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Case Studies

This is an excerpt from Motor Learning and Development 2nd Edition eBook by Pamela S. Haibach,Greg Reid & Douglas H. Collier.

Now that you understand how to develop an ecological task analysis and have an understanding of motor behavior concepts across the life span, you are invited to take these concepts and apply them to the following case studies. These case studies are written with varying perspectives: as a therapist, as an instructor, or as an athlete. For each case study, summarize the situation and describe the constraints (learner, task, and environment) and develop an ecological task analysis. See figure 18.1 for a model of the constraints. Then develop a specific and measurable goal that includes a timeline. Using motor learning concepts, develop a practice schedule to achieve this goal. Your practice schedule can include variable practice, part versus whole practice, mental practice, or distribution of practice (or a combination of these). Be specific in how you recommend administering that type of practice, and describe your rationale for choosing that practice schedule (i.e., factors such as the type of motor skill, the complexity of skill, and learner characteristics). Finally, develop a feedback schedule including the type, frequency, and amount of feedback. Describe your rationale for choosing that feedback schedule.


Figure 18.1 Model of the three constraints: individual, task, and environment.
Model of the three constraints: individual, task, and environment.


Case Study 4

Adolescent With Sensory Impairments

Darnell is a 13-year-old with sensory impairments, including blindness and a residual loss of hearing. Unfortunately, he has not learned many fundamental motor skills, which is in part due to the lack of appropriate activities taught in physical education class that are modified to include him. Darnell is usually told to walk around the gym or participate in a sedentary activity while the rest of the class participates in a sport or other physical activity. When he runs, he does not have a flight phase. Technically, this means that he is actually just walking quickly rather than running. Darnell does not leap prior to kicking a ball. He does not extend his leg back very far, and he kicks the ball at the top of his foot. Darnell's slide and gallop appear the same because he is unsure of the difference. Darnell's poor performances in these fundamental motor skills are not the result of physical limitations. Given his inability to see other students running, throwing, and jumping, Darnell must learn the movement patterns in other ways. He also has not had many opportunities to practice motor skills that most children acquire by the age of seven. Considering that Darnell is a now a teenager, how can you teach him these fundamental motor skills? Is it possible for him to advance to the same level as his peers? Consider the motor learning principles discussed throughout this book in your explanations. Create a goal and explain how you will help Darnell obtain it through practice and feedback schedules. Be very specific about practice and feedback schedules, and include a rationale for each based upon motor learning principles.

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