Teaching Practices that Promote Motor Skills in Early Childhood Settings

Leah E. Robinson, E. Kipling Webster, S. Wood Logan, W. Amarie Lucas, Laura T. Barber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Early childhood educators, especially those in preschool centers, are often expected to design and implement movement programs. However, these individuals may not have been taught these skills during their education. The purpose of this study was to determine if early childhood majors could successfully be taught to implement a mastery climate instructional approach to promote motor skill development to preschool-age children. Twenty undergraduate Early Childhood Education majors, who completed a Motor Development Across the School Years course, designed and implemented a movement program to develop preschoolers' locomotor and object control skills. Fourteen preschoolers participated in an 11-week movement program. Preschoolers' motor performance was assessed with the Test of Gross Motor Development-2nd Edition prior to and following the intervention. Results indicate significant improvements in total performance (p <. 05) and locomotor skills (p =.037). Findings indicate that with guidance and training, early childhood majors can effectively design and implement a mastery-based movement program that enhances motor skill competence. The findings also demonstrate the need and value for early childhood majors to receive training in the design and implementation of movement programs. This paper provides a conceptual framework and practical recommendations to assist teachers and educators with implementing a mastery climate movement programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-86
Number of pages8
JournalEarly Childhood Education Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Early childhood
  • Mastery motivation
  • Motor development
  • Motor skills
  • Movement program

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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