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The effects of sensory-motor training on visual perception and sensory-motor performance of moderately… Kelly, Brian John 1970

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THE EFFECTS OF SENSORY-MOTOR TRAINING ON VISUAL PERCEPTION AND SENSORY-MOTOR PERFORMANCE OF MODERATELY RETARDED CHILDREN by BRIAN JOHN KELLY B.S. ED., University of Michigan, 1967 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE' REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION i n the school of Physical Education and Recreation We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October, 1970. In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced d e g r e e at the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I a g r e e t h a t t h e L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r a g r e e t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Depar tment o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Depar tment o f Physical Education and Recreation The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a V a n c o u v e r 8, Canada Date October ISt, 1970, ABSTRACT The subjects who pa r t i c i p a t e d i n t h i s study, were twenty-one moderately mentally retarded children enrolled i n Oakridge School for the mentally retarded in Vancouver, B r i t i s h Columbia. The I . Q . range of the subjects was approximately 30-51. The purpose of the study was to determine the ef f e c t s of sensory-motor t r a i n i n g on the v i s u a l perception and sensory-motor performances of the moderately retarded subjects. In addition, the investigation was also designed to question the claims of some proponents of perceptual-motor theory, who have suggested that improvement i n the sensory-motor area leads to subsequent improvement i n perceptual functioning. The subjects were divided into three groups of seven. Each group was then randomly d i s t r i b u t e d into one of three treatments. The treatments consisted of two sensory-motor t r a i n i n g groups and a control group. The sensory-motor t r e a t -ments consisted of one program based on the widely-practiced Kephart approach; the second was a series of a c t i v i t i e s designed by the experimenter. These two t r a i n i n g programs allowed for a comparison of the r e l a t i v e e f f e c t s of the indiv-idual treatments on the performance of the subjects. The two a c t i v i t y groups were subjected to t h i r t y half-hour sessions of sensory-motor t r a i n i n g over a seven and one-half week period. The control group spent a concurrent amount of time involved in regular special education classroom a c t i v i t i e s . The F r o s t i g Test of Visual Perception and the Purdue Perceptual-Motor Survey were administered p r i o r to and after the t r a i n i n g period. The results were then s t a t i s t i c a l l y analysed by a complex analysis of variance and the Scheffe Technique. The following main conclusions were drawn. 1. In the area of v i s u a l perception, sensory-motor t r a i n i n g was no more e f f e c t i v e than regular special education a c t i v i t i e s in improving performance. 2. Sensory-motor t r a i n i n g resulted i n performance gains i n the sensory-motor area. 3 . Improvements i n sensory-motor performance did not r e s u l t i n subsequent gains i n the v i s u a l perception performance. 4. The two programs of sensory-motor tr a i n i n g produced si m i l a r performances i n both the v i s u a l perception and sensory-motor areas. i v ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The author owes a debt of gratitude to Mr. A. Buck and his s t a f f at Oakridge School f o r a l l th e i r assistance and co-operation throughout the duration of the study. Special thanks to Dr. R. Marteniuk for h i s considerable assistance i n the areas of the s t a t i s t i c a l treatment and experimental design. I would l i k e to express my gratitude to my advisor, Miss Anne T i l l e y , f o r her continuous advice and guidance during the preparation of t h i s manuscript. Also to the other members of my committee, Mr. R. Poutt and Dr. R. Hindimarsh f o r t h e i r generous contributions. F i n a l l y , without the constant encouragement and u n f a i l i n g f a i t h of my wife Kathy, this study would not have been possible. V TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER PAGE I STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM 1 Introduction 1 Problem 4 Hypotheses - 5 J u s t i f i c a t i o n 7 Limitations 8 Definitions 9 II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 11 Perceptual-Motor Development 11 Motor Bases of Achievement 13 Research Regarding the Motor Per- 17 formance of Mentally Retarded Children Research Regarding Sensory-Motor 21 Training Programs III METHODS AND PROCEDURES 26 Subjects 26 Tests 26 Experimental Design 27 S t a t i s t i c a l Analysis 34 IV RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 35 Results 35 Discussion 41 V SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 47 Summary 47 Conclusions 50 Recommendations 52 BIBLIOGRAPHY 53 APPENDICES 61 A. S t a t i s t i c a l Treatment 61 B. Raw Scores 62 C. Sensory-Motor Training Sample 63 vx LIST OF TABLES Pre and Post-Test Means on the Frostig and Purdue Tests Analysis of Variance of I n i t i a l and Fi n a l Scores on the Fro s t i g Test of Visual Perception Analysis of Variance on I n i t i a l and Fi n a l Scores on the Purdue Perceptual-Motor Survey Means Comprising the Groups x Tests Interaction for the Purdue Test vxx LIST OF FIGURES FIGURES 1 Results of Experimental Groups Perfor mance on the Fro s t i g Test 2 Results of Experimental Groups Perfor mance on the Purdue Test CHAPTER I STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM INTRODUCTION During the past decade, a great deal of ferment has been created over the development and implementation of a set of sensory-motor experiences intended to function as remedial or therapy programs for children with learning d i s a b i l i t i e s . The growth of these programs has been fostered by educators and psychologists working with children who are considered to be brain-damaged, mentally retarded or slow learners. These pro-grams are based on theories of perceptual-motor development and the eff e c t s of sensory-motor experience upon the successive stages i n an indiv i d u a l ' s development. Piaget, one of the p r i n c i p a l theorists i n this area, stated: Each of the stages of learning i s es s e n t i a l for the development of the following stages. Each stage integrates the preceding stage and prepares the way f o r the following one. (62:85) These stages according to Piaget, are characterized by sequences of i n t e r - r e l a t e d sensory-motor experiences which are the founda-tions for perceptual development and subsequent symbolic operations and l o g i c a l thought. Based on the th e o r e t i c a l dictates of Piaget (61,62), Hebb (40), Gesell (32) and others, educational psychologists and c h i l d development s p e c i a l i s t s as Kephart (47), Barsch (5), 2. Doman-Delacato (17), and Fr o s t i g and Home (28) have formulated various sensory-motor t r a i n i n g programs. They assert that these programs can provide t h i s basic stage which i s necessary for the i n t e l l e c t u a l development of an i n d i v i d u a l . Kephart (47), f o r example, suggests that the development of academic s k i l l s as reading and writing depend i n i t i a l l y upon the orderly development of motor patterns. Research (39, 23) regarding the motor performance of mentally retarded children, has demonstrated that t h i s popula-t i o n i s d e f i n i t e l y d e f i c i e n t in the area of sensory-motor a b i l i t y . In terms of perceptual-motor theory, those retarded individuals who have d e f i c i t s in sensory-motor functioning and undergo sensory-motor t r a i n i n g , should be p o s i t i v e l y influenced i n regard to perceptual development. However, workers (59, 14, 54, 65) who have investigated t h i s premise with various populations of children, have pro-duced d i f f e r i n g r e s u l t s . The question i s , whether mentally retarded subjects can benefit from sensory-motor t r a i n i n g in areas i n which they have been found d e f i c i e n t . Further, i s t h i s sensory-motor experience b e n e f i c i a l as a form of i n d i r e c t stimulation, such as improving perceptual development. This study was designed to investigate these questions by conducting programs of sensory-motor t r a i n i n g u t i l i z i n g a 3. population of moderately retarded c h i l d r e n . The approximate I .Q. of the retarded population ranged from 30 to 51. 4. PROBLEM The purpose of the study was to determine whether moder-ately retarded subjects could make s i g n i f i c a n t improvements or gains i n sensory-motor and v i s u a l perception performance, after p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n programs of sensory-motor t r a i n i n g . In addition, the investigation would attempt to determine whether gains i n sensory-motor performance wouldbe r e f l e c t e d i n performance gains i n the v i s u a l perception area. SUB-PROBLEM Two sensory-motor t r a i n i n g programs were employed i n the study. One program was based e n t i r e l y on the structure, material presentation and s p e c i f i c a c t i v i t i e s of the widely practiced Kephart tr a i n i n g method and procedure (47). The second program was one designed and organized by the i n v e s t i -gator. These two programs of sensory-motor tr a i n i n g were designed to allow for comparison of the e f f e c t s of two varying programs on sensory-motor and v i s u a l perception performances. The performances by the subjects i n these a c t i v i t y program groups were compared to the performances by a control group in order to determine the r e l a t i v e effectiveness of each program. 5. HYPOTHESES The following n u l l hypotheses were examined: 1. There i s no difference between the mentally retarded Group A (Kephart program) and the mentally retarded control Group C with respect to v i s u a l perception performance after the comple-ti o n of a tr a i n i n g program of sensory-motor a c t i v i t i e s . 2. There i s no difference between the mentally retarded Group B (Non-Kephart program) and the mentally retarded control Group C with respect to v i s u a l perception performance after the com-pl e t i o n of a tr a i n i n g program of sensory-motor a c t i v i t i e s . 3. There i s no difference between mentally retarded a c t i v i t y Group A (Kephart program) and the other mentally retarded A c t i v i t y Group B (Non-Kephart) with respect to v i s u a l perception performance after the completion of t r a i n i n g programs of sensory-motor a c t i v i t i e s . 4. There i s no difference between the mentally retarded a c t i v -i t y Group A (Kephart program) and the mentally retarded control Group C with respect to sensory-motor performance after the completion of a tr a i n i n g program of sensory-motor a c t i v i t i e s . 5. There i s no difference between the mentally retarded a c t i v -i t y Group B (Non-Kephart) and the mentally retarded control Group C with respect to sensory-motor performance after the completion of a t r a i n i n g program of sensory-motor a c t i v i t i e s . 6. There i s no difference between one mentally retarded a c t i v i t y Group A (Kephart program) and the other mentally retarded a c t i v i t y Group B (Non-Kephart) with respect to sensory-motor performance after a t r a i n i n g program of sensory-motor a c t i v i t i e s . 7. JUSTIFICATION OF THE PROBLEM Extensive research by Sloan (71), Howe (42), Francis and Rarick (24), and others has established that the mentally retarded are d e f i n i t e l y d e f i c i e n t i n sensory-motor a b i l i t y , when compared to the normal population. The l i t e r a t u r e further indicates that very l i m i t e d research has been conducted i n t h i s area with moderately retarded sub-j e c t s . Cratty (15:193) remarked on t h i s point: Almost without exception, previous studies have co l l e c t e d data from children c l a s s i f i e d as educable retarded (I.Q. 50-70), rather than with children whose mean I.Q.'s are below 50. In addition, the work of Woodward (82:69), has revealed that the moderately retarded population function generally at the sensory-motor l e v e l of i n t e l l i g e n c e . In terms of perceptual-motor theory, t r a i n i n g designed to enhance sensory-motor func-tioning, should be r e f l e c t e d i n increases i n perceptual develop-ment. The data from t h i s study should then be relevant as regards t h i s premise. Roach and Kephart (64:10) reported that i n the i n t e l l e c t u a l development of an i n d i v i d u a l , a breakdown can occur at any of the developmental stages. In the case of moderately retarded children, such a breakdown could be attributed to the s p e c i f i c causes of retardation. Further j u s t i f i c a t i o n for t h i s investigation i s based on 8. the f a c t that although mentally retarded have continually com-prised a s i g n i f i c a n t proportion of the population, physical educators have only recently become engaged i n research and education involving these i n d i v i d u a l s . LIMITATIONS The sensory-motor t r a i n i n g programs used i n the i n v e s t i -gation, were conducted over a seven and one-half week period. The length of the tra i n i n g may be a l i m i t a t i o n of the study. Although the two sensory-motor t r a i n i n g programs d i f f e r e d in most respects, the degree of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n may be a l i m i t a t i o n . 9 . DEFINITIONS Perceptual-Motor Theory: the essence of the theory i s the presence of a sequence of learning stages through which an ind i v i d u a l progresses. Later complex learnings are b u i l t upon e a r l i e r learnings i n a h i e r a r c h i a l fashion. Sensory-Motor: a. stage; the i n i t i a l stage of development in the perceptual-motor theory. This stage i s conceived of, as the esse n t i a l basis f o r l a t e r perceptual and cognitive development. b. a c t i v i t i e s ; group and in d i v i d u a l low organization a c t i v i t i e s requiring co-ordination of overt behaviour, i . e . : balancing, locomotion a c t i v i t i e s , climbing, rhythmic a c t i v i t i e s , etc. Perceptual Development: second main stage of perceptual-motor development based on sensory-motor learnings. Perceptual data are systematized by comparing same with motor system. Through t h i s perceptual-motor matching, the perceptual and behavioural world of an in d i v i d u a l come to coincide and sub-sequently become organized. Symbolic Operations: the stage of development b u i l t on e a r l i e r sensory-motor and perceptual stages. These involve the higher processes required for abstract thought and conceptualizations beyond basic thought. Moderately Mentally Retarded: a term of c l a s s i f i c a t i o n o r i g i n -ated by the American Association for Mental Deficiency, to 10. describe those individuals whose i n t e l l i g e n c e quotient ( I . Q . ) i f a l l s between 30 and 51 approximately on a scale using 100 as the standard f o r average or normal i n t e l l i g e n c e . Brain-damaged Children: those individuals who have suffered organic brain damage due to chemical inbalance, anoxia, menin-g i t i s , pre and post-natal trauma, etc. This condition usually r e s u l t s i n perceptual and behavioural disorders as f a u l t y per-ception, impaired motor co-ordination, etc. Slow Learner: those individuals who may show average i n t e l l i -gence, but generally perform below the le v e l s of t y p i c a l children in both academic and motor a b i l i t y measures. L a t e r a l i t y : i s an i n t e r n a l process, an awareness within the body of the difference between l e f t and r i g h t . It i s the r i g h t - l e f t gradient which w i l l become the basis for an indiv-idual's concepts of the co-ordinates of space. D i r e c t i o n a l i t y : an awareness of the three co-ordinates of Euclidian space, r i g h t - l e f t , up-down, before-behind, and the subsequent projection onto outside objects. D i r e c t i o n a l i t y develops using l a t e r a l i t y as i t s foundation. Body Awareness:, or body image, a perception of one's body, i t s parts and i t s p o s i t i o n i n space r e l a t i v e to objects in the environment. Vis u a l Perception: the capacity to interpret and i d e n t i f y the incoming sensory impressions through the mode of sight by com-paring them with previous experiences. CHAPTER II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE The review of the l i t e r a t u r e was conducted under the following c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s . A. Perceptual-Motor Development B. Motor Bases of Achievement C. Research Regarding the Motor Performance of Mentally Retarded Children D. Research Regarding Sensory-Motor Training Programs A. PERCEPTUAL-MOTOR DEVELOPMENT Perceptual-motor development has long been recognized by c h i l d development s p e c i a l i s t s as a very important component i n the normal development of the i n d i v i d u a l . Hebb (40:42) regards the f i r s t few years of l i f e as c r u c i a l periods for perceptual-motor experience. Further, he suggests that these experiences are the basis f o r establishing the all-important associative tissue and the autonomous central processes, which are esse n t i a l to the most complex functions of human i n t e l l i g e n c e . In regard to early perceptual-motor experience, Sherrington (70:169) stages: It would seem to be the motor act under urge to l i v e which has been the cradle of mind. The motor act, mechanically integrating the in d i v i d u a l would seem 12. to have started mind on i t s road to r e c o g n i z a b i l i t y . ; . As motor integration proceeds, mind proceeds with i t , the servant of an urge seeking s a t i s f a c t i o n . Most workers would agree that the behaviour of young children i s both perceptual and motoric i n nature. J e r s i l d (45:3) declares: In early childhood, mental and physical a c t i v i t i e s are c l o s e l y related and motor a c t i v i t i e s play a major role i n i n t e l l e c t u a l development. After considerable experimentation i n t h i s area, Getman (33:39) states: Fundamental to every i n t e l l e c t u a l a c t i v i t y of the human being...is the s k i l l of motor control and co-ordination. (8:39) Highly regarded developmentalists as Piaget (62:64) and Gesell (31:36), have outlined developmental schemes that employ sensory-motor experiences i n their foundational stages. Kephart, who has embodied the workings of many prominent researchers i n his th e o r e t i c a l considerations, states that: The early motor or muscular responses of the c h i l d , which are the e a r l i e s t behavioural responses of the human organism, represent the beginnings of a long process of development and learning. To a large extent, so-called higherforms of behaviour develop out of and have their roots in motor learning. (47:55) The l i t e r a t u r e leaves l i t t l e doubt as regards the r e l a t i v e value of early perceptual-motor experiences. Authorities generally agree that there i s a hierarchy of i n t e l l e c t u a l development that has perceptual motor experiences as i t s base, and that these learnings are es s e n t i a l for further complex and higher l e v e l s of functioning. 13. B. MOTOR BASES OF ACHIEVEMENT Psychology, special education, optometry and c h i l d devel-opment s p e c i a l i s t s i n many f i e l d s have developed a very i n t r i c a t e , but u n i f i e d concept regarding the motor bases of achievement. Kephart (47:8) has emerged as a leader i n developing remedial t r a i n i n g programs for aty p i c a l learners based on the premise that academic s k i l l s depend i n i t i a l l y on the orderly development of motor patterns. He suggests that movement patterns depend upon posture, locomotion, receipt and pro-pulsion. These are the int e g r a l components of an awareness of body p o s i t i o n i n space or body image. Body image matures through the gaining of both dimensional and d i r e c t i o n a l con-cepts. The remedial programs of Kephart (47:160) and Barsh (5:31) and other workers, concentrate on supplying the c h i l d with a b i l i t i e s i n the areas of balance, l a t e r a l i t y , d i r e c t i o n -a l i t y and body image. These, they suggest, are the v a l i d motor bases of achievement. Regarding these projected motor bases, Ismail and Gruber (43:175) state: Overall motor co-ordination i s highly related to academic success among elementary school children. Such factors as balance, l a t e r a l i t y , gross muscle co-ordination, and the l i k e were the e f f e c t i v e variables i n r e l a t i o n to learning. 14. Their study further suggests that attention to these gener-a l i z e d motor functions can produce increased achievement i n school tasks among elementary school c h i l d r e n . L a t e r a l i t y . L a t e r a l i t y or the in t e r n a l awareness of the two sides of the body and th e i r difference, i s one of the motor bases most commonly c i t e d as necessary for learning. Kephart (64:41) reports that when children, who lack l a t e r -a l i t y , are confronted with problems of l e f t and r i g h t they w i l l r e f l e c t t h e i r d i f f i c u l t y through l e t t e r reversals, reading inaccuracies and other f a i l u r e s i n academic s k i l l s . Benton's studies (9:67) of l a t e r a l i t y discrimination i n children reveal that those who show systematic l e t t e r reversals ( i . e . 'b1 as 'd', 'was' as 'saw') i n designating l e f t and r i g h t , are t y p i c a l l y retarded i n language function. Since most body organs and parts are paired, some author-i t i e s i n s i s t that l a t e r a l i t y i s an esse n t i a l component for t o t a l co-ordination. In regard to t h i s contention, Hildreth (41:197) says: The human body i s b i l a t e r a l l y symmetrical. One side mirrors the other. In motor performance such as walking, the limbs move c o n t r a l a t e r a l l y . This l a t e r a l symmetry of the body contributes to balanced motor adjustment. Proponents of perceptual-motor programming regard directed movement experience as a method of gaining l a t e r a l i t y . Kephart (47:43) indicates that: 15. It i s through experimenting with the movement of the two halves of the body, observing the d i f f e r -ences between these movements, comparing these differences i n sensory impressions, and so f o r t h , that we sort out the ri g h t side from the l e f t . D i r e c t i o n a l i t y . D i r e c t i o n a l i t y i s the projection into space of l a t e r a l i t y or the awareness of l e f t and r i g h t , up and down and before and behind i n the environment. Kephart (64:78) states that d i r e c t i o n a l i t y depends on l a t e r a l i t y , and u n t i l a s o l i d l a t e r a l i t y has been developed, the elaborations and extensions necessary for the establish.* ment of d i r e c t i o n a l i t y i n space w i l l be l i m i t e d and inaccurate. Balance i s considered to be the primary motor pattern out of which th i s d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n develops. Body Image. Body image or the awareness of one's body in space i s generally an extremely important motor base by c h i l d development s p e c i a l i s t s . In reference to the importance of body image, Kephart (47:50) indicates that: We use our bodies as the point of reference i n i t i a l l y - v a r i o u s sensations as t a c t i l e , temper-ature, pain impressions and muscle sensations become welded into an unity which represents the body to us. Out of t h i s , we b u i l d a body image. It i s t h i s body image which becomes the point of o r i g i n for a l l the s p a t i a l relationships among objects outside our body. Bender (7:21) has pointed out that a f a u l t i n body image w i l l be r e f l e c t e d i n the perception of outside objects. From an early i n v e s t i g a t i o n on body image, Schilder (68:45) con-cluded : 16. When knowledge of our own body i s incomplete and f a u l t y , a l l actions f o r which t h i s p a r t i c u l a r know-ledge i s necessary, w i l l be f a u l t y too. We need body image i n order to sta r t movements. Relating body image to academic functioning, Cruickshank (16:44) has expressed the b e l i e f that unless a c h i l d possesses a co-ordinated and coherent understanding of body image, learn ing to read and process numbers either doesn't take place or i s extremely retarded. In addition, Piaget (61:79) and Gesell (32:74) have suggested that the c h i l d develops an i n i t i a l awareness of space through egocentric l o c a l i z a t i o n , or a r e l a t i o n to objects i n space through himself. Obviously, a s t a b i l i z e d body image would be required for the projection. The motor bases discussed i n t h i s section are those that dominate the l i t e r a t u r e in th i s area. Other workers, as Delacato (18:33) have b u i l t more complicated sets around the theory that l a t e r a l i t y and dominance, homologons and cross-patterning are necessary requirements for mature body function ing, perceptual enrichment and learning e f f i c i e n c y . Many researchers are not convinced that the previously mentioned motor bases are e n t i r e l y v a l i d . However, as Wright (84:53) says: U n t i l s c i e n t i f i c research s p e l l s out some new dir e c t i o n s , the exis t i n g ideas of Kephart, Barsch and others with s i m i l a r ideas do seem to be c l i n i c a l l y e f f e c t i v e in a large number of children with neurological disorganization. C. RESEARCH REGARDING THE MOTOR PERFORMANCE OF THE MENTALLY RETARDED The l i t e r a t u r e revealed l i m i t e d research i n regard to the motor performance of the moderately retarded. Therefore, studies involving the midly retarded (approximate I . Q . 50-74) have been included i n t h i s review. In order to show both the type and concerns of research i n thi s area during the past twenty years p a r t i c u l a r l y , the l i t e r a t u r e i n this section has been arranged i n chronological order. Itard's (44:75) work with a twelve year o l d severely retarded boy caught i n the forests of Aveyron i n 1800 was probably the f i r s t s c i e n t i f i c attempt to u t i l i z e motor tra i n i n g in the education of a retarded c h i l d . His ph y s i o l o g i c a l method, and l a t e r that of Sequin (69:143) which involved a concentration on muscle t r a i n i n g and s k i l l learning, was reported to have r e l a t i v e l y l i t t l e e f f e c t on the i n t e l l e c t u a l development of th e i r retarded subjects. In the early and mid 1950's, many studies (71), (52), (49), were conducted to investigate the p o s s i b i l i t y of a relationship between motor pro f i c i e n c y and i n t e l l i g e n c e i n the mentally retarded population. Rabin (63:514) for example, concluded that there i s a d e f i n i t e and p o s i t i v e relationship between varying degrees of educable mentally retarded children and 18. the learning of fundamental muscular s k i l l s . Other investigations p r i o r to 1960 were concerned with comparing i n t e l l e c t u a l l y t y p i c a l and mentally retarded children i n many areas of motor performance. Howe (42:352) compared a group of mentally retarded c h i l -dren with a group of normal children matched i n chronological age, sex and s o c i a l c l a s s . He found that the motor a b i l i t y of the normal boys was s i g n i f i c a n t l y superior i n a l l eleven motor tasks employed. An extensive study by Francis and Rarick (24) c l e a r l y indicated that the mentally retarded have considerable motor retardation, and the motor retardation increases with age when compared to an average population of children. F a l l e r s (23:86) and Head (39:64) found s i g n i f i c a n t d i f -ferences between retarded and normal children i n a l l sub-tests of the Lincoln-Oseretsky Motor Development Scale. On a simple response test, a rate of tapping test, a rate of manipulation t e s t and a choice response time te s t , Beaber (6:79) indicated that the i n t e l l e c t u a l l y t y p i c a l c h i l -dren displayed s i g n i f i c a n t l y better performance than the retarded group when the groups were equated to chronological age. Studies undertaken in the early years of the past decade, began to claim that c e r t a i n improvements and benefits could be 19. derived from t r a i n i n g i n various areas of motor functioning. Smith and Hurst (73:84) and Solomon (74:87) reported that an increase i n motor a b i l i t y played a s i g n i f i c a n t role i n peer acceptance. Social maturity i s an e f f e c t c i t e d by Stein (76:31) and Turnguist (79:44), as a re s u l t of sound, widely varied physical education programs. Troth (78:80) credited t r a i n i n g i n both gross and fin e motor co-ordination tasks with both e f f e c t i n g improvements i n the attention span length of mentally retarded i n d i v i d u a l s , and i n the a b i l i t y to recognize c e r t a i n geometric and percep-tual forms. After a four week period of st r u c t u r a l motor experiences i n both gross and fin e motor exercises, Harrison (37:28) reported that a group of r e l a t i v e l y non-verbal retardates improved s i g n i f i c a n t l y i n the i r a b i l i t y to unbutton a row of buttons and other fine motor self-help s k i l l s . The past f i v e years has yielded investigations in t h i s area with increasing degrees of depth and s p e c i f i c i t y . In t h e i r discussion on the motor performance of retarded children, Robinson and Robinson (66:403) stated: Within the mildly and moderately retarded ranges of i n t e l l i g e n c e , one can predict in general that the brighter children w i l l show r e l a t i v e l y less retardation i n learning to walk, motor behaviour, and fine co-ordination. Although as a group, they w i l l show s i g n i f i c a n t retardation i n these behaviours. Ayres (4:334) a n a l y t i c a l investigation into perceptual-20. motor problems of retarded children revealed f i v e basic areas of dysfunction. These included: body image d e f i c i t , lack of awareness of form and body p o s i t i o n i n space, f a u l t y integra-tion of the two sides of the body, poor figure-ground discrim-ination, and a s i g n i f i c a n t balancing d i s a b i l i t y . In regard to the movement duplication a b i l i t y of retarded children, Barsch (5:327) indicated: A mentally retarded c h i l d i n attempting to imitate another c h i l d , becomes bewildered as he struggles to plan what part of him moves f i r s t , how to move i t and how to complete the action. He obviously suffers from poor cognitive motor planning. A c l i n i c a l i nvestigation by Keough and Oliver (46:1009) disclosed a number of motor performance d i f f i c u l t i e s i n a group of moderately retarded to ys. These involved slow and deliberate movements, a t o t a l response without control of speed and force, an i n a b i l i t y to perform a prescribed rhythmical count, and problems i n tasks using only one side of the body. The succeeding section w i l l be concerned with recent research involving the implementation of sensory-motor t r a i n i n g programs. This t r a i n i n g was designed to provide remedial assistance i n some or any of the problem areas designated by the immediately preceeding studies. 21. D. RESEARCH REGARDING SENSORY-MOTOR TRAINING PROGRAMS Proponents of sensory-motor t r a i n i n g have indicated that these programs can ef f e c t s i g n i f i c a n t changes i n many areas of development. This section of the l i t e r a t u r e i s s p e c i f i c a l l y concerned with those recent investigations designed to probe various e f f e c t s of sensory-motor t r a i n i n g . Oliver (58:155) conducted an investigation involving two groups of educationally sub-normal boys at a boarding school. After ten weeks of systematic and progressive physical con-d i t i o n i n g , he reported s i g n i f i c a n t p o s i t i v e changes i n emotional s t a b i l i t y , personality adjustments and in t e l l i g e n c e quotient. A similar study was undertaken by Corder (14:357) using three experimental groups. One group received sensory-motor t r a i n i n g ; a second special attention group was present at the tr a i n i n g , but did not a c t i v e l y p a r t i c i p a t e . A t h i r d group acted as a c o n t r o l . The re s u l t s revealed that the a c t i v i t y group made s i g n i f i c a n t l y greater gains than the control group on associated verbal t e s t s , but not on performance I.Q. The a c t i v i t y group's performance on both measures did not d i f f e r s i g n i f i c a n t l y from that of the special attention group. An investigation by A l l e n (1:41) employed two groups of educable retardates. One group was subjected to the F r o s t i g -Horne sensory-motor program; the other served as a control and received no special a c t i v i t i e s . The re s u l t s analysed by ANOVA 22. revealed thatthe group receiving the t r a i n i n g made s i g n i f i c a n t improvement in figure-ground perception, figure constancy and s p a t i a l r e l a t i o n s . Haring and others (36:129) undertook an investigation of Kephart's theory using mentally retarded childr e n to determine the e f f e c t of gross motor training on v i s u a l perception and hand-eye co-ordination. The results revealed s i g n i f i c a n t gains i n both areas, after the subjects had engaged i n a s i x month program of sensory-motor t r a i n i n g . A recent study by Painter (59:113) was conducted to deter-mine the ef f e c t s of sensory-motor tr a i n i n g on body image, perceptual-motor integration, and psycholinguistic competence of perceptually handicapped ch i l d r e n . After a two month pro-gram based on Kephart and Barsch, s i g n i f i c a n t mean gains were produced by the tr a i n i n g groups in the expected areas of remediation. Another group of workers including Doman-Delacato (18), Fros t i g and, Horne (28), and Stauphin (75) have indicated that sensory-motor t r a i n i n g can lead to s i g n i f i c a n t improvements i n reading a b i l i t y for retarded c h i l d r e n . Based on t h i s premise, McCormick and others (55:627) divided a population of mildly retarded children into three experimental groups. One group was subjected to sensory-motor t r a i n i n g , a second was involved i n regular physical education a c t i v i t i e s , and a t h i r d group served as a con t r o l . After seven 23. weeks of t r a i n i n g , reading achievement was re-evaluated. The resu l t s indicated that the sensory-motor t r a i n i n g group made s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t gains when compared to other groups. However, the l i t e r a t u r e also produced several i n v e s t i -gations that question and disagree with the findings of the previously c i t e d studies. A l l e y and Carr (2:451) for example, investigated the effe c t s of sensory-motor t r a i n i n g on the sensory-motor, v i s u a l perception and concept formation performances of two groups of mildly retarded subjects. One group received systematic sensory-motor t r a i n i n g over a two month period. A control group spent an equal amount of time involved i n non-motor a c t i v i t i e s . The findings indicated that a l l the c r i t e r i o n measures r e f l e c t e d improvement from pre to post-test. However, no s i g n i f i c a n t differences were recorded between the two groups. The Hawthorne or special attention e f f e c t was c i t e d as a possible factor e f f e c t i n g the s i g n i f i c a n t learning that occurred. A test of the Doman-Delacato rationale was conducted by Kershner (48:441) i n three special schools for the trainable retarded. After an eight month program of t y p i c a l Doman-Delacato a c t i v i t i e s , he found no s i g n i f i c a n t improvement in either reading or sensory-motor performance of his subjects. The findings of studies by McBeath (54), Robbins (65), and Rosen (67) involving perceptually handicapped subjects, have 24. also indicated that sensory-motor training did not r e s u l t i n improvements in reading a b i l i t y . What did the l i t e r a t u r e reveal i n regard to the e f f e c t s of sensory-motor training on sensory-motor performance. In conjunction with t h e i r studies investigating the effects of sensory-motor t r a i n i n g i n various perceptual areas, Corder (14:357), Painter (59:113) and Oliver (58:155) found that significant sensory-motor gains resulted from t r a i n i n g i n this area. However, A l l e y and Carr (2:451) and Kershner (48:441) concluded that the sensory-motor performance of the retarded subjects in their investigations did not improve as a r e s u l t of t r a i n i n g . Further evidence has been provided on t h i s subject by two investigations involving greater s p e c i f i c i t y . L i l l i e (51:803) conducted his study over a f i v e month period to determine the eff e c t s of motor development lessons on the motor proficiency of mildly retarded children. The r e s u l t s revealed that the tr a i n i n g group improved s i g n i f i c a n t l y in fine motor performance. The mildly retarded subjects employed i n an investigation by Gearhart (30:93) were subject to three months of sensory-motor t r a i n i n g . The findings revealed that the subjects made s i g n i f i c a n t gains i n three of the f i v e sensory-motor areas tested. 25. In general, the l i t e r a t u r e designed to measure the ef f e c t s of sensory-motor t r a i n i n g appears to have gained greater s c i e n t i f i c s o p h i s t i c a t i o n i n the past decade. However, as Williams (81:29) stated: A c a r e f u l look at the l i t e r a t u r e reveals that there i s l i t t l e systematic research which s c i e n t i f i c a l l y quantifies the e f f e c t s of programs of physical a c t i v i t y upon the cognitive-perceptual functioning of the mentally retarded i n d i v i d u a l . CHAPTER III METHODS AND PROCEDURE Subjects. The subjects who pa r t i c i p a t e d i n t h i s study were twenty-one moderately retarded children enrolled at Oakridge School for the trainable mentally retarded. The school i s operated by the Vancouver School Board i n Vancouver, B r i t i s h Columbia. A l l of the subjects were drawn from three junior classes, l i v e d in t h e i r parental homes and were trans-ported d a i l y to school. The t o t a l sample of twenty-one subjects were divided into three groups of seven. The groups were selected with the provision that four male and three female subjects be included i n each group. The groups were then randomly assigned to the three t r a i n i n g programs employed by the study. The experimental groups formed were: 1. Group A - (Kephart based a c t i v i t y group) 2. Group B - (Non-Kephart a c t i v i t y group) 3. Group C - (Control or non-motor a c t i v i t y group) 26. Tests. The tests employed i n the study included the F r o s t i g Developmental Test of Visual Perception (25) and selected items from the Purdue Perceptual-Motor Survey (64). The t o t a l raw score of the Frostig test and the t o t a l com-bined score on selected items of the Purdue test were u t i l i z e d to test the various hypotheses. The F r o s t i g Developmental Test of Visual Perception measures f i v e operationally defined perceptual s k i l l s . 1. Hand-Eye Co-ordination. A test of hand-eye co-ordination involving the drawing of continuous straight, curved, or angled l i n e s between boundaries of various width or from point to point without guide l i n e s . 2. Figure-Ground. A test involving s h i f t s i n perception of figures against increasingly complex backgrounds. Inter-secting and "hidden" geometric forms are used. 3. Constancy of Shape. A test involving the recognition of c e r t a i n geometric figures presented in a v a r i e t y of s i z e s , shadings, textures and positions in space, and t h e i r discrim-ination from si m i l a r geometric f i g u r e s . C i r c l e s , squares, rectangles, e l l i p s e s and parallelograms are used. 4. Position i n Space. A test involving the discrimination of reversals and rotations of figures presented i n s e r i e s . Schematic drawings representing common objects are used. 5. S p a t i a l Relationships. A test involving the analysis of simple forms and patterns. These consist of l i n e s of 27. various lengths and angles which the c h i l d i s required to copy, using dots as guide points. The Purdue Perceptual-Motor Survey i s concerned with measuring four basic components of sensory-motor performance. 1. Balance and Posture. Balancing, jumping, skipping, hopping on one, two, or with alternate feet constitute the main tasks i n t h i s sub-test. 2. Body Image or D i f f e r e n t i a t i o n . These tasks involved i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of body parts, imitation of movement and body d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n s k i l l s . 3. Perceptual-Motor Match. The tracing of geometric shapes on a chalk board are the primary tasks i n t h i s sub-test. 4. Ocular Control. The tasks i n thi s area involve the subject following objects with his eyes in many d i r e c t i o n s . Experimental Design. The study was c a r r i e d out over a •three-month period. I n i t i a l l y , the three experimental groups j the Kephart and the non-Kephart a c t i v i t y groups and the control group, were pre-tested with the two measures described on the preceding pages of t h i s chapter. Following t h i s two and one-half week testing period, the two a c t i v i t y groups, Kephart and non-Kephart, were each subjected to t h i r t y half-hour sessions of separate sensory-motor t r a i n i n g programs during a seven and one-half week period. The control group spent a concurrent amount of time i n a c t i v i t i e s that did not involve gross motor 28. a c t i v i t i e s . At the conclusion of these programs, a two and one-half week post-testing session was conducted with the same measures employed i n the pre-test s i t u a t i o n . Testing Procedures. The tests were administered s o l e l y by the investigator both before and following the t r a i n i n g period. In order to ensure optimal testing conditions, several preliminary provisions were undertaken. Prior to the actual te s t s ' administrations, experienced test examiners provided the investigator with observational opportunities and per-sonal assistance to allow f o r complete f a m i l i a r i z a t i o n with the test material. In addition, the investigator conducted a p i l o t study by examining subjects of the same population who were not involved i n the actual study. The p i l o t study permitted both p r a c t i c a l and further understanding of the administration methods for the two t e s t s . In the actual testing s i t u a t i o n , consistency was main-tained throughout the pre and post-test periods. A l l subjects were i n d i v i d u a l l y tested i n the same f a c i l i t y with s i m i l a r materials and methods, and a rotating testing schedule was used i n each session. Both tests could be scored with a high degree of o b j e c t i v i t y through a c a r e f u l adherence to the scoring instructions i n the respective test manuals. 2 9 . Training Procedures. P r i o r to the beginning of the investigation, a p i l o t study employing other subjects of the same population was completed. This preliminary study permitted practice and f a m i l i a r i z a t i o n with the teaching and presentation approaches, the equipment and f a c i l i t i e s , and allowed f o r a working knowledge of the population that would be involved in the tr a i n i n g program. The controls engaged i n the actual study included using only naive subjects or those who had no previous s p e c i f i c involvement with either the tests or the a c t i v i t i e s programs. In addition, a l l three experimental groups spent an equal amount of time i n t h e i r respective treatments. The d a i l y t r a i n i n g sessions were constantly rotated to ensure that a single group was not involved i n the same time period every day. In an attempt to control the Hawthorne Eff e c t or personal e f f e c t , the investigator was the sole i n d i v i d u a l involved in the t r a i n i n g of a l l three experimental groups. There was also a conscious e f f o r t by the experimenter to maintain equal l e v e l s of enthusiasm throughoutthe three programs. Training Programs. The t r a i n i n g i t s e l f consisted of two sensory-motor a c t i v i t y programs to which Groups A and B were subjected, and the control group program. The control Group C received no a c t i v i t i e s involving gross motor s k i l l s . 30. Instead, they received regular classroom a c t i v i t i e s in a special education s e t t i n g . Experimental Group A received a tr a i n i n g program con-s i s t i n g of sensory-motor a c t i v i t i e s as presented by Kephart (47). These a c t i v i t i e s were graduated i n d i f f i c u l t y and included f i v e of the s i x areas outlined by Kephart. These are as invo 1 v e d: 1. walking board a c t i v i t i e s , i . e . : walking forward, backward, sideways on various size surfaces, walking holding objects, walking with eyes closed, turning around on the board, and other board-based a c t i v i t i e s . 2. balance board a c t i v i t i e s , i . e . : balancing on the board at various l e v e l s , with varying bases, while holding objects, bouncing b a l l s , while turning, catching bean bags, etc. 3. angels-in-the-snow, i . e . : subjects l i e on t h e i r back or front and move cer t a i n designated sides of the body or limbs, also includes u n i l a t e r a l , b i l a t e r a l , and c r o s s - l a t e r a l movements. 4. stunts and games, i . e . : numerous i n d i v i d u a l loco-motion stunts - running, skipping, hopping, climbing, throwing and others. Ball-oriented games and many t r a d i t i o n a l games were conducted i n t h i s area. 31. 5. rhythmic a c t i v i t i e s , i . e . : these a c t i v i t i e s i n -cluded movement to music, drum beating, piano playing, foot stomping, and rhythmical group games. Sensory-motor t r a i n i n g was also received by experimental Group B, the non-Kephart group. However, there were some de f i n i t e differences between the two programs in terms of approach or material presentation, desired objectives, and the a c t i v i t i e s employed i n the treatments. As regards the teaching or i n s t r u c t i o n a l approach, Group A, the Kephart program, was engaged i n very structured t r a i n i n g which u t i l i z e d a r e l a t i v e l y l i m i t e d number of a c t i v i t y areas. Whereas the non-Kephart t r a i n i n g approach was constantly varied and the range of a c t i v i t i e s was both wider and more f l e x i b l e , the exploratory or discovery methods in physical education were emphasized with the non-Kephart group. C r e a t i v i t y , exploration, thought provocation, indepen-dent action and group awareness, as well as gains i n physical s k i l l s were some of the objectives sought by t h i s l a t t e r pro-gram. The Kephart tr a i n i n g was more concerned with those objectives r e s u l t i n g from d i r e c t improvement i n physical s k i l l s as balancing, jumping, hopping and others. The subjects who p a r t i c i p a t e d in Group A, the Kephart program, underwent a series of s p e c i f i c movements sequentially 32. programmed from the simple to the more sophisticated in an e f f o r t to gain pr o f i c i e n c y i n t h i s p a r t i c u l a r s k i l l area. However, the a c t i v i t i e s of Group B were continually charac-te r i z e d by freedom of movement. Here, children were encouraged and stimulated to experiment with and experience t h e i r envir-onment through movement. In addition, the tr a i n i n g of the l a t t e r group placed an emphasis on c h i l d leadership, free play and group a c t i v i t i e s . Further, each group employed many a c t i v i t i e s that were not practiced by the other group. For example, Group B u t i l i z e d the many variatio n s of climbing, hanging, walking and jumping on the large climbing apparatus, whereas the Kephart group program made very l i m i t e d use of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r piece of equipment. Group B, the non-Kephart group, received a program based primarily on the following components. 1. see and move, i . e . : subjects move i n d i r e c t i o n of leader using s i m i l a r or d i f f e r e n t modes of loco-motion, pantomining of various objects as trees, houses, animals and others. 2. hear and move, i . e . : subjects move according to auditory cues - i n a l l di r e c t i o n s , with a l l modes of locomotion, at varying speeds, with or without objects, holding hands, etc. 33. 3. body shapes, i . e . : subjects experience various body shapes - t a l l , small, wide, short, in r e l a t i o n to others, to things and many variations on the climbing apparatus. 4. rhythmic a c t i v i t i e s , i . e . : subjects move to varying rhythmic patterns i n i t i a t e d by drum, piano, voice, with various modes of locomotion as dancing, running, hopping, stretching, crawling, twisting, over obstacles, through hoops, following a leader and others. 5. stunts and games, i . e . : subjects discover and explore ways of throwing b a l l s , using bean bags, making c i r c l e s , squares, straight l i n e s , singularly or with the group, using equipment as climbing apparatus, horses, bats, benches in problem seeking, s e l f - d i r e c t e d and various other ways. For a l l three groups, d a i l y lessons were prepared and followed to allow f o r a planned program i n a l l three t r a i n i n g sessions. 34. S t a t i s t i c a l Analysis The pre and post-training performance scores obtained from both tests were s t a t i s t i c a l l y analysed by a complex analysis of variance with three variables. The variables employed i n the ANOVA were groups, tests and subjects which were nested within groups. CHAPTER IV RESULTS AND DISCUSSION RESULTS The r e s u l t s of the s t a t i s t i c a l analysis are presented i n the succeeding tables and f i g u r e s . Table 1 presents the pre and post-test means on both the Frostig Test of Visual Perception and the Purdue Perceptual-Motor Survey. TABLE 1 Pre and Post-Test Means on the Fro s t i g and Purdue Tests Test Groups Pre-Test Mean Post-Test Mean Frostig Group A 20.4 25.8 Group B 23.2 29.5 Group C 20.0 23.0 Purdue Group A 16.2 23.1 Group B 18.8 25.0 Group C 18.0 18.0 36. Frostig Results TABLE 2 Analysis of Variance of I n i t i a l and F i n a l Scores on the Fro s t i g Developmental Test of Vi s u a l Perception Variation SS d.f. M.S. F P Groups Ss (Gps) Tests Gps x Tests Ss (Gps) x Ts 176.33 1109.14 252.60 20.33 86.57 2 18 1 2 18 88.17 61.62 252.60 10.17 4.81 1 An F of 4.41 was required for significance at the 5 percent l e v e l o An F of 3.55 was required f o r signxfxcance at the 5 percent l e v e l An F of 3.55 was required for significance at the 5 percent l e v e l The analysis of variance performed on the Fro s t i g test scores, as shown i n Table 2, indicates an F for the groups eff e c t of 1.43. Since t h i s F was s t a t i s t i c a l l y non-significant i t was concluded that the three groups, over the two tests, were equal in terms of v i s u a l perception. Table 2 also reveals that a s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t F of 52.50 was obtained f o r the tests e f f e c t . This F indicated that s i g n i f i c a n t learning occurred over the three groups from i n i t i a l to f i n a l score performance on the Fro s t i g t e s t . 37,. As indicated i n Table 2, the groups by tests interaction was s t a t i s t i c a l l y non-significant. This revealed that a l -though learning took place from the i n i t i a l to the f i n a l scores, there was no s i g n i f i c a n t group differences in learning among the three groups. FIGURE 1 Results of Experimental Groups Performance on Fr o s t i g Test Size of Scores Mean of Mean of I n i t i a l Scores F i n a l Scores The graph i n Figure 1 represents the i n i t i a l and f i n a l score performance of the three groups on the Fr o s t i g te s t . Figure 1 graphically interprets the findings of the groups by tests i n t e r a c t i o n , that i s , each group made performance gains from pre-test to post-test and the gains were s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i m i l a r for each group. 38. Purdue Results TABLE 3 Analysis of Variance of I n i t i a l and F i n a l Scores on the Purdue Perceptual-Motor Survey Variation SS d.f. M.S. F p Groups 108.62 2 54.31 2.343 >.05 Ss (Gps) 416.28 18 23.13 Tests 197.17 1 197.17 62.40 1 <.05 Gps & Tests 99.48 2 49.74 15.74 2 <.05 Ss (Gps) & Ts 56.85 18 3.16 xAn F of 4.41 was required f o r significance at the 5 percent l e v e l 2An F of 3.55 was required for significance at the 5 percent l e v e l An F of 3.55 was required f o r significance at the 5 percent l e v e l The complex analysis of variance performed on the test scores of the Purdue Perceptual-Motor Survey, shown i n Table 3, indicates an F of 2.34 for the groups e f f e c t . This F was s t a t i s t i c a l l y non-significant. Thus, there were no differences among the three groups when t h e i r scores were averaged over the two t e s t s . As expressed i n Table 3, a s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t F of 62.40 was determined f o r the tests e f f e c t s . This F indicated that s i g n i f i c a n t learning occurred from the i n i t i a l to f i n a l score performance on the Purdue t e s t . 39. Table 3 further shows that a s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t F of 15.74 was found for the groups by tests i n t e r a c t i o n . This indicated that somewhere among the three groups s i g n i f i c a n t differences in learning occurred. In order to determine where these differences occurred, a further s t a t i s t i c a l analysis, the Scheffe Technique (35:107), was employed. The c r i t i c a l value that was required for the difference between any two means, in the interaction, to reach s t a t i s t i c a l s ignificance was 4.01. FIGURE 2 Results of Experimental Groups Performance on Purdue Test Size of Scores Mean of Mean of I n i t i a l Scores F i n a l Scores 40. TABLE 4 Means Comprising the Groups x Tests Interaction for the Purdue Test Groups I n i t i a l Score F i n a l Score A 16.2 23.1 B 18.8 25.0 C 18.0 18.0 Inspection of Table 4 reveals that the difference between the i n i t i a l and f i n a l scores of Groups A and B produced c r i t i c a l values above the 4.01 required f o r s t a t i s t i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e . However, the value for Group C did not produce the c r i t i c a l value of 4.01 required f o r s t a t i s t i c a l significance . Therefore, the activity Groups A and B, made s i g n i f i c a n t performance gains on the Purdue t e s t . However, the performance of Group C, the con-t r o l group, resulted i n no s i g n i f i c a n t differences from i n i t i a l to f i n a l score. 41. DISCUSSION This investigation was conducted to determine the e f f e c t s of sensory-motor t r a i n i n g on the v i s u a l perception and sensory-motor performance of moderately retarded subjects. It was also the intent of t h i s study to compare the r e l a t i v e e f f e c t s of two varying programs of sensory-motor t r a i n i n g on v i s u a l perception and sensory-motor performance of the subjects. These problems w i l l be discussed i n terms of the s i x n u l l hypotheses employed i n the study. Hypothesis 1. There i s no difference between Group A and Group C i n regard to v i s u a l perception performance after sensory-motor t r a i n i n g . Hypothesis 2. There i s no difference between Group B and Group C as regards v i s u a l perception performance after sensory-motor t r a i n i n g . Both of these n u l l hypotheses were not rejected as no s i g n i f i c a n t differences i n v i s u a l perception performance were determined when either a c t i v i t y Group A or B was compared to control Group C. The r e s u l t s comply with those obtained by A l l e y and Carr (2:454) and Haring (36:129) who also reported no s i g n i f i c a n t differences i n v i s u a l perception performance between a c t i v i t y and control groups aft e r sensory-motor t r a i n i n g . Hypothesis 3. There i s no difference between a c t i v i t y Group A 42. and Group B i n regard to v i s u a l perception performance after sensory-motor t r a i n i n g . This n u l l hypothesis was not rejected since no s i g n i f i c a n t differences i n v i s u a l perception performance occurred between Group A, the Kephart program, and Group B, the non-Kephart program, aft e r sensory-motor t r a i n i n g . However, the s t a t i s t i c a l analysis further indicated that a l l three groups recorded s i m i l a r s i g n i f i c a n t gains i n v i s u a l perception performance from pre to pos t - t r a i n i n g . Why did these performance gains occur? The following factors are proposed as possible explanations f o r these s i g n i f i c a n t changes in performance. Since the investigation was conducted over a three month period, the pre and post-test sessions were approximately eight to nine weeks apart. Therefore a maturation e f f e c t could possible account f o r these s i g n i f i c a n t performance differences. A second factor that may have evoked t h i s per-formance response involves the testing procedure, for i n both the pre and post-testing situations, i d e n t i c a l test material was administered to the p a r t i c i p a t i n g subjects. Another p o s s i b i l i t y that could be advanced i s the Hawthorne E f f e c t , or special attention e f f e c t . This e f f e c t occurs i n experimental situations dealing with human subjects as a r e s u l t of such aspects as the enthusiasm of the experi-menter, which could lead to a t y p i c a l l y high degrees of 43. motivation on the part of the subjects. In t h i s study, the fac t that the subjects were pleased and excited to be involved in a special project could have produced the presence of the special attention. This p a r t i c u l a r point was reinforced d a i l y as the subjects had to leave their classmates and teacher to take part i n the t r a i n i n g . Kershner (48:149) reports that t h i s special attention e f f e c t i s probably a very important factor i n any inv e s t i g a -t i o n dealing with retarded c h i l d r e n . Since there were no group differences i n perceptual performance, the sub-problem of the study which was designed to compare the affects of the two sensory-motor programs i n t h i s area remains unanswered. Hypothesis 4. There i s no difference between a c t i v i t y Group A and control Group C, i n regard to sensory-motor t r a i n i n g . Hypothesis 5. There i s no difference between a c t i v i t y Group B and control Group C as regards sensory-motor performance after sensory-motor t r a i n i n g . Both of these n u l l hypotheses were rejected, as the re s u l t s expressed s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t differences in sensory-motor performance between a c t i v i t y Group A and the control Group C; and between a c t i v i t y Group B and control Group C. In each case, the group that had undergone sensory-motor t r a i n i n g , made s i g n i f i c a n t gains i n sensory-motor performance. 44. The control Group C made no gains i n performance from pre to post-t r a i n i n g . Since many of the components of the Purdue test were also incorporated into the Kephart tr a i n i n g program of Group A, i t could be argued that t h i s group's post-test performance gains were a re s u l t of experience with the t e s t . However, Group B was not subjected to any a c t i v i t i e s or tasks s p e c i f i c a l l y related to the tes t , and t h i s group also recorded s i g n i f i c a n t performance gains after t r a i n i n g . Therefore, the sensory-motor training was probably a s i g n i f i c a n t factor i n the resultant performance gains made by the a c t i v i t y groups. This factor might be further defined as a po s i t i v e transfer e f f e c t from the tra i n i n g to the test performance which resulted i n s i g n i f i c a n t learning. Recent studies by L i l l i e (51:807) and Gearheart s i m i l a r l y reported s i g n i f i c a n t performance gains after sensory-motor t r a i n i n g . Hypothesis 6. There i s no difference between Group A and Group B i n regard to sensory-motor performance after a pro-gram of sensory-motor t r a i n i n g . This n u l l hypothesis was not rejected as both groups recorded s t a t i s t i c a l l y similar gains i n sensory-motor per-formance. Therefore, Groups A and B produced the same post-tr a i n i n g performances on both the sensory-motor and v i s u a l 45. perception t e s t s . If sensory-motor trainingcan effect changes i n sensory-motor performance on learning as these r e s u l t s suggest, i t leads to the wider question: What other treatments or t r a i n -ing can produce s i m i l a r changes? I n i t i a l l y i t appears that the s p e c i f i c t r a i n i n g areas and approaches suggested by Kephart (47), Delacato (18) and others, may not need to be as res-t r i c t e d or structured as t h e i r schemes d i c t a t e . As stated i n the f i r s t chapter, considerable discussion has waged regarding the r e l a t i v e merits of sensory-motor stimulation f o r mentally retarded c h i l d r e n . As indicated i n the review of the l i t e r a t u r e , many researchers have proposed that t h i s form of stimulation leads to or i s a prerequisite f o r more complex perceptual t r a i n i n g . However, the r e s u l t s of t h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n suggest that s i g n i f i c a n t gains i n sensory-motor performance do not necessarily r e s u l t i n gains i n percep-tual performance. Therefore, t h i s study supports the premise that learning by this population i s more s p e c i f i c than that indicated by considerable previous research. A possible explanation of t h i s s p e c i f i c i t y concept involves the idea that each a c t i v i t y consists of both percep-tual and motor components. If subjects are subjected to t r a i n i n g that i s loaded with motor components, their learning 4 6 . would be r e f l e c t e d i n the motor area. Conversely, i f per-ceptually loaded t r a i n i n g was presented, learning would occur i n the perceptual area. This study employed heavily loaded motor components i n the t r a i n i n g and s i g n i f i c a n t learning occurred i n the sensory-motor area. Whereas none of the three groups received t r a i n i n g i n s p e c i f i c v i s u a l perception a c t i v i t i e s , no group differences in performance resulted i n t h i s area. CHAPTER V SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS SUMMARY The subjects who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n t h i s study were twenty-one moderately mentally retarded children enrolled in three junior classes i n Oakridge School for the mentally retarded in Vancouver, B r i t i s h Columbia. The I . Q . range of the subjects was approximately 30-51. The purpose of the study was to determine the e f f e c t s of sensory-motor t r a i n i n g on the sensory-motor and v i s u a l perception performances of the moderately retarded children. A sub-problem compared the r e l a t i v e e f f e c t s of the two sensory-motor t r a i n i n g programs on v i s u a l perception and sensory-motor performance. One program was based e n t i r e l y on the Kephart t r a i n i n g approach and procedures; the other was a program designed by the investigator which emphasized the discovery on exploratory method of teaching physical education. These two a c t i v i t y programs d i f f e r e d in terms of the ins t r u c -t i o n a l and material presentation and the type and variety of a c t i v i t i e s . The l i t e r a t u r e revealed that very l i m i t e d research had been conducted i n t h i s area with moderately retarded childre n . In addition, the studies that have been undertaken have ra r e l y been duplicated. This leaves many claims of these studies 48. lacking substantial support. The subjects were d i s t r i b u t e d into three groups of seven, which included four males and three females i n each group. The groups were then randomly placed into one of three treatments. The treatments consisted of a c t i v i t y Group A, the Kephart based t r a i n i n g program, Group B, the non-Kephart a c t i v i t y program, and Group C, the control group. The two a c t i v i t y groups, A and B, were subjected to t h i r t y half-hour sessions of t h e i r respective sensory-motor t r a i n i n g programs over a seven and one-half week period. Group C, the control group, spent a concurrent amount of time i n regular special education classroom a c t i v i t i e s , which did not involve gross motor functioning. Prior to and following the tr a i n i n g period the subjects were i n d i v i d u a l l y tested with the Fr o s t i g Test of Visual Perception and selected items of the Purdue Perceptual-Motor Survey. The r e s u l t s were then s t a t i s t i c a l l y analysed by a complex analysis of variance and the Scheffe Technique was used f o r determination of group differences where applicable. Six n u l l hypotheses were employed i n the investigation to examine the e f f e c t s of sensory-motor tr a i n i n g on the sensory-motor and v i s u a l perception performance of the sub-jects . 49. In order to control the teacher variable i n the t r a i n i n g , and to allow f o r t e s t i n g consistency, the investigator was the sole instructor and examiner i n the t r a i n i n g and testing s i t u a t i o n s . This investigation was also designed to question the claims of some proponents of Perceptual-Motor theory, who suggest that improvement i n the sensory-motor area leads to or i s a prerequisite for subsequent improvement i n perceptual functioning. In terms of t h i s study, an improved performance i n the sensory-motor area af t e r t r a i n i n g would be r e f l e c t e d in performance gains i n v i s u a l perception. 50. CONCLUSIONS In regard to the ef f e c t s of sensory-motor t r a i n i n g , the following conclusions were drawn: 1. With reference to v i s u a l perception, the performance of the two-sensory-motor t r a i n i n g groups was s i m i l a r to that of the control group. Thus, sensory-motor t r a i n i n g was no more e f f e c t i v e than regular s p e c i a l education a c t i v i t i e s i n im-proving performance i n v i s u a l perception. However, s i g n i f i -cant performance gains were recorded i n th i s area for a l l three groups. It was suggested that these gains may have resulted from such factors as maturation, special attention or learning of the test by the subjects involved. 2. Since the two groups that received sensory-motor t r a i n i n g made s i g n i f i c a n t performance gains, and the control group's sensory-motor performance remained at the pre-test l e v e l , sensory-motor t r a i n i n g was probably the s i g n i f i c a n t factor e f f e c t i n g these gains. These findings lead to the wider question: What other kinds of t r a i n i n g can produce the similar effects? 3. Increases i n sensory-motor performance by the a c t i v i t y 51. groups did not result i n subsequent gains i n v i s u a l perception performance. 4. Performances by both sensory-motor t r a i n i n g groups i n the v i s u a l perception and sensory-motor tests were found to be s i m i l a r . Consequently, sensory-motor programs, which are less structured and less r e s t r i c t i v e than Kephart and others, may prove to be equally e f f e c t i v e . 5. The r e s u l t s of t h i s investigation support the premise that learning by moderately retarded children i s s p e c i f i c . 6. Although the study does not support many assertions by proponents of sensory-motor t r a i n i n g , i t also does not o f f e r evidence that such programs are wasteful or harmful. 52. 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APPENDICES 61. APPENDIX A STATISTICAL TREATMENT The data was analysed by a complex analysis of variance, using sum of squares, mean squares with the appropriate degrees of freedom. Three variables were involved i n the ANOVA, tests groups and tests with subjects nested within groups. The Scheffe Technique was used to determine where the s i g n i f i c a n t differences between groups occurred. Formula: (K-1) F2,18 (.05) 5 (3.55) 17.75 4.21 MSe (1 + 1 2 3.16 (1 + 1) 3.16 (.288) .910 .954 S V f 4.01 62. APPENDIX B RAW SCORES A. Fro s t i g Test of Visual Perception Pre-Test Subjects Group A Group B Group C 1 30 30 25 2 19 29 26 3 23 18 21 4 17 20 19 5 26 25 22 6 15 20 17 7 13 21 10 Post-Test 1 35 33 27 2 22 35 27 3 22 25 26 4 28 27 22 5 38 29 27 6 20 30 20 7 16 28 12 B. Purdue Perceptual-Motor Survey Pre-Test 1 19 16 22 2 14 23 22 3 18 20 17 4 18 19 12 5 15 15 20 6 15 23 15 7 15 16 18 Post-Test 1 25 22 20 2 24 32 22 3 25 29 18 4 21 23 9 5 19 20 18 6 24 30 19 7 24 19 20 63, APPENDIX C SENSORY-MOTOR TRAINING DAILY SAMPLE A. A c t i v i t i e s f o r Group A (Kephart based program) - waMng sideways on the walking board - running i n ci r c l e s , squares, backwards and sideways - angels-in-the-snow, move the rig h t leg up, now the l e f t leg, etc., move only t h i s side of the body - throwing b a l l s against the wall and catching them, bounce the b a l l on the f l o o r and catch i t , r o l l i n g the b a l l on the f l o o r to another c h i l d - i d e n t i f y i n g body parts, the leader c a l l s out a body part and the c h i l d responds by pointing to i t - marching i n time to the beat of a drum B. A c t i v i t i e s f o r Group B (Experimenter-designed program) - locomotion a c t i v i t i e s - move anyway you want, move i n another way, move using one leg, move on the f l o o r , o f f the f l o o r , following someone, with your eyes closed, l i k e an animal, etc. - obstacle course - can you get to the end of the gymnasium without touching the fl o o r ? how else can you get there? - move to the music, move to the music you are making, i n 6.4. a l l d i r e c t i o n s , a l l over the gymnasium, l i k e a b i r d , with someone else, etc. - climbing apparatus - how high can you climb? what other stunts can you perform on t h i s apparatus? swing, hang, etc. - free play - do whatever you want for the next ten minutes. 

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