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The influence of a skills based physical education program on the

acquisition of basic fundamental skills.

Health risks of being overweight or obese:

Depression
Type 2 diabetes
Heart disease
Stroke
Cancer: breast, colon, kidney and endometrium
Osteoarthritis
Fatty liver disease (non-alcoholic)

Research has revealed that currently many schools are without access to
specialist physical education (PE) teachers. As such the responsibility for
PE classes has been placed into the hands of classroom teachers.
These teachers overwhelmingly expressed a lack of confidence in their
ability to develop, deliver and assess a PE program. They feared not
being capable of providing a skill based and health focused program of
learning.

A non-competitive school philosophy means these sessions are


typically composed of team games rather than on the development
of the basic fundamental skills.
Observing a year 2/3 class, it was clear that the basic skill of
throwing was under developed as were the correct body position and
sequence of movements necessary to undertake accurate running
actions

Physical activity affects the


brain by increasing:
. Cerebral capillary growth.
Blood flow.
Oxygenation.
Production of
neurotrophins.
Growth of nerve cells in the
hippocampus (center of
learning and memory).
Neurotransmitter levels.
Development of nerve
connections.
Density of neural network.
Brain tissue volume.

Increased academic
performance related to:
Cognitive Skills and
Attitudes (e.g.,
attention/concentration,
memory, verbal ability).
Academic Behaviours (e.g.,
conduct, attendance, time on
task, homework completion)
Academic Achievement
(e.g., standardised test
scores, grades).

Balance - time and falls

Throwing

Research questions
How successfully could students with no prior knowledge or
exposure to basic movement skills, develop these skills?
Would these children be willing to learn the fundamental skills?"
Will providing a structured skill based PE program to a year 2 and
3 class previously without access to a fundamental movements
program demonstrate an observable skill acquisition in balancing,
running and throwing?

Methodology
The students were informed of the reason for the research study and
were taken through the basics of each task by a simple demonstration.
Individually they performed the activities: balancing, running and
throwing to provide baseline times, falls and distance figures and would
identify where any deficit in fundamental movement skills existed.

Balancing involved the students walking the seven metre length of a


piece of sailors rope with a diametre of 15cm time taken and
number of falls would be noted.
Running had students completing two internal laps of the basketball
court with time taken documented.
Throwing required the student to accurately throw a tennis ball
through a 35cm hoop at metre increments. Students were given three
attempts at each distance with the accuracy point recorded.

The study comprised bi-weekly, 40 minute classes over a ten week period.

Session 1 the collection of baseline figures.

Interim sessions - focused on the development of individual skills with


emphasis placed on correct sequencing of movements.

Final meeting to collect results for analysis.

* Results were collected at the commencement and conclusion by the


researcher and mentor teacher.

78

77

75

44 44

43 43
31
25

23 23

12.512.5

22

YEAR 2

It was then that the decision was made to investigate if providing


students with a basic fundamental skills program would demonstrate
an observable improvement in skills over a set period of time

Teachers also reported a higher emphasis is directed at increasing literacy


and numeracy results leaving minimal to no time available to cater for the
(PE) component of the curriculum.
Studies further acknowledge the connection between regular physical
activity and the maintenance and enhancement of academic results.

Results continued.

85

Results in percentages

Increased weight can psychologically and physiologically affect the


school aged child and if not controlled may lead to a plethora of health
concerns in later life.

The school involved in the research project had a PE program with


a designated but untrained PE teacher.

YEAR 3

BOYS

GIRLS

Decreased time

Decreased falls

Decreased time & falls

No change or an increase

Balancing (22 participants)


Year 2 (8 students)
6 decreased time
1 decreased falls
1 decreased time and falls
2 no improvement
Boys (13)
10 decreased time
4 decreased falls
3 decreased time and falls
3 no improvement

Year 3 (14 students)


12 decreased time
6 decreased falls
6 decreased time and falls
1 no improvement
Girls (9)
7 decreased time
4 decreased falls
4 decreased time and falls
2 no improvement

Running

62.5
50

37.5
25
0

YEAR 3

Decreased time

55
44
36
22

28

25
7

YEAR 2

YEAR 3

14

11

BOYS

GIRLS

Throwing (23 participants)


Year 2 (9)
6 improved accuracy
2 significant improvement
3 no improvement
Boys (14)
10 improved accuracy
2 significant improvement
4 no improvement

Year 3 (14)
9 improved accuracy
1 significant improvement
5 no improvement
Girls (9)
5 improved
1 significant improvement
4 no improvement

The findings of this task showed an improvement in accuracy in all


groups. Of those with a significant improvement their distances from
commencement to final measurement increase 2 3 metres from the
target.

Conclusion
Literature also acknowledges that not all children have access to an
evidence based PE program with a focus on basic skills.
This study has shown that with intensive intervention it is possible to
develop the basic skills of balancing, running and throwing to children
without prior exposure.

75

YEAR 2

64

The abundance of research available highlights the enormity of the


overweight and obesity crisis amongst the worlds children.
100

50

71

66

Improved
Significantly improved
No change or a decrease in accuracy

The results of this task showed an overall improvement in skills. The


year 3 and girl groups both had an overall improvement of 50 % or
above. The girls had the greatest improvement in both time and falls.
Of the groups the year 2 group showed the least improvement.

Result in percentages

Currently there are a reported 43 million children worldwide classified as


overweight or obese, with the World Health Organisation (2016)
expecting the number to increase to 60 million within a decade.

Results

Introduction

Background
The prevalence of overweight and obese children is rising alarmingly.

Murdoch University Master of Teaching (primary)

Results in percentages

Christina Williams

BOYS

GIRLS

No change or an increase in time

Running (20 participants)


Year 2 (8)
Year 3 (12)
5 decreased time
9 decreased time
3 no improvement
3 no improvement
Boys (12)
Girls (8)
6 decreased time
8 decreased time
6 no improvement
The largest improvement came from the girls with 100% decrease
in time. The year 2 and 3 classes showed a high improvement
whilst the boys had the least measure of improvement.

Further study
A follow-up study with students in a similar situation would add
confidence to this studies findings. Access to a secondary venue
would also assure that data were more accountable.

Acknowledgements
My practicum school for allowing the study to take place, my mentor
teacher for her guidance and support and the students for their
enthusiastic participation.
I would also like to respectfully acknowledge the Noongar peoples on
whose land the study was undertaken.