Psychomotor learning is the relationship between cognitive functions and physical movements.
Psychomotor learning is demonstrated by physical skills such as movements, coordination, manipulation, dexterity, grace, strength; action which demonstrate the fine motor skills such as use of precision instruments or tools, or actions which evidence gross motor skills such as the use of the body in dance, musical or athletic performance.
There are three major stages that an individual progresses through when learning psycho-motor skills, they are:
* the cognitive
* the associative and
* the autonomic
The Cognitive - This is the beginning stage of psychomotor development. It is marked by awkward, slow movements, that the learner is consciously trying to control. The person has to think before doing the movement. Performance is generally poor, and the person makes many errors in these slow, choppy, movements.
The frustration level is high, but diligent practice allows the person to move onto the next stage of psycho-motor development.
The Associative – The second stage of psychomotor development is called the associative stage. In this stage, one spends less time thinking about every detail and begins to associate the movement one is learning with another movement already known.
In this middle stage of psychomotor development, the movements are not yet a permanent part of the brain. They are not automatic. Movements do not become a permanent part of the brain until they are performed ten thousand times. A person in this stage must think about every movement.
The movements begin to look smoother and the student feels less awkward.
The Autonomic – This is the final stage of psychomotor development. This stage is reached when learning is almost complete, although an individual can continue to refine the skill through practice. This stage is called as autonomous as the learner no longer needs to depend on the instructor for all feedback about performance. The learner has practiced the movement nearly ten-thousand times.
The movements become spontaneous in this stage. The learner no longer has to think about the movement. The mind and body become one.
This is also a very dangerous stage in athletic training as there is a tendency that mind wanders at times.
Understanding the various psychomotor stages makes it easier to learn. If we recognize the natural process in the development of athletic skills, we can easily accept the frustration we feel when first learning.
There are four elements which should be kept in mind while learning as they enhance the learning process, they are:
*the use of the senses
The psychomotor domain includes physical movements, coordination, and use of the motor-skill areas. Development of these skills requires practice and is measured in terms of speed, precision, distance, procedures, or techniques in execution.
Here we have seven major categories listed from the simplest behavior to the most complex.
* Perception - The ability to use sensory cues to guide motor activity. This ranges from sensory stimulation, through cue selection, to translation. For example; estimate where a ball will land after it is thrown and then moving to the correct location to catch the ball.
* Set - Readiness to act. It includes mental, physical, and emotional sets. These sets are disposition that predetermine a person’s response to different situation.
* Guided Response - The early stages in learning a complex skill that includes imitation and trial and error. Adequacy of performance is achieved by practicing.
* Mechanism - This is the intermediate stage of complex learning. Learning responses have become habitual and the movements can be performed with some confidence.
* Complex overt response - The skillful performance of motor acts that involve complex movement patterns. One performs without hesitation and proficiency is indicated by accuracy, requiring a minimum of energy.
* Adaptation - Skills are well developed and the individual can modify patterns to fit special requirements.
* Origination - Creating new movement patterns to fit a particular situation or specific problem. Learning outcomes emphasize creativity based upon highly developed skills.
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