The aim of this project is to investigate the relationship between children’s motor skills, risk management, and background within extracurricular physical activity in virtual reality. This is a possible pathway in order to build an understanding of how injuries happen and how injuries can be prevented among children.
Knowledge about how children assess and manage risks is of significance for early childhood education and care (ECEC) institutions and primary schools. Already in ECEC, it is clear that children should experience, assess and master risky play through physical and motor challenges (Utdanningsdirektoratet, 2017). The experience with risk assessment and management is also emphasized in primary school where children after 2nd grade must practice on safe movement in traffic and around water (Utdanningsdirektoratet, 2020). Providing children with childhood experiences and learning situations that enable them to handle risky and challenging situations is therefore essential. This Ph.D. project will expand our understanding of how children manage risk and learn from their past experiences. Such knowledge may have an impact on the learning activities used in education related to injury prevention and safety in particular, and for movement-based learning more generally.
Virtual reality (VR) will be used to test how children move in order to handle different kinds of risky situations. The VR scenarios are based on research on common injury causes among children including three different scenarios:
- Crossing a road with traffic (danger of being hit by traffic)
- Crossing a river (danger of drowning)
- Balancing/walking in high playground equipment (danger of fall accidents)
Together with the VR, the project will use the Xsens Awinda system of motion capturing technology to measure children’s whole-body movements.