Instructional Approach Key to At-Risk Preschoolers Physical Development

Share Article

Newly released research in the September, 2009 issue of Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport (RQES) demonstrates that preschoolers exposed to a student-centered instructional approach for motor skill development called "mastery motivational climate," reported significantly higher confidence about their physical abilities compared to preschoolers who did not receive this instructional approach.

Newly released research in the September, 2009 issue of Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport (RQES) demonstrates that preschoolers exposed to a student-centered instructional approach for motor skill development called "mastery motivational climate," reported significantly higher confidence about their physical abilities compared to preschoolers who did not receive this instructional approach.

Researchers suggest that young children are naturally motivated to master physical tasks and movements, if exposed to mastery-oriented climates. This approach enables participants to navigate independently, decide how they will participate, and practice at their own pace. Thus, it provides them the opportunity to experience success.

The research findings demonstrate that preschoolers at risk for developmental delays and poor health exposed to a mastery climate not only demonstrated higher perceived physical competence (self-perception to participate in physical tasks) compared to other participants, but that they maintained their gains over time. This may increase the likelihood of their continued participation in physical activity and play.

Other research has shown that children are adopting sedentary lifestyles early in life. This decrease in activity among young children and in their desire to be physically active is a great health concern, as sedentary behaviors in childhood contribute to sedentary behaviors and associated higher levels of health risk as adults. Some form of instruction and teaching are therefore needed for young children to advance their motor skill development, and it is imperative that early childhood teachers and administrators are aware of the effect that instructional approaches have on young learners.

This news release is based on the study reported in the article, "Instructional Climates in Preschool Children Who Are At-Risk. Part II: Perceived Physical Competence" in the September, 2009 issue of RQES.

RQES is the journal of the Research Consortium of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD). The most enduring research journal in the field of Kinesiology, RQES is a highly respected professional journal offering the latest research in the art and science of human movement studies. Many resources related to early childhood movement are available through the AAHPERD Web site at: http://www.aahperd.org - including newly revised editions of Active Start: A Statement of Physical Activity Guidelines for Children From Birth to Age 5 and Appropriate Practices in Movement Programs for Children Ages 3-5, published through the National Association for Sport and Physical Education.

AAHPERD, an alliance of five national associations, six district associations, and a Research Consortium, provides its member with a comprehensive and coordinated array of resources, support and programs to help practitioners improve their skills to further the health and well-being of the American public. It is the largest organization of professionals involved in physical education, recreation, fitness, dance, health promotion and all specialties related to achieving an active, healthy lifestyle. AAHPERD serves 22,000 members and has its headquarters in Reston, Virginia, 25 miles west of Washington, DC. To learn more, visit: http://www.aahperd.org.

###

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Gayle Claman
AAHPERD
703-476-3400 ext. 415
Email >

Leah E. Robinson
Visit website