ERIC Number: EJ950320
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 40
Physical Education and Sport Programs at an Inner City School: Exploring Possibilities for Positive Youth Development
Holt, Nicholas L.; Sehn, Zoe L.; Spence, John C.; Newton, Amanda S.; Ball, Geoff D. C.
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v17 n1 p97-113 2012
Background: School-based recreational opportunities for youth from low-income inner-city neighbourhoods are often lacking. School programs represent an ideal location for promoting youth development in low-income areas because they can provide safe, supervised, and structured activities. Such activities should include not only physical education (PE) programs, but other extra-curricular activities such as intramural sports and school sport teams. Because we were interested in how these programs were associated with youth development, we used the concept of positive youth development (PYD) to guide this study. Purpose: This case study examined school staff members' and children's perceptions of school PE, intramural sports, and sport teams with a view to establish factors that facilitated or impeded PYD. Method: Data were collected via individual interviews with eight teachers and 59 children from an inner-city school that had a mission to promote positive behaviors consistent with PYD. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and subjected to a categorical aggregation analysis procedure. Results: Findings showed factors that facilitated or impeded PYD varied across different contexts. In PE, the importance of a specialist PE teacher and establishing clear boundaries during lessons while providing children with perceptions of choice were important. Children enjoyed intramural sports, but there were few attempts to create an appropriate developmental atmosphere during these sessions. In fact, intramural sports were associated with negative student interactions. Coaches of the sport teams used techniques to promote social interactions and respect. Most notable student outcomes associated with PYD related to fostering empathy and social connections. Conclusion: These findings showed differences in contextual factors across the PE/sport programs that helped promote or impeded PYD. These differences revealed some practical suggestions for promoting PYD, which include focusing on the developmental orientation of PE classes, the fun of intramurals, and the "life skills" focus of the sport teams. Furthermore, we suggest an integrated, school-wide approach is required to help promote PYD.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Adolescent Development, Urban Schools, Physical Education, Intramural Athletics, Empathy, Teaching Methods, Student Attitudes, Low Income Groups, Case Studies, Student Development, Daily Living Skills, Prosocial Behavior, Elementary School Students, Junior High School Students, Team Sports, Educational Strategies, Physical Education Teachers, Interviews, Program Effectiveness, Teacher Attitudes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada