A Case Study of a Successful and Engaging Highschool Physical Education Program
Pierce, Shauna 1977-
Abstract Adolescents’ satisfaction, motivation, and engagement in physical education is an ongoing challenge for educators. As girls age, their participation in physical activity and engagement in physical education declines. Therefore, the benefits of participating in physical activity may not be attained. This study examined the influence of an exemplary physical education program on female student satisfaction and engagement. The term exemplary, for the purpose of this study, refers to a program that meets the following criteria: a) promotes physical literacy and meets the criteria of a Quality Daily Physical Education (QDPE) program; b) follows and implements the outcomes of the Saskatchewan Physical Education Curriculum; c) maintains a high enrollment of young women in elective physical education; d) has been recognized through Physical and Health Education Canada (PHE Canada) as an award winning QDPE program; and e) has an award winning teacher running the program. A case study methodology was used and rich qualitative data were obtained through a transactional method of inquiry, between the researcher and participants, and focused on the increased engagement and satisfaction of adolescent females in the physical education program. A socio-ecological model was used to provide the framework to guide the collection of data from multiple sources including: observations, document analysis, personal records, classroom documents, and interviews. During a three-month period, 66 female participants and one female teacher, in a Saskatchewan urban high school. The participants in this study reflected on and shared their experiences within the program. Results revealed that young women feel safe, accepted, and comfortable in the program and place a great deal of significance on the social environment for establishing a respectful learning space. They enjoy the activities implemented in the program and have the motivation and desire to learn new skills. Young women feel ownership of their learning and value the knowledge and skills they learn in the physical education program. Through an analysis of the data collected three themes emerged as being relevant to the engagement of the young women in the program: Sense of Belonging, Confidence and Ability, and Lessons Learned. The insight gained on the practices and factors exhibited in this exemplary program as a result of this study may be used to inform future practice and facilitate the engagement of young women in physical education. The recommendations offered regarding the design and implementation of an exemplary program are based on these themes and factors.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
SupervisorHumbert, Louise; Wilson, Jay
CommitteeNicol, Jennifer; Kalyn, Brenda; Morrison, Dirk
Copyright DateOctober 2017
Exemplary, physical education, young women, engagement