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Physical Education Pedagogies Built upon Theories of Movement Learning: How Can Environmental Constraints Be Manipulated to Improve Children’s Executive Function and Self-Regulation Skills?

1
School of Sport Studies, Leisure and Nutrition, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool L176BD, UK
2
Institute for Sport and Health, College of Sport and Exercise Science, Victoria University, 8001 Melbourne, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(9), 1630; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16091630
Received: 16 April 2019 / Revised: 6 May 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 10 May 2019
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Abstract

Physical education in schools has been marginalised across the globe, and as a result, children are missing out on opportunities to develop and acquire the foundation skills needed to lead a physically active life. The squeeze on physical education in schools, particularly in some western countries (United Kingdom, Australia and America), has been justified on the grounds that core subjects such as English and mathematics need more curriculum time, as this will lead to higher cognitive and academic performance. The aim of this paper is to highlight how physical education lessons in early childhood, underpinned by either of two major theories of motor learning, can support teachers in the creation of learning environments, as well as guide their pedagogical practice to facilitate children’s development of key cognitive skills, in particular executive function and self-regulation skills. These skills are crucial for learning and development and have been found to be a higher predictor of academic achievement than IQ. They also enable positive behaviour and allow us to make healthy choices for ourselves and others, therefore providing further evidence that the development of movement skills has the potential to secure positive attitudes and outcomes towards physical activity across the lifespan. View Full-Text
Keywords: cognition; physical activity; movement competence; skill acquisition; motor development; primary education cognition; physical activity; movement competence; skill acquisition; motor development; primary education
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Rudd, J.R.; O’Callaghan, L.; Williams, J. Physical Education Pedagogies Built upon Theories of Movement Learning: How Can Environmental Constraints Be Manipulated to Improve Children’s Executive Function and Self-Regulation Skills? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1630.

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