• Student Commuting Patterns and their Effects on Readiness to Learn and Academic Achievement

      Tayler, Paul; Department of Geography
      This study examines how student modal choice to commute to school influences student readiness to learn and academic achievement during the first learning period of the day. The goal of all educational policies, curriculum expectation, literature, and studies is to develop a deeper understanding of student learning, teaching, teaching strategies, and conditions around educating that can better education and teach students. It is vital to understand how students learn, in which conditions promote different levels of learning and to help students succeed in the classroom. Much of the research around student learning and understanding how to better prepare students to learn has focused on social, emotional, physical and intellectual factors at home, in the community, and at school. There has been virtually no formal research investigating the role that transportation and modal choice have on student learning once they arrive at school. This research includes surveying students to determine their individual commuting patterns and interviewing the students’ teachers to outline students’ readiness to learn in the morning and perceived academic achievement. The study areas in this research are elementary schools in St. Catharines and Thorold within the District School Board of Niagara. The findings from this research seem to suggest that students who walk to school are more ready to learn in the morning than any other mode of transportation. Also, students’ perceived academic achievement is less dependent on modal choice as teachers could not explicitly link mode of transportation and academic achievement. This research was exploratory and there are opportunities to further research how student modal choice to get to school influences student readiness to learn and perceived academic achievement.