APE  Vol.5 No.1 , February 2015
Participation Styles in Elementary Physical Education
Both observational data and direct measurement of student activity seem to indicate a large variance in student activity during physical education lessons. The aim of this study was to identify participation s during elementary physical education lessons by using multiple data sources. A class of fifth grade students (N = 17) and a class of sixth grade students (N = 14) were taught by a physical education specialist for three lessons each. Both classes had coed physical education lessons and all students were systematically analyzed by using heart rate measurement, systematic observation and perceived exertion. Each lesson was videotaped for further analysis. Finally, six high and five low skilled students were formally interviewed after the last lesson about their experiences in physical education. The results indicated four different participation s among the students in these physical education elementary classes. These were low skilled fighters, low skilled avoiders, high skilled fighters and high skilled avoiders. Several contextual factors are contributors to these participation s. The main reasons for this appear to be differences in students’ fitness levels, physical activity behavior and interest in physical education. This large variation among students shows that teachers need to treat each student individually.

Cite this paper
Romar, J. , Nygård, J. , Smedman, T. and Williams, E. (2015) Participation Styles in Elementary Physical Education. Advances in Physical Education, 5, 26-38. doi: 10.4236/ape.2015.51004.
[1]   Amade-Escot, C., & Amans-Passaga, C. (2007). Quality Physical Education: A Review from Situated Research (1995-2005). International Journal of Physical Education, 43 and 44 (4 and 1), 4-11 and 162-172. https://hal-univ-tlse2.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00782633/document

[2]   Armstrong, N., & Bray, S. (1991). Physical Activity Patterns Defined by Continuous Heart Rate Monitoring. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 66, 245-247.

[3]   Armstrong, N., McManus, A., Welsman, J., & Kirby, B. (1996). Physical Activity Patterns and Aerobic Fitness among Prepubescents. European Physical Education Review, 2, 19-29.

[4]   Bar-Or, T., Bar-Or, O., Waters, H., Hirji, A., & Russell, S. (1996). Validity and Social Acceptability of the Polar Vantage XL for Measuring Heart Rate in Preschoolers. Pediatric Exercise Science, 8, 115-121.

[5]   Bennie, A., & Langan, E. (2014). Physical Activity during Physical Education Lessons: A Qualitative Investigation of Australian PE Teacher Perceptions. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 1-19.

[6]   Borg, G. (1982). Psychophysical Bases of Perceived Exertion. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 14, 377-381.

[7]   Cardon, G., Verstraete, S., De Clercq, D., & De Bourdeaudhuij, I. (2004). Physical Activity Levels in Elementary-School Physical Education: A Comparison of Swimming and Nonswimming Classes. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 23, 252-263.

[8]   Chen, M. J., Fan, X., & Moe, S. T. (2002). Criterion-Related Validity of the Borg Ratings of Perceived Exertion Scale in Healthy Individuals: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Sports Sciences, 20, 873-899.

[9]   Chow, B. C., McKenzie, T. L., & Louie, L. (2008). Physical Activity and Environmental Influences during Secondary School Physical Education. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 28, 21-37.

[10]   Constantinides, P. (2011). Perceptions of Elementary Obese Students about Their Experiences in Physical Education: An Intervention Study. In A. MacPhail, & M. O’Sullivan (Eds.), Proceedings of AIESEP International Conference, Limerick, 22-25 June 2011, 197-213.

[11]   Cothran, D. (2010). Students’ Curricular Values and Experiences. In M. O’Sullivan, & A. MacPhail (Eds.), Young People’s Voices in Physical Education and Youth Sport (pp. 49-62). London: Routledge.

[12]   Dodds, P. (1985). Are Hunters of the Function Curriculum Seeking Quarks or Snarks? Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 4, 91-99.

[13]   Fairclough, S. J. (2002). Girls’ Physical Activity during High School Physical Education: Influences of Body Composition and Cardiorespiratory Fitness. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 22, 382-395.

[14]   Fairclough, S., & Stratton, G. (2005a). Physical Activity Levels in Middle and High School Physical Education: A Review. Pediatric Exercise Science, 17, 217-236.

[15]   Fairclough, S., & Stratton, G. (2005b). Physical Education Makes You Fit and Healthy. Physical Education Contribution to Young People’s Physical Activity Levels. Health Education Research, 20, 14-23.

[16]   Fairclough, S., & Stratton, G. (2005c). Improving Health-Enhancing Physical Activity in Girls Physical Education. Health Education Research, 20, 448-457.

[17]   Fairclough, S., & Stratton, G. (2006). A Review of Physical Activity Levels during Elementary School Physical Education. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 25, 239-257.

[18]   Fisette, J. L. (2013). “Are You Listening?” Adolescent Girls Voice How They Negotiate Self-Identified Barriers to Their Success and Survival in Physical Education. Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy, 18, 184-203.

[19]   Gao, Z., Hannon, J., & Carson, R. (2009). Middle School Students’ Heart Rates during Different Curricular Activities in Physical Education. ICHPER-SD Journal of Research, 4, 16-19.

[20]   Gehris, J., Myers, E., & Whitaker, R. (2012). Physical Activity Levels during Adventure-Physical Education Lessons. European Physical Education Review, 18, 245-257.

[21]   Griffin, P. S. (1984). Girls’ Participation Patterns in a Middle School Team Sports Unit. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 4, 30-38.

[22]   Griffin, P. S. (1985). Boys’ Participation Styles in a Middle School Physical Education Team Sports Unit. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 4, 100-110.

[23]   Guba, E. G., & Lincoln, Y. S. (1989). Fourth Generation Evaluation. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

[24]   Gutierrez, D., & García-López, L. M. (2012). Gender Differences in Game Behaviour in Invasion Games. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 17, 289-301.

[25]   Hannon, J. C., & Ratliffe, T. (2005). Physical Activity Levels in Coeducational and Single-Gender High School Physical Education Setting. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 24, 149-164.

[26]   Hodges Kulinna, P., Martin, L., Lai, Q., Kliber, A., & Reed, B. (2003). Student Physical Activity Patterns: Grade, Gender Activity Influences. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 22, 298-310.

[27]   How, Y. M., Whipp, P., Dimmock, J., & Jackson, B. (2013). The Effects of Choice on Autonomous Motivation, Perceived Autonomy Support, and Physical Activity Levels in High School Physical Education. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 32, 131-148.

[28]   Jaakkola, T., Liukkonen, J., Laakso, T., & Ommundsen, Y. (2008). The Relationship between Situational and Contextual Self-Determined Motivation and Physical Activity Intensity as Measured by Heart Rates during Ninth Grade Students’ Physical Education Classes. European Physical Education Review, 14, 13-31.

[29]   Kalaja, S. (2012). Fundamental Movement Skills, Physical Activity, and Motivation toward Finnish School Physical Education: A Fundamental Movement Skills Intervention. Ph.D. Thesis, Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä. https://jyx.jyu.fi/dspace/bitstream/handle/123456789/38391/978-951-39-4817-7.pdf?sequence=1

[30]   Lauritsalo, K., Sääkslahti, A., & Rasku-Puttonen, H. (2012). Student’s Voice Online: Experiences of PE in Finnish Schools. Advances in Physical Education, 2, 126-131.

[31]   Laurson, K. R., Brown, D. D., Cullen, R. W., & Dennis, K. K. (2008). Heart Rates of High School Physical Education Students during Team Sports, Individual Sports, and Fitness Activities. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 79, 85-91.

[32]   Locke, L. F. (1987). The Future of Research on Pedagogy: Balancing on the Cutting Edge (Vol. 20, pp. 83-95). American Academy of Physical Education Papers, Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

[33]   Lyyra, M., Heikiaro-Johansson, P., Johansson, N., & McEvoy, E. (2008, January). Physical Activity Levels during PE Lessons. Poster Presented at the International Conference of AIESEP, Sapporo, Japan.

[34]   Marmeleira, J., CarrasqueiraAldeias, N., & dos Santos Medeira da Graça, P. (2012). Physical Activity Levels in Portuguese High School Physical Education. European Physical Education Review, 18, 191-204.

[35]   McKenzie, T. L. (1998). SOFIT: System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time. Overview and Training Manual. San Diego, CA: San Diego State University.

[36]   McKenzie, T. L., Marshall, S. J., Sallis, J. F., & Conway, T. L. (2000). Student Activity Levels, Lesson Context, and Teacher Behavior during Middle School Physical Education. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 71, 249-259.

[37]   McKenzie, T. L., Prochaska, J. J., Sallis, J. F., & LaMaster, K. J. (2004). Coeducational and Single-Sex Physical Education in Middle Schools: Impact on Physical Activity. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 75, 446-449.

[38]   Palomäki, S., & Heikinaro-Johansson, P. (2011). Liikunnan oppimistulosten seuranta-arviointi perusopetuksessa 2010 [The Follow-Up Evaluation of Learning Outcomes in Physical Education in Basic Education 2010]. Koulutuk senrantaraportit, 4, Tampere: Tampereen Yliopistopaino.

[39]   Perlman, D. (2012). The Influence of the Sport Education Model on Amotivated Students’ In-Class Physical Activity. European Physical Education Review, 18, 335-345.

[40]   Perlman, D. J. (2013). The Influence of the Social Context on Students In-Class Physical Activity. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 32, 46-60.

[41]   Pfeiffer, K. A., Pivarnik, J. M., Womack, C. J., Reeves, M. J., & Malina, R. M. (2002). Reliability and Validity of the Borg and OMNI Rating of Perceived Exertion Scales in Adolescent Girls. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 34, 2057-2061.

[42]   Rowe, P. J., Schuldheisz, J. M., & van der Mars, H. (1997). Measuring Physical Activity in Physical Education: Validation of the SOFIT Direct Observation Instrument for Use with First to Eighth Grade Students. Pediatric Exercise Science, 9, 136-149.

[43]   Sarradel, J., Generelo, E., Zaragoza, J., Clemente, J. A., Abarca-Sos, A., Murillo, B., & Aibar, A. (2011). Gender Differences in Heart Rate Responses to Different Types of Physical Activity in Physical Education Classes. Motricidad. European Journal of Human Movement, 26, 65-76.

[44]   Siedentop, D., Hastie, P., & van der Mars, H. (2011). Complete Guide to Sport Education (2nd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

[45]   Singerland, M., Oomen, J., & Borghouts, L. (2011). Physical Activity Levels during Dutch Primary and Secondary School Physical Education. European Journal of Sport Science, 11, 249-257.

[46]   Slingerland, M. (2014). Physical Education’s Contribution to Levels of Physical Activity in Children and Adolescents. Ph.D. Thesis, Maastricht: Maastricht University.

[47]   Slingerland, M., Haerens, L., Cardon, G., & Borghouts, L. (2014). Differences in Perceived Competence and Physical Activity Levels during Single-Gender Modified Basketball Game Play in Middle School Physical Education. European Physical Education Review, 20, 20-35.

[48]   Smith, B. T., & Goc Karp, G. (1996). Adapting to Marginalization in a Middle School Physical Education Class. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 16, 30-47.

[49]   Spessato, B. C., Gabbard, C., & Valentini, N. C. (2013). The Role of Motor Competence and Body Mass Index in Children’s Activity Levels in Physical Education Classes. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 32, 118-130.

[50]   Stratton, G. (1996). Childrens Heart Rates during Physical Education Lessons: A Review. Pediatric Exercise Science, 8, 215-233.

[51]   Subramaniam, P. R., & Silverman, S. (2007). Middle School Students’ Attitudes towards Physical Education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 23, 602-611.

[52]   Surapibooncha, K., Furney, S., Reardon, J., & Murray, T. (2012). SAM: A Tool for Measurement of Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA) in School Physical Education. International Journal of Exercise Science, 5, 127-135.

[53]   Tischler, A., & McCaughtry, N. (2014). Shifting and Narrowing Masculinity Hierarchies in Physical Education: Status Matters. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 33, 342-362.

[54]   Tousignant, M., & Siedentop, T. (1983). A Qualitative Analysis of Task Structures in Required Secondary Physical Education Classes. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 3, 47-57.

[55]   Treiber, F. A., Musante, L., Hartdagan, S., Davis, H., Levy, M., & Strong, W. B. (1989). Validation of a Heart Rate Monitor with Children in Laboratory and Field Settings. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 21, 338-342.

[56]   Van Acker, R., Carreiro Da Costa, F., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., Cardon, G., & Haerens, L. (2010). Sex Equity and Physical Activity Levels in Coeducational Physical Education: Exploring the Potential of Modified Game Forms. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 15, 159-173.

[57]   Wallhead, T., Garn, A. C., Vidoni, C., & Youngberg, C. (2013). Game Play Participation of Amotivated Students during Sport Education. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 32, 149-165.

[58]   Wydra, G. (2009). Belastungszeiten und Anstregungim Sportunterricht [Activity Time and Effort in Physical Education]. Sportunterricht, 58, 129-136.