The effect of a gross motor intervention programme on perceptual-motor skills and academic readiness in preschool children

Goodwin, Megan Kate (2015-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Children in preschool are at an optimal time for the development of gross and fine motor skills. Children who enter into preschool with developmental delays struggle to keep up with their peers. These developmental delays often perpetuate into later school years, with negative effects. Visual-motor integration (VMI) is a hugely important skill that children need to develop before formal schooling commences. It forms the basis for academic skills like reading and writing, as well as many sport skills. Having a VMI and/or gross motor development delay can affect a child’s academic experience greatly. When referring specifically to reading and writing, many underlying gross motor processes occur simultaneously to enable the child to perform tasks successfully. Success in the classroom depends a great deal on developed VMI and gross motor skills. Research shows investigation into various factors that account for differences and delays in motor skills. Socio-economic status is mentioned as a factor that can negatively affect VMI and gross motor skills development. Gender differences have also been known to be a reason for varying success in VMI or fine motor skills and gross motor skills. It is most important that delays and differences in VMI and gross motor skills success should be the focus of preschool education curriculums. The purpose of the current study was to improve the VMI skills of children who presented below average VMI skills scores. The Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration 6th Edition (DTVMI) was used to measure the participants VMI skills, and the Test of Gross Motor Development 2nd Edition (TGMD-2), was used as a measure of gross motor skills. The supplemental tests of the DTVMI, as well as the subtests of the TGMD-2, were performed. Two preschools were conveniently selected to participate in the study, one from a high socio-economic background and one from a low socio-economic background. Of the total participants initially tested (N=77), only a small number (N=23), scored below average VMI scores and continued to participate in the study. From these participants (N=23) an experimental (n=12) and a control group (n=11) were randomly selected. The experimental group participated in a 14-week intervention programme, two sessions per week each with a duration of 45 minutes, that focused on the underlying gross motor processes that relate to reading, writing and VMI skills. After the 14 weeks the participants were tested again to measure the effects of the intervention programme. All data collected were statistically analysed.The most relevant result found in the current study showed that participants from the low socio-economic school showed significantly lower VMI skills than participants from the higher socio-economic school. No differences in VMI skills were found between the genders. Overall in both VMI and gross motor skills the intervention programme was beneficial to the participants, although these results were not found to be statistically significant. This study emphasises that the disparities in VMI skills between children from low- and higher socio-economic backgrounds should be addressed before they enter school. This will ensure that these differences become minimised. This study suggests that gross motor activities can be beneficial to VMI skills of preschool children. More research is needed to fully determine the potential of gross motor intervention programmes in improving academic skills such as VMI.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Voorskoolse kinders bevind hulle in ʼn optimale periode van groot- en fynmotoriese ontwikkeling. Kinders van hierdie ouderdom met ontwikkelingsagterstande sukkel om op skool by hulle eweknieë by te bly. Hierdie ontwikkelingsagterstande duur gewoonlik voort tot in latere skooljare met negatiewe implikasies. Visueel-motoriese integrasie (VMI) is ʼn baie belangrike vaardigheid wat kinders voor hulle formele skooljare in aanvang neem, moet ontwikkel. Dit vorm die basis vir akademiese vaardighede soos lees en skryf, asook vir baie sportvaardighede. ʼn Kind se akademiese ervaring kan baie nadelig deur ʼn VMI en/of groot motoriese ontwikkelingsagterstand beïnvloed word. Met spesifieke verwysing na lees en skryf, moet baie onderliggende groot motoriese prosesse gelyktydig plaasvind om die kind in staat te stel om take suksesvol uit te voer. Sukses in die klaskamer is grootliks van ʼn ontwikkelde VMI en groot motoriese vaardighede afhanklik. Navorsing toon ondersoeke na verskeie faktore wat vir verskille en agterstande in motoriese vaardighede verantwoordelik is. Sosio-ekonomiese status word beskou as een van die faktore wat VMI en groot motoriese ontwikkeling negatief kan affekteer. Dit is ook bekend dat geslagsverskille ʼn rede vir variërende sukses in VMI- of fyn motoriese- en groot motoriese vaardighede is. Dit is van uiterste belang dat agterstande en verskille in VMI- en sukses met groot motoriese vaardighede die fokus van voorskoolse opvoedkundige kurrikulums moet wees. Die doel van die huidige studie was om die VMI vaardighede van kinders met ondergemiddelde VMI vaardigheid tellings te verbeter. Die Beery-Buktenica Development Test of Visual-Motor Integration 6th Edition (DTVMI) is gebruik om die deelnemers se VMI vaardighede te bepaal en die Test of Gross Motor Development 2nd Edition (TGMD-2) is gebruik om hulle groot motoriese vaardighede te bepaal. Die aanvullende toets van die DTVMI, asook die sub-toets van die TGMD-2, is uitgevoer. Twee voorskoolse skole, een uit ʼn hoë sosio-ekonomiese- en een uit ʼn lae sosio-ekonomiese omgewing is met ʼn gerieflikheidsteekproef geselekteer om aan die studie deel te neem. Van die totale aantal deelnemers (N-77) wat aanvanklik getoets is, het slegs ʼn klein aantal (N=23) ondergemiddelde VMI tellings behaal om met die studie voort te gaan. Vanuit hierdie deelnemers (N=23) is ʼn eksperimentele- (n=12) en ʼn kontrole groep ewekansig geselekteer. Die eksperimentele groep het aan ʼn 14-week intervensieprogram, twee keer per week, wat elk 45 minute geduur het, deelgeneem. Die intervensieprogram het op die onderliggende groot motoriese prosesse wat net lees, skryf en VMI vaardighede verband hou, gefokus. Na afloop van die 14 weke is die deelnemers weer getoets om die effek van die intervensieprogram te bepaal. Al die ingesamelde data is statisties verwerk. Die mees relevante resultaat wat in die huidige studie gevind is, dui daarop dat die deelnemers van die lae sosio-ekonomiese skool beduidende laer VMI vaardighede as die deelnemers van die hoër sosio-ekonomiese skool getoon het. Geen verskille in VMI vaardighede is tussen die geslagte gevind nie. Alhoewel die resultate nie statistiese betekenisvol was nie blyk dit dat in geheel beskou die intervensieprogram, in beide VMI- en groot motoriese vaardighede, voordele vir die deelnemers ingehou het. Die huidige studie beklemtoon dat die verskille in VMI vaardighede tussen kinders vanuit lae- en hoë sosio-ekonomiese agtergronde aangespreek moet word voordat hulle in skole toegelaat word. Dit sal verseker dat hierdie verskille tot die minimum beperk word. Hierdie studie suggereer dat groot motoriese aktiwiteite voordele vir die VMI vaardighede van voorskoolse kinders kan inhou. Verdere navorsing is nodig om die potensiaal van groot motoriese intervensieprogramme op die verbetering van akademiese vaardighede soos VMI ten volle te verstaan.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96986
This item appears in the following collections: