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Investigating the Effects of Federal Funding on Students’ Attitudes Toward Physical Education

Kevin Mercier, Corinne Donovan, Anne Gibbone


Students’ attitudes toward physical education (PE) affect decisions to be physically active, are affected by the teacher and the curriculum, and become less positive as children get older. Federal funding has been granted to improve physical education programs, yet it is unknown how this funding affects attitudes and decisions to remain active. Attitudes toward PE of students from three schools that received large federal grants (n = 2,962) were compared to attitudes of students from two schools that did not receive funding (n = 3,252) for 3 years. Federal funding does not appear to slow decreases in students’ attitudes. Significant differences between groups only appeared in fourth and fifth grade, with small effect sizes. Though funding added equipment, curricula, professional development, and technology to PE programs, more than funding—instead a focus on teaching and implementation— is likely needed to improve students’ attitudes toward PE.

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physical education funding; students’ attitudes

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