From a historical perspective, educational theorists in early childhood and physical education typically ignored the need for instruction aimed at young children’s physical development. There was a general belief that the physical needs of children from birth through 4 years could be satisfied in the home setting or later when the child entered elementary school. It was not until the early 1960s in the United States, when leaders in the field of physical education began seeking new instructional content for the kindergarten through Grade 2 programs, that educators began to fully realize the young child’s movement potential. Their search in Europe for age-appropriate content led them to the works of an Austro-Hungary- born movement theorist named Rudolph Laban (1879–1958). Laban’s focus on analyzing basic movement ...

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