The Acquisition of Motor Control in Writing by Pre-School Children
by Arthur I. Gates & Grace A. Taylor - 1923
The facts concerning economy in motor learning developed within the last twenty-five years have been based mainly upon experimental studies of adults in a variety of laboratory functions. In attempting to deduce from the results of these studies rules for the guidance of the learning of young children, three difficulties are encountered. First, the facts are meagre; there are several types of pedagogical devices or possibilities such as the use of piecemeal procedures, practicing certain difficult unit operations separately, or providing certain mechanical aids to offer partial guidance, the values of which have never been thoroughly ascertained even for adults. Second, in many instances, facts found in certain adult motor activities, such as mirror-drawing, have been dubbed principles without adequate assurance of the universality of their applicability to other types of motor learning. Substitution of the piano for the mirror-drawing apparatus may yield a different result. Third, practices that yield the greatest returns among adults with their skill, experience, and more ample supplement of intelligence, may be quite unfitted to the clumsier, less experienced children of the primary grades. It is at these ages, moreover, that the first and most difficult stages in the acquisition of skill—writing, drawing, handling tools and implements, singing and playing musical instruments—are undertaken. It is here that guidance is most urgently needed.
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