The Early Years Special Interest Group have completed a technical publication, ‘Pictorial Scale of Perceived Water Competence (PSPWC) Testing Manual’. This publication is the first to specifically focus and develop an assessment tool appropriate for young children aged 4 – 8 years old. It aims to address the following specific needs 1) to be accessible to this young age range, 2) to be suitable for children of different swimming levels, 3) cover all the aquatic fundamentals – water entry, breath control, buoyancy, balance, propulsion, immersion, water exit, gliding and vision.
The idea to develop the PSPWC started during the Early Years Special Interest Group meeting at Laramie 2016 AIESEP, which then developed into a larger group of experts in order to develop and present the assessment tool. A four year process of critical analysis, preliminary face-validity, face-validity and content validity were completed in the development of each version of the PSPWC until the final testing manual was completed. Within the testing manual all aquatic skills and test items are represented through visual methodologies of drawings by a professional illustrator. In order to engage young children’s interests and to keep their attention to facilitate their understanding and to obtain more meaningful responses.
The testing manual includes 3 level progressions for each situation, skill or test item, level 1 = “not able to do the skill”; level 2 = “skill in progress” and level 3 = “able to do the skill. The 3 level progression was developed as the expert group considered it more appropriate to have a process orientated scale showing a child’s developmental progression. The PSPWC can be applied for use in children (measurement of their own perceived water competence), in parents (measurements of their perception of children’s water competence) and/or in teachers (measurement of their perception of pupils’ / students’ water competence.
The testing manual is accessible to all via the url – http://tiny.cc/j13fnz