A comparison of two teaching methods on the performance of selected gross motor skills by mildly mentally handicapped preschool children
The purpose of this study was to compare the traditional method, the movement education teaching method, and no physical education instruction on the performance of selected gross motor skills with mildy mentally handicapped preschool children. Subjects for this study were 57 preschool children , 38 boys and 19 girls , ranging in age from 46 to 75 months. All subjects were enrolled in the District U-46 Developmental Preschool Program, which served special education students, at Ellis Middle School in Elgin, Illinois. Thirty-five of the subjects participated in an 11-week adapted physical education training program designed and implemented by the investigator. These subjects were randomly assigned to either a traditional teaching group or a movement education teaching group. Twenty-two subjects served as a control group and received no formal physical education instruction. Subjects in all groups were tested individually on the following seven gross motor skills : standing long jump, distance throw, accuracy throw, kicking for accuracy, ball bouncing, catching a playground ball, and catching a tennis ball. All of the test items were administered to the groups prior to and following the 11-week training program. The adapted physical education program consisted of 22 sessions, each 30 minutes in length. Each session consisted of a brief warm-up, followed by a period focusing on skill acquisition, and ended with a skill reinforcing activity. Data collected on the groups were subjected to an analysis of covariance. Results indicated a significant improvement in favor of the movement education teaching method in three of the seven selected gross motor skills: kicking, F̲ (2, 53) = 9.632, p̲<.05; ball bouncing, F̲ (2, 53) = 13.626, p̲<.05; and catching a tennis ball, F̲ (2, 53) = 5.530, p̲<.05. The results of this study demonstrated that mildly mentally handicapped preschool children can improve their performance of selected gross motor skills through participation in an adapted physical education training program taught by using the traditional method or the movement education method.