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

Trine Top Klein-Wengel, Jonas Vestergaard Nielsen*, Søren Smedegaard, Thomas Skovgaard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13119
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number24
Number of pages18
ISSN1661-7827
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12. Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Keywords

  • Implementation
  • Motor skills
  • Physical activity
  • Preschool
  • Preschool leaders
  • Qualitative research

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