Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2020

Degree Name

MSEd in Physical Education

Department

Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education

First Advisor

Cathy Houston-Wilson

Abstract

The purpose of this synthesis was to review the literature on the effects of structured physical activity programs on the gross motor skills of preschooler. It was determined that the benefits of physical education for children in elementary school has been well-documented and include acquiring gross motor skills more rapidly as well as improved cognitive functioning. However, the benefit for preschoolers from organized physical activity or a motor program is not as prevalent in research and discussion. A structured motor program is defined as a motor planning program designed by an expert in Motor Development, Physical Education or Physical Activity. Results indicate that preschoolers who participated in structured physical activity programs scored higher on validated gross motor skill and object control tests than those who did not participate in structured programs. The results also indicated that preschoolers who participated in structured programs demonstrated greater spatial memory, attention performance and cognitive functioning. This synthesis also determined that preschool teachers are not being supported or prepared to teach structured motor programs. Undergraduate programs are not providing classes on motor development or physical activity, schools are not providing the appropriate resources or trainings and the guidelines for physical activity are either not being followed or teachers are unaware they exist.

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