ATTITUDES TOWARD PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND CLASS PREFERENCES OF TURKISH SECONDARY AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
The aims of this study was to investigate attitudes toward physical education and class preferences of Turkish secondary and high school students related to gender and age. The participants were 302 female (Mage = 13.11 ± 0.79) and 332 male (Mage= 13.14 ± 0.69) students from secondary school education aged 12 to 14 and 290 female (Mage= 16.48 ± 0.86) and 316 male (Mage= 16.42 ± 0.90) student from high school aged 15 to 17. A total of 1240 students voluntarily participated in this study. The Attitudes Toward Physical Education Scale (ATPES) was applied. ANOVA was used to determine differences in attitude toward PE between students from secondary and high schools and between girls and boys. In order to test differences in PE class preferences of students with regard to school context and gender, chi square analysis was conducted. Men scores of ATPES for secondary school and high school girl and boy students were determined 3.95 point, 4.01 point, 3.40 point and 3.77 point, respectively. Generally of secondary school students (%66.6) preferred coed physical education class, while generally of high school students (%69) preferred single-sex physical education class. This research verifies that attitudes towards physical education and PE class preferences change according to gender and age.
In the last years, the number of researches studying attitudes of students to physical education in schools have increased (Van Wersch, Trew, Turner, 1992; Carlson, 1995; Ennis, 1996; Portman, 1995; Koca, AMçO, & Demirhan, 2005). Five aspects of physical education (PE) were identified, and examined in relation to pupils’ interest. These aspects were PE connotation, PE status, PE teacher, PE curriculum, and adolescent disturbances in relation to the PE lesson (Van Wersch et al., 1992).
Since gender and age play an important role in attitudes towards physical education (PE), attitudes of girls and boys in different ages were compared in many researches (Colley, Berman, MOllOngen, 2005; Folsom-Meek, 1992; Smoll & Schultz, 1980, Birtwistle & Brodie, 1991; Hicks, Wiggns, Crist & Moode, 2001). Boys and girls have different patterns of sports participation (Scully & Clarke, 1997; Koca et al., 2005). Boys prefer team sports and masculine sports, especially soccer, more than girls, however girls prefer individual and aesthetic sports and physical education activities (Scully& Clarke, 1997; Folsom-Meek, 1992; Smoll&Schultz, 1980; Birtwistle&.Brodie, 1991; Hicks et al., 2001). The most feminine sports are those with a strong aesthetic component, such as figure skating, gymnastics, and synchronized swimming, which do not compromise the stereotypes of feminine behavior and appearance. The most masculine sports entail bodily contact, strength, or high risk and include boxing, rugby, soccer, and motor sports (Colley et al., 2005).
Sport traditionally has been a domain of male achievement, and gender differences in sport participation have been the subject of research since the 1970s. However, despite the passage of several decades of heightened awareness of gender inequalities, girls take part in fewer sports than do boys (e.g., Scully &Clarke, 1997). Explanations for the gender gap in participation are based on the strong link between sports behavior and masculinity.
Gender difference increases in adolescence period. In adolescence period, girls interest in physical education decreases dramatically and drastically. There is abundant evidence that males and females approach and perceive sports in different ways. In general, males more than females value the competitive aspect of sports and perceive sports as a potential source of material reward and personal recognition (White, 1995). Tappe, Duda, and Menges- Ehrnwald (1990) found that adolescent boys’ and girls’ personal incentives to participate in physical activities differed. Both boys and girls had health-related incentives, but these differed. For boys, they were improving strength and receiving more general health benefits; while for girls, they were improving flexibility and controlling weight. In addition, boys participated to experience competition, while girls participated to be out with friends. These different approaches relate directly to traditional gender-role differences in the form of females’ communal, person focused orientation and males’ instrumental, competitive orientation (Eagly, 1987).
Students have positive attitudes toward PE because of their desire to be successful or to spend their time without pressure of academic success in PE lessons (Koca et al., 2005). According to many researchers, coeducational physical education courses give equal opportunities to male and female students and allow them to effect each other socially(Colgate, 1999; Griffin, 1984; Knoppers, 1988).
Treanor, Graber, Housner, and Wiegand (1998) and Lirgg’s (1993) reported that both boy and girls secondary school students showed preferences for single-sex PE. Osborne, Bauer & Sutliff (2002) found that secondary school students preferred single-sex PE. Koca et al. (2005) also indicated that both girls and boys in coed educational high school preferred coed PE class.
In Turkey, especially after 1997, Ministry of National Education have started to use “students” as target audience in all of the Physical Education course instruction programs in primary schools, high schools and equivalents. It is stressed that such units have to be practiced together to all students without girl-boy separation (excluding wrestling and soccer branches in girls). Thus, the possibility of different expectations from girls and boys with different physical and emotional status were not considered in the preparation of the program.
In spite of the growth in the studies on the effectiveness of PE, sport science literature that have investigated students’ attitudes toward PE and on PE class preferences according to age and gender are limited. Therefore, based on the previous research, the first hypothesis was that secondary school students PE attitude score higher than high school students attitude score. The second hypothesis was that secondary school girls and boys students PE attitude score was similarly, whereas high school boy students PE attitude score higher than high school girl students. And third hypothesis was that secondary school students preference single-sex PE class, whereas high school students preference coeducation PE class.
The aims of this study was to investigate attitudes toward physical education and class preferencesin Turkish secondary and high school students related to gender and age.
Objective of study
- The aims of this study was to investigate attitudes toward physical education and class preferences in Turkish secondary and high school students related to gender and age.
Purpose and significance:
The aims of this study was to investigate attitudes toward physical education and class preferences in Turkish secondary and high school students related to gender and age. In spite of the growth in the studies on the effectiveness of PE, sport science literature that have investigated students’ attitudes toward
PE and on PE class preferences according to age and gender are limited.