Students’ Perceptions of Physical Education Objectives

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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  • 1 Creighton University
  • | 2 University of North Carolina
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This study surveyed 2559 students enrolled in the physical education program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to determine which physical education objectives students considered to be most and least important and to assess if there were any differences based on gender and class in the responses. Descriptive statistics revealed that having fun, getting regular exercise, and keeping in good health and physical condition were most important. Providing vocational preparation, learning about human kinetics and exercise science, developing emotional stability, and developing self-realization were rated least important. Results of a principal component factor analysis with varimax rotation revealed that the 24 participation motives loaded on four factors: (a) self-worth, (b) physiological parameters, (c) social affiliation, and (d) lifetime use. ANOVAs on each factor revealed significant effects for class and gender on all the factors except the lifetime use factor. These findings extend those of Soudan and Everett (1981) and provide important information relative to class and gender as mediators of participation motives of students involved in a physical education activity program.

Request reprints from Marybell Avery, Department of Physical Education and Exercise Sciences, Creighton University, Omaha, NE 68178.

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