Original Research

The ability of teachers to identify Grade 1 learners in low socio-economic environments with possible developmental coordination disorder

Alretha du Plessis, Monique de Milander, Frederik F. Coetzee, Mariette Nel
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 11, No 1 | a930 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v11i1.930 | © 2021 Aletta M. du Plessis, Monique de Milander, Frederik F. Coetzee, Mariette Nel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 August 2020 | Published: 19 April 2021

About the author(s)

Alretha du Plessis, Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Monique de Milander, Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Frederik F. Coetzee, Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Mariette Nel, Department of Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Early identification of learners in low socio-economic environments with possible developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is important. Although various screening tools are available, it is unclear whether teachers can use the movement assessment battery for children - second edition checklist (MABC-2 checklist) to identify learners with possible DCD.

Aim: To establish teachers’ ability to identify Grade 1 learners in low socio-economic environments with possible DCD.

Setting: The study was conducted in the Mangaung Metro, Motheo District of the Free State Province, South Africa. Grade 1 learners aged 6–8 years (n = 200) from a low socio-economic environment attending quintile one to three schools were randomly selected for assessment. Twenty-nine teachers participated in the study.

Methods: Kinderkineticists identified learners with possible DCD (displaying motor skills far below the child’s age) by means of the MABC-2 performance test. The teachers used the MABC-2 checklist to identify possible DCD. The convergent validity of the MABC-2 performance test and checklist was compared.

Results: The convergent validity between the MABC-2 performance test and the MABC-2 checklist indicated a kappa (k) coefficient of 0.17, indicating a slight agreement between the performance test and the checklist. Overall, the specificity was 58% (105/180), and the sensitivity was 85% (17/20).

Conclusion: Teachers could effectively identify learners with possible DCD. However, they demonstrated a low ability to identify learners without possible DCD when using the MABC-2 checklist. It is therefore recommended that the performance test should be used in conjunction with the checklist to obtain the most reliable results.


Keywords

developmental coordination disorder (DCD); movement assessment battery for children – second edition (MABC-2); checklist; teachers; motor skills; children; learners; low socio-economic environment; prevalence

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