The effects of creative movement activities in the preschool classroom and children's ability to move on children's social competence

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University of Alabama Libraries

The current study examined the relationship between parent and teacher-reported social competence of preschool children and the children's observed involvement in creative movement activities in their classroom. A sample of 51 children, ages three to five-years-old (M = 53.32 SD = 7.19; months), from a university affiliated preschool were observed during regularly scheduled music and movement times with their lead teachers. Children and teachers were videotaped during these activities and coded for their behaviors. After controlling for child age, child gender, family income, and parent education, the strongest predictor of children's social competence was their physical ability to move. Children's observed creative movement was also a significant predictor of their social competence when reported by teachers. The current study also found that during music and movement activities, when teachers used instructional media, verbal instruction, and physical cues, children were more likely to participate in the activity, but not engage in creative movement. Significant differences in children's movement participation and teachers' behaviors were also found among the four classrooms that participated in the study.

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Elementary education