Influence of Acculturation on Parents’ Readings of and Expectations for Physical Education

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of acculturation on parents’ readings of and expectations for physical education. Method: Participants were 39 parents of pupils enrolled at one public middle school. Data were collected with an open-ended questionnaire and follow-up formal interviews. They were analyzed using constant comparison and analytic induction. Findings: Key findings were that the parents perceived physical education to be concerned with playing sports and participating in physical activities, health-related fitness, and personal and social development. These perceptions were shaped by parents’ relatives and peers, experiences of physical education, participation in organized and informal sport and physical activity, and the media. Conclusion: Collectively, while these factors led to many of the parents viewing physical education positively and being supportive of it, they also served to limit the ways in which they envisaged the subject might influence their children for the better.

George is with Helena Middle School, Helena, AL. Curtner-Smith is with the Department of Kinesiology, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL.

Address author correspondence to Matthew D. Curtner-Smith at mdsmith@ua.edu.
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