Students’ Help Seeking during Physical Education

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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  • 1 James Madison University
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Seeking help with academic tasks has been regarded as an important strategy to enhance student learning (Newman, 1994; Ryan, Gheen, & Midgley, 1998; Zimmerman & Martinez-Pons, 1986). Seeking help is conceptualized as student-initiated efforts to secure task information or solicit advice when a deficiency in their understanding of the content exists (Newman & Schwager, 1995; Zimmerman & Martinez-Pons, 1986). An interpretive qualitative research design utilizing a case study approach was used to explore middle school students’ help-seeking instances during their physical education classes. Ten students (6 females and 4 males) were selected from two middle schools. The students’ participated in two semistructured interviews regarding their help-seeking behaviors. Constant comparative analysis was used to analyze the interview data. Results indicated students would seek help to clarify or enhance understanding of an activity or to get a good grade and cited reluctance to seek help owing to their desire for independent mastery or the perceived risk of embarrassment in front of their peers.

Nye is with the Department of Kinesiology, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

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