Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Zittel, Lauriece L.

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Physical Education


Motor ability in children--Illinois--Testing; Motor learning; Preschool children--Illinois; Play groups--Illinois


This investigation was designed to evaluate the fundamental gross motor skill patterns of seventy-two preschool-age children at risk for developmental delay(s) in two test settings (traditional and natural). The traditional test setting is defined as an environment that is teacher directed. The natural test setting was a child?s scheduled physical education time. Performance criteria from the Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD) were used to observe and score the performances of two locomotor skills (horizontal jump, gallop) and two object control skills (overhand throw, bounce) of the children in both test settings. This investigation sought to identify differences in the observed motor skill patterns between two observations within a traditional test setting and between two observations in a natural test setting. The results indicate that there were no significant differences between two observations within the traditional test setting (p=.43). The mean scores in the traditional test setting were M=3.35 (SD=2.81) for day one and M=3.76 (SD=2.84) for day two, and the results indicate that there were no significant differences in two observations within the natural test setting (p=.85). The mean scores in the natural test setting were M=3.29 (SD=2.42) for day one and M=3.37 (SD=2.46) for day two. This investigation also sought to identify differences between the observed motor skill patterns in two days within each testing environment (traditional and ( natural). The results indicate that a statistically significant difference was found to favor the traditional test setting for the performances of horizontal jump (p<.05) but not in the performances of gallop, overhand throw, or bounce. Although not statistically significant, the results indicate that object control performance scores were slightly higher in the natural test setting while locomotor performance scores were slightly higher or significantly higher (horizontal jump) in the traditional test setting. Teachers need to determine the purposes of assessment. The learning styles of children as well as the purpose of an assessment should drive the choice of test settings for evaluation purposes. Depending on this information, the teachers can then determine what environment would provide the most accurate information about a child?s ability level.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [39]-41)


vi, 61 pages




Northern Illinois University

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