Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Teacher Education


The overall focus of this study was to investigate the applicability of the neurodevelopmental framework to enhance learning for all students. The present study sought to provide educators with a sufficient foundation for how movement influences neurodevelopmental maturation for learning, with possible implications for reading, by creating a handbook to assist educators to become comfortable incorporating developmental movement patterns into lessons. One goal was to bring attention to primary reflex persistence interfering with typical movement development, leg length inequality (LLI) connected to primary reflex persistence, and the possible use of LLI assessment to be used as a screening tool for students at-risk for reading. The handbook was submitted for review to two groups with considerable knowledge of the research topic; a national group (n – 6) for content validity and an educator group (n – 6) for social-use validity. The three research questions centered on their responses to the five survey questions regarding content and social validity, and generalizations on developmental movement instruction. Survey data were compared examining interests in and among groups. There was substantial agreement with national experts from various fields such as adapted physical education, physical therapy, movement science, and medicine regarding the relevance, usefulness, and validity of handbook content. However, the national expert in reading strongly disagreed with the premise of the handbook. The educator group reported high agreement for acknowledging handbook relevance and strengths, but lower for usefulness. On a scale from 1-5, with 5 as the most, a mean score of 3 for the educator group indicated that the handbook would be helpful for teaching PE. The national experts suggested audiences that would benefit from the handbook, including APE specialists, general PE teachers, OTs and PTs, and early intervention/resource specialists. Both groups suggested revisions to clarify the introduction; to separate content for the neurology and practical applications components; and to describe a step-by-step intervention program. Insufficient feedback was received for LLI assessment, so this topic might be further investigated.


Thesis (M.A.) Teacher Education Department

Additional Files

Investigating the applicability of the neurodevelopmental framework_Selections.pdf (4969 kB)
Chapter II, Literature review, p. 21 – 86; References, p. 109 - 137; Appendices, A, B, C, and D, p. 139 - 154

July 27 - 29, 2018 Movement - Brain, Body, Cognition Harvard Medical School Conference Poster.pdf (1201 kB)
A Comprehensive Literature Review: Movement, Cognition and Related Disciplines in Neurological Development and Reading