Student interest in activities in a secondary physical education curriculum: An analysis of student subjectivity

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ang Chen, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Situational interest is defined as a student's perception of interest inherent in an activity. Holding interest is conceptualized as a specific situational interest perceived by a student based on his or her subjective understanding of the activity's meaningfulness. It motivates the student to continuously participate in that activity. This research was designed to examine the patterns of holding interest for physical activities in a state physical education curriculum for secondary schools. A group of college students (N = 35) who completed their entire secondary education in the state was invited to construct their perceptions of interest in the activities selected from their secondary physical education curriculum. Q methodology was used to determine and analyze patterns of the interest. Four patterns of holding interest were determined: fitness, socialization, activity variation, and self-expression. Specific activities associated with each pattern were identified, and relationships among the four patterns were described. Findings (a) support the notion that holding interest is based on students' subjective understanding and valuing of the unique meanings in physical activities and (b) suggest that holding interest is person- and activity-specific, implying that physical educators should focus on student-activity matching when making curricular decisions.

Additional Information

Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 67, 424-432
Language: English
Date: 1996
curriculum, physical activity, physical education

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