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Movement Education

What is movement education and why is it important?

What is movement education?

Basic approach to teaching physical education

A delivery method for physical education content

The body is an expression of movement

(Abels, K., & Bridges, J.M, 2010)

Historical background for Movement


Early pioneers from the 1800s to early 1900s: Francois Delsarte, Liselott Diem, and Rudolf von Laban

Delsartes focus: Arts connect mind, body and spirit

Movement is:
A union of time, space, and motion; and
Parallel: two body parts move in the same direction and in succession.

Nine laws of motion that gave rise to Movement Education: altitude, force, motion, sequence, direction, form,
velocity, reaction, and extension
(Abels, K., & Bridges, J.M, 2010)

Historical background for Movement

Education (continued):

Liselott Diems approach:

Children explore movement freely in their own way in their own stage of development

Teachers provide supportive environment focused on childrens development

Learn to build movement skills and balance

Teachers challenge students with open-ended questions, e.g. Who can do this? or How can you do this
(Abels, K., & Bridges, J.M, 2010)

Historical background for Movement

Education (continued):

Rudolf von Laban: pioneer of movement education.

Theory of movement: focused on the inner attitude of the mover. The body is an instrument of expression.

Two types of movements: expressive and functional

Expressive movement: communicate ideas through dance and other artistic expression

Functional movement: in addition to helping everyday tasks (e.g. sports and games)

Four factors of movement: weight, space, time, and flow (foundational to movement education)

(Abels, K., & Bridges, J.M, 2010)

Curricular approach: 1960s, 1970s, &


Movement Education Framework was developed

Three learning domains for teachers:




Four major movement concepts:

Body: instrument of action

Space: where the body is moving

Effort: quality of movement

Relationships: connections with objects, people, and environment as the body moves

(Abels, K., & Bridges, J.M, 2010)

Fundamental movement skills

Foundational for all games and sports in Australia

Student Fitness and Physical Activity Action Plan (1998), NSW Government: to improve physical
activity and fitness levels of students

Get skilled: Get active document: honours NSW governments commitment to implementing the
above action plan

Purpose: to establish a lifelong commitment to health and physical activity in children

Building blocks of wide range of sports and physical activities

Average time for mastering one fundamental movement skill: 240 - 600 minutes (Fundamental Motor
Skills, Department of Education, Victoria, 1996)

Plan development of fundamental movement skills at whole-school, stage and class level based on
childrens physical ability and prior experience
NSW Department of Education and Training, 2000

Reasons for teaching fundamental

movement skills

Ensure lifelong involvement in physical activity and maintain active lifestyles

Children who are competent in these skills enjoy sports and outdoor activities more than those who struggle to
master the same

Proven to contribute to the improvement of self-esteem, socialisation skills and performance in other KLAs in a
childs education (Eg, developed reading and writing skills)

NSW Department of Education and Training, (2000)

When and why teach fundamental movement


Early stage 1 and Stage 1

It is a time of relatively slow growth

Crucial period for developing physically competent children

Plenty of structured and unstructured activities for children of this age

Movement patterns are not entrenched

Lots of benefits for both physical and mental health, including intellectual benefits that are applicable to a range of
subject areas (e.g. maths, science, literacy, etc.)

(Miller, 2006; Sevimli-Celik & Johnson, 2014; NSW Department of Education and Training, 2000)


Abels, K., & Bridges, J.M. (2010). Teaching movement education: Foundations
for active lifestyles. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

New South Wales Department of Education Training. (2000). Get skilled, get
active: A K-6 resource to support the teaching of fundamental movement
skills. Ryde, N.S.W.: NSW Dept. of Education and Training, Curriculum Support

Sevimli-Celik, S., & Johnson, J. (2016). Teacher preparation for movement

education: Increasing pre-service teachers competence for working with
young children. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 44(3), 274-288.