Active Learning Norwegian Preschool(er)s (ACTNOW)

Active Learning Norwegian Preschool(er)s (ACTNOW) is a large research- and development project involving professional development for increased physical activity in preschool. Aims of the project are to develop and implement an effective and sustainable model for professional development of preschool staff and to investigate how physical activity affects children’s physical, motor skill, socio-emotional, and cognitive development.

Physical activity in preschool

Physical activity plays a key role in promotion of child health and development from an early age. Yet, there are growing concerns about low physical activity levels among preschoolers. As 97% of 3-5-year-olds in Norway attend preschool and get most of their daily activity in care, preschools are unique arenas for promotion of physical activity, health and development, giving every child the best start in life.

Aim

The aim of ACTNOW is to develop and implement an effective and sustainable model for professional development of preschool staff and for increased physical activity in preschools, to shift societies toward a more active way of life, to improve children’s health and development, and to reduce social inequality from an early age. Through this approach, we aim to facilitate innovation in the public sector, to shape future public health and early childhood education policy, and to lay the foundation for a physically active, equitable, and sustainable society. 

Video presenting the project

Professional development

The intervention is a 7 month professional development for preschool staff, with an option to achieve 15 credits, and additional collaboration and follow-up for one year. Thus, the total duration of the intervention is 18 months. The project has two waves, 2019-2021 and 2020-2022, where different preschools is included. The professional development is focused around physical activity, play, health, development and learning in preschoolers and development work in preschool. The intervention is developed with strong user involvement from preschool owners and relevant stakeholders to facilitate the development of feasible and sustainable models of professional development.

Evaluation

The project will be evaluated on the preschool level as well as the child level over 18 months in a large sample of preschools in western Norway. On the preschool level, we will investigate how the intervention affects preschool practices related to physical activity. On the child level, we will investigate how the intervention affects children’s physical, motor skill, socio-emotional, and cognitive development.

Intervention research during early years

Through ACTNOW, we aim to build a nationally and internationally leading transdisciplinary research group on intervention research integrating physical activity, public health, and early childhood education that will be a springboard for efforts to promote physical activity and human capital in young children.


bilde av Eivind Aadland

Eivind Aadland

Project Manager

Researchers at HVL

External researchers

  • Professor Sigmund Alfred Anderssen, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Professor II HVL
  • Associate Professor Jostein Steene-Johannessen, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences
  • Professor Yngvar Ommundsen, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences
  • Professor Ingar Morten Holme, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences
  • Professor Arne Lervåg, University of Oslo, Professor II HVL
  • Associate Professor Elisabeth Bjørnestad, Oslo Metropolitan University
  • Professor Ingunn Størksen, University of Stavanger
  • Professor Anthony (Tony) Okely, University of Wollongong, Australia
  • Professor Caterina Pesce, University of Rome, Italy
  • Professor Phillip Tomporowski, University of Georgia, USA
  • Associate Professor Karin Pfeiffer, Michigan State University, USA
  • Associate Professor Steven Howard, University of Wollongong, Australia
  • Professor John Bartholomew, University of Texas, USA
  • Professor Bryan A McCullick, University of Georgia, USA
  • Professor Miranda Thurston, Inland University of Applied Sciences
  • Associate Professor Line Olesen, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
  • Professor Jorge Mota, University of Porto, Portugal