Introduction. The “game-movement-development” (GMD) approach was conceived in the light of contemporary scientific knowledge in the field of kinesiology, neuro-education, pedagogy, and psychology related to the pre-school period. The approach has been implemented for over 15 years in a selected kindergarten. The aim of the study was to examine the feasibility of applying the new GMD approach in different kindergartens depending on the children’s age and according to selected quality indicators.
Material and methods. We employed an experimental pedagogical exploratory method on a sample of 30 preschool teacher assistants who were employed in 30 kindergartens located in Slovenia. The sample also included a group of 512 children, who were divided into two subgroups: 318 (62%) of them were from an older age group (3-6 years old) and 194 (38%) of them were from a younger age group (1-3 years old). All the children were involved in a project with the same theme. The educators implemented it according to the principles of the approach presented in the article. Three types of variables were used to determine the effectiveness, advantages, and weaknesses of the approach.
Results. A detailed analysis of the projects, semi-structured interviews, and surveys that were completed showed that both age groups adapted quickly to the new approach, especially the younger group of children. Different methods (e.g. that of using educational games), which involve the educator’s participation in the game as a team-mate, made it possible for all of the children to be rapidly integrated into the game and to choose how to move within its rules. However, the educators surveyed believed that they lacked knowledge concerning child development and that they needed more time to understand the new approach, more systematic assistance, and immediate feedback.
Conclusions. The research showed that the approach was effective in its essence for all age groups of children. The disadvantages of the approach are primarily related to the need to amend teachers’ subjective theories of learning, which requires a longer time.