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The development of an observation instrument to measure activity level of kindergarten children in physical education

By Sheila Anderson


The primary purpose of this study was the development of a technique for assessing the activity behaviour of children at the Kindergarten level in physical education. -- The original intent of the study was the development of a remediation program for those individuals who exhibit a degree of participation insufficient for physiological benefit. As no observation instrument was available to identify such children, it was necessary to develop such an instrument. Hence, this study concerned itself with the development of an observation instrument to measure the activity level of Kindergarten children in physical education. -- The subjects were 39 first year (Kindergarten) students of Virginia Park Elementary School, St. John's, Newfoundland, of whom 19 were girls and 20 were boys. The subjects were randomly assigned to groups ranging in size from four to seven, and were observed in a free play setting. In addition, the subjects were videotaped throughout the observation period to allow future viewings of the subjects, and the use of such observations for further study and comparison with real time” observations. -- Individual subjects were observed consecutively for five second intervals followed by free five second intervals for recording and location of next subject by observers. Twelve five second observations of each subject's activity level were recorded. -- Four categories of activity were defined and rated inactive, minimally active, moderately active and vigorously active. The observation instrument was initially used to rate the activity level of two groups of subjects by three observers. Refinements were then made to the instrument and it was used to rate a further five groups of subjects by two observers. -- Results indicate that the observation instrument developed in this study was a valid (.88), objective (.89) and reliable (.87) method for assessing the activity level of subjects at a Kindergarten level using a free play situation. In addition, the instrument appeared usable by a physical education teacher in a regular class situation, and required a minimum of time, equipment, and observer training

Publisher: Memorial University of Newfoundland
Year: 1982
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