The Effects of Choice of Activities on Student Motivation and Physical Activity Behavior in Middle School Physical Education
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The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not providing students with choice in a selected middle school physical education class effects students motivation to participate and engage in the lesson. The participants in this study consisted of 30 eighth grade students in a physical education class located in a semi-rural public middle school in Northeastern Tennessee. Of the 30 students who participated in the study, 18 were female and 12 were male. Prior to conducting this study, the students were divided into two groups both containing a total of 15 students per group. The students for each group were randomly selected by the instructor. The first group of students contained 8 females and 7 males and was the “choice” group. This particular group of students were allowed to have a voice in their learning experience by choosing which fitness-based stations he or she wanted to complete during the lesson. The second group of students contained 10 females and 5 males and was the “instructed” group. This group of students were not granted a choice during this lesson and had to complete the fitness-based stations that the instructor told them to. All students were required to complete at least 4 stations out of the fitness-based lesson, however the choice group got to choose which stations they wanted to complete and the instructed group did not. All the data collected for this study was collected using assessments based off of The Sport Motivation Scale and The Situational Motivation Scale. The facilitator also used student self-assessments and physical education performance-based assessments to gather data related to the research. The results of the first independent samples t-test indicated there was a significant difference between the students who were provided a choice and those who were not (p=0.001). The results of the second independent samples t-test indicated there was a significant difference between male’s and female’s motivation to participate (p=0.009). The concluding independent samples t-test indicated there was not a significant difference between the students who participate in athletic teams or extra-curricular activities than those who do not.