Date of Award

1980

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to compare the standing long jump, place kick, overarm throw and striking patterns of educable mentally retarded children to the mature patterns of highly skilled individuals. It was also the purpose of this study to determine if these same motor patterns were inherent in educable mentally retarded subjects and to determine if these patterns would emerge naturally in a goal-centered teaching-learning environment. Eleven educable mentally retarded children between the ages of five and eight years were selected to participate in the study. The children participated in a one week (fifteen minutes per day) orientation program so that they could become familiar with working with the investigator and his assistant, and accustomed to performing before the camera. During this time the children participated in motor activities not related to the motor patterns investigated. The first filming session, during which the initial motor patterns were recorded, was held the first day of the treatment period. The second filming session was held on the twentieth and final day of the treatment period. During each day of the treatment period, each subject performed the standing long jump, overarm throw, place kick and striking patterns ten times. Two university students were utilized to establish, on film, the mature patterns used in this study. One subject, a place kicker for the varsity football team, served as the model for the mature place kick pattern. The second subject, a member of the varsity baseball team, served as the model for the mature standing long jump, overarm throw and striking patterns. Once the motor patterns of the mentally retarded subjects and the mature patterns were recorded on film, they were viewed and analyzed, and tracings were made. For each of the four motor patterns, the standing long jump, place kick, overarm throw and striking, the final motor patterns of the mentally retarded subjects were compared to the mature motor patterns. The initial motor patterns of the mentally retarded subjects were also compared to their final motor patterns in order to determine pattern changes. All comparisons were based on the involvement of body parts, the sequence of movements, the timing of movements and the range of movements during the various phases of each skill. The findings of the study indicated that the standing long jump, overarm throw, place kick and striking patterns of the educable mentally retarded subjects between five and eight years old, to some extent, resemble the patterns of mature performers. However, in reference to the involvement of body parts, the sequence of movements, the timing of movements and the range of movements, the patterns of the mentally retarded subjects were immature and were executed in an inefficient manner. Although changes in the standing long jump, overarm throw, place kick and striking patterns of the mentally retarded subjects were noticeable, they were not perceived to be improvement. This is indicative that either the mentally retarded subjects were not aware of the changes they were making, or that they were unable to determine which of the changes would improve their skill performances.

Pages

273

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