Original Research

Using structured movement educational activities to teach mathematics and language concepts to preschoolers

Margaret F. Omidire, Sameera Ayob, Ruth M. Mampane, Maximus M. Sefotho
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 8, No 1 | a513 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v8i1.513 | © 2018 Margaret F. Omidire, Sameera Ayob, Ruth M. Mampane | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 November 2016 | Published: 14 November 2018

About the author(s)

Margaret F. Omidire, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Sameera Ayob, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Ruth M. Mampane, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Maximus M. Sefotho, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Physical activity is an important component of everyday life. Strong foundational skills of gross motor coordination are typically developed informally in young learners, providing a strong foundational base for movement skills. Research stipulates that there has been a decline in physical activity amongst preschool learners. Therefore, structured movement activities could potentially play a role in facilitating teaching and assessment in a school setting.

Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of structured educational activities to teach mathematics and language concepts.

Setting: The study setting was a classroom of Grade R learners aged ±6 years old in Gauteng, South Africa.

Methods: A qualitative exploratory case study design was used to explore the extent to which structured movement educational assessment activities can support the understanding of mathematics and language concepts. The participants included 20 Grade R learners, one class teacher and one head of department (HOD). The data were generated using observation of participants, analysis of worksheets, visual data and a semi-structured interview.

Results: The findings of the study suggest that the integration of structured movement activities with mathematics and language concepts seems to impact positively preschool learners’ physical, social and cognitive development. The value of qualitatively assessing preschool learners during active participation seemed to be favourable to understanding concepts or movement skill acquisition.

Conclusion: The study concluded that movement experiences can inform preschool learners’ understanding of mathematics and language concepts.


Keywords

Structured movement activities; language; mathematics; childhood learning and development; assessment

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