Motor education in preschool institutions. The case of Greece

Riga, V. 2004, 'Motor education in preschool institutions. The case of Greece'. In Proceedings of 3rd International Symposium A CHILD IN MOTION, Slovenia, 30th September – 2nd October 2004. Slovenia: University of Ljubljana & University of Primorska, Kranjska gora Πρόσθετες Πληροφορίες: Περίληψη: This paper attempts to investigate the conditions prevailing in Greece as regards the motor education of preschoolers. Although the international literature on the subject highlights the great importance of motor education for the all-round development of the child, the prevailing attitude towards preschool education increasingly encourages the introduction of school subjects in the kindergarten, while motor activities tend to decrease and to be regarded as a second-rate educational objective. We conducted a field study using the method of on-site observation, in order to record the motor activities organised by preschool educators. The data were collected by a combination of three techniques: coding tables, journals, and individual interviews. The survey was conducted in two major Greek cities, one situated in the North and the other in the South. For a period of three months we observed 86 classrooms and recorded all motor and psychomotor activities implemented by the educators in their classrooms. The sample consisted of kindergartens run by the Ministry of Education, daycare centres run by local authorities and private daycare centres. The results of this survey highlight the strikingly restricted use of motor education as opposed to other subjects such as Language, Mathematics and Art. This phenomenon may be due to lack of space, but also to the educator’s lack of knowledge and training in motor education.