How did societal changes influence the development of movement assessment research and shape the definition of a normal child in Britain 1945-1985?

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

Abstract

This project considers how societal changes influenced the development of movement assessment research and shaped the definition of a normal child in Britain from 1945-1985. It analyses the history of medical advancements, education legislation and campaigns of disability welfare groups to identify why researchers decided to develop movement assessments and how the concept of normal has evolved. This historical analysis aims to add to the historiography surrounding disabilities and child welfare and determine how societal changes influenced the development of movement assessment research and shaped the definition of a normal child in Britain 1945-1985. This research will further understandings of movement assessment research and inform how children with movement disorders are supported. The historiography surrounding movement skill assessments is limited, with existing literature primarily provided by psychologists, child practitioners and educators. Archives, movement studies and education legislation were consulted to address the historical gap concerning why movement assessment research was conducted. In order to gain a broader understanding of the history of movement skill assessments and what was understood to be the normal child, the NHS, Wellcome Trust and the National Records of Scotland archives were accessed for material on hospital records, reports on child guidance clinics and disability committees. These archives were used to determine understandings of the changes in terminology used to identify children with movement disorders but also how educational rights developed for them throughout the twentieth century. This project will increase understandings of why movement assessments were developed and argues that a variety of different disciplines, education, and disability welfare groups contributed to an increase of movement assessment research and informed debates surrounding idea of the normal child.
Date of Award26 May 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsUniversity of Strathclyde
SupervisorMatthew Smith (Supervisor) & Farid Bardid (Supervisor)

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