Foundation Phase Teachers’ Views on the Role of Proprioceptive Development in School Readiness


This exploratory case study reports on the views of six purposively selected Foundation Phase teachers from an independent school in Gauteng, South Africa, on the role of proprioceptive development in school readiness. The study was guided by Ayres’ sensory integration theory, which is based on the assumptions that the brain can change and that this change leads to the sequential development of sensory integration capacities; that there is an interactive relationship between brain organisation and adaptive behaviour; that sensory information integrates effectively when the cortical areas of the brain interact with the sub-cortical areas; and that internal motivation drives participation in sensory-motor activities, thus fostering sensory information integration. Guided by an interpretivist paradigm, this qualitative case study found that the participants have extensive knowledge of school readiness. In contrast with this, they were less confident about their knowledge of proprioception and the role it plays in school readiness. However, the participants were able to relate proprioceptive development to specific physical, emotional and cognitive school readiness skills and challenges with concentration and they were able to identify movement activities that may be conducive to proprioceptive development. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting social distancing and the wearing of masks limited the time children spent on outside movement activities. To address this, the participants started implementing short dances and movement activities inside their classrooms. The participants concluded that movement activities in the classroom are possible, but that space and time constraints were challenges and expressed a need for further training on proprioceptive development.

Author Information
Suzanne Bester, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Marlize Labuschagne, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Paper Information
Conference: PCE2023
Stream: Teaching Experiences

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon