Students’ Autobiographical Memory of Participation in Multiple Sport Education Seasons

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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This study examines the recollections of the Sport Education experiences of a cohort of students (15 boys and 19 girls) who had participated in seasons of basketball, soccer and badminton across grades six through eight (average age at data collection = 15.6 years). Using autobiographic memory theory techniques, the students completed surveys and interviews that asked them to recall what they remembered about the Sport Education seasons in which they had participated. Student responses were mostly from the “general” and more precise “event specific” levels of recall, and their strongest and most detailed memories were of those features that provide Sport Education participants with what is termed authentic experiences. For example, Sport Education was considered different from regular physical education in that it was more serious and organized. Further, students claimed they had a deeper understanding of these sports as a result of their participation, and in particular, as a result of their officiating roles. The findings provide evidence that the features of affiliation, authentic competition and perceived learning that students find so attractive, last well beyond initial exposure to the model, and that future delivery of the model should strongly adhere to these basic tenets.

Sinelnikov is with the University of Alabama—Kinesiology, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Hastie is with Auburn University—Kinesiology, Auburn, Alabama.

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