Conceptualizing meaningful physical education: A secondary school study

  • Author / Creator
    Harding-Kuriger, Jodi
  • A primary goal of physical education (PE) is to instill in young people a lifelong commitment to physical activity. However, not all current forms of PE are achieving this goal (Dyson, 2006; Kirk, 2010). Students claim that PE often lacks personal meaning and is detached from their lived realities due to a misplaced emphasis on obesity reduction, fitness outcomes, and a limited range of sport techniques (Kirk, 2010; Lodewyk & Pybus, 2013). As a result, many students may have miseducative experiences in PE (Gleddie, D. & Schaefer, L., 2014). The goal of this research project is not to prescribe a specific initiative for teaching PE. Rather, a broader understanding of students within each school context is required to conceptualize meaningful physical education experiences.
    The purpose of this research was to 1) identify the concepts of Meaningful PE that students found to be most important and 2) distinguish which concepts have the most potential to provide students with Meaningful PE (Meaningful PE) (Beni, Fletcher, & Ní Chróinín, 2017; Fletcher, Ní Chróinín, Gleddie, & Beni, 2021) experiences. Data was collected using the GroupWisdomⓇ Concept Mapping (GCM) (2021) platform and group semi-structured interviews with the objective to have PE students and teachers consider and conceptualize Meaningful PE. Three PE teachers and their students in an urban secondary sports academy school (SASS) in Alberta were the participants. GCM (Kane & Trochim, 2007) revealed the major tenet of Meaningful PE is relationships. These were articulated through four key concepts including kindness, quality education, fun, and physical activity. Findings also illustrated the value of GCM as an appropriate tool to assist students and teachers to identify context specific concepts of Meaningful PE.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2021
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.