A Multi-factorial Analysis of Elementary Students’ Interest in Physical Education Considering Students’ Ethnicity and Gender

John D Hatten, James C Hannon


Background: Student’s harboring positive interest in physical education is of great concerning in academia. More importantly, the rational as to why one would maintain a positive interest in physical education is of concern. These topics have been widely researched. However, the comparison of gender and ethnicity as it relates to students’ interest in physical education is a novel investigation. Objective: The purpose of this study was to ascertain the relationship between elementary student’s interest in physical education considering gender, ethnicity, curricular and teacher influences, and student’s perceived competency. Method: Participants included 99 fifth-grade elementary school students (62 males, 37 females). Participant selection was conducted by utilizing 6 intact physical education classes from a single culturally diverse elementary school. The Physical Education Interest Questionnaire was the instrument used for this study as well as open-ended questions for the purpose of qualitative analysis (Van Wersch, Trew, & Turner, 1992). Results: Findings, indicated that students, regardless of ethnicity and gender, maintained positive interest in physical education. However, male students maintained greater interest in physical education than female students, irrespective of ethnicity. Caucasian students maintained significantly higher interest than other ethnicities. Perceived competence had the most effect on students’ overall interest. Answers to open-ended questions supported these results. Conclusion: Although this study identified that a positive interest in physical education regardless of the subjects’ gender and ethnicity existed, it is imperative that future instructors consider teaching non-mainstream individual fitness activities to students. This would lead to increased individual perceived competency and continued positive interest in physical education.


Student Interest, Physical Education, Teacher Influence, Ethnicity, Perceived Competence, Curricular Influence, Gender, Grade Level, Male, Female, Humans, Child, Training, Ethnic Groups, Students, Gender Identity, Mainstreaming, Education, Schools, Survey

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575//aiac.ijkss.v.8n.2p.7


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