Movement Skill Assessment
On Constructing a Parody and Then Knocking It Down: A Reaction to Kerr and Blais
Kerr and Blais’ (2000) paper is frequently ambiguous, incoherent, and severely misrepresents the work of Bouffard, Strean and Davis (1998). Kerr and Blais have committed the logical fallacy of attacking a straw man, which is to misrepresent an opponent’s argument presumably for the purpose of making its attack easier. Although they indicate their desire to proceed without reference to ontological and epistemological assumptions, they implicitly submit the contentious statement that eclecticism is a philosophy that has been accepted by movement skill acquisition researchers. They also endorse eclecticism as a philosophy. In this reaction, I question the validity of numerous statements made by Kerr and Blais and elaborate on some points we made in 1998. I conclude that Kerr and Blais’ paper is a parody of Bouffard, Strean and Davis’ work, which is unlikely to advance our understanding, and submit that the study of research assumptions is an essential part of genuine inquiry.
The Scientific Method, Modernism, and Postmodernism Revisited: A Reaction to Shephard (1999)
This paper is a reaction to Shephard’s (1999) criticism of the July 1998 special issue of the Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly on research assumptions. Shephard’s paper is essentially a defense of the use of the scientific method in adapted physical activity and a critique of his own understanding of the postmodern alternative. He argues that the scientific method is the method adapted physical activity researchers must privilege to know the truth. In this paper, it is argued that Shephard’s description of the scientific method is too general to be useful. In addition, he often confounds traditional modernist issues with postmodernist issues. His depiction of the postmodern alternative is too sketchy to be an adequate critique of the postmodern alternative. This paper highlights key issues unaddressed by Shephard and, as well, outlines some major postmodernist themes so that some of Shephard’s distortions can be corrected.
The Perils of Averaging Data in Adapted Physical Activity Research
This paper is a criticism of typical group research designs in which the data are analyzed by using standard analysis of variance structural models. A distinction is made between lawful relationships about averages and lawful relationships about people. It is argued that propositions about people cannot necessarily be derived from propositions about the mean of people because the patterns found by aggregating data across people do not necessarily apply to individuals. To find lawful universal relationships about people, data analysis strategies should recognize the person as a basic unit of analysis. Implications of this view for research conducted in adapted physical activity are outlined.
Movement Problem Solutions by Educable Mentally Handicapped Individuals
Educable mentally handicapped persons lag well behind nonhandicapped children in the development of both fine and gross movement skills. These persons have difficulty in solving movement problems. Based upon recent work done in cognitive science, it is argued that this lag in movement skill development is related to five major sources: (a) deficiencies in the knowledge base or lack of access to it, (b) lack of spontaneous use of strategies, (c) inadequate metacognitive knowledge and understanding, (d) lack of executive control, and (e) inadequate motivation and practice. A seven-step procedure to teach movement skills to mentally handicapped persons that takes into account these five factors is described. Implications for adapted physical activity are outlined briefly.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Evidence-Based Practice1
Marcel Bouffard and Greg Reid
The evidence-based practice (EBP) movement has been extremely influential over the last 20 years. Fields like medicine, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nursing, psychology, and education have adopted the idea that policy makers and practitioners should use interventions that have demonstrated efficiency and effectiveness. This apparently straightforward idea is beginning to affect adapted physical activity; however, researchers and practitioners in our field often appear to be unaware of fundamental questions related to them. The major purpose of this paper is to outline and discuss 10 of these fundamental questions. This analysis leads us to conclude that EBP is a good direction to pursue in adapted physical activity if we develop a type of EBP congruent with the main tenets of our field.
Perceived Challenge in Physical Activity by Individuals with Physical Disabilities: The Relationship between Appraisal and Affect
Peter R.E. Crocker and Marcel Bouffard
The purpose of this investigation was to determine the relationship between cognitive appraisal and self-reported affect during challenging physical activity by 55 adults (16 females, 39 males) with physical disabilities. Eleven cognitive appraisals related to perceived challenge in physical activity plus positive and negative affect experienced in a recent challenging physical activity were assessed in an interview. The data indicated that perceived challenge was characterized by higher levels of positive affect (M=4.03, SD=.71) compared to negative affect (M=1.54, SD=.61). Correlational analyses revealed that the appraisals of fitness and health, learning skills, demonstrating competence, effort, social approval, task value, and external control were all significantly related to positive affect. A regression analysis for positive affect revealed that a two-term equation using task value and social approval could account for 39% of the variance. No appraisals were significantly related to negative affect.
Creating Evidence-Based Research in Adapted Physical Activity 1
Greg Reid, Marcel Bouffard, and Catherine MacDonald
Professional practice guided by the best research evidence is a usually referred to as evidence-based practice. The aim of the present paper is to describe five fundamental beliefs of adapted physical activity practices that should be considered in an 8-step research model to create evidence-based research in adapted physical activity. The five beliefs are individualization, critical thinking, self-determination, program effectiveness, and multifactor complexity. The research model includes conceptualize the problem, conduct research on the process of the problem, conceptualize and specify the intervention, evaluate intervention outcomes, evaluate intervention processes, determine person-by-treatment interactions, determine context-dependent limitations, and investigate factors related to intervention adoption maintenance. The eight steps are explained with reference to two research programs that used a randomized control group design.
The Effects of Quality Daily Physical Education on Movement Competency in Obese versus Nonobese Children
J. Dru Marshall and Marcel Bouffard
The purposes of the study were to determine if there is a difference in gross motor skill movement competencies between obese and nonobese children; whether Quality Daily Physical Education (QDPE) programs facilitated the development of movement skill in obese children; and whether there is an association between aerobic fitness level and motor performance results. A 2 Sex (male, female) × 2 Group (obese, nonobese) × 2 Age Categories (Grade 1, Grade 4) × 2 Program (QDPE, non-QDPE) completely randomized factorial design was used. Movement competency (Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD)) and aerobic fitness (20 m shuttle run test) were assessed in 100 age-, sex-, and school-matched obese and nonobese pairs. A significant three-way interaction of Program × Group × Sex was found for the TGMD total score, suggesting that QDPE programs facilitate the development of gross motor skills in those children who are less movement competent to begin with, regardless of their obesity status. Correlations showed that aerobic fitness level was predictive of the TGMD scores. This study provides evidence in support of QDPE programs.