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New Perspectives on the Assessment of Movement Skills and Motor Abilities

Allen W. Burton and Richard W. Rodgerson

The practice of adapted physical education should be consistent with a theoretical model of motor behavior. We believe that the dominant view of movement skills, motor abilities, and general motor ability, as expressed in the current literature, often is not congruent with assessment instruments currently used in adapted physical education. The purpose of this paper is to review the dominant conceptualization of skills, abilities, and general motor ability; present four problems with the dominant view related to assessment in adapted physical education; and then offer a new perspective based on a four-level taxonomy. The levels of the proposed taxonomy are movement skills, movement skill sets, movement skill foundations, and general motor ability.