Effects of Initiative Game Problem Solving Activities on Fifth Grade Students' Use of Critical Thinking Skills in Physical Education

Article excerpt

Michael P. Maina, Valdosta State University

In an age where technology continues to become increasingly complex, the necessity for all people, including children, to exhibit knowledge beyond rote memorization becomes vitally important. By creating a learning environment that facilitates critical thinking, perhaps children can become more familiar with engaging in activities, which require higher order thought processes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of initiative game problem solving activities (IGPSA) on fifth grade students' use of critical thinking skills in physical education. Fifty-one (n = 51) fifth grade students participated in this study. Stimulated recall interview questions (McBride and Bonnette, 1995) were used to measure children's use of critical thinking. Experimental One (E1), participated in IGPSA over a series of ten 50-min lessons. Experimental Two (E2), participated in IGPSA over a series of ten 50-min lessons and also received instruction on how to better utilize critical thinking skills. Student response s to the interview questions were categorized as either strategy, rationalization, evaluation, or thought process statements. Strategy statements specifically explained how to improve or solve the task or provided alternative strategies. Rationalization statements defended or provided a rationale for strategies or decisions made within the group. …