Environmental Approach in Formation of Sports Lifestyle of Young Students


I.V. Manzheley, professor, Dr.Hab.
Tyumen state university, Tyumen

Key words: sports lifestyle, educational institution environment, conditions and capacities, motives of sports occupations.

Ecological deterioration, uncertain socioeconomic conditions and ideological goal sets, “information boom”, the influence of hostile environment (spreading of drug abuse and alcoholism) and, as a consequence, constant breaking of life patterns resulted in the decrease of physical, mental, social and moral health of the Russians. In this context physical education of young students is meant to play a special role in training the physically and spiritually healthy, socially and professionally competent, creatively active and mobile, responsible and tolerant personality capable of self-development at any phase of life.

But formation of the personality physical culture as a programmatically set purpose of university physical education often lacks subjective personal senses for young people due to the isolation of the gnosiological plan of awareness from the ontological one, the motivation to healthy way of life is activated only when health is being lost. Besides, conservative forms and directive methods of physical education render a negative effect on the attitude of young people to physical culture occupations, far from stimulating their interest in voluntary motor activity.

Meanwhile, nowadays sports culture and sports lifestyle (SLS) are getting very popular in the youth subculture as the health formative, dynamic, interactive, emotionally and aesthetically attractive style of self-expression in vital activity via mass sport, focused on physical and spiritual self-perfection and organization of active leisure.

The methodological and organizational frameworks for the formation of sports culture of children and young people are being actively developed by a group of scientists headed by L.I. Lubysheva [5].

The purpose of the study was to elaborate theoretical and applied basics of physical education, creating the conditions for the formation of HLS of young students.

Results and discussion. The consideration of philosophical, sociopsychological and pedagogical aspects of lifestyle and self-identity (K.A. Abul’khanova-Slavskaya, L.I. Antsyferova, S.O. Avchinnikova, M.Ya. Vilensky, V.S. Merlin, L.M. Popov, Yu.V. Slyusarev, O.V. Khukhlaeva et al) gives reason to believe that SLS develops within a certain lifestyle and depends on the subjective life choice [2], the nature of manifestation of subjectivity and the features of the sociocultural environment.

The formative factor of SLS is personal internal source of activity. The providing factors of SLS are personal abilities to learning and self-knowledge, self-determination and self-control. The determinant factors of SLS are social interactions that determine self-perfection: firstly, it is the nature of interpersonal interactions with closest environment, influencing on psychological efforts of a personality; secondly, it is the features of sociocultural (including sports) environment of an educational institution related with the characteristics of functioning and activation of personal self-perfection mechanisms.

The interest in the pedagogical potential of the environment at the turn of the XIX-XX was shown in foreign social pedagogics in connection with the problems of the cultural environment, generating lifestyle (A. Buzeman, A. Wolf). In Russia, K.D. Ushinsky, N.I. Pirogov, L.N. Tolstoy, P.F. Lesgaft, S.T. Shatsky raised the question of studying the educational opportunities of the environment for personality development. P.F. Lesgaft was the author of the original concept of environmental typology of children and the study on the impact of environment that has not lost its practical importance today.

Nowadays environmental problems are being actively developed abroad within the framework of environmental psychology (R. Barker, Willems, J. Gibson et al), the issues of construction of educational and learning environments are being studied in our country (O.S. Gazman, V.M. Drofa, N.B. Krylova, Yu.S. Manuylov, I.D. Frumin, V.A. Yasvin et al.).

Relying on the educational environment definition of V.A. Jasvin [8], we consider the educational institution sports environment (EISE) as a set of different conditions and capacities contained in spatially-subject and social environment for the personal SLS formation. We distinguish the spatially-subject, social and technological components in the structure of EISE, according to the eco-psychological approach of O. Duncan and L. Schnore [7].

The educational potential of local sports environment is determined by the content of the spatially-subject component (modern architecture and design of gyms, playgrounds, canteen, health unit; availability of showers and outdoor recreations; high-quality equipment; sports symbols; appropriate hygienic conditions and etc.); the content of its social relationships (developed sports traditions, ideals and values; open and friendly relationship between teachers and students; extensive social connections); the most important - the content of educational process as its technological component (organization of sports-oriented physical education based on the integration of learning and extracurricular activities; introduction of innovative technologies and methods; high level of software and methodical support; efficient use of educational resources in order to solve complex tasks; focus on personal potential; ability to meet the range of sports needs and to develop the system of values for students) and the nature of connections and relationships between the above components [6].

We consider the environmental approach (EA) in physical education as a way of constructing the educational process, changing the focus from an active influence on a pupil's personality to creating the educational institution's environment as a set of different conditions and capacities within the spatially-subject and sociocultural environment for the personal self-development and self-expression via mass sport.

In terms of methodology the environmental approach is based, firstly, on the theory of possibilities by J. Gibson [3], who notes the active principle of an individual who develops his living environment (Gibson's "ecological world"); secondly, on the eco-behavioral studies of R. Barker and Willems [9], that proved the existence of "behavioral settings" which mediate human behavior depending on the physical and social environment; thirdly, on the theory and practical experience of developing education, whose starting point is L.S. Vygotsky's hypothesis of the dynamic ratio of learning and development processes [4].

According to supporters of environmental psychology, the fact that behaviorism is focused on human behavior, cognitive psychology - on his mentality and humanistic psychology - on his identity, indicates the one-sided consideration of the issue of human development conditionality, because when we change human behavior and his personality but leave the problem environment unchanged, we achieve only a temporary success, that doesn't solve the problem radically [7].

We consider the system of conditions of sports environment as a series of circumstances that affect the functioning of the behavioral settings, regulating human behavior, depending on an environment (gym, etc.) by the rules of a particular sport and the relationship ethics in a small group, and promoting the actualization of students’ sport needs by " involving them in personally meaningful activities". Behavioral settings such as playgrounds, gyms, etc. are the areas in which human activities and physical conditions interact for a specific purpose. Community within these areas acts as an ecosystem with stable behavioral patterns in the environment, on the basis of implicit rules, accepted by all the participants, who follow them and monitor the compliance of these rules by others. And the right to choose a behavior setting belongs to a person [9].

According to J. Gibson [3], we can consider the system of capacities of an educational environment as those things which this environment can provide an individual with, the things it can offer. In this case it is essential that Gibson's "capacity" is a special unity of environment properties and the individual itself and it is equally the environmental factor and a behavioral factor of an individual. By providing different capacities to the individual, which are complementary to his needs, the environment "provokes" him to act appropriately and attach the fact of his behavior to the fact of availability of a particular capacity.

Thus, we understand the semantic core of the environmental approach in physical education as varying sports activities, which function, on the one hand, within the behavioral settings in compliance with a specific physical environment (sports grounds, tennis courts, balls, nets, etc.) and which are regulated by the rules of a particular sport, controlling the behavior of its participants, and on the other hand - provide a range of capacities of free choice, so that a person could choose kind of sport, place, mode of exercises and social environment depending on the sport needs. All this makes sports activity a powerful mean of consolidation, which provides socialization and intercultural communication.

In the last decade, sports-centered physical education of children and young people, which has the same semantic roots as the environmental approach, is being rather successfully implemented by a team of scientists led by V.K. Balsevich and L.I. Lubysheva [1].

The fundamental conceptual provisions of the environmental approach in physical education are based on the ideas of developing education, which, according to V.P. Lebedeva, V.A. Orlov, V. I. Panov [4] and V.A. Jasvin [8], can be formulated as follows:

  • Philosophy of physical education is changing in terms of making free and responsible, creative and competent, tolerant person, who is ready for health-creating, dynamic, interactive, sports lifestyle.
  • The goal of physical education is becoming the formation of sports lifestyle among students by enriching the educational institution environment with interpenetrating sports-oriented microenvironments of different modality, where each individual operates by creatively using and transforming spatially-subject elements, differentiated programs and technologies in the context of favorable social relations.
  • The pedagogical impact on a personality is being replaced by the constructive interaction in which a teacher and a student, one group of students and another, act as partners of co-operation and co-evolution.
  • The criteria for assessing the teacher’s work are the ability to organize the educational institution sports environment, the ability to organize the stimuli of the environment and the activities of students to meet these stimuli.
  • The aims of environmental approach are perfectly correlate with the federal state educational standard, which sets the minimum requirements for the quality of graduates training through the formation of sports competencies.

According to experience, the environmental approach in practice of physical education is advisable to be implemented in the following main areas:

  • improvement of organizational and managerial structures and amateur structures of physical education in educational institutions: creation of a university sport club, sports clubs for different sports, Sports Training Center, scientific laboratory, activization of curators of physical education and sports activists;
  • organization of educational process on the "Physical Education" section in the framework of elective courses on different sports and enrichment of educational institution environment with the electives, sports sections and activities; integration implementation of learning and extracurricular activities, establishment of a rating system of educational achievements evaluation and the new forms and methods of training (master class, business games, tournaments, festivals, etc.); development of joint research activities of teachers and students;
  • quality improvement of software and methodical support of the educational process: the ICT development, the preparation of teaching materials and algorithms for their compilation; the development and implementation of health passports, portfolio, case-technologies and computer monitoring of health status of the students;
  • improvement of extracurricular sports activities: preparation of a comprehensive plan involving student activists, sports sections organization (as supplemental educational services), development of traditions of conducting annual and monthly games, contests, health days, participation of national teams in regional competitions, creation of a museum of sports achievements, strengthening of relations with other departments (cultural, health, law enforcement, etc.) and institutions (schools, sports school, specialized secondary schools, universities);
  • improvement of interactions with the media in order to develop sports traditions, promote sports, students' sports activities promotion. Creation of a sports-related page in the university local network with the indication of the names of participants and winners;
  • training and retraining: seminars with teachers about constructing the sports environment and trainings on constructive pedagogical interaction, student activists training;
  • material and technical base strengthening: construction and reconstruction of sports facilities, improvement of their functioning, equipment modernization.

The algorithm for a teacher can be as follows:

1. Coordinate changes in organizational forms of physical education with the university administration. Achieve the priority of interests of the "Physical Education" section (discipline) in the elaboration of training schedules of structural units.

2. Examine the specifics of students (boys, girls, general and special medical groups), their sports preferences. Calculate the possible number of elective courses and sport groups.

3. Explore the opportunities of material and technical base (preferably not less than 1 sq. m per student). Within the environmental approach in an educational institution with the number of students of 1000±100 people (5 sections-groups of 20 people) there is a need of: a sports hall with an area of approximately 540 sq. m (30x18 m), which can be divided into three zones of exercises; a classroom for the special medical group with an area of ​​approximately 108 sq. m (18x6 m), equipped with exercise machines, adapted for practicing rhythmic gymnastics, martial arts, etc., a sports playground or a stadium with an area of ​​approximately 540 sq. m (30x18 m), which is used in summer for futsal, jogging, etc., and in winter - to play hockey and as a place for skating.

4. Create training schedule and coordinate it with the structure units, identify training cycles of elective courses in different sports (from 5 to 10 sports, places and classes simultaneously) for students of different training areas (desirable mode is Monday-Thursday, Tuesday-Friday, Wednesday-Saturday), connect classes during the day to course exercises (1 lesson - 1st year of studies in different training areas, based on the capacity of sports facilities).

5. Appoint curators of physical education in different training areas and curators of elective courses. Put in order the attachment of students to groups (elective courses) for their intermediate and final certification (using a computer program).

6. Create educational-methodical complexes in elective courses (sports) preferably on the basis of rating assessment of educational achievements, allowing students to gain points for participating in sports events. Develop and place in local network the electronic portfolio for students, a computer program "Monitoring of physical condition of students".

The experience of implementing the environmental approach into practice of physical education of students in Tyumen State University shows that voluntary (in addition to academic pursuits) sports activity of young people has significantly increased over the past decade: from 21,1 to 35,6 % for men and from 15,8 to 30,5% for women. There has been a shift of motivational dispositions in the hierarchy of motives for sports among students: the most significant now is the 1st level - "The desire to expand the circle of friends"; the 2nd level - "Increase the chances with the opposite sex"; the 3rd level - "With the help of sport achievements solve financial problems"; 4th level - "The desire to achieve excellence in sports"; the 5th level - "It is fashionable".

Conclusions. Nowadays the quality of students' physical education can be increased by constructing and constantly enriching sports environment of an educational institution, ensuring conditions and capacities for formation of the sports lifestyle of young people. In the era of blurred moral values ​​and ideals it is the educational institution sports environment, which can be, with its interpersonal contacts based on the rule of "Fair Play" and sports rules, the territory of health and tolerant interaction for young students, with the ideals of morality and ethics. Students, introduced to sports lifestyle and engaged in regulated competition and cooperation, can relieve psychophysical stress in the socially approved form of motor activity, overcome the barriers of misunderstanding, that arise in the most varied, including national, base; develop the ability for interaction and team work, which is essential for personal and professional growth. Sports lifestyle can become an ecological niche for a personality, allowing to "be yourself", providing self-preservation, self-development, self-perfection and self-expression in the world of nature, culture and society.


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Author’s contacts: mangеley60@mail.ru