Alison Pritchard Orr

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Research Interests

  • Physical activity intervention programs for children with FASD

Biography

Alison Pritchard Orr is an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of the Fraser Valley where she has been a faculty member for over 20 years. Alison teaches a range of Kinesiology courses from lower to upper level including; introduction to Kinesiology, socio-cultural issues in sport, growth and motor development and adapted physical activity. She has also many students over the years who have completed their undergraduate thesis course under her tutelage. She currently is the Vice Chair of Faculty Council for Health Sciences and has played an active role as faculty liaison with the Kinesiology student association, KINSA since its inception.

PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

Dalhousie University, MSc. Adapted Physical Activity
University of Ottawa, BPE. Rehabilitation

TEACHING INTERESTS AND PHILOSOPHY

Adapted Physical Activity
Intro to Kinesiology
Socio-Cultural Issues and Sport
Growth and Motor Development
Exercise and Aging
Active Health

My teaching philosophy best aligns with the quote attributed to Plato in that “what we call learning is only a process of recollecting”. In short, I want to insure my students remember what they have learned in my classes. I consider it a privilege to teach and am always cognizant of that. I am also aware that in our changing world where “facts” are so readily accessed, that sound teaching and being able to discern fact from fallacy has probably never been more important.

I see my role as an informed guide for my students but not necessarily the font of all wisdom. Teaching is a shared learning opportunity. I choose assignments that reflect the continuing changing multidimensional opportunities within Kinesiology where students actively apply their reasoning to current material. My classroom (whether it be online or face-to-face) incorporates learning opportunities such as debates, panel discussions and peer reviews that insure that the knowledge gained in my courses is challenging, tangible and applicable.

I believe my role as researcher is a strong component of my teaching practice and I regularly incorporate the findings from my ongoing exercise intervention FASD research with its many complex layers into my classroom. My students are not only privy to the results of my study but many are involved as research assistants, instructors and coordinators. This other dimension to my role as instructor creates a rich opportunity for current community-based research that blends classroom with community outreach.
To me the classroom is just the beginning of the learning relationship I seek to establish. I believe strongly in experiential learning and seek out opportunities in the community where my students can actively engage with the expertise available. For example, my KIN 365 class (Physical Growth and Motor Development) conducts a perceptual motor lab with kindergarten classes in a local elementary school near the CEP campus. My KIN 465 class (Adapted Physical Activity) is actively engaged in the launch of my FASD intervention study in another local school. My KIN 161 class (Introduction to Kinesiology) includes a panel discussion where experts from the field share their wealth of experience with my students.

I maintain that my strength in teaching lies in my continual searching for what best meets the educational and experiential needs of the future professionals that I am fortunate enough to instruct.

RESEARCH AND OTHER INTERESTS

My research interests have focused primarily on the cognitive, behavioural and affective role that exercise and motor-skill interventions have on children diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). I am one of the principal investigators, along with Dr. Kathy Keiver with the FAST Club/Exergames intervention studies. This exercise intervention is housed at a local elementary school near the UFV’s Chilliwack Education Park campus and has been supported by several national and provincial granting agencies over the years. It has also been supported by legions of talented UFV students who have actively taken part in the running and organizing of the study. The FAST Club/Exergames intervention studies have generated a lot of interest within the FASD research community as well with data suggesting a positive effect of the exercise intervention on neuropsychological function. I have presented nationally and internationally and have authored and co-authored published papers as well as a number of published abstracts.

MEMBERSHIPS

National Federation of Adapted Physical Activity

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