Kouli, O.1**, Grammatikopoulos, V.2, Gregoriadis, A.3, Zahopoulou, E.4
1School of Physical Education & Sport Science Democritus University of Thrace
2School of Education Department of Early Childhood Education, University of Crete, Greece
3School of Education Department of Early Childhood Education, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
4Department of Early Childhood Care & Education, Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki, Greece
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Movement activities are crucial for the health and the overall development of young children. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the quality of the environment for movement activities in the Greek early childhood education (ECE) using the “Movement-Play Scale” (MPS) (Archer & Siraj, 2012; 2015a). This scale consists of three items, with 30 indicators: (i) Space & Resources, (ii) Adults engaging in movement with children, and (iii) Planning for movement-play from observations of children. Twenty trained assessors evaluated 338 kindergarten classrooms from 12 regional areas of Greece. Each classroom had approximately 20-30 children from 4 to 6 years old and 1 or 2 teachers. The results showed relatively low to medium scores on environment quality, indicating the need for improving the environment quality of movement and physical activity in Greek ECE. Further examination of the quality of the movement, play and physical activity environment in the Greek ECE system could provide an increased understanding of the factors that contribute to this quality or lack of it.
Keywords: environment quality, early childhood education, movement-play scale, kindergarten