Research and Development in SEN: Movement (R&DA Awards on TTV)

What the resource is
This Teachers TV programme examines three research projects that focus on different aspects of movement and learning. These projects were funded by the TDA research awards.

The first project at Canterbury Christ Church University looks into the importance of good posture and its impact on learning. It involves a partnership between teacher educators and occupational therapists. The second project at the University of Warwick explores handwriting and its links with cognitive development. The research aims to be the first step towards designing an efficient screening mechanism for handwriting problems. The final research project, based at Anglia Ruskin University, looks into the best way to teach movement education. It explores how to develop trainee teachers' ability to use movement to identify, assess and address children's holistic learning needs.

The programme explores the work of educational researchers aiming to improve teacher training by developing projects relevant to Special Educational Needs. In addition this resource sets out to examine how researchers are working closely with teachers in schools to develop young peoples' movement and learning.


The aims of the resource
This resource aims to examine physical movement in early childhood development and address the links between physical and intellectual/social development. This Teachers TV programme also considers various aspects of movement linked to special educational needs

Central to this resource itss demonstration of the benefits of developing links between university researchers, teachers, parents and children in supporting young peoples' movement education. The programme explores strategies for early intervention of movement learning both in relation to special educational needs and children in general.




Key findings or focus
The programme focuses upon three research projects in which university researchers' work with schools and young people.

The first research focus is centred upon Sue Soan from Canterbury Christ Church university who discusses issues focused upon raising teachers awareness of the link between posture and the development of motor skills as resource to be used in the classroom

Sue suggests that by adopting good posture it can assist with learning and establish good practices of young children in developing read and writing in the classroom. Sue discussed how through working in partnership with Eve Hutton, an Occupational Therapist from the Primary Care Trust, they devised a simple resource to guide teachers on the development of good posture.

A key focus of the resource used in schools was an emphasis on the importance of different types of posture and activities teachers can engage in with young people to develop these skills. Sue Soan suggests that teachers are trained to teach, not identify physiological aspects of child development. She therefore suggests that by using her resource (which is web based and contains links to research) it can help in the early identification of children who may need extra support

The second case study on this Teachers TV programme focuses upon how handwriting can be a struggle for children and even more so for children with special educational needs. Jane Medwell from Warwick University discusses how children need to be trained how to write and compose well. She continues by suggesting that, where handwriting is not automatic there is a link to children doing less well in SATS - and this is more prominent in boys.

The programme focuses upon how Jane has worked with schools to establish handwriting booster classes for those whose writing is not automatic. She discusses strategies for practising handwriting and generating mental and physical codes for writing. A particular focus of the strategies she describes is that they require low levels of subject knowledge and can be easily implemented in school and home environments.

The third programme focuses upon how movement is important for all children and, in particular, those with special educational needs. Melanie Peter from Anglia Ruskin University describes her project on movement education in primary Initial Teacher Training and how to embed this in school environments. The programme of movement education incorporates four sessions all with the purpose of increasing confidence and interaction whilst also recognising that all physical activity is important in the primary curriculum.


The quality, authority and credibility of the resource
This resource centres on the work of education researchers and their interaction with schools. The resource shares strategies for raising the quality of young peoples' movement education that is informed by research and best practice in schools.

The resource discusses multi-disciplinary approaches to movement education and identifies the benefits of teachers working with researchers, parents, children and health care practitioners.


The implications for ITE tutors/mentors
This will be of particular use for mentors and tutors when discussing early movement education with students. Whilst the resource does not go into specific detail on the strategies it does pose may useful questions on the importance of young peoples' movement education.

Tutors and mentors may wish to encourage students to view this programme in advance of a discussion about the issues raised in the programme - one of which is the important link that can be established between schools and university researchers.


The relevance to ITE students
This resource offers students a starting point for considering the importance of early movement education amongst young people. The resource identifies useful strategies students may wish to consider discussing with mentors and tutors whilst in school. It also will act as a stimulus for students to undertake further research of movement education and its relationship to learning and development.


Reviewed by:
Professor Philip Vickerman


Related Resources

The following might be useful to read in conjunction with this resource:


Movement ABC

The Movement ABC is one of the most frequently used tests of motor impairment in the world. It features in over 500 research studies internationally and has been translated and standardised in several countries. The Movement ABC helps you:  Identify delay or impairment in motor development; plan interventions, measure change and examines research


Henderson, S.E. & Green. D. (2002) Handwriting problems in children with Asperger Syndrome National Handwriting Association



(References and further reading may be available for this article. To view references and further reading you must purchase this article.)
Banks,R;  Rodger,S;  Polatajko,H, (2008), Mastering handwriting: How children with Developmental Coordination Disorder succeed with CO-OP, Occupation Participation and Health, Vol. 28, 3,


Hui Tseng, M;  Fu, C, Wilson, B; Hu, F, (2010), ), Psychometric properties of a Chinese version of the Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire in community-based children, Research in Developmental Disabilities, Vol. 31, 1, pg 33-45


Straker, L; Maslen, B; Burgess-Limerick, R; Pollock, C, (2009), Children have less variable postures and muscle activities when using new electronic information technology compared with old paper-based information technology, Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, Vol. 19, 2, pg 132-143


Sugden, D; Kirby, A, (2006), A moving child is a learning child, Child Care, Volume 1, 13, pg 127-136


Sullivan, K; Kantak, S; Burtner, P, (2008) Motor Learning in Children: Feedback Effects on Skill Acquisition, Physical therapy, Vol. 88, 6, pg 720-732