Determinants of Attitudes Toward Physical Education

Figley, Grace E.
July 1985
Journal of Teaching in Physical Education;Jul1985, Vol. 4 Issue 4, p229
Academic Journal
The development of positive attitudes toward physical education has been a longstanding and desirable goal of the program of physical education. The intent of this investigation was to identify those aspects of the program students reported as turning them on to or turning them off from physical education. The critical incident report was the tool used to gather information. The subjects (N = 100) classified the reported incidents as either positive or negative, and their comments were then categorized into five broad categories: (a) teacher, (b) curriculum, (c) atmosphere of the classroom, (d) peer behavior, and (e) perceptions of self. Further classification occurred within each category. The results indicated that the items most frequently mentioned in relation to both positive and negative attitudes related to the teacher and the curriculum. Some interesting patterns evolved both within and between the various categories. The most encouraging aspect of the investigation is that the great majority of causal determinants of negative attitudes are amenable to change. If physical educators value the goal of developing positive attitudes toward physical education, then information gathered in studies such as this should prove valuable to both current physical educators and those involved in teacher education programs.


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