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Effects of an accelerated physical education programme on certain physical and motor traits of children in kindergarten and grade two Blackshaw, Arthur Rennie

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of an accelerated physical education programme on various physical and motor development factors of kindergarten and grade two students. The physical and motor development factors investigated were: 1. Physical Development: height, weight, lung capacity, arm and thigh girth, chronological age, and skeletal age. 2. Motor Ability and Agility: standing broad jump and shuttle run. 3. Strength: grip strength, flexed arm bar hang. 4. Cardiovascular Appraisal: submaximal work task. One hundred students of Sir Richard McBride Elementary School of Vancouver, British Columbia participated in the study. In each grade the pupils were divided into one experimental group and one control group. All groups were pretested, the exception being the grade two control group. Administrative difficulties made this not possible. For the final tests, a total of forty-one subjects were randomly selected from the four groups. The subjects of the control groups followed a programme outlined by the Department of Education of British Columbia under the guidance of the homeroom teacher. The grade two control group met twice weekly, for forty minute periods. The kindergarten control group met twice weekly, for twenty minute periods. The subjects of the experimental groups followed a programme designed and administered by the investigator. The grade two experimental group met three times weekly, for forty minute periods. The kindergarten experimental group met three times weekly, for twenty minute periods. The grade two experimental period was fifteen weeks in duration, and the kindergarten experimental period was twelve weeks in length. There were found to be no statistically significant differences in the final means of both groups other than the following exceptions. The grade two control group mean chronological age was significantly older than the grade two experimental group’s chronological age with a t-value of 2.43, significant at the .05 level. The flexed arm bar hang score of kindergarten control was significantly better at the .05 level, t = 2.54, than that of the kindergarten experimental group. The grade two experimental group had a significantly lower steady heart rate than did the grade two control group (t = 2.24). All groups made improvement in all variables. Significant improvements at the .01 level of confidence were demonstrated in standing broad jump (t = 4.09, grade two experimental), flexed arm bar hang (t = 4.37, kindergarten control). Significant improvements at the .05 level were demonstrated in lung capacity (t = 2.38, kindergarten experimental), shuttle run (t = 2.28, kindergarten control). While the results of this study do not show conclusively that an accelerated physical education programme benefits the growth and physical development of primary school children, the concept initiating this project does have merit. A more constructive evaluation of the programme's objectives could be obtained with an extended period of participation, at least one school year. Further recommendations seem warranted in view of the results of this study. More attention should be given to the time for testing and a sufficient number of personnel assigned to.this aspect of the study. The control group programme should be monitored to insure a true comparison of activities. The accelerated physical education programme could be reviewed to strengthen those areas which appear weak. It must be recorded here that more research is needed in elementary school physical education.

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