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Frances E. Cleland

Young children’s (N = 50) divergent movement ability (DMA), which is one aspect of critical thinking in physical education, was examined in this study. Treatment Group A received 20 physical education lessons based on skill themes using indirect teaching styles (n = 16). Twenty lessons based on low-organized games content using direct teaching styles were provided to Treatment Group B (n = 17). No treatment was provided to the control subjects in Group C (n = 17). No significant DMA pretest differences were determined, and the independent variables (i.e., gender, intelligence, creativity, and background of movement experience) examined were not significantly related to subjects’ pretest DMA. A two-way ANOVA and post hoc Scheffe test revealed that Group A’s posttest DMA scores were significantly higher than those for either Group B or Group C, F(2, 47) = 11.7, p < .0001. Young children’s ability to generate different movement patterns (i.e., DMA), therefore, was significantly improved in response to employing critical thinking strategies in physical education.