In 1989, Clark and Whitall asked the question “What is motor development”. They were referring to the study of motor development as an academic research enterprise and answered their question primarily by describing four relatively distinct time periods characterized by changes in focus, theories or concepts and methodology. Their last period was named the process-oriented period (1970-1989). In hindsight, it seems clear that their last period could be divided into two separate historical time periods: the information-processing period (1970-1982) and the dynamical systems period (1982-2000). In the present paper, we briefly revisit the first three periods defined by Clark and Whitall, and expand and elaborate on the two periods from 1970 to the turn of the century. Each period is delineated by key papers and the major changes in focus, theories or concepts and methodology. Major findings about motor development are also described from some papers as a means of showing the progression of knowledge.
- motor development
- information processing
- dynamical systems
Whitall, J., Schott, N., Robinson, L. E., Bardid, F., & Clark, J. E. (2020). Motor development research: I. The lessons of history revisited (the 18th to the 20th century). Journal of Motor Learning and Development. https://doi.org/10.1123/jmld.2019-0025