University of Oulu

Clapping games for child-development : systematic review and meta-analysis

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Author: Toney, Danielle1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3.3 MB)
Pages: 45
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Language: English
Published: Oulu : D. Toney, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-05-05
Thesis type: Bachelor's thesis


There exists a small body of work which examines clapping games in the context of play, music or culture and investigates them in respect to learning or child-development. However, there have been no systematic reviews on this topic. In light of the recent emergence of neuroeducation as a field of study, this thesis reviews studies of the past twenty years which investigate clapping games as a phenomenon which facilitates development or learning. Findings reveal scant evidence that clapping games impact all four areas of development. Gender, social, group and ethnic identity is impacted as clapping games act as a conduit for cultural transmission. Self and emotional regulation behaviours seem to emerge while engaging in clapping games though not as much as in other more individualistic musical activities. Those who spontaneously engage in clapping games on their own initiative seem to perform better academically, while those (especially second grade boys) who engage as an interventional practice improve in the core skills of reading and writing and the physical skills of hand-eye coordination and visuo-spatial perception. Neurocognitive research on clapping games’ component features of rhythm, interpersonal synchrony and coordination, motor and speech coordination, and the effects of rhyme and melody on these processes are considered. Implications for teaching practices and future studies on the area are discussed.

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Copyright information: © Danielle Toney, 2020. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.