Student Enjoyment of Physical Education Class in Three Teaching Style Environments

By Cai, Sean X. | Education, Spring 1998 | Go to article overview

Student Enjoyment of Physical Education Class in Three Teaching Style Environments


Cai, Sean X., Education


Physical education class has its unique contribution to student well being. To have fun is always one of the top priorities of students who attend physical education class. Enjoyment of class is the positive attribute of student emotion as well as the key factor that relates to teaching effectiveness. Since enjoyment involves a state of pleasure and satisfaction, its onset in the teaching learning context leads a student attention focusing on the learning content and a great deal of effort being made toward a leaning goal. However, student enjoyment in the classroom could be influenced by many factors. The method a teacher adopted could be a major factor that influence this variable. The feedback of student evaluation of teacher performance indicated that instructional method is among the top ranks that considered enhance enjoyment of learning.

Teaching style (Mosston & Ashworth, 1994) was one of the valuable aspects to the pedagogical inquiry. Its theoretical construct and operational design of diverse teaching strategies provide physical education teachers with dynamic opportunities to make teaching more effective. Research on teaching style has reported valuable information about instructional strategies, especially in the domain of student psychomotor acquisition (Pettigrew & Heikkinen, 1985; Dougherty, 1970). But it also seems to be true that previous research has often focused exclusively on physical development and ignored the social, emotional, and cognitive dimensions, despite their importance in learning (Beckett, 1990).

Mosston's Teaching styles (Mosston & Ashworth, 1994) are differentiated based on the behavioral elements included in the three decision-making sets: pre-impact set, which includes all the decisions that must be made prior to the face-to-face transaction, like setting objective, selecting teaching subject matter and methods. Impact set, which includes decisions related to the actual transaction and the performance of the tasks. Post-impact set, which includes decisions concerning the evaluation of the performance during the impact set and the congruity between the pre-impact and the impact sets. In command style, the teacher makes all impact decisions and the learners follow these decisions. The essence of the command style is the direct and immediate relationship between the teacher's stimulus and the learner's response. In reciprocal style, the social relationships between peers and the conditions for immediate feedback are emphasized in such a way that the students study in pairs and provide feedback to each other. The students make the decisions in the impact (execution and performance) set. In inclusion style, students have the opportunity to decide what task difficult level to work on according to the teacher's design of the task. Students participation is individualized. Self-monitoring and judgment are placed on the students. The learners make the decisions in the impact and the post-impact sets. For both the reciprocal and inclusion styles, students need to use the teacher designed task sheets to critique and record their performance.

The relationship in relation to enjoyment and teaching style was indicated in the literature. A study of youth soccer enjoyment revealed that boys soccer enjoyment was significantly related to perceived coach and parental behaviors (Ommundsen & Vaglum, 1991). This result also led to the suggestion that leadership behaviors which characterized by individualized instruction and open ended questioning tended to enhance students' interest toward the subject. Wankel (1985) studied personal and situational factors affecting exercise involvement from fifty-one participants and sixty-one dropouts of an employee fitness program. Results indicated that enjoyment of physical activity was related to the factors within the program. It further pointed out that the nature of the activity and leadership were important factors affecting enjoyment and continued involvement. …

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Student Enjoyment of Physical Education Class in Three Teaching Style Environments
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