Racial Differences in Student's Interest and Attitudes Toward Physical Education Considering Grade Level and Gender
Hatten, John D. (author)
Imwold, Charles (professor directing dissertation)
Toole, Tonya (outside committee member)
Mistry, Anahita (committee member)
Ratliffe, Thomas (committee member)
Department of Sport Management (degree granting department)
Florida State University (degree granting institution)
Previous research suggests that as students age their interest in physical education seems to fade. There has been limited research comparing elementary, middle, and high school student's interest in physical education and even less research relating ethnicity as a variable. Curriculum, perceived competence and teacher's influence have been offered, in previous research, as reasons why students like or dislike physical education. The purpose of this study is to compare the differences or similarities between elementary, middle, and high school student's interest in physical education considering students' ethnicity and gender. Participants were 139 (9th graders) high school students, 230 (7th graders) middle school students, and 99 (5th graders) elementary school students enrolled in eighteen intact physical education classes for a total of 468 students. The locations consisted of one high school, one middle school, and one elementary school at ethnically diverse, low to middle socioeconomic status, Northwestern Florida schools. Fourteen experienced physical education teachers, 4 females and 10 males, conducted all classes. The Physical Education Interest Questionnaire was the instrument used for this study. The questionnaire was developed to measure interest in physical education and related factors (Van Wersch, Trew, & Turner, 1992). The Physical Education Interest Questionnaire is a 35-item survey. Two open-ended questions were added to the end of the survey asking students to list what they liked most and disliked least about physical education. The survey was found to be r = .70 reliable by way of split-half reliability testing. All of the students were given the same survey and had approximately 50 minutes to complete. Results indicated that students regardless of race, grade level and gender maintained positive interest in physical education. There was a significant difference between male and female participants where male students maintained more positive interest in physical education than female students. Previous research supports these findings by stating that most physical education programs maintained a more male dominate team sport curricula, which are typically considered less desirable to female students. Also there was a significant difference between grade levels. Fifth grade students maintained higher interest in physical education than seventh and ninth graders. This may have something to do with the fact that the younger students are physiologically at their peak. These student's metabolisms are the highest that they will be in their lifetime. Physical education tends to be their only release from sitting behind a desk all day. Finally, when comparing grade level with race results indicated that there was a significant different between Caucasian and African American students interest in physical education. Fifth grade Caucasian students maintained significantly higher interest in physical education than their African American counterparts. On the contrary, African American seventh and ninth grade students maintained significantly higher interest in physical education than their Caucasian equals. Fifth and seventh grade students ranked student's perceived competence first whereas ninth grade students ranked curriculum first by way of stepwise regression as having the most affect on their overall interest in physical education. The scope of the study was limited to three independent variables: student's perceived competence, curriculum, and teacher influence as reasons why students maintained interest in physical education or not. Reasons why students maintain interest in physical education are complex and need further study.
Interest, Attitudes, Gender, Grade Level, Racial, Race, Students, Physical Education, Differences, Survey, Likes, Dislikes
June 30, 2004.
A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Sport Management, Recreation Management, and Physical Education in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Charles Imwold, Professor Directing Dissertation; Tonya Toole, Outside Committee Member; Anahita Mistry, Committee Member; Thomas Ratliffe, Committee Member.
Florida State University
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s). The copyright in theses and dissertations completed at Florida State University is held by the students who author them.