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Timo Jaakkola and Anthony Watt

The main purpose of the study was to analyze teaching styles used in Finnish physical education. Another aim was to investigate the relationships between background characteristics of teachers and use of teaching styles. The participants of the study were 294 (185 females and 109 males) Finnish physical education teachers. The teachers responded to an electronic questionnaire accessed through a link delivered to them by e-mail. The instrument included background information items (gender, teaching experience, education, school level, mean class size) and questions pertaining to ‘teacher use’ and ‘perceived benefits to students’ of the various teaching styles. The results of the study revealed that teachers used the command and practice styles of teaching most frequently and the self-check and convergent discovery styles least frequently. The trend was to use more teacher-centered than student-centered styles. The teachers perceived the practice and divergent production styles as most and the reciprocal and convergent discovery styles as least beneficial for their students.

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Stefan Koehn, Tony Morris and Anthony P. Watt

The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of an imagery intervention for enhancing the experience of flow state and performance in junior athletes. On the basis of previous results, a tailored imagery script was developed to target critical flow dimensions, namely challenge-skills balance, clear goals, concentration on the task, and sense of control. It was hypothesized that the use of cognitive and motivational imagery would increase specific flow dimensions, which, in turn, would enhance flow state and competition performance. Participants in a single-case, multiple baseline A-B design study were four nationally ranked athletes. Following a 6-week baseline phase monitoring flow state and performance and a 6-week intervention phase using relaxation in conjunction with imagery techniques, three participants showed a sustained increase in flow experiences, and all four participants improved their service performance, groundstroke performance, and ranking-list position.

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Arto Gråstén, Anthony Watt, Jarmo Liukkonen and Timo Jaakkola

Background:

The study examined the effects of school-based program on students’ self-reported moderate to vigorous physical activity and physical competence, and associated links to gender, grade, body mass index, and physical education assessments.

Methods:

Participants were 240 middle school students (143 intervention, 97 control) from 3 small cities in North-East Finland. The intervention group received task-involving climate support in physical education classes and additional physical activities during school days across 1 year.

Results:

The intervention group’s physical competence increased, whereas the control group’s competence remained stable across the period. However, physical activity levels were stable in both groups. The findings also showed that body mass index was negatively associated with physical competence and activity in the intervention group at the follow-up measure. Physical education assessments were positively related with only the baseline scores of physical competence in the intervention group. In contrast, the assessments had positive relationships with physical competence and activity of control group students.

Conclusions:

The present program was an effective protocol to increase student’s perceptions of physical competence. Since the quantity of school physical education including recess activities cannot be dramatically increased, positive learning experiences should be provided, and thus, support perceptions of physical competence.

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Kasper Salin, Mikko Huhtiniemi, Anthony Watt, Harto Hakonen and Timo Jaakkola

Background: This study examined the distribution of objectively measured physical activity (PA) and sedentary time of fifth-grade students during school, leisure time, and physical education (PE) classes. Demographic, anthropometric, and PA data were collected from 17 representative Finnish schools. Methods: To estimate the PA and sedentary time, participants (N = 592) wore wGT3X-BT ActiGraphs for 7 consecutive days. Comparisons were made between genders and different BMI groups. Results: From the study sample, 43.7% met the moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA) guidelines. Participants spent 62.2% of the day sedentary and 8.2% in moderate and vigorous activities. Boys performed more MVPA than girls, and girls were more sedentary during school days. Boys had more MVPA than girls in leisure time, but there were no differences in sedentary time. However, an examination of PA assessed during PE classes revealed no differences between boys and girls. Normal-weight boys engaged in more MVPA than overweight and obese boys. No differences were found for girls. Conclusions: The PA levels differ between different BMI groups in leisure time and during school but not during PE lessons. PA for overweight children should be targeted and compulsory PE time should be increased to achieve the PA guidelines.

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Timo Tapio Jaakkola, Arja Sääkslahti, Sami Yli-Piipari, Mika Manninen, Anthony Watt and Jarmo Liukkonen

The purpose of the study was to analyze students’ motivation in relation to their participation in fitness testing classes. Participants were 134 Finnish Grade 5 and 8 students. Students completed the contextual motivation and perceived physical competence scales before the fitness testing class and the situational motivation questionnaire immediately after the class. During the fitness test class, abdominal muscle endurance was measured by curl-up test, lower body explosive strength and locomotor skills by the five leaps test, and speed and agility by the Figure 8 running test. For the fitness testing class, students reported higher scores for intrinsic motivation, identified motivation, and amotivation than in their general physical education program. The result of the path analysis showed physical fitness was positively related to perceived physical competence. In addition, perceived competence was found to be a positive predictor of situational intrinsic motivation, but not of other forms of situational motivation. Significant path coefficients in the model ranged from −.15 to .26.