UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Transformational teaching and children's involvement in physical education Keith, Sharon Elaine


The World Health Organization (2003) has reported that less than a third of young people are sufficiently active to accrue the necessary physical and mental health benefits required for optimal growth and development. School-based physical education has been highlighted as a particularly influential context through which to encourage lifelong physical activity participation (Pate et al., 2006). The overall purpose of this thesis was to examine the prospective relationships between students’ perceptions of their teachers’ behaviours, as conceptualized by transformational teaching, and student self-determined motivation, self-efficacy, attitudes, and academic enabling behaviour within elementary school physical education. 533 elementary school students (aged 11-13) from 23 classes participated in this prospective observational study. Students completed an initial battery of measures mid-way through the school year that corresponded to their perceptions of their teacher’s use of transformational teaching behaviours, as well as student psychological need satisfaction, self-determined motivation, self-efficacy, attitudes towards physical education (interest/value and perceived usefulness), interpersonal skills, and engagement. Two months later students completed the same measures once more. Results indicated that transformational teaching was a positive predictor of student self-determined motivation and attitudes. The relationships between transformational teaching and both student self-determined motivation and attitudes were also found to be partially mediated by psychological need satisfaction. Finally, transformational teaching was able to account for significant variance in students’ reports of self-efficacy, interpersonal skills and engagement in physical education. The findings of this study add to a growing body of literature which suggests that transformational teaching may be able to facilitate student involvement in school-based physical education.

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