In May, npj Science of Learning Community authors described the benefits of international research collaboration and investigated whether physical fitness improves academic performance.

Brain development is integral to learning new skills such as language and reading. A team of researchers, motivated by the desire to improve their understanding about the dynamics of brain function, organized a collaborative workshop at the Lorentz Center, the Netherlands, to learn more from the expertise of others. In an interview with Behind the Paper Channel, Nienke van Atteveldt, Maaike Vandermosten, Wouter Weeda and Milene Bonte discussed the key messages from the international workshop and their personal highlights in Collaboration enhances research.

Physical fitness in school children has been linked with academic performance in numerous research studies. But new research by a team based in Japan, have reported results that suggest the relationship may be more nuanced than previously thought. Students’ increased physical fitness correlated with improvements in their worst grade points but not with increases in their highest grade points. The results corroborated the researchers’ initial hypothesis and highlighted the need to further evaluate the benefits of physical activity on classroom behaviours in future studies. Learn more with Toru Ishihara, Noriteru Morita and Keita Kamijo in Physical fitness can boost students’ lowest grades.

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