Attitudes toward Physical Education: A Study of High School Students from Four Countries-Austria, Czech Republic, England, and USA

By Stelzer, Jiri; Ernest, James M. et al. | College Student Journal, June 2004 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Attitudes toward Physical Education: A Study of High School Students from Four Countries-Austria, Czech Republic, England, and USA


Stelzer, Jiri, Ernest, James M., Fenster, Mark J., Langford, George, College Student Journal


This study investigated the attitude toward physical education of 1107 high school students from four countries, Czech Republic, Austria, England, and the United States. Survey data were gathered and measured using the Adams Scale survey instrument (Adams, 1963). While the data revealed individual differences, the overall sample indicated a decidedly positive attitude toward physical education. Students from the Czech Republic had significantly higher attitude scores than both U.S. and English respondents (p < .001), and males showed a more favorable attitude toward physical education than females (p < .001). Several notable differences were also found when the combined effect of gender and country of origin was measured.

**********

The harmful consequences of the sedentary lifestyle adopted by a rapidly increasing segment of our population are apparent to even the casual observer. As Thompson (1998) made patently clear:

   Humans are designed and constructed
   for one thing--movement.
   Yet our society does everything it
   can to prevent movement. Our children
   have access to every
   "labor-saving" device that exists.
   They are not being saved at all, however,
   but rather being exposed to
   potential overweight, illness, and
   physiological deterioration (Thompson,
   1998, p. 69-70).

In 1987, Siedentop cautioned that high school physical education was an endangered species; a subject matter that might gradually become extinct in secondary curricula. He argued that an increasing lack of expectations for significant outcomes in high school physical education and, even more alarming, concern that students have stopped caring about physical education would bring about its demise. Physical educators have a duty to alter the expectations of high school students, but the best curricula and most heroic expectations will be ineffective if negative attitudes toward the course lead students to ignore its value. Attitude, then, is the agent that can change perceptions and the catalyst that can make physical education a positive educational experience. Although some of the researchers questioned the correlation between attitudes and actual behavior (LaPiere, 1934; Wicker, 1971) most researchers suggested that attitude and the individual's underlying belief system are considered the best indicators of the decisions people will make throughout their lives (Bandura, 1986; Dewey, 1933; and Pajares, 1992).

According to Nunnally (1978), "attitude" refers to a state of mind or feelings about particular social or physical objects such as significant people, social institutions, or physical activity. Identifying attitude as an important variable in the role and perceived importance of physical education dates to Alden's (1932) research into the attitudes of female university students and various aspects of their physical experiences. Later research efforts in the 1950's and 1960's determined that students generally had positive attitudes toward physical education (Broer, Fox, & Way, 1955; Brumback & Cross, 1965; Kappes, 1954).

More recently, Greenockle, Lee, and Lomax (1991) identified student attitudes at the middle school level as being strongly influenced by their peers and less positive than those of past students. Eighth grade students (13-14 years of age) were seen to be at the crucial incipient stage of dissatisfaction with physical education programs. The researchers catalogued a variety of negative student comments evidencing this growing dissatisfaction such as the "discomforts of exercise," "lack of choice of sports," the inconvenience of clothing changes, "getting sweaty," "messing up make-up," and getting "messed-up hair." Other research efforts suggest that as middle-school students matriculate to high school, these attitudes tend to become more negative and participation in physical activity declines. For example, Tannehill and Zakrajsek (1993) investigated middle school and high school students' attitudes toward physical education and found that while students imply that physical education was important to their overall education, they participated in competitive sports less frequently in high school than in middle school.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Attitudes toward Physical Education: A Study of High School Students from Four Countries-Austria, Czech Republic, England, and USA
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.