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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An evaluation of the curriculum in physical education in eight selected secondary schools. Arnold, Marjorie Jill

Abstract

The hypothesis of this study was that the content of the curriculum affects the opinion of grade eight and grade eleven girls toward physical education. A successful curriculum should be built on the needs and interests of the students. It seems reasonable to suggest that if a person is more interested, she is likely to become more involved, and therefore is more likely to achieve the objectives of the program. Structured interviews were held with ten teachers in seven different randomly selected schools. One class of grade eights and one class of grade elevens at each of the seven schools were given the statement "I Like the activities we do in physical education" and asked to place an "X" under the word or words, that best expressed the way they felt. The choices offered were "always, almost always, sometimes, hardly ever, or never". The students' response had a value ranging from five (always) to one (never). The points for each class were added and then divided by the number of students in that class to give a class average. A class with an average of greater than three was considered to have a favorable opinion of physical education; those with an average of less than three, an unfavorable opinion. Because so many variables were involved and because of the possible unreliability of student opinion, it was almost impossible to state conclusions with any certainty. However, it did appear that the secondary school students in Vancouver have a favorable opinion of physical education. It also seemed that the students' opinion was unaffected by either the teacher’s years of training or by her years of experience. A further indication was that the more opportunity the students had to state their preferences for or to choose activities, the better was their opinion of the program. All teachers expressed dissatisfaction with the present report card as an indication for parents regarding the progress of their daughter in physical education. It appeared that grade eleven teachers especially were breaking away from the traditional curriculum that was comprised mainly of team sports, and were trying to meet the needs and interests of their students. One of the most interesting observations was that the smaller classes had a more favorable opinion of physical education than did the larger classes. This study has just scratched the surface of some of the problems in curriculum evaluation, especially as it relates to student interests. If physical educators are ever going to satisfy their students' needs and interests on more than a trial and error basis, more research is needed.

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