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  • Author: Zan Gao x
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Zan Gao and Ping Xiang

Guided by an expectancy-value model of achievement choice (Eccles et al., 1983; Wigfield & Eccles, 2000), the relationships among expectancy-related beliefs, subjective task values (importance, interest, and usefulness), and achievement outcomes (intention, engagement, and performance) were examined in a college-level beginning weight training class. A total of 156 students (73 males, 83 females) completed questionnaires assessing their expectancy-related beliefs, subjective task values, and intention for future participation. Their engagement was measured via self-recorded workout log entries in class, and their performance was determined by two skill tests. Results of the study supported the application of the expectancy-value model in the context of a college weight training class. Importance and interest were significant predictors of intention and engagement, whereas expectancy-related beliefs emerged as the only predictor of performance. Males reported higher scores on expectancy-related beliefs and performed better than females.

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Zan Gao, Leslie William Podlog and Louis Harrison

The purpose of this study was to examine relationships among college students’ 2 × 2 goal orientations (mastery-approach [MAp], mastery-avoidance [MAv], performance-approach [PAp], performance-avoidance [PAv]), situational motivation (intrinsic motivation, identified regulation, external regulation and amotivation) and effort/persistence in physical activity classes. Participants (140 female, 109 male) completed a battery of questionnaires assessing the outcome variables at the last week of instruction. Regression analyses revealed that MAp and PAp emerged as positive predictors for intrinsic motivation whereas MAp was the only positive predictor for identified regulation. MAp was negatively related to amotivation (AM), while PAp and PAv were positively related to AM. In addition, MAp, PAp, intrinsic motivation, and identified regulation were significant positive predictors of effort/persistence.

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Zan Gao, Ken R. Lodewyk and Tao Zhang

This study uncovers the predictive relationship of middle school students’ ability beliefs (self-efficacy and expectancy-related beliefs) and incentives (outcome expectancy, importance, interest, and usefulness) to intention, cardiovascular fitness, and teacher-rated effort in physical education. Participants (N = 252; 118 boys, 134 girls) completed questionnaires assessing their ability beliefs, incentives, and intention for future participation in physical education, and then had their cardiovascular fitness assessed with the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) test. Students’ effort in class was rated by their respective physical education teachers. Correlation analysis yielded significantly positive relationships between ability beliefs and incentives. Regression results revealed that ability beliefs, importance, interest, and usefulness significantly predicted intention for future participation. Ability beliefs also emerged as significant predictors of PACER test scores whereas self-efficacy was the only predictor of teacher-rated effort. Implications for educational practice are discussed.

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Zan Gao, Amelia M. Lee, Melinda A. Solmon and Tao Zhang

This study investigated the relationships and mean-level changes of middle school students’ motivation (expectancy-related beliefs, task values, self-efficacy, and outcome expectancy) toward physical education over time, and how gender affected students’ motivation. Participants (N = 206) completed questionnaires over a 1-year period: once in the sixth and seventh grades and again in the seventh and eighth grades. Results yielded that self-efficacy and task values were positive predictors of students’ intention across cohorts. The mean levels of self-efficacy decreased over time for students in Cohort 1 (across sixth and seventh grades). However, results revealed a consistent decline in the mean levels of other motivational variables for both cohorts. No gender differences emerged for the variables. The findings are discussed in regard to the implications for educational practice, and future research areas are presented.

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Weidong Li, Zan Gao, Zhihua Yin, Ping Xiang, Bo Shen and Qingtao Kong

Purpose:

This study examined the impact of published national physical activity (PA) and health guidelines, documents, and initiatives on the evolution of research on teaching K-12 physical education (PE) in U.S.A. from 1996 to October 2013.

Methods:

A total of 262 peer-reviewed, data-based journal articles meeting our inclusion and exclusion criteria were identified through a comprehensive search. These articles were coded and the resulting data were analyzed.

Results and Discussions:

The findings showed that 41% (108 out of 262) of articles had cited these identified guidelines, documents and Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention (CDC) reports. In particular, the most frequently cited documents were Healthy People documents, the 1996 Report of Surgeon General, and CDC reports and studies. The citation of these guidelines, documents and CDC reports fluctuated over the years. Our findings also showed that among the research studies citing these national documents and reports, 56% of them focused on students’ PA/fitness, while only a few studies focused on students’ psycho-motor skills and game performance. The majority of the studies reviewed were nonexperimental quantitative studies while 10% using randomized control trials or randomized group control trials design.

Conclusion:

The results revealed a substantial proportion of articles cited national guidelines, initiatives and CDC study reports. These guidelines and documents have had some impact on the evolution of research on teaching K-12 PE.