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Teachers' Understanding of Students' Attitudes and Values Toward Physical Activity in Physical Education Dropout Rates and Adolescent Obesity

Emilio Landolfi

Abstract


 

 Structured interviews were used to explore 10th grade teachers' understanding of students' attitudes and values toward physical education and physical activity as a variable in students' probability of dropping physical education and adolescent obesity. When asked how school-based physical education could help combat the problem of students dropping physical education, teachers suggested providing a greater range of choices among activities and providing further opportunity for positive experiences in physical education. Furthermore, teachers stated that the greatest barriers to students who are overweight and/or poorly skilled from enjoying physical education were their feelings of being humiliated, ridiculed, embarrassed, and discriminated against. Teachers demonstrated a lucid understanding of students' attitudes and values, as well as of more debilitating barriers, to increasing physical activity. Notwithstanding, if physical educators are to provide a safe and encouraging environment, they must acknowledge that what they do, or choose not to do, may have an enduring impact on students. Although teachers are unable to do much about extracurricular physical activity, they can do something about the physical education offered in schools. Results of the study suggest that teachers must offer more activities from which students may choose including sports that do not demand highly developed motor skills, but still emphasize fitness and health.


Keywords


school-based physical education; students' attitudes; adolescent obesity; dropping physical education

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