The optimal period which can be significantly influencing the establishment of young children's cognitive, social, emotional and psychological learning activities, and positive attitudes and appreciation of participation in regular health-related physical activities has been recognized as Early Childhood (3-8 year-olds). Since movement is the very center of young children's lives, it is the primary vehicle to assist children's total learning. Most nurseries / child care centers and some kindergartens in Hong Kong, movement, physical plays, physical activities under the umbrella of preschool physical education (P.E.) have been arranged in daily time-table of the "Whole Child Curriculum". Recent research studies have strongly indicated that the development of preschool physical education curriculum has been hindered due to some major factors namely: the internal (inside the preschool), external (outside the preschool), and human (child care workers & parents etc.) factors. The ultimate purpose of the study is to collect concrete field data at a nursery in Hong Kong by a case study method with the employment of participation observation (one month), class observation (6 P.E. lessons) and interviews (6 interviewees, 15-20 minutes for each) about the problems / difficulties encountered by the child care workers (CCWs) in the development of preschool physical education curriculum in the preschool in order to investigate: what the problems are; what the causes of the problems encountered are; what the influences are; and what the remedies/solutions are. According to the results of the class observations (6 CCWs & 6 P.E. lessons, with a duration of 30 minutes per lesson) CCWs have encountered major problems in the following areas: teaching approach & stages; teaching skills in observation; demonstration and arrangement of group work; safety and health measures. All these areas are related to the professional practical knowledge and skills. The results of the interviews have been categorized as the follows with regard to the four key questions: 1. The perceived problems: the over-emphasis of children's academic performance, the inadequate provision of P.E. equipment, apparatus and facilities; insufficient P.E. teaching resources; and the inadequate professional knowledge in P.E.; 2. The possible causes: the insufficient basic training in P.E.; the lack of sufficient P.E. facilities and equipment; 3. The influences: the planning of a developmentally appropriate P.E. programs; the effective use of playgrounds and self-satisfaction; 4. The possible solutions to the problems: the purchase of adequate P.E. equipment & apparatus, and teaching resources; and the provision of school-based training programs in the teaching of preschool P.E.. Undoubtedly, the study has revealed some of the major problems encountered by CCWs in a nursery. And through the use of interviews, an in-depth understanding of the problems with the provision of possible solutions have been inquired. Finally, recommendations for the development of a quality school-based preschool P.E. curriculum are set forth in the paper too.
|Publication status||Published - 1999|