PSYCHOMOTOR EDUCATION AS A SUPPORT FOR MATHEMATICS ACQUISITION IN PRESCHOOL EDUCATION
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2022
Location: Palma, Spain
Abstract:Many students show a negative attitude towards mathematics. They often don’t perceive the direct usefulness of the proposed learning situations and consider mathematical concepts as "meaningless", all this leading to a negative mindset (Adihou, 2011; Vlassis & Demonty, 2019). However, according to Charmay (1992), more concrete pedagogical devices allow the children to avoid useless errors in mathematics acquisition. Psychomotor education seems, indeed, to be an essential tool because it offers the possibility of concretely mastering the notions of space and time that are fundamental to access logical-mathematical thinking (Brigas & Bouchard, 2011). For example, the basic mathematical operations of addition can be experienced in the psychomotricity class through various gestural activities of adding, giving, or gaining (Gueritte-Hess & Decour, 2006; Rigal, 2010).
In our research, we worked with two groups of 20 children between 5 and 6 years old (experimental group/control group) and their two teachers. These teachers used to collaborate with the school's psychomotor therapist because they were convinced that the activities proposed by this practitioner promoted the acquisition of verbal and graphic skills. We used five different tools to collect our data: an anamnestic questionnaire, a pre-test and a post-test based on mathematical knowledge checking, an evaluation questionnaire of the level of satisfaction of the children concerning the psychomotor modules implemented, and a semi-directive interview of the teachers. Our main results show that the children who experienced our mathematics-focused psychomotor education training sessions (experimental group) progressed more than children who were inserted in the classical psychomotor sessions (control group). Our results also highlight the importance of psychomotor education in the acquisition of logical-mathematical skills and the central place of the teacher in the effectiveness of this type of device. Indeed, the teacher must also focus on action and manipulation by allowing the student to touch, separate, or count objects (Margolinas, 2015; Gelman & Meck, 1983; Wynn, 1990). The choice of skills acquisition activities must, therefore, be thought by both the teacher and the psychomotor therapist so that pupils can gain more useful knowledge (Falappa, 2015; Margolinas, 2015).
Keywords: Psychomotor education, mathematics, pre-school education.