Enhancing Fundamental Movement Skills: Understanding Student Voices

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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  • 1 University of Limerick
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Purpose: Framed in self-determination theory, the aim of this study was to explore students’ perceptions of learning in a fundamental movement skills (FMS)-focused physical education program that incorporated student voice. Methods: Participants included 13 females attending a designated disadvantaged post primary school (13–14 years old). Qualitative data consisted of pre- and postfocus group interviews, participant drawings, and researcher reflections. Quantitative data included a pre- and postanalysis of five FMS (running, catching, throwing, kicking, and vertical jump). Results: Analysis of the qualitative data resulted in four overarching themes: learning new skills, presumptions, importance of peer learning, and FMS proficiency leading to improved participation. Analysis of quantitative data illustrated statistically significant improvement in mean score for kicking, running (p ≤ .001), throwing, vertical jump, and catch (p ≤ .05). Discussion/Conclusion: This study advocates for the incorporation of student voice to enhance autonomy, relatedness, and competence when creating a program aimed at developing adolescents’ FMS.

This article is dedicated to our dear colleague, Annmarie Ralph, who passed away, too soon, on September 5, 2018. We honor her dedication to the profession, her inspiration and commitment to students, and her love of physical activity. The authors are with the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland. Comyns is also with the Health Research Institute, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.

O’Sullivan (cathal.og.osullivan@ul.ie) is corresponding author.
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