Physical Education in Kindergarten Promotes Fundamental Motor Skill Development

  • Lemos A
  • Avigo E
  • Barela J
  • 47

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Abstract

Skill development is influenced by many factors and, among many, opportunity of practice and appropriate instruction provided by teacher might be considered as key elements but still need to be empirically investigated. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare gross motor development of young children enrolled in physical education, provided by a specialist teacher, and children enrolled in recreational activities, provided by a regular teacher, in kindergarten. Fifty children were divided into two groups: 25 children (age of 5.3 ± 0.3 years) constituted the physical education (PE) group and received activities, once a week, ministered by a physical education teacher; 25 children (age of 5.2 ± 0.4 years) constituted the recreational (RE) group and received activities, also once a week, supervised by a classroom teacher. All these children were evaluated performing the locomotor and object control subtests of Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD-2) at the beginning and at the end of the school year. Performance of both subtests were scored, according to the performance criteria of TGMD-2, by three experimenters, obtaining the raw skill score and the equivalent motor age for each subtest. Results revealed that both children’ groups showed similar raw skill score and equivalent motor age before enrollment in any activities, at the beginning of the year. Differently, after enrolment in the respective activities, PE children showed higher raw skill score and equivalent motor age than RE children. These results demonstrated that regular physical education, composed by structured practice, ministered by a specialist promote gross motor development of children even at young age such as in kindergarten.

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Authors

  • Anderson G. Lemos

  • Eric L. Avigo

  • Jose A. Barela

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