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Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe

versão On-line ISSN 2224-7912
versão impressa ISSN 0041-4751


KEMP, Chanelle; PIENAAR, Anita E  e  DU TOIT, Dorita. School-based movement development programmes and motor performance of Grade 1 learners: The NW-CHILD Study. Tydskr. geesteswet. [online]. 2022, vol.62, n.4, pp.791-811. ISSN 2224-7912.

Research shows that school beginners often show insufficient motor proficiency. When children in South Africa reach school going age, in the year they turn seven, they are expected to have already mastered the most fundamental movement skills which include object-control and locomotor skills. However, the diversity of the composition of the South African population poses several challenges to the perceptual-motor development of school beginners. Insufficient stimulation of perceptual-motor development and fundamental motor skills during the preschool years, contributes to Grade 1 learners often already experiencing movement backlogs when they start the formal school phase. Physical Education, which was a compulsory school subject in the past, played an important role in the development of movement skills of especially young children. In this respect, the school environment offered the opportunity to provide children with the early building-blocks of lifelong participation in movement, as children spend a large part of their young life at school. However, the exclusion of Physical Education in schools, results in children being only minimally or not at all exposed to movement. In South Africa, until 2011, about 25% of the total time spent in all the learning areas in the Foundation Phase (Gr.1 - Gr.3) was spent on life skills. Only 33% of this 25% was allocated to physical development and movement. Although Physical Education has since 2012, been returned to the National School Curriculum in South Africa, many processes must be put into place to restore it back to its full potential. This includes adequate resources and trained physical education teachers, especially in schools where school starters are already experiencing backlogs in their perceptual-motor development due to socio-economic factors. An adequate perceptual-motor skill foundation appears to have a significant effect on the quality of children's lives, and possibly on their intellectual productivity and school success later in life, and therefore participation in movement development programs for the school beginner is essential. This study aimed to determine the effect of two school-based movement development programs, based on different intervention approaches, on the motor performance of Grade 1 learners in the North-West province of South Africa. The study is a sub study within a longitudinal study that started with Grade 1 learners in the North-West province of South Africa (NW-CHILD Study). Two schools were selected to participate in this sub study from one of four school districts and from one town, based on availability, from the total sample of 20 schools in the study. The schools participated in a 21-week intervention and included 75 learners (School 1 = 40 and School 2 = 35), with a mean age of 6.66 years (+ 0.24 SD). Motor performance was measured using the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency-2 short version. The movement development program of school 1 was based on a process-oriented approach, while school 2 followed a program that was based on a product-oriented approach. Both movement development programs contributed to significant improvement, although in different motor performance sub-components, which could be attributed to the approaches followed in these programs. The process-oriented program contributed to a greater degree of motor proficiency improvement than the task-oriented program, which could be ascribed to the underlying processes of motor performance that were addressed in this intervention approach, which again contributed to improved bilateral integration. Such improvement of motor proficiency can be attributed to the composition of the programs and the knowledge of the specialists who presented the programs. Attention to the content and the approach of delivery (process and task oriented) are important to be taken into consideration when compiling movement development programs to optimize the results. It is also imperative that such programs are offered by specialists in the field of motor development, to be able to fully support learners who also display inadequate motor proficiency.

Palavras-chave : School-based movement developmental programs; motor proficiency; children; intervention; process-oriented approach; product-oriented approach; fine motor precision; fine motor integration; manual dexterity; bilateral coordination; balance; running speed & agility; upper-limb coordination; strength.

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