The goal of physical education is to instill physical literacy within students. As an important motivation framework, achievement goal theory has been widely used to understand and explain students’ cognitive, affective, and behavioral outcomes. In this paper, we reviewed studies examining achievement goals and outcomes in K-12 physical education settings. First, we provide a brief review of the historical development of the achievement goal theoretical models (the dichotomous model, the trichotomous model, the 2 × 2 model, and the 3 × 2 model). Then, we synthesize consequences, antecedents, and interactive factors of each achievement goal construct as well as the influences of gender, age, and culture on students’ achievement goals. Finally, we discuss implications for practice and future research. We hope our review can inform physical educators and researchers and assist the application of achievement goal theory into practice.
Liu, Xiang, and Lee are with the Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX. Li is with the Department of Human Sciences, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.