Written critical incidents were collected from students (n = 236) to investigate their perceptions of physical education at the United States Military Academy. Fourteen students were interviewed to provide perceptions beyond the confines of a specific incident. The data were classified into three themes: (a) teacher and teacher behaviors; (b) curriculum, program features, and subject matter; and (c) social interaction and behaviors of students. Within the first theme, encouragement, additional instruction, and demonstrations were the most frequently perceived positive influences. Inappropriate grading, public embarrassment, and adversarial relationships between teachers and students were the most frequently perceived negative influences. The positive influences within the curriculum theme were overcoming fear, relevance, and challenge. The negative influences were unfair grading standards, irrelevant content, and injury. Support and encouragement, acceptance, and effective leadership were the top ranked positive perceptions within the third theme. Poor leadership and lack of sportsmanship were associated with negative perceptions.
Jeffrey D. Coelho
Alexander J. Bedard, Kevin A. Bigelman, Lynn R. Fielitz, Jeffrey D. Coelho, William B. Kobbe, Renard O. Barone, Nicholas H. Gist and John E. Palmer
Collegiate combative physical education classes, such as boxing, grappling, wrestling, and martial arts, offer many positive benefits to students and institutions. There has been an increased interest in combative sports in recent years. As a result of media focus on high-profile female athletes in combative sports, combative physical education classes have become increasingly popular with women. Physical education programs stand to greatly benefit from gender integration of combative classes. Educators and administrators, however, need to consider a number of social, psychological, physiological, and medical factors in order to ensure successful gender integration. Approaching gender integration with a careful and deliberate process that involves physical educators, administrators, and medical personnel will ensure programs maintain an authentic yet safe environment contributing to the attainment of course objectives. When executed in a prudent and deliberate manner, gender integration of combative course offerings has been anecdotally observed to improve women’s self-confidence, sense of inclusion, teamwork, and to enhance cohesion among students of both genders.