Die bydrae van leer- en onderrigsteunmateriaal, onderwysers en die omgewing tot die perseptueel-motoriese gereedmaking van graad R-leerders
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The development of perceptual-motor skills is crucial to ensure school success in grade 1. Aspects such as the teacher's attitude, knowledge, and use of learning and teaching support material (LTSM) can greatly influence such development of perceptual-motor skills. In order to ensure success in grade 1, the learner should be school-ready and school-mature. School-readiness and school-maturity are influenced by external factors such as socioeconomic circumstances, society, community, culture, the school, the teacher, available LTSM, parents, as well as family structures. This thesis attempted in the first place to establish the effect of a learning support intervention on school readiness based on perceptual-motor skills of grade R learners in deprived environments. Secondly, it determined whether shortcomings or lacunae in the knowledge of grade R-teachers about perceptual-motor skills could influence the school maturity of grade R-learners. The third aim was to establish the relationship between particular biographical variables and the grade R teacher's attitude towards the development of perceptual-motor skills of grade R-learners. In the fourth place, the impact of utilising appropriate LTSM on the development of perceptual-motor skills of grade R-learners was determined, focusing on gross and small motor skills. In order to analyse the first aim, this thesis attempted to establish the effect of a learning support intervention on the school readiness based on the perceptual-motor skills of grade R-learners from deprived environments. A learner support intervention was compiled, focusing on the development of perceptual-motor skills of grade R-learners from lower socioeconomic environments. A quantitative research method was applied, with a three group, pre-test post-test design. The population for this aim comprised three grade R schools, selected by convenient sampling. Two quintile 1 schools, a control school (n = 30), an experimental school (n = 25), as well as one quintile 3 school (n = 22) were selected. A perceptual-motor intervention was implemented within the experimental school (school E) over a period of nine months, by providing support to the teachers and upgrading the learning environment of the learners. Learners were tested before and after intervention by means of a school-readiness test. Results were analysed by means of ANOVA, ANCOVA and dependent t-tests in order to determine differences between and within groups. A significant relationship between school-readiness and perceptual-motor development was found where factors such as the community, minimum teaching support material and shortcomings in the knowledge of teachers played a role. From the pre-test up to the posttest the percentage of school readiness was as follows: control school 1 (32% - 56%), control school 2 (58% - 70%), experimental school (34% - 66%). A Larger improvement in school readiness can be observed in the experimental school. Results indicated that perceptualmotor intervention can indeed assist learners from lower socioeconomic environments to overcome aspects such as lack of LTSM, shortcomings in teachers‟ knowledge and in their attitude. The second aim investigated the relationship between shortcomings in the knowledge of grade R teachers (n = 25) about perceptual-motor development and the measure of perceptual-motor development in grade R-learners. A combined research method was used for this, from a post-positivistic paradigm, and it was executed within a phenomenologicalinterpretivistic perspective. Self-compiled questionnaires, comprising closed and opened questions, were used as measuring instrument to establish the knowledge of twentyfive (n = 25) grade R-teachers pertaining to the development of perceptual-motor skills of learners in the Potchefstroom district. The questionnaire consisted of the following components: completion of biographical information, ten questions where the teachers' knowledge pertaining to perceptual motor skills was determined, sixteen questions where a scenarios with a photo and description were outlined and the teacher had to link the correct perceptual-motor skill and eight questions where the teachers' knowledge pertaining to the development of perceptual-motor skills in grade R could be determine. Information yielded by the questionnaires was analysed by means of Atlas.tiTM and statistical analysis. Internal item correlation was used and, based on the statistical analysis, a Cronbach Alpha with a value of 0,74 was established. The results indicated shortcomings in the knowledge of the grade R-teachers regarding aspects related to the development of perceptual-motor skills. Inadequate training was identified in 80% of the respondents; which could have contributed to the lacunae in their knowledge. Additionally, teachers did not possess sufficient knowledge of the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement and a large percentage of the teacher were uncertain as to how to implement it effectively. The attitude of the grade R-teachers to the development of perceptual-motor skills was established as part of the third aim. A quantitative research method was applied during which an availability selected sample of grade R-teachers (n = 25) completed a self-developed questionnaire, indicating the amount of time devoted to the various subjects. Results were statistically analysed, using descriptive statistics as well as Spearman's rank order correlation, in order to establish whether a relationship existed between the teachers' attitude, as measured by the time spent teaching the various subjects in grade R, the age and experience of teachers', the number of learners in the class, and the socioeconomic circumstances of learners in the class. Two-way frequency tables were used with Chi square tests and Cramer's V to establish the strength of the relationship between race, medium of instruction and questions related to attitude. A significant relationship was established between age, the experience of respondents, the number of learners in the class, the socioeconomic environment and the time devoted to subjects, which might contribute to teachers' attitude to teaching Life Skills which includes perceptual-motor development. Addressing these aspects through intervention and in-service training could change the teachers' attitude to the teaching of Life Skills, which would in turn contribute towards a stronger emphasis on the development of perceptual-motor skills in class. For aim number four, which investigated the impact of using appropriate LTSM on the development of perceptual-motor skills within the grade R schools, the school-readiness of learners from two schools of similar socioeconomic environments was determined during a pre-test. A combined research method with a two-group, pre-test post-test design was followed. Learners from two grade R schools (quintile 1) in the Potchefstroom district, with an average age of 5,2 (± 0,5) years, were selected by means of convenient sampling. A perceptual-motor intervention focusing on the development of perceptual-motor skills through teacher support and the creation of an effective learning environment, was executed within the experimental school (n = 25) from February to November (nine months), while no intervention took place within the control school (n = 30). The quantitative results were analysed by means of dependent and independent t-tests, and an ANCOVA was used to determine differences within and between the schools. The qualitative research was analysed using a multi-method approach, focusing on photo analysis and descriptive information. Before intervention, none of the children in the two schools were school-ready. After the intervention, the adapted averages of the post-test for small and gross motor coordination within the experimental school were significantly better than those of the control school. In the experimental school, 17 of the 20 learners were school-ready after the intervention, while in the control school only 8 of the 28 learners were school-ready. The results indicate that perceptual-motor skills of learners from a lower socioeconomic environment with ineffective LTSM can be stimulated to improve their school-readiness. Lack of effective LTSM can negatively influence the perceptual-motor skills of learners from a lower socioeconomic environment. Early intervention pertaining to teacher support and upgrading the environment, focusing on the development of perceptual-motor skills in grade R, could possibly overcome this disadvantage and thus contribute towards improving school-readiness. Based on the above results, it can be concluded that the grade R learner's perceptual-motor development may well be influenced by various factors. These include the teacher's attitude, shortcomings or lacunae in the knowledge of the teacher, inadequate training and available LTSM. It is therefore recommended that learners growing up in lower socioeconomic environments be exposed to early intervention, focusing on the development of their perceptual-motor skills and effective LTSM. In this way learners' disadvantages could be overcome and their school-readiness improved. In addition, teachers' lack of knowledge about perceptual-motor skills and their attitude regarding the importance of perceptual-motor skills should be addressed. The Department of Basic Education should pay attention to the importance of appointing well-trained teacher, who focus on early childhood development. In this way learners' disadvantages could be overcome and their school-readiness improved.
- Health Sciences