Course:KIN366/ConceptLibrary/MovementEducation

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Movement Experiences for Children
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KIN 366
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Instructor: Dr. Shannon S.D. Bredin
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Movement Education

Overview

Movement Education is a Physical Education Curriculum Model that centres on the knowledge of movement development and the acquisition of movement skills that will give students the ability to lead physically active healthy lifestyles. The Movement Education Framework (MEF) focuses on not only fostering motor success, but also developing cognitive knowledge about movement through inquiry, problem solving, and guided exploration. In this approach, learners are directed to a performance goal through carefully constructed questions or invitations to move. Movement education helps students develop a base of skills to execute many types of movement (Movement Framework, Government of Manitoba). Movement Education was most popular during the 1960’s, 1970’s, and into the 1980’s (Abels & Bridges, 2010). The decline in popularity of Movement Education may be a result of a lack of support, due to the complexity of the curriculum and the amount of time and care needed for successful implementation (Nash, 2006).

Important Definitions

Learning Domains

Cognitive

Includes content knowledge and the development of skills.

Psychomotor

Includes physical movement, coordination and the use of motor skill.

Affective

Includes feelings, values, appreciation, enthusiasms, motivations and attitudes. (Learning Domains, University of Guelph)

Movement Concepts

Body Awareness

  • body parts (e.g., arms, legs, elbows, knees, head)
  • body shape (e.g., stretched, curled, wide, narrow, twisted, symmetrical, asymmetrical)
  • body action (e.g., flexion, extension, rotation, swing, push, pull)

Space Awareness

  • location (e.g., personal and general space)
  • directions (e.g., forward, backward, sideways, up, down)
  • levels (e.g., high, middle, low)
  • pathways (e.g., curved, straight, zigzag)
  • planes (e.g., frontal, horizontal, sagittal)

Qualities of Effort

  • time (e.g., fast, slow)
  • force (e.g., strong, light)
  • flow (e.g., free, bound)

Relationships

  • person (e.g., alone, with partner, with group, meet, part, match, mirror, follow, lead)
  • apparatus (e.g., near, far, in, out, over, under, around, through, on, off, above, below)
  • other (e.g., moving in relation to music, to the environment)

(Movement Framework, Government of Manitoba)

Physical Literacy

Physical Literacy is the mastering of fundamental movement skills and fundamental sport skills that permit a child to read their environment and make appropriate decisions, allowing them to move confidently and with control in a wide range of physical activity situations. It supports long-term participation and performance to the best of one’s ability (What is Physical Literacy, CS4L).

History

Rudolf von Laban

"Rudolf von Laban (1879-1958) is considered by most as the true pioneer of movement education. A critical contribution was his theory of movement, focusing specifically on the concept of effort. Laban believed that the body was an instrument of expression and made a distinction between this expressive movement and movements that serve a purpose in everyday life (functional movement). Expressive movement communicates ideas in dance or other forms of artistic expression. Functional movement has a purpose in addition to helping with the tasks of everyday life, such as sports and games. The four factors of movement that Laban identified (weight, space, time, and flow) became the bedrock of what became known as movement education"(Abels & Bridges, 2010).

Developing a Curriculum

Where Laban was concerned with the expression of the mover and the function of each movement, his successors provided a way of analysing movement and applying this perspective to the teaching of Physical Education. The goal was to provide a framework that teachers could use to apply these movement concepts in the following three learning domains:

  • Cognitive – includes content knowledge and the development of skills.
  • Psychomotor – includes physical movement, coordination and the use of motor skill.
  • Affective – includes feelings, values, appreciation, enthusiasms, motivations and attitudes.

(Abels & Bridges, 2010)

The 1960s and 1970s saw movement education come to the forefront of physical education. Elaborating on Laban’s four factors of movement, four major movement concepts were identified:

  • Body - Representing the instrument of the action
  • Space - Where the body is moving
  • Effort - The quality with which the movement is executed
  • Relationships - The connections that occur as the body moves—with objects, people, and the environment

(Abels & Bridges, 2010)

It was suggested that the effectiveness of movement education was related to how well the teacher was able to understand, interpret, and implement the movement content. The goal of the educator should be to develop a movement knowledge base to help learners become skilled in executing all aspects of the movement content (Abels & Bridges, 2010).

Loss of Popularity

During fitness boom of the 1970s, new curriculum models were introduced that were easier to understand and appealed to the fitness and activity based focus of the time and movement education faded from popularity (Abels & Bridges 2010).

Philosophy

The philosophy of Movement education centres on the knowledge of movement development and the acquisition of movement skills, which will give students the ability to lead physically active healthy lifestyles.The knowledge component focuses on the basic movement skills, movement concepts, mechanical principles for efficient movement, and skill development process. Increasing students’ cognitive awareness of proper skill execution improves motor learning and skill acquisition. Highlighting the knowledge component is not meant to detract from the importance of being active; it is to encourage critical and creative thinking while participating in physical activity. The skill component focuses on the acquisition of the basic movement skills such as transport skills, manipulation skills, and balance abilities, and the application of the basic movement skills for functional use in a variety of physical activities. The intent is to promote active participation and enable students to demonstrate functional use of the movement skills in a variety of physical activities that are developmentally and age-appropriate. The focus is on skill acquisition, personal success, choice, inclusion, and enjoyment so students develop attitudes that support lifelong participation in physical activity. (Movement Framework, Government of Manitoba)

Learning Continuum

  • Early Years (K-4): Basic Movement Skills

Emphasis is on acquisition of the basic movement skills with application to simple activities that are active and easy for children to understand. The knowledge component helps students understand what, why, and how to do the movements.

  • Middle Years (5-8): Selected Movement Skills

Focus is on the acquisition and application of selected movement skills such as variations, or combinations of the basic movement skills to lead-up-type physical activities. While building on the basic movement skills through a skill-theme approach, students are expected to use the skill while participating in a variety of activities. For example, students can learn the basic movement skill of striking with an implement through activities such as badminton, paddleball, baseball, floor hockey, and lacrosse. The knowledge component emphasizes the application of the movement concepts and mechanical principles in game situations, as well as activity-specific rules and procedures.

  • Senior Years (9-12): Activity-Specific Movement Skills

Students continue to acquire/apply the basic movement skills as activity-specific movement skills in a variety of physical activities. Students are provided more choice and continue to demonstrate functional use of activity-specific movement skills for lifelong physical activity. Students are guided towards using these skills in the development and implementation of personal health fitness/physical activity plans. (Movement Framework, Government of Manitoba)

Benefits

While the health benefits of Movement Education were debated, and heavily reliant on the knowledge base of the instructor, and their ability to facilitate exploration of movement, Gallahue and Donnelly (2003) believed that Movement education enhanced understanding of concepts related to movement, kinesthetic awareness, and the capacity of learners to direct their own learning (as cited by Nash, 2006).

Criticisms of Movement Education

Criticisms of Movement Education included:

  • There was no increased movement or skill development. According to Toole and Arink (1982) students tested higher on throwing and catching tests using a traditional command style of teaching rather than the problem-solving technique common in movement education. Not only did direct instruction prove to be more effective than movement education, but students also learned the skill more quickly (as cited by Nash, 2006).
  • Difficulty translating the framework to the intermediate and secondary school levels
  • A belief that boys would not want to participate in dance
  • Limited impact on physical fitness

(Ross & Butterfield, 1989)

Practical Application

While evidence supporting the health benefits, development of motor skills of a Movement Education style curriculum is limited, authorities agree that Movement Education can improve children’s kinesthetic awareness, and their knowledge of concepts related to movement (Nash, 2006).

Laying the Foundation for Physical Literacy

Despite Movement Education’s fall from popularity, its influence is still visible today in the Canadian Sport for Life program, most notably in the Physical Literacy initiative. Physical Literacy is the mastering of fundamental movement skills and fundamental sport skills that permit a child to read their environment and make appropriate decisions, allowing them to move confidently and with control in a wide range of physical activity situations. It supports long-term participation and performance to the best of one’s ability (What is Physical Literacy, CS4L).

Physical Literacy is the cornerstone of the Active for Life program, which encourages Canadians to develop their Fundamental Movement Skills and fundamental sport skills, in order to find physical activities they enjoy, that will keep them active for the rest of their lives. Physical Literacy is also the first step in Canada’s Long Term Athlete Development program (LTAD Stages, CS4L).

The influence of Movement Education on Physical Literacy is evident. Like Laban’s Movement Theory and Movement Education, Physical Literacy is simply the next step in the process of developing and understanding fundamental movement skills that will lay the foundation for a healthy, active life.

References

Abels, K. W., & Bridges, J. M. (2010). Teaching movement education: foundations for active lifestyles. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Gallahue, D. L.,& Donnelly, F. C. (2003). Developmental physical education for all children. (4thed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Learning Domains. (n.d.). University of Guelph. Retrieved March 3, 2014, from https://www.uoguelph.ca/tss/pdfs/Domains%20of%20Learning.pdf

LTAD Stages. (n.d.). Canadian Sport for Life (CS4L). Retrieved March 3, 2014, from http://canadiansportforlife.ca/learn-about-canadian-sport-life/ltad-stages

Movement Framework. (n.d.). Government of Manitoba. Retrieved March 3, 2014, from http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/cur/physhlth/framework/movement.pdf

Nash, J. M. (2006). On the Effectiveness of Movement Education. KAHPERD, 78(2), 37-39.

Ross, A. N. N., & Butterfield, S. A. (1989). The effects of a dance movement education curriculum on selected psychomotor skills of children in grades K-8. Research in Rural Education, 6(1), 51-56.

Toole, T., and Arink, E.A., (1982). Movement education; Its effect on motor skill performance. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 53, 156-162.

What is Physical Literacy. (n.d.). Canadian Sport for Life (CS4L). Retrieved March 3, 2014, from http://canadiansportforlife.ca/what-physical-literacy-0