Learning to cycle: a constraint-led intervention programme using different cycling task constraints

MERCÊ, Cristiana, DAVIDS, Keith, CATELA, David, BRANCO, Marco, CORREIA, Vanda and CORDOVIL, Rita (2023). Learning to cycle: a constraint-led intervention programme using different cycling task constraints. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17408989.2023.2185599
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1080/17408989.2023.2185599
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Background: Cycling is a foundational movement skill which represents an important motor milestone to achieve in children’s lives. The use of a bicycle with training wheels is the most common approach for learning how to cycle, although some evidence suggests that this approach is counterproductive. Purpose: Underpinned by an ecological dynamics and Constraints-led approach, this study investigated whether learning how to ride a conventional bicycle in childhood can be shaped by the specific task constraints related to the kind of training bicycle used beforehand (i.e. balance bike or bicycle with training wheels). This comparison could guide pedagogical practice to facilitate children’s learning in cycling and their independent riding. Methods: The Learning to Cycle intervention programme was introduced to 25 children (M = 6.08 ± 1.19 years) who could not previously cycle, divided into two treatment groups. One group trained with a bicycle with training wheels (BTW) and another with a balance bicycle (BB) for six sessions, followed by four sessions with a conventional bicycle (CB). The acquisition of independent cycling was assessed, based on established cycle learning milestone achievements, without help: (i) self-launch, (ii) riding for at least 10 (consecutive) metres, and (iii) braking. To be considered an independent rider, participants needed to achieve all these milestones, without any external help. During the CB sessions, the number of sessions that each child needed to acquire each learning milestone and independent cycling were recorded. Results: The programme led to a success rate of 88% for achievement of independent cycling on a conventional bicycle, differentiated by 100% success in the BB group and 75% in the BTW group. The BB participants were significantly faster in learning to self-launch, ride, brake, and cycle independently, compared to BTW participants. Conclusions: The Learning to Cycle programme was effective for facilitating learning in children from three years of age onwards. Using the BB instead of the BTW seems to lead to a more effective and efficient acquisition of independent cycling at earlier ages.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Learning to cycle; ecological dynamics; self-organisation under constraints; affordances; system degrees of freedom; 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy; 1303 Specialist Studies in Education; 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy; 3903 Education systems; 4207 Sports science and exercise
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/17408989.2023.2185599
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2023 15:51
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 16:00
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/31769

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