Children’s Perceptions of a District-Wide Physical Education Program

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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Couched in attitude theory, this follow-up study examines children-voiced perceptions of enjoyment and usefulness toward a district mandated elementary physical education (PE) program. Attitudes of 277 5th and 6th grade males and females from four representative schools from within a district were assessed in a mixed methods study. Survey results were analyzed to examine between groups, schools (based on SES), and gender differences. Twelve males and twelve females were selected from lowest and highest survey responders for follow-up interviews. Survey results indicated a generally positive attitudes (enjoyment: M = 2.71, SD = 0.35; usefulness M =2.69, SD = 0.35) with significant enjoyment differences (F(3, 266) = 5.627, p ≤ .001) noted between schools. Qualitative results define quality PE as enjoyable and useful when it (a) provided a fun, social, learning environment and activities, (b) made an impact on healthy knowledge and behaviors, and (c) consisted of well managed classes taught by engaging teachers.

Prusak, Pennington, and Wilkinson are with the Teacher Education program, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT. Davis was formerly with Brigham Young University and now lives in Pepperell, MA.