A Naturalistic Study of Students' Responses to an Exercise Class

Bain, Linda L.
October 1985
Journal of Teaching in Physical Education;Oct1985, Vol. 5 Issue 1, p2
Academic Journal
The researcher was a participant observer in a university class on fitness and weight control. Data collection procedures included questionnaires, observations, and interviews as well as access to physical performance information collected as part of the class. Results indicated that approximately half of the enrolled students were overweight, and that lean and heavy students had different expectations for the course. Four patterns of student participation emerged: serious runners, serious walkers, social interactors, and absentees. In general, the more successful students were lean and fit, while the class was not as effective in changing the exercise patterns of those who were less fit. The course seemed to be based on a technical-rational view which assumes that information will change behavior. In contrast, student reactions seemed to reflect a subjective-affective view that behavior is influenced by emotions and perceptions.


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