A Review of Research on Ethic of Care in Physical Education and Physical Activity Settings

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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  • 1 The Ohio State University
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Purpose: The authors conducted a comprehensive review of the literature on caring in physical education and physical activity settings with a goal of identifying the status, gaps, and future trends of research on ethic of care in our field. Methods and Data Analysis: The authors identified and coded 16 peer-reviewed and data-based articles with a coding template from six databases. For each of the coding categories, frequencies and percentages were calculated. Results: Physical education teachers valued the importance of being caring. The perceived caring climate or perception of caring behaviors was positively related to a number of motivational, cognitive, and emotional variables in physical education or physical activity settings. Discussion and Conclusion: Research on caring in our field is still in its infancy. Noddings argues that caring is the end in and of itself. This philosophical belief of caring as an end in and of itself needs further examination. The review of literature showed that the majority of studies had solely focused on caring as a means to an end. This is misaligned with the work of Noddings. More experimental research with a rigorous design and appropriate statistical modeling for data analysis are needed. Future research shall also examine other students’ behaviors and learning outcome variables. The teaching pedagogies and practices identified in these qualitative studies can help guide physical education teachers to enact a caring-based curriculum.

The authors are with the Department of Human Sciences, College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.

W. Li (li.832@osu.edu) is corresponding author.
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