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Eve Bernstein

The purpose of this study was to understand students’ experiences through digital YouTube clips focusing on middle school competitive activities in physical education class. This study was guided by the transactional framework, which states that individuals and institutions, in this case students and competitive activities in physical education class, create certain transactions, and these transactions are shared. Twenty-six YouTube posts were examined. The data were analyzed using the constant comparative method to find patterns in the posting of students’ experiences of participating in these activities. Three major themes of the digital clips clearly emerged. These themes included (a) perceived skill level—the low-skilled student, the athlete, and the Olympian; (b) student demonstration of skills; and (c) teacher-directed experience. These findings suggest that students share transactions in both images and the spoken experiences they are having during competitive activities.

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Eve Bernstein, Sharon R. Phillips, and Stephen Silverman

The attitudes and perceptions of middle school students toward competitive activities in physical education were examined. Ten boys and 14 girls volunteered (11-high-skilled, 11 moderate-skilled, and 2 low skilled students) in 6th and 7th grade from a total of 6 schools, all offering competitive activities. Data collection was conducted over several months and included focus groups consisting of students of mixed skill levels, observations of competitive class activities, and informal interviews with teachers. The three major themes that emerged were, having fun in competitive activities, not all students were attaining motor skills necessary to participate in activities due to a lack of time to engage in appropriate practice, and the structure of competitive activities affects student experience