Judith Redman

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Rimmer, James H.

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)


Department of Physical Education


Equilibrium (Physiology)||Motor ability--Testing||Children with mental disabilities--Education (Preschool)||Special education--Activity programs


Sixty-four preschool-aged students attending special education classes in DeKalb County participated in an 8-week program to determine the effects of balance training on fundamental motor patterns. During the training phase, three classes were provided a program of gross motor skill development (Group A, n=18), three classes were involved in a program combining balance and gross motor skill development (Group B, n=19), and four classes were combined to serve as the control group (Group C, n=27), which received regularly assigned units of physical education. Groups A and B were taught by the investigator, and Group C was taught by the regularly assigned physical education teacher. The effects of the training program on the performance of fundamental motor patterns and static/dynamic balance were assessed by administering a static and dynamic balance test, an overhand throw, and a kicking test to each subject. The subjects’ performances were scored during a pre- and posttest consisting of identical test items and procedures. Tests were videotaped and were viewed by three trained raters after the posttesting was completed. The mean of all repetitions across raters was used as the dependent variable. ANCOVA was performed using the mean of the raters’ pretest ratings as the covariate for each of the tests. No significant differences were found among groups on all four tests (static balance, F[2.60] = 1.42, g > .05; dynamic balance, F[2.60] = 1.98, g > .05; kicking, F[2.60] = 2.95, g > .05; and throwing, F[2.60] = 1.34, g > .05). Although no significant differences were found among groups, results did show that a high percentage of subjects maintained or improved in their performance on the four skills. Across all three groups, at least 78% of the students maintained or improved in the area of dynamic balance, 48% in the area of static balance, 79% in kicking, and 58% in the overhand throw. Teachers should continue to implement training programs in the areas of balance and fundamental motor skills because of their importance in helping children to learn more complex skills, such as sports and dance, later in life. However, more research is needed to determine the most effective way to teach these skills to young children in special education.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 24-26)


vi, 59 pages




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