Text notes kine 3340
Understanding Motor Development
By: Gallahue and Ozmun
The field has gone through a rather interesting history in its move from a process-oriented
maturational approach product-oriented normative/descriptive approach process
approach examining underlying mechanisms of motor development.
Only the longitudinal and mixed-longitudinal designs are true studies of development.
developmental time rather than real time
(development) Age related not age dependent (as in the cross-sectional study)
- Motor development is continuous change in motor behaviour throughout the lfie cycle,
brought about by interaction among the requirements of the mvmnt task, the biology of
the individual, and the conditions of the environment.
- Instruction does not explain learning; development does
- The study of motor development in the past was overshadowed by interest in the
cognitive and affective processes of dvlpmnt.
- See figure 1-1
- Dvlpmnt is a lifelong process beginning at conception and ceasing only at death.
- Dvlpmnt is age-related but not age-dependent
- Historically, the study of motor development has gone through periods that have
emphasized various explanations of the dvlpmntl process
- Whereas age-related changes in motor behaviour can be studied through cross-sectional
research designs, true dvlpmntl change can only be studied through longitudinal and
- Motor development may be studied from either a process or a product orientation
- Although chronological age is the most commonly used means of age classification, it is
frequently the least valid
- Terms convey critical concepts essential to understanding motor development
- Human behaviour may be classified into 3 domains: psychomotor, cognitive, and
- Motor Behaviour is an umbrella term encompassing the complementary but essentially
different areas of study embodied by motor learning, motor control, and motor dvlpmnt
- Above short form
Motor Behaviour includes:
1. Motor LEARNING
2. Motor CONTROL
3. Motor DEVELOPMENT
- Although there are a variety of helpful one and two-dimensional schemes for classifying
mvmnt, all fall short in fully capturing the breadth & depth and scope of human mvmnt.
Intro stuff: Figure 1-1 has three circles that are all connected
Implies that the factors within the task, the individual, and the environment are not only
influenced by one another (interaction) but also may be modified (transaction) by one another.
Circle 1: INDIVIDUAL aka: Heredity, biology, nature, and intrinsic factors
Circle 2: ENVIRONMENT aka: Experience, learning, nurturem and extrinsic factors
Circle 3: TASK aka: Physical and mechanical factors
(A transactional view of causation in motor dvlpmnt.)
Motor development is a legitimate area of study that cuts across the fields of exercise pys.
Biomech, motor learning, and motor control, as well as the fields of dvlpmntl psychology and
Boom (70s) dblpmntl kinesiologists and psychologists shifted their focus away from a
normative-descriptive approach back to the study of the underlying dvlpmntl processes.
Life Span Study of the Dvlpmntl Process stuff:
Dvlpmnt encompasses all aspects of human behaviour and as a result may only be artificially
separated into domains, stages, or age periods. Life long process!
History of Motor Development
Arnold Gesell )1928) and Myrtle McGraw (1935)
- Contended that dvlpmnt is a fctn of inborn biological processes that result in a universal
sequence in infant mvmnt skill acquisition.
- Environmental influences only temporarily influence dvlpmntl rate because genetic
inheritance is number one
- Much of what we know about the sequence of infant mvmnt skill acquisition is based on
the descriptive work of blah as well as that of Mary Shirley (1931) and Nancy Bayley
- Provided a great deal of info about the sequential progression of normal dvlpmnt from
the acquisition of early rudimentary mvmnts to mature patterns of behaviour.
- Gesell and Thompson (1929,1934) and McGraw (1935,1940), studies using the co-twin
control method. Given different experiences to see relative influences on environment
- Results concluded that although the rate at which the trained twins acquired the
selected mvmnt skills was faster than the non-trained twins, the sequence was
invariable and the advantage short-lived.
- Monica Wild throwing behaviour first inquiry into developmental mvmnt patterns
in school-aged children.
Normative/Descriptive (1945-1970s in L)
- Post WWII Anna Espenschade, Ruth Glassow, and G. Lawrence Rarick focused on the
motor performance capabilities of CHILDREN. Credited with motor dvlpmnts emergence
as a separate field of study within the physical education (kine) profession. They were
P.E. teachers.- Since 1960 Lolas Halverson (1966), acquisition of mature fundamental mvmnt
patterns did much to recice interest in childrens research because of its emphasis on
identifying the mechanisms behind the acquisition of skill rather than the final skill.
- 1980s and beyond Ralph Wickstrom vern seefeldt
- During the 1980s and 90s the emphasis of study in motor dvlpmnt again
shifted dramatically. Instead of focusing on the product of dvlpmnt as with the
normative/descriptive approaches of the preceding three decades, emphasis shifted back to the
understanding processes involved in motor dvlpmnt.
- Kugler, kelso, turvey (1980)also Ester Thellen (80s-90s) jane clark (late 80s) and others
led to the formulation of a systems theory of motor dvlpmnt, guiding much of the
research being conducted at the present time.
- 3 guiding principles drive what has become known as dynamic systems theory,
1. The body is viewed as being composed of several systems (muscular, skeletal, neural,
perceptual, biomechanical), that are self-organizing and can form patterns of behaviour that
come about from interaction of the cmpnt parts.
2. These systems and their various subsystems self-organize in complex and cooperative
ways based on the specific requirements of the mvmnt task and in response to various
affordances and constraints.
3. Dvlpmnt is seen as a discontin