Observing children moving

Por: Patricia Maude Mbe.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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In 2000 the Physical Education Association of the United Kingdom commissioned the development of a distance - learning package both to support movement observation and analysis, and to enable practitioners to make a difference to the movement competence of children aged 3 - 7 years. As a result of 3 years of research, observation, filming, preparation and trialling, the CDRoms’ Observing Children Moving’ came to fruition towards the end of 2003.


Drawing on previous experience of video and photography of movement, children were selected for filming, with parental consent, from nursery, school and recreational settings. Using feedback form filming, outcomes from literature reviews and past experience of motor development and movement analysis, 12 movement capabilities were selected, including Roll, Climb, Run, Strike and Write. Using feedback from teachers, nursery nurses, trainee teachers and parents, it was decided to select and film one child to demonstrate an Early Motor Pattern and another to demonstrate a Later Motor Pattern, for each of the 12 movement capabilities. It was further decided to write Analysis Grips to describe the actions of the various parts of the body, as seen on the video clips selected from the filming.


It was decided that an interactive, multi - media resource could best deliver an integration of movement with observation analysis, resulting in the CDRom’ Observing Children Moving’.

Discussion, Conclusion

The discussion shows the CDRom at work, illustrating how the videos, selected singly or in split screen, alongside practitioner tasks and movement analysis grips together provide a powerful tool to enhance competence in observation and analysis. Also included are suggested activities for practitioners to introduce to children to help increase their movement vocabulary and ‘ hotspots’ to assist in enhancing technical aspects of performance.
Further sections include chapters on starting out in movement observation, the importance of movement in child development and references for further research.


[1]. Maude. P, ( 2001) Physical Children, Active Teaching, Buckingham : OU Press
[2]. National Centre to Improve Practice ( www.edc.org/FSC/NCIP) ( 2002) Us Department of Education, Education Development Centre, Ma




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