The effect of a perceptual-motor intervention on the motor proficiency, letter recognition and -formation of selected Grade 1 children

Botha, Sharnay (2019-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The growing sedentary lifestyles among today’s school-going youth, have negative effects on their physical development and academic performance. Children need to move in order to learn and develop. During Grade 1, children experience a rapid increase in their motor and cognitive development. It is,therefore, important to establish healthy and active habits during this developmental period. This period (ages 5 to 7 years) is strongly related to improved academic performance, as well as the onset of perceptual-motor development. Perceptual-motor integration is important for both gross motor development and academic achievement. The purpose of the current study was to improve the motor proficiency, letter recognition and -formation (reading and spelling) skills of selected Grade 1 children by implementing a perceptual-motor intervention and determining the relationships between these variables. The Bruininks Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency-Second Edition Short Form(BOT-2) was used to measure children’s gross and fine motor proficiency; the ESSI Reading and Spelling test was used to test reading and spelling abilities and the Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration 6th Edition (BeeryVMI) was used to evaluate participants’ visual-motor integration (VMI) skills. Two primary schools were selected through convenient sampling. Two Grade 1 classes from each school were randomly selected and the learners were randomly assigned to an experimental (n=50) and control group (n=50). Of the total participants initially evaluated(N=100), 3 participants had to be excluded due to health reasons and non-attendance. Therefore, the final sample size was 97 (N=97), with 48 in the experimental group (n=48) and 49 in the control group (n=49). After pre-tests, the experimental group participated in a 12-week perceptual-motor intervention that consisted of two 60-minute sessions per week. The intervention focused on perceptual-motor skills, which included body awareness, spatial awareness, balance, visual perception and directional awareness and incorporated letters into the activities. After the 12-week intervention, participants underwent a post-test to measure the effects of the intervention. All data were statistically analysed by applying repeated measures ANOVA and Pearson correlations. The results revealed that the 12-week perceptual-motor intervention was effective in significantly improving participants’ overall motor proficiency, VMI, reading and spelling skills. Results also indicated statistically significant positive correlations between motor proficiency, reading and spelling. Another finding revealed a significant improvement in participants’ fine motor skills. As the intervention consisted of predominantly gross motor movements, it could be assumed that gross motor skills are essential for the development of fine motor skills. This study provides unique contributions to the field of early childhood development investigating the relationship between gross motor development and academic performance. It provides sufficient evidence that gross motor movements can be beneficial for children’s physical and academic skills.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die toenemende sedentêre leefstylpatrone onder vandag se skoolgaande jeug het negatiewe effekte op hulle fisieke ontwikkeling en akademiese prestasie. Kinders moet beweeg om sodoende te leer en te ontwikkel. Tydens Graad 1 ervaar kinders ʼn vinnige toename in hul motoriese en kognitiewe ontwikkeling. Dit is daarom belangrik om gesonde en aktiewe gewoontes tydens hierdie ontwikkelingsperiode te vestig. Hierdie tydperk (ouderdomme 5 tot 7 jaar) toon ʼn sterk korrelasie met verbeterde akademiese prestasie, asook met die aanvang van perseptueel-motoriese ontwikkeling. Perseptueel-motoriese integrasie is belangrik vir groot motoriese ontwikkeling en akademiese prestasie. Die doel van die huidige studie was om die motoriese bedrewenheid, letter-erkenning en -formasie (lees en spel) vaardighede van Graad 1 leerlinge te verbeter deur middel van ʼn perseptueel-motoriese intervensie en om die verhouding tussen die veranderlikes te ondersoek. Die Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency-Second Edition Short Form (BOT-2) is gebruik om die kinders se groot en fyn motoriese vaardigheid te bepaal; die ESSI Lees en Speltoets is gebruik om die kinders se lees-en spelvaardighede te toets en die Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration 6th Edition (Beery VMI) is gebruik om die kinders se visueel-motoriese integrasie (VMI) te evalueer. Twee laerskole is by die studie betrek deur van ʼn gerieflikheidsteekproef gebruik te maak. Twee Graad 1 klasse van elke skool is ewekansig gekies en die leerders is ewekansig aanʼn eksperimentele (n=50) en kontrole (n=50) groep toegeken. Van die totale groep deelnemers wat oorspronklik geëvalueer is(N=100), het 3 deelnemers uitgeval as gevolg van gesondheidredes en afwesigheid. Die finale steekproef grootte was dus 97 (N=97), met ʼn eksperimentele groep van 48 (n=48) en kontrolegroep van 49(n=49). Na die pre-toetse, het die eksperimentele groep aan ʼn 12-week perseptueel-motoriese intervensie deelgeneem wat uit twee 60-minuut sessies per week bestaan het. Die intervensie het gefokus op perseptueel-motoriese vaardighede soos liggaamsbewustheid, ruimtelike bewustheid, balans, visuele persepsie en rigtinggewende bewustheid en het ook letters met aktiwiteite geïnkorporeer. Na die 12-week intervensie het deelnemers aan ʼn post-toets deelgeneem om die effekte van die intervensie te bepaal. Alle data is statisties geanaliseer deur ‘Repeated measures ANOVA’ en ‘Pearson’ korrelasies toe te pas. Die resultate toon dat die 12-week perseptueel-motoriese intervensie effektief was om deelnemers se motoriese vaardigheid, VMI en lees en spel statisties beduidend te verbeter. Die resultate het ook aangedui dat daar statisties beduidende positiewe korrelasies tussen motoriese vaardighede, lees en spel was. Nog ʼn bevinding toon dat daar ʼn statisties beduidende verbetering in die deelnemers se fyn motoriese vaardighede was. Omdat die intervensie oorwegend bestaan het uit groot motoriese vaardighede, kan aangeneem word dat groot motoriese vaardighede belangrik is vir die ontwikkeling van fyn motoriese vaardighede. Hierdie studie lewer ʼn unieke bydrae tot die studieveld van vroeë kind ontwikkeling en navorsing oor die verhouding tussen groot motoriese ontwikkeling en akademiese prestasie. Dit bied ook voldoende bewyse dat groot motoriese bewegings voordelig vir kinders se fisieke en akademiese vaardighede is.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/106954
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