APE  Vol.2 No.3 , August 2012
Student’s Voice Online: Experiences of PE in Finnish Schools
Abstract: The aim of this descriptive study was to find out how people describe their experiences of physical education (PE) in Internet discussion forums. The data for this study were collected during one randomly chosen week in April 2007 via a GoogleTM search using the Finnish word ‘koululiikunta’ [school PE]. The first 200 hits lead into nine discussion forums, which were analysed by using qualitative content analysis. These nine discussion forums included all together 356 messages. For searching these discussion forums no criteria about the writers’ age, race, class, gender or other were set. The messages were coded with sequential classification and grouped into positive, negative and both positive and negative messages. The results revealed that the messages were positive (12%), both (24%) and negative (64%). In the positive messages the focus was on physical education in general and the experiences were more related to the writer him/herself. In the negative messages the emphasis was on factors external to the writer. The writers’ messages, in particular where they reported negative experiences revealed strongly held feelings and emotions. We need to widen our understanding of the relationship between PE and the contents of teacher education curriculum to guarantee every pupil the opportunity to have positive experiences in PE. These, in turn, help to create a basis for life-long physical activity and a positive relation to one's body, the main target of PE. In PE one’s own body and feelings are intensively involved at a time when vivid and memorable experiences are taking place for a young person and lasting damage can easily be done. Teachers should listen to students’ voices and consider what lies behind them in order to develop PE pedagogy and a safe PE learning environment.
Cite this paper: Lauritsalo, K. , Saakslahti, A. & Rasku-Puttonen, H. (2012). Student’s Voice Online: Experiences of PE in Finnish Schools. Advances in Physical Education, 2, 126-131. doi: 10.4236/ape.2012.23022.

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