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Sharon R. Phillips and Stephen Silverman

This study examined the attitudes of upper elementary school students toward physical education. Fourth and fifth grade students (N = 1344) from 13 school districts, 17 schools, and five states completed an attitude instrument with scores that had been previously validated for a two factor model (affect and cognition) and a four factor model (affect and cognition with the subfactors of teacher and curriculum). For the four factor model, there was a difference between grades for both affect-curriculum and affect-teacher (F(1, 1340) = 6.25, p < .01, ηp 2 = .005). Similarly, for the two factor model the affect variable was different between grades, indication that as students age their affect toward physical education decreases (F(1, 1341)= 48.65, p < .001, ηp 2 = .035). This study suggests that upper elementary school students have an overall favorable attitude toward physical education, impacted by how they think and feel about the curriculum and teacher.

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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

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Stephen Silverman, Pamela Hodges Kulinna and Sharon R. Phillips

This study examined perceived journal quality by physical education pedagogy faculty members. Participants (N = 273) were identified in three ways and recruited through e-mail. Based on research in other fields investigating journal quality and on publication patterns in physical education, a web-based survey was used to examine (a) whether participants knew a journal and viewed it as scholarly, (b) ratings of journal quality, (c) what factors influenced their ratings, and (d) demographic and scholarly productivity measures. There was a wide range of journals known by the participants and clear indicators of which journals had higher and lower perceived quality. There were differences in ratings between those employed at master’s and doctoral institutions and relationships between scholarly productivity and the number of journals known. The results provide strong indications of journal quality for those who have reasons to evaluate journals in physical education.

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Sharon R. Phillips, Risto Marttinen, Kevin Mercier and Anne Gibbone

Purpose: Existing research suggests that students’ attitudes toward physical education are positive through Grade 5, but become less positive as grade levels increase; this research is, however, missing student voice. The purpose of this study was to further understand why students’ attitudes have been shown to decrease. Methods: Twenty-six focus group interviews (students N = 65) were conducted over 2 years to discover what was influencing attitudes from fifth to eighth grade. Results: Three themes emerged: (a) curriculum leads to decreases in student attitudes (subthemes repetitive and boring, an overemphasis on competition, and fitness testing activities—what’s the purpose and why am I on display?), (b) social factors impact attitude: sweating and changing, and (c) physical education assumptions, the easy “A” (subthemes: perceptions of physical education teachers and the easy “A”). Conclusion: Allowing students to explain the reasons for decreases in attitudes contributes to improving the teaching and learning process.