December 5, 2012: Whoa, here's a big career push for those young adults who were worried their beach life-saving days were over: Julie Rasicot, writing yesterday in the "Early Years" blog for Education Week, reported a new study from Griffith University in Australia "that found preschoolers who participate in swimming reach a range of developmental milestones before children who don't [swim in their early years]." (At left, Laurie Lawrence, a swim coach; Billy Green, a student; and lead author of the study, professor Robyn Jorgensen.)
From Griffith's press info:
“Many of these skills are those that help young children into the transition into formal learning contexts such as pre-school or school.
“The research also found significant differences between the swimming cohort and non-swimmers regardless of socio-economic background.
“While the two higher socio-economic groups performed better than the lower two in testing, the four SES groups all performed better than the normal population.
The researchers also found there were no gender differences between the research cohort and the normal population.
As well as achieving physical milestones faster, children also scored significantly better in visual-motor skills such as cutting paper, colouring in and drawing lines and shapes, and many mathematically-related tasks. Their oral expression was also better as well as in the general areas of literacy and numeracy.
“Many of these skills are highly valuable in other learning environments and will be of considerable benefit for young children as they transition into pre-schools and school.”
The study is a joint project between Griffith University, Kids Alive Swim Program and Swim Australia.