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  • Author: Bo Shen x
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Bo Shen and Ang Chen

Using the model of domain learning as a theoretical framework, the study was designed to examine the extent to which learners’ initial learning profiles based on previously acquired knowledge, learning strategy application, and interest-based motivation were distinctive in learning softball. Participants were 177 sixth-graders from three middle schools. A hierarchical cluster analysis was conducted to determine what kinds of learning profiles would result from the interactions among prior knowledge, learning strategies, and interest. The results revealed that individual learners could be classified into subgroups with distinctive learning characteristics. It is supported that learning in physical education is a progressive process that involves both cognitive and affective dimensions. An effective physical education curriculum should address both knowledge and skill acquisition and motivation simultaneously.

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Bo Shen and Ang Chen

Guided by the Model of Domain Learning (MDL), the study was designed to explore the extent of interrelations among prior knowledge, learning strategies, interests, physical engagement, and learning outcomes in a sixth-grade (N = 91) volleyball unit. Pearson product-moment correlations and a path analysis were conducted for the research purpose. The results showed that students’ prior knowledge, learning strategies, and interests were interrelated. Physical engagement and learning outcomes were directly influenced by the interactions among prior knowledge, interests, and learning strategies. The findings in the study support that learning in physical education is domain-specific and a progressive process that encompasses both cognitive and affective components.

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Jeffrey J. Martin, Nate McCaughtry and Bo Shen

Theoretically grounded research on the determinants of Arab American children’s physical activity is virtually nonexistent. Thus, the purpose of our investigation was to evaluate the ability of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) and social cognitive theory (SCT) to predict Arab American children’s moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Children (N = 348, ages 10–14) completed questionnaires assessing the TPB and SCT constructs as well as MVPA. Using multiple regression analyses we were able to account for 9% of the variance in MVPA. Based on standardized beta-weights, variance accounted for, and the significance of F change, we concluded that SCT variables were better predictors of MVPA compared with the TPB constructs. In particular, barrier self-efficacy was the most critical variable within SCT and supports the potentially valuable role that efficacy cognitions play in promoting MVPA in Arab American children.

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Haichun Sun, Weidong Li and Bo Shen

The purpose of this study was to review the literature relevant to learning in physical education (PE) according to the self-determination theory (SDT). In this literature review, we first provide an overview of SDT. Second, we discuss students’ SDT-related motivational profiles in PE. Third, we illustrate the relationships among students’ perceptions of the nature of an autonomy-supportive or controlling learning environment, need satisfaction, and self-determined motivation. Fourth, we explore the impact of SDT on students’ learning in PE with respect to the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective learning domains. Finally, we articulate the pedagogical implications on the basis of the reviewed SDT research and future directions for SDT research in PE.

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Bo Shen, Ang Chen, Hope Tolley and Kristin A. Scrabis

Guided by the interest-based motivation theory, this study examined the extent to which personal interest and situational interest accounted for boys’ and girls’ learning outcome in a middle school physical education dance unit. Personal and situational interests, physical activity intensity, and skill/knowledge outcome were measured in a random student sample (N = 57). Girls demonstrated higher personal interest in dance than the boys, but both groups were equally motivated with situational interest. Although the girls were not as physically active as boys, their skill/knowledge outcome measures were higher than those of the boys. It appears that gender may have little impact on the motivational effect of situational interest and that girls’ in-class learning might have higher quality than that of boys as a result of higher personal interest. The findings indicate that situational interest may motivate all students, but it is necessary to enhance personal interest in order for them to engage in quality learning.

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Bo Shen, Nate McCaughtry, Jeffrey J. Martin and Mariane Fahlman

With the belief that theoretical integration in motivation may help us better understand motivational behavior, we designed this study to explore adolescents’ motivational profiles and their associations with knowledge acquisition, leisure-time exercise behaviors, and cardiorespiratory fitness. Middle school students from a large urban inner-city school district (N = 603, ages 12–14) completed questionnaires assessing motivational constructs and leisure-time exercise behavior. Knowledge and cardiorespiratory fitness were also assessed with a knowledge test and the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) test, respectively. Using hierarchical cluster analysis, we found that students’ motivation in physical education could be explained from a multi-theoretical perspective. The interactive patterns among different motivation constructs were homogeneous overall and associated with in-class effort, knowledge, and leisure-time exercise behavior. These findings suggest that students’ development in physical education may depend upon a collective impact of changes in knowledge, physical activity ability, and sources of motivation.

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Bo Shen, Weidong Li, Haichun Sun and Paul Bernard Rukavina

Guided by Green-Demers, Leagult, Pelletier, and Pelletier’s (2008) assumption that amotivation (absence of motivation) is a multidimensional construct, we designed this study to investigate the influence of inadequate teacher-to-student social support on amotivation of high-school physical education students. Five hundred and sixty-six ninth graders completed questionnaires assessing psychological constructs and intentions for future physical education participation while physical education teachers rated their students’ in-class effort. Structural equation modeling analysis revealed that perceived teachers’ inadequate supports in autonomy, competence, and relatedness were associated with different subtypes of amotivation. In turn, amotivation impeded in-class effort and intention for future physical education participation. The findings indicate that diminished social support from teachers may act as a significant factor resulting in students’ amotivation. The multidimensional nature of amotivation should be identified and instructionally addressed during teaching and learning.

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Jian Wang, Bo Shen, Xiaobin Luo, Qingshan Hu and Alex C. Garn

Purpose: Using Butler’s teacher achievement goal orientation as a conceptual framework, we developed this study to validate a teachers’ achievement goal instrument for teaching physical education. Methods: A sample of 322 Chinese physical education teachers participated in this study and completed measures of achievement goal orientations and job satisfaction for teaching physical education. Results: An exploratory factor analysis provided preliminary support with the instrument comprising four types of teachers’ orientation: mastery, ability-approach, ability-avoidance, and work-avoidance goals. A confirmatory factor analysis and multi-step invariance tests further corroborated the four-factor construct with acceptable reliabilities. Its predictive validity was also confirmed by the associations between job satisfaction and mastery goals and ability-approach goals. Discussion/Conclusion: Overall, the findings lend evidence to the conceptual validation of the structure of teachers’ goal orientations. It is suggested that physical education teachers’ individual differences in construing success be considered and instructionally addressed during teaching and learning.

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Bo Shen, Robert K. Wingert, Weidong Li, Haichun Sun and Paul Bernard Rukavina

Amotivation refers to a state in which individuals cannot perceive a relationship between their behavior and that behavior’s subsequent outcome. With the belief that considering amotivation as a multidimensional construct could reflect the complexity of motivational deficits in physical education, we developed this study to validate an amotivation model. In study 1 (N = 156), an exploratory factor analysis provided preliminary support with the model comprising four dimensions: ability beliefs, effort beliefs, values placed on the task, and characteristics of the task. In study 2 (N = 499), the four-dimensional model was further corroborated through a confirmatory factor analysis. Its construct validity and predictive validity were also confirmed. Overall, the findings lend evidence to the conceptual validation of the four-dimensional structure of amotivation. Lack of motivation in physical education may result from different reasons. The multifaceted nature of amotivation in physical education must be considered and instructionally addressed during teaching and learning.

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Bo Shen, Nate McCaughtry, Jeffrey J. Martin, Mariane Fahlman and Alex C. Garn

A sense of relatedness is individuals’ views about themselves as connected to others and worthy of love and respect from others. Using the Self-System Model of Motivational Development as the framework, this study was designed to examine associations of urban high-school girls’ relatedness toward teachers and peers with their behavioral and emotional engagements in physical education. Participants (N = 184, ages 15–18) completed questionnaires assessing relevant psychological and behavioral constructs while their teachers also completed corresponding measures during classes. Regression analyses revealed that relatedness toward teachers and peers had direct and interactive roles in both behavioral and emotional engagements. Although relatedness to teachers was the most pronounced predictor, feeling related to peers might have an added effect for the students who did not feel connected. The findings support that nurturing quality relationships between and among both teachers and peers may hold promise for enhancing learning.