Let's Talk About Education

Community Speaker Series

The Faculty of Education is pleased to present a complimentary speaker series open to the general public to share research being conducted and facilitate discussion around important topics in education.

Please join us for the next presentation! There is no cost to attend and registration is not mandatory, but it is greatly appreciated to ensure sufficient seating.

The Importance of Physical Activity in Supporting Student Success

Barbara Fenesi

Dr. Barbara Fenesi, Assistant Professor
Western's Faculty of Education

Livestream Link: Coming Soon!

Monday, November 19, 2018; 7:00 - 8:00 pm

London Public Library, Central Branch

Richmond Room

validated parking available*


We know that the brain is important for learning. Your brain helps you pay attention, helps you solve problems, helps you remember, and helps you imagine and create. As it turns out, your body is equally important for learning. My talk will discuss the important role that physical activity plays in children’s brain health, body health, and academic success. I will share research showing that students who are more physically active also perform better in school, and how incorporating physical activity into classroom learning can improve student success.

My talk will end by discussing Ontario’s Daily Physical Activity (DPA) policy, which was implemented in 2005 and requires school boards to ensure that all elementary students have a minimum of 20mins of physical activity each school day during instructional time. Despite this policy however, research shows that most classrooms remain sedentary. We will discuss some of the challenges to implementing this policy and allow audience members to weigh in on the issue. I will then present some of my research on potential ways to optimize implementing physical activity into classrooms (e.g., type of physical activity, duration, frequency).


Dr. Barbara Fenesi is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Western Ontario, and nominated Tier II Canada Research Chair in the Science of Learning. Her passion is rooted in understanding how the entire human organism (both the brain and the body) plays a role in student success. She draws on work from fields of educational and cognitive psychology, neuroscience and kinesiology to identify intervention strategies that can promote cognitive function and mental health in diverse student populations.

* for Citi Plaza parking validation take your parking slip to the library circulation desk before the talk; validation good for two hours.

2017-2018 Presentations:

2016-2017 Presentations:

2015-2016 Presentations:

2014-2015 Presentations:

  • Thank you to all who attended Dr. Hibbert's presentation "Lessons From Fukushima".

2013-2014 Presentations:

Questions or comments? Please email Jen Heidenheim (jheidenh@uwo.ca), Faculty of Education.