Useful reference book on motor development and learning from experts in the field

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Ingegerd Ericsson
Dept. of Sport Sciences, Malmö University


Pamela S. Haibach, Greg Reid & Douglas H. Collier Motor Learning and Development 405 sidor, inb., ill. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics 2011 ISBN 978-0-7360-7374-5

Pamela S. Haibach, Greg Reid & Douglas H. Collier
Motor Learning and Development
405 pages, hc., ill.
Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics 2011
ISBN 978-0-7360-7374-5

The book Motor Learning and Development explains how motor development affects motor learning and provides a theoretical framework for designing motor training programs for different types of learners. It describes development of human movement skills from infancy to older adulthood and how motor, cognitive, and social abilities can be affected by learning motor skills.

The concepts in motor learning and motor development are well-described, for example fundamental motor skills and structural constraints in childhood and adolescence. Physical activity and movement in relationship to young and older adulthood as well as social and psychological changes associated with retirement and aging are thoroughly discussed. Examples are given of how to design appropriate training programs and adapted physical activities for all types of learners:

  • Structuring the learning environment to positively influence the physical, instructional, and affective factors in motor learning
  • Setting goals and introducing motor skills through the use of demonstrations, verbalizations, attention directing, and physical guidance
  • Designing and structuring effective practice sessions
  • Types of feedback and their functions as well as effective feedback scheduling

The book is divided into four parts, each with three or four chapters:

  1. Motor Behavior: Theory and Foundational Concepts
  2. Motor Development: Childhood and Adolescence
  3. Motor Development: Adulthood and Aging
  4. Motor Learning: Designing Appropriate Programs

Pedagogical advantages include learning features in each chapter, activity and lab suggestions, chapter summaries, and glossary terms. In addition, sidebars provide opportunities for readers to increase their understanding. Research Notes present summaries of relevant research in both fields: learning and development.  In Try This sections the reader is given tasks to perform during class or study. In What Do You Think? questions, the reader is invited to critical thinking.

Motor Learning and Development contributes with knowledge of how motor learning and motor development affect one another. The book could, as a reference book, be useful to students, teachers in physical education and other movement educators when teaching movement skills to learners at any age and skill level. However, the size (405 large pages) and the weight of the book in combination with the large amount of contents will probably act as a deterrent to students and educators in university courses.

Copyright @ Ingegerd Ericsson 2013

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