Influence of Sport Education on Group Cohesion in University Physical Education

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Jayne M. Jenkins University of Wyoming

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Brandon L. Alderman Rutgers University

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The Sport Education (SE) curricular model incorporated within university physical education Basic Instruction Program (BIP) may increase group cohesion. This study’s purpose was to identify student perceptions of a BIP course taught within SE, and investigate group cohesion in differing activity content. Participants included 430 students enrolled in 25 BIP classes delivered in SE. A mixed method design included multiple data collection: critical incident, interview, and Physical Activity Group Environmental Questionnaire (PAGEQ). Lifetime skill and competitive sport class participants reflected more group cohesion than exercise class participants. Exercise class participants reported lower task cohesion than other groups, p < .05. Sport participants reported higher social cohesion than lifetime skill participants, whose responses were higher than exercise participants, ps<.05. Findings from critical incident and interview data provided further support for the PAGEQ results. We suggest that exercise classes may not spontaneously lend themselves to cohesion; thus, teachers need to be more creative in designing SE for exercise classes to increase cohesion.

Jenkins is with the University of Wyoming—Kinesiology, Laramie, WY. Alderman is with Rutgers University—Kinesiology, New Brunswick, NJ.

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