Influence of a physical education plan on psychomotor development profiles of preschool children
Keywords:Physical activity, Psychomotor development, Motor behaviour, Teaching, Preschool education
This study aimed to investigate the influence of structured physical education on the psychomotor development of 3 to 5 year-old preschool children. The sample consisted of 324 students of both sexes (3 to 5 year-old) from 9 public kindergarten classes in Porto, Portugal. A battery of psychomotor tests (pre-test) was used to assess the students’ psychomotor development profiles. The sample was divided in 2 groups: an experimental group (162 students) and a control group (162 students). Physical Education (PE) teachers used a structured 24-week PE plan in the experimental group. After the plan completion, the same battery of tests (post-test) was run on both groups.The outcome was that both groups grew their psychomotor profiles; however this growth was always statistically higher in the experimental group (at all ages and in all variables analysed p < 0.001 – Figure 3 and Table 1, 2). There were no significant deviations related to the gender (p>0.05). Structured physical education is important for preschool children’s psychomotor development. Physical activity impact on children’s interaction with the outside world was proved, through their overall development motivated by the structured physical education lessons.
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