Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Long-Term Effects of the Pedagogical Approach on the Perceptions of Physical Education by Students and Teachers

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Long-Term Effects of the Pedagogical Approach on the Perceptions of Physical Education by Students and Teachers

Article excerpt


Physical Education (PE) has become a fundamental area for students' motor, emotional, motivational and relational development (González-Cutre, Sicilia & Moreno, 2008). Nevertheless, depending on the teaching approach used, the students' learning experience and perception can be completely different (Hortigüela, PérezPueyo & Salicetti, 2015). PE may well be the main channel to make students feel confident on their abilities and motivated to undertake physical activity outside school, or a subject that creates frustration, discrimination and lack of understanding of what they do (Sicilia, Ferriz & Sáenz, 2013). The methodology used by the teaching staff, the interaction between class members and students' predispositions toward the subject are all of essential importance to the learning processes (Ní Chróinín & Cosgrave, 2013). Elements such as teacher coordination, content selection and grading system were also relevant.

One trait that differentiates PE from other subjects is the lack of boundaries in content selection, since it often overlaps over various academic years due to a lack of planning and sequencing (Capel, 2007). What are the core aims of PE? What should be taught? Cañabate, Torralba, Cachón and Zalagaz (2014) found that it is truly difficult for a student to have a positive attitude toward PE, when it does not involve a positive learning experience, a connection with classmates and/or emotional and psychomotor satisfaction. The teacher-student relationship is also essential, influencing interactions between classmates and the motivational atmosphere generated. Timken and Gay-McNamee (2012) pointed out that when joined teacher-student reflection is promoted, students become more interested in what is being taught and, consequently, more involved in the learning activities. Students' perceptions are therefore a key variable that has to be taken into consideration in order to foster psychological elements such as personal self-image, a reliable indicator of the durability of learning and acquired habits (Pan, 2014). Within this perception, how students see the subject's organization is linked to its rigor and status (Spittle, Petering, Kremer & Spittle, 2012). If the content is poorly sequenced and introduced, it will be hard for students to become involved in a process that goes beyond merely playing for the sake of playing and the grade obtained (López-Pastor, 2009).

Physical education in school should go further than traditional sport played outside school (Caamaño, 2015). In 1992, the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture highlighted the importance of teaching sport in school, but not focusing on competition and exploring different options. Performance should not be the focus, prioritizing values such as inclusion, responsibility and understanding (Mercier & Lacovelli, 2014). The use of competitive, achievement-oriented practices has been found to lead to exclusion, amotivation and less-developed motor skills (García-Mas & Gimeno, 2008). This is even more relevant when content and teaching method are jointly considered, with widely differing results when comparing the teaching of more traditional, analytical or teacher-centered models and more alternative, student-centered or comprehensive approaches (Kirk, 2004).

In view of the above, the aim of this research was to assess the effects of the extended use of two different teaching methods, attitudinal style (student-centered) and traditional style (teacher centered), on PE students and teachers' perceptions. The first hypothesis was that students who experienced the attitudinal approach will perceive the PE classes more useful. The second hypothesis was that these same students will develop more empathy for the teacher.

Material & methods


241 secondary school students from a Spanish provincial capital (58.3% females and 51.7% males), with an average age of 13. …

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