By using the dynamic systems, Gallahue likened the human motor development to a triangulated hourglass. The current research method was descriptive-analytical, in which by in-depth study and interpretation of available information and analytical review, we evaluated, compared and explained the similarities and differences between two mentioned conceptual views. Advances in Physical Education, 7, Introduction The model is a framework and structure that arose in the special field, developed, and then used in another area. This model is the analogy or metaphor that conducts research and thinking.
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By using the dynamic systems, Gallahue likened the human motor development to a triangulated hourglass. The current research method was descriptive-analytical, in which by in-depth study and interpretation of available information and analytical review, we evaluated, compared and explained the similarities and differences between two mentioned conceptual views.
Advances in Physical Education, 7, Introduction The model is a framework and structure that arose in the special field, developed, and then used in another area. This model is the analogy or metaphor that conducts research and thinking. For example, in experimental studies, nervous system is likened to a telephone system or eye is likened to the camera.
Hourglass model is a heuristic device, that is, a conceptual metaphor, or model of motor development, that provides us with general guidelines for describing and explaining motor behavior. Heuristics are general rules providing one clues for how to search for answers to given problems.
According to Clarke and Metcalfe, metaphor is often the closest analogy of a representation image , and therefore compared to the model, has less formalization logic , and is more of a guess and conjecture. Despite these modest differences, the purposes of the metaphor and a model are similar in that they seek to explain while offering the possibility of advancing understanding and knowledge.
Metaphor enables us to discover process of motor development, and thus makes us capable of teaching and learning in the area of human motor development. David L. Gallahue , based on the ecological perspective, with an emphasis on three factors: individual features, environment and task and having accurate understanding of movements and stages of development, likened the process of motor development to an hourglass that has four phases, which include: reflexive movement phase, rudimentary movement phase, fundamental movement phase, and specialized movement phase.
Each phase includes several stages. Phases and stages in this model have an overlap, That is, before the complete end of the one phase or stage , begins the next phase or the next stage. In this model, approximate age for each phase and stage is drawn. The age range of each period, depends on the experimental conditions and the genetic structure of individual, therefore, may be a difference in different individuals.
Following this, Clark and Metcalfe in the mountain of motor development metaphor, compared motor development to learning to climb a mountain. Like human motor development, the process takes years, is a sequential and cumulative process, and is strongly affected by the personal skills and traits the individual climber eventually brings to the mountain.
It is also a nonlinear process. Like climbing a mountain, human motor development is characterized by progression, sometimes followed by regression, only to progress again later in life. The ascent and elevation one achieves on the mountain can be compared to acquiring higher levels of motor skill.
Achieving more mature levels of motor development is a continuous interaction between the climber and his or her climbing skills the individual and the mountain the constantly changing environmental conditions on the mountain and as we pass through life. Arriving at the top of the mountain can also be construed as the ultimate attainment of movement proficiency, highly skilled movement ability.
The ascent up the mountain includes passage through six periods of human motor development: the reflexive period, the preadapted period, the fundamental patterns period, the context-specific period, the skillful period, and the compensation period. Each period contribute to the acquisition of skills necessary for the next.
In addition, the time spent in each period of development varies for each individual while being highly dependent on factors like the amount of experience or instruction, quality of instruction, and inherent individual qualities such as height, strength, movement speed that govern motor skill acquisition. Development is a function of adaptations throughout life as we learn to integrate our personal structural and functional characteristics with our environment.
In current study, in order to introduce a best integrated framework to determine the product and the process of motor development, and clarifying similarities and differences of theoretical discussions about motor development, we have compared these two specific theoretical glances to the process of human motor development.
Reflex, is sudden and involuntary movement that appears in response to a specific stimulus. According to Gallahue, the reflexive phase of motor development may be divided into two overlapping stages called information encoding and decoding stage see Figure 1.
The information encoding stage of the reflexive movement phase is characterized by observable involuntary movement activity during the fetal period until about the fourth month of infancy. During this stage lower brain centers are more highly developed than the motor cortex and are essentially in command of fetal and neonatal movement. These brain centers are capable of causing involuntary reactions to a variety of stimuli of varying intensity and duration.
Reflexes at this point serve as the primary means by which the infant is able to gather information, seek nourishment, and find protection through movement. Figure 1. The information decoding processing stage of the reflex phase begins around the fourth month. During this time there is a gradual inhibition of many reflexes as higher brain centers continue to develop. Lower brain centers gradually relinquish control over skeletal movements and are replaced by voluntary movement activity mediated by the motor area of the cerebral cortex.
The decoding stage replaces sensorimotor activity with perceptual-motor ability. Clark and Metcalfe have introduced reflexive period in a similar way. This period is essential for survival protection, nourishment, and so on , and cognitive intellectual and motor development. On this basis, concepts and theoretical issues related to the first stage of human development in the hourglass model and the mountain of motor development are largely compatible with each other.
Rudimentary movements are the first forms of voluntary movement that are seen in the infant beginning at birth to about age 2. The nature of these is maturation- ally determined and is characterized by a highly predictable sequence of appearance.
This sequence is resistant to change under normal conditions. The rate at which these abilities appear will vary from child to child, however, and depends on biological, environmental, and task factors. Gallahue explains that childhood voluntary movement are known rudimentary movements, because they are the basic form for more advanced movement in the later, and are divided into three categories includes: stability movements such as gaining control of the head, neck, and trunk muscles; the manipulative tasks of reaching, grasping, and releasing; and the locomotor movements of creeping, crawling, and walking.
The rudimentary movement phase of development may be subdivided into two stages that represent progressively higher orders of motor control.
The reflex inhibition stage of the rudimentary movement phase continues from birth to about age 1. In this stage, development of the cortex, and lessening of certain environmental constraints, causes several reflexes to be inhibited and gradually disappear. Primitive and postural reflexes are replaced by voluntary movement behaviors. At the reflex inhibition level, voluntary movement is poorly differentiated and integrated because the neuro-motor apparatus of the infant is still at a rudimentary stage of development.
Movements, though purposeful, appear uncontrolled and unrefined. If the infant wishes to make contact with an object, there will be global activity of the entire hand, wrist, arm, shoulder, and even trunk.
The process of moving the hand into contact with the object, although voluntary, lacks control. The pre-control stage of the rudimentary movement phase is determined by around 1 to 2 year of age. Around 1 year of age, children begin to bring greater precision and control to their movements. The process of differentiation between sensory and motor systems and integrating perceptual and motor information into a more meaningful and congruent whole takes place.
The rapid development of higher cognitive processes and motor processes encourages rapid gains in rudimentary movement abilities during this stage. During the pre-con- trol stage, children learn to gain and maintain their equilibrium, to manipulate objects, and to move throughout the environment with an amazing degree of proficiency and control considering the short time they have had to develop these abilities.
The maturational process may partially explain the rapidity and extent of development of movement control during this phase, but the growth of motor proficiency is no less amazing. Clark and Metcalfe in explaining the second period of the mountain of motor development state that the term preadapted refers to the emergence of voluntary movements and the control of reflexes. These researchers explain that the term preadapted is selected to depict the emergence of our motor skill as we overcome the early constraints such as genetic limitations, gravitational forces, and environmental limitations on our movement and learn to function in our gravity-bound environment.
As part of this process, we gradually gain increasingly independent function, including an ability to move somewhat selectively throughout our space. Through a progression of movement behaviors that often begin with maintaining control of our own head and neck, we gradually gain greater control of the upper body, hips, legs, and feet until we can sit, stand, and walk independently.
Similarly, during this period, reaching and grasping behaviors emerge as a part of an intricate interaction between our gradually developing postural ability, an evolving interaction between arm and hand actions, and our visual control. Clark and Metcalfe state that the preadapted period is culminated by our ability to feed ourselves and initial attempts at walking. Obviously, self-feeding is greatly dependent on our emerging eye-hand coordination, just as walking is dependent on our evolving postural control.
With regard to the topics mentioned above, it appears that most of the concepts discussed in the preadapted period of the mountain of motor development are compatible with rudimentary movement phase of hourglass model, with this difference that the formulation and depict of movement shapes in the hourglass model is more regular and realistic.
On the other hand, in the hourglass model, the end of the rudimentary movement phase is in the 2 years old, but in the mountain of motor development, authors mentioned that the preadapted period is culminated by our ability to feed ourselves and initial attempts at walking. Thus, it seems the supposed age range of rudimentary movement phase in the hourglass model is more than the age range of preadapted period proposed by the mountain of motor development.
Fundamental movement patterns are basic observable patterns of behavior. Locomotor activities such as running and jumping, manipulative activities such as throwing and catching, and stability activities such as the beam walk and one-foot balance are examples of fundamental movements that should be developed during the early childhood years. The conditions of the environment opportunities for practice , encouragement, instruction, and the ecology context of the environment play important roles in the degree to which fundamental movement skills develop.
In performance and learning of abilities and movement patterns, there are age-related differences. Some experimenters have examined and confirmed age-related differences in the performance and learning of motor skills for example, Salehi et al. Gallahue view the entire fundamental movement phase as having separate but often overlapping stages: the initial stage, the emerging elementary stages, and the proficient stage.
Movement is characterized by missing or improperly sequenced parts, markedly restricted or exaggerated use of the body, and poor rhythmical flow and coordination. The spatial and temporal integration of movement is poor. Typically, the locomotor, manipulative, and stability movements of the 2 - 3-year-old are at the initial level. Some children may be beyond this level in the performance of some patterns of movement, but most are at the initial stage.
The emerging elementary stages, includes 4 to 5 years, and on which there may be several, involve gaining greater motor control and rhythmical coordination of fundamental movement skills. The synchronization of the temporal and spatial elements of movement is improved, but patterns of movement during these stages are still generally restricted or exaggerated, although better coordinated. The proficient stage within the fundamental movement phase is characterized by mechanically efficient, coordinated, and controlled performances.
Proficient fundamental movement skills are mature in these three process aspects. With continued opportunities for practice, encouragement, and instruction they will, however, continue to improve in terms of the product components of how far, how fast, how many, and how accurately. The majority of available data on the acquisition of fundamental movement skills suggests that children can and should be at the proficient stage by age 5 or 6 in most fundamental skills.
Clarke and Metcalfe in the description of fundamental patterns period, through similar concepts have stated that the fundamental movements begin during infancy, but will endure throughout childhood for most children. As in all periods of the mountain of motor development, many factors affect the rate and breadth of acquisition of movement skills.
For example, some children may have ample opportunity to experience a variety of movements. Some may even have the luxury of high-quality instruction supplemented by appropriate amounts and types of practice.
Others may have limited chance to partake in such activities, thus making the ascent up the mountain more arduous. This period of development includes fundamental locomotor skills, such as walking, running, hopping, jumping and etc.
Both types of movement require increasing levels of interaction between the environment and the mover. These abilities are all a function of skills developed in previous periods of the ascent up the mountain growing and progress in motor skills development.
This period of development also includes fine motor manipulation, include cutting with scissors, handwriting, drawing, eating for instance, use of spoons or chopsticks , or playing certain musical instruments for example, playing piano or guitar. Fundamental patterns period are essential and establishes the basis for future movement endeavors.
Reaction time and movement speed, coordination, body type, height and weight, customs, culture, peer pressure, and emotional makeup are but a few of these constraining factors.
Understanding Motor Development by Gallahue
ISBN 13: 9780071086356
Understanding Motor Development by Gallahue