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Sept 13 - Theories and Perspectives.doc

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University of Alberta
Physical Education and Sport
Jody Virr

Sept 13 - Chapter 2: Theoretical Perspectives in Motor Development Overview • Current motor development theories • How different theories • History of the field of motor development Motor Development: What Happens? • in the early stages, there isn’t much movement. Lots of crying and making a mess 2ndstage Able to sit by themselves, crawl, understand some basic words 3 stage Ability to walk, run, understand more words than the previous stages, skills have increased When talking about theoretical perspectives, we will have different reasons for why certain behaviours occurred Theories of Motor Development • Maturational perspective • Information processing perspective • Ecological perspective Maturational Perspective • Motor development driven by maturation of systems • Minimal influence of environment • Doesn’t pay attention to the changes in motor development as we age • Said the environment has little effect on the rate of behaviours.. its all based on the genetic clock • Believed the CNS drove all the development of skills • From a maturational perspective, all internal processes were important Characteristics of motor development: • qualitative • discontinuous History of the Maturational Perspective • 1930s: Gesell, Mcgraw • Suggested invariable, genetically determined sequence of development (individuals can have unique timing) • Research: Co-twin control strategy – they said biology controls when they develop and hoped to find that if 2 people have the same genetics, they will develop the same skills at the same time, regardless of environments Maturationists Interest in Process • McGraw (1935) • Associated motor behaviour changes with development of nervous system • Interested in the processes • Used fraternal twins – this is a problem because the genetics now are different between the 2 kids Long-Lasting Beliefs From Maturation Theory • Basic motor skills emerge automatically • There is no need for special training • Mild deprivation doesn’t arrest development • The nervous system is most important Descriptive Methodology in Motor Development • Characteristic of maturationists • Normative description • Use of quantitative scores to describe children’s average performance (Espenschade (1947), Glassow (1938), Rarick (1967)) • Biomechanical descriptions of movement patterns in fundamental skills (Glassow (1938), Halverson (1973)) • This is focused on the products, not the process • As a scientist, you would be able to help them effectively if you examined the process • Ex. They can tell you how fast you run, but cannot tell you what you can do specifically to run faster • Conducted longitudinal studies, and followed subjects through their lives How Would A Maturationist Explain The Following? • Toddler learning to walk – their CNS has developed to a point to allow them to have a motor pattern for walking • Child riding a bike – their CNS has developed to a point to allow them to have a motor pattern for walking • Teenager having difficulty swimming – They haven’t developed their CNS to a point to allow them to swim Information Processing • Also Bandura’s social learning (1986), Skinner’s behaviorism (1974) • Basic tenet: brain like a complex computer o The passive human responds to stimuli in the environment o Research investigates stimulus – response links, feedback, and knowledge of results • Young adults often studied first as basis of comparison for performance of children and older adults • Concerned with aspects of performance, not distingusishing between development and learing. Focuses on attention and memory of all ages • Practice helps to refine motor skills to reach a desire
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