Teachers' experiences of implementing a motor skills programme
Thesis (MEdPsych (Educational Psychology))-University of Stellenbosch, 2005.
The way in which society supports its children has a significant influence on the way in which it will develop and prosper. Children are the key to a healthy and sustainable society (Klein & Gilkerson, 2000). Promoting the development of all learners during early childhood therefore forms the foundation of the priorities the South African government has formulated for early childhood development, namely the phasing in of a compulsory Reception Year and Intersectoral support programmes for children from birth to five (Department of National Education 2000). The Report of the National Commission on Special Needs in Education / National Committee on Education Support Services (Department of Education, 1997a) makes recommendations for an integrated and inclusive system for all learners, with an emphasis on programmes for children in the pre-formal schooling phase. However, without strengthened education support services, notably relevant teacher training, the legal right to education for these learners cannot be implemented (Biersteker & Robinson 2000, 40). This study presents the interpretations of three pre-school teachers', from the Western Cape, South Africa, on their subjective experiences in implementing a motor – skills programme aimed at promoting school readiness. The sensory-motor skills a child possesses on entering school play an important role in the level of scholastic success they could potentially experience throughout their educational career. Thus when a child enters school poorly equipped to begin learning, their chances of fulfilling their potential are restricted. This research project focuses on the pre-school teacher who may have an influential role in stimulating children in developing their full learning readiness. A qualitative, interpretative research design was applied in order to conduct this study. The methods I made use of were semi-structured interviews to gain the teachers' unique experiences, my personal observations and field notes as well as the teachers' daily monitoring forms. Through the data generated I gained new insights into teachers' experiences of the implementation of a motor programme, through identifying themes from their experiences. The findings were presented in four areas of experience, namely teachers' experiences in terms of themselves, the children, the parents and the programme's implementation. I believe that although the ability to generalise the results, was limited by the small research sample, valuable information was gained with regard to teachers' experiences of programme implementation.