The role of local leaders in the implementation of adult-initiated motor skill development and physical activity in preschool—a case study

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Abstract

Good motor skills (MS) and physical activity (PA) are considered important for children’s physical, social, and psychological development. The Motor skills in PreSchool (MiPS) study-Denmark aimed to optimize children’s MS through weekly PA sessions. The aim of this paper is to explore the role of local preschool leaders and their strategies in influencing the implementation of MiPS into daily practice. Leaders from all seven preschools in the project were interviewed. The results show that preschool leaders used communication (setting an agenda and dedicating speaking time to address the program at staff meetings) and reflective questioning about the pedagogic staff’s current practice in relation to the program (adding focus on MS and PA) as their main course of action. Through this form of communication and reflective questioning, the preschool leaders aimed to involve the staff and heighten their sensemaking in the existing practice while also ensuring that the implementation of the program was kept in progress. In sum, future implementation of an MS and PA initiative in preschools should put emphasis on a shared responsibility between leaders and staff combined with an adaptive approach in which the existing practice is reshaped rather than just increasing the workload of the pedagogic staff.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer13119
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Vol/bind18
Udgave nummer24
Antal sider18
ISSN1661-7827
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 12. dec. 2021

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
Funding: The primary funder of the MiPS study-DK is the TRYG Foundation (TrygFonden smba, Hummeltoftevej 49, DK-2830 Virum, Denmark. Tel. +45-26-08-00, [email protected], www. trygfonden.dk), which has funded DKK 8,500,000 (EUR 1,133,333). Furthermore, the project has been supported by The Danish Chiropractic Foundation (Regionernes Lønnings og Takst Nævn, c/o Danske Regioner, Dampfærgevej 22, Postbox 2593, 2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark. Tel. +45-35-29-81-00) with DKK 1,484,000 (EUR 197,867) and the IMK Foundation (IMK Almene Fond, c/o advokat Erhardt Gram, Vester Voldgade 90, 1552 Copenhagen V., Denmark) with DKK 588,000 (EUR 78,400). None of these foundations have been involved in the study design and they neither partook in the execution of the study, the analyses, the interpretation, nor the decisions about publication. Svendborg Municipality contributed with all expenses to the relevant education of kindergarten staff and wages to extra staff during tests. The University of Southern Denmark contributed with infrastructure as well as research and administrative staff.

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