Anastasiadis, M1*., Kourtessis, T2., Zisi, V3. & Kioumourtzoglou, E1.
1Department of Life & Health Sciences, University of Nicosia
2Department of Physical Education & Sport Sciences, Democritus University of Thrace
3Department of Physical Education & Sport Sciences, University of Thessaly
The purpose of this study was to investigate and record the knowledge of Cypriot educators, in regards to Development Disorders and Movement Coordination. According to the Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – V (American Psychiatric Association, 2013), 5-7% of school age children are directly influenced. Also, the study investigated whether previous work experience of educators is related to overall knowledge on the issue. The participants in the study were 107 junior school teachers from various schools in Cyprus. Of these, 18 were male and 89 females, and they all answered an anonymous knowledge questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of 31 open ended and closed questions as well as multiple choice questions covering the entire spectrum of Development Disorders and Movement Coordination. This specific questionnaire has been used in similar research studies in Greece (Tziva-Kostala, Douroukas, Kostala & Kourtessis, 2009). In this investigation, the unsuitability of the questionnaire has been confirmed in a pilot study. The results of the investigation demonstrate the moderate knowledge of teachers in regards to Development Disorders and Movement Coordination. In addition, further statistical data analysis found that there was no significant correlation between years of previous work experience and knowledge concerning Development Disturbance and Movement Coordination. Lastly, teachers themselves have expressed that their overall knowledge on the issue is very limited and that they would benefit from ongoing education and training. Given the difficulties of teachers to detect children with Development Disorders and Movement Coordination, the findings of this confirm the need for ongoing education and training of teachers. Early detection and identification will allow early intervention, giving the opportunity to children to reach their true capabilities. Finally, the outcomes underline the need in reinforcing the role of movement and in effect the general development of movement in children. As shown in the relevant study, achieving this is very important since we now know that developmental movement difficulties in children affect all other child developmental areas.
Keywords: educator; knowledge; motor disorders.