadership tools to enable them to strategically improve their teaching practice, and to train others how to incorporate movement into their teaching and learning practice.

“The Active Learning Specialist course provides insight into how best to use physical activity in school to help kids learn and move more, as well as bridge the gap between public health and education,” says Carrie Steindorff, Public Health Educator at the Rockland County Department of Health in New York. Steindorff helped create “March Forward, ” an annual event in local schools to raise awareness and increase the amount of physical activity students receive in school. Steindorff is currently working with area school districts to increase the use of physical activity breaks.

Through Let’s Move! Active Schools, educators also have the opportunity to participate in the Physical Activity Leader (PAL) Learning System. An action-focused training, the PAL Learning System provides an important foundation that can change the school climate through implementation of a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CPSAP). The Active Learning Specialist Course builds on the PAL Learning System, focusing on the increased potential for learning that results in strategic applications of active learning – in the classroom, on the playground, or at home.

Having participated in both the Active Learning Specialist course and the PAL Learning System training, Ms. Steindorff noted how the two programs can complement one another. “The PAL training presents the concept of comprehensive physical activity programming and guides participants in identifying ways to effectively integrate physical activity in school and influence decision-makers. The Active Learning Specialist course provides an in-depth examination of the mutually beneficial impact active learning can have on both the student and teacher. In a supportive school climate, trained teachers and advocates can work together to promote and expedite.”

The course culminates in the development of an active learning plan that is tailored to the needs for improving learning in a specific school or district. Course participants receive feedback from leading physical education and physical activity subject matter experts.

Active Learning Specialists are equipped to work collaboratively with their principals and supervisors to change the school learning environment so that students are more physically active in school, and can become physically literate adults.

Registration for the Spring Cohort of the Active Learning Specialist Course opens today. Tuition is $495 for CEU credit, $625 for 1 transferable graduate credit from Harrisburg University for Science and Technology.

For more information on the course and to enroll in the Spring session, visit:
Spring Session

To enroll in the Summer session, visit:
Summer Session

Why I Started Fizika

I became an entrepreneur when my daughter was diagnosed with learning difficulties in 1999. I resigned my leadership position in Pennsylvania’s workforce and economic development system to help her learn, and to advocate for the services she needed. Raising my daughter showed me that our brains are plastic and elastic – the more physically active we are, the better prepared our brains are for learning. I gathered a team of experts and launched Fizika Group in 2010 – to bridge the gap between rapidly growing fields of research – educational neuroscience, cognitive psychology, health and physical literacy, and the practice of education. The Active Learning Specialist Course is unique in its focus and global in its appeal. Our onsite workshops train and excite educators – who become re-energized as educators who can teach ALL students through active learning.

We encourage you to join us…

If you are inspired to lead the change, consider becoming certified as an Active Learning Specialist. If you are a parent who wants the best for your child, become involved in their schooling. Parent engagement is a driving force for student success. If you are a curriculum supervisor, consider inviting Fizika to deliver a motivational and informative workshop that can inspire classroom teachers to learn new methods for engaging students through physical movement and creative play.

Our goal is to provide educators and parents with proven techniques to engage learners through physical movement – and energize them for a lifetime of learning through healthy habits.

What’s taught in school can be long lasting – early intervention is the key to achieving healthy outcomes. Join Fizika in helping to create a safe and nurturing environment – in schools and in our homes – where children learn to respect their bodies, and respect others and have the knowledge, skills and motivation to live healthy productive lives.

Martha Harris
Fizika Founder