The purpose of this study was to investigate the parents’ perceptions concerning the impact of a physical education program named ESPEC (‘Early Steps’ Physical Education Curriculum) on their children’s social skills. This study’s research design followed the ‘concurrent triangulation strategy’ of mixed method research. Based on this research design, parents participated in ESPEC evaluation providing both quantitative and qualitative data. The “Social Behavior Instrument” (SBI) was administered and 181 parents (87 from the control group and 94 from the experimental group) completed the SBI before and after the implementation of the ESPEC. For the qualitative data 16 randomly selected parents with children in the experimental group were interviewed. Results showed that no statistical differences were found between the control and experimental measures for all 18 items of SBI. The qualitative data provided a more insight view of the improvement of children’s social skills. The overall picture, deriving from the results, showed that the implementation of a physical education program (ESPEC) had positive impact and improved various social behaviors and skills of preschoolers. This shows that physical education programs with their informal atmosphere and content constitute an ideal setting in which social skills can be developed. Also the participation of parents as valid and reliable external evaluators in intervention programs is further supported from the results of this study.
|Journal||International Journal of Humanities and Social Science|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|