Attitudes to physical education at technical universities

Фотографии: 

PhD, Associate Professor E.A. Izotov1
PhD, Associate Professor G.V. Soldatova2
A.O. Filatov1
1National Mineral Resources (Mining) University, St. Petersburg
2St. Petersburg Academy of Postgraduate Teacher Education, St. Petersburg

 

Keywords: physical education, classes, attitude, motivation, satisfaction, students.

 

Background. Despite multiple studies of the academic physical education services and ways to improve them, it should be confessed that many of the relevant problems are still far from being solved at this juncture. One of the reasons for that, as provided by questionnaire surveys, is that the students’ attitudes to academic physical education are negative to indifferent [1, 7, 8]. Natural determination for any activity including the physical education one may be measured by the relevant motivations and satisfaction rates [6]. It should also be noted that the students’ unhappiness with the educational service forces them either look for alternative services or, when left unaddressed, may be detrimental to their general motivations for the learning process on the whole [5]. It is rather common for modern studies to survey students’ attitudes to the academic physical education service irrespective of the academic educational process in general albeit such an approach gives little chance to identify the problems of the projects to motivate students for the academic physical education discipline.

Objective of the study was to find attitudes of the technical university students to the academic physical education service.

Methods and structure of the study. Subject to the professional motivations and satisfactions profiling survey were the National Mineral Resource (Mining) University students (n=158) representing different specialties, both males and females. We applied an adapted version of the G.V. Lozovaya Educational Attitudes Survey method [2] with relevant 5-point rating scales.

Study results and discussion. The questionnaire survey found the technical university students’ attitudes to the academic physical education service to be moderate on average: see Table 1.

The students’ motivations for the academic physical education service were found dominated by the academic progress and general student’s responsibility, i.e. the students’ attitudes to the physical education discipline were rated as largely indifferent (formal), with the external motivations being clearly dominant over the internal ones [4].

It was also found that the students rate high their relationship with the physical education teacher among their motivations; and this means that this motivation is resourceful for the students’ attitudes to the academic physical education to be upgraded from the largely indifferent to the personally important one. It was further found that physical self-improvement, health improvement and educational process quality (interest building) motivations vary at the same moderate-to-high level. The competitive success and academic progress appreciation motivations were ranked lowest among the motivations.

 

Table 1. Rated students’ motivations for the academic physical education service

Motivations

{C}

{C}

{C}

{C}

±σ

Academic progress in the discipline

4,09±0,95

High competitive success

2,79±1,39

Educational process quality: interest and educational material quality

3,76±1,01

Physical self-perfection

3,84±1,15

Health improvement

3,74±1,27

Student-teacher relationship

3,86±1,13

Public appreciation of the academic progress

2,51±1,52

General student’s responsibility

3,95±1,17

Integrated motivation rate

3,57±1,2

 

Many individual motivations for the academic physical education service were found widely variable, particularly academic progress appreciation, competitive success and health improvement motivations. The study found these motivations to be group-specific within the sample, with some groups showing mostly low and some mostly high motivations in these categories – that may be indicative of the need for a questionnaire survey to be further differentiated on the group-motivations-specific basis.

It should also be noted that the specific motivations for the academic physical education service make different contributions to the integrated motivation rate. A data correlation analysis identified 4 significant correlations with the 99% significance rate.

It may be summarized, therefore, that the integrated motivations for the academic physical education service are largely dependent on academic progress appreciation, competitive success, health improvement and student-teacher relationship related motivations.

Paradoxically enough, the most highly rated motivations for the academic physical education service (i.e. the academic progress and student’s responsibility) were found of little effect on the integrated motivation rate; and vice versa, the least rated motivations (i.e. competitive success and academic progress appreciation motivations) were found making the highest contribution to the integrated motivation rate. Hence, it is not unreasonable to believe that this contradiction may explain the largely indifferent attitudes of the students to the academic physical education service.

Furthermore, the potentially high contributions of the health-improvement and student-teacher relationship motivations shall not be underestimated. When the academic physical education service is designed with a due priority given to these motivations, it may encourage the group interest in and motivations for the academic trainings.

Overall, the technical university students’ sample was tested with a moderate rate of satisfaction with the academic physical education service: see Table 2. The students’ satisfaction with their own academic performance and academic progress was rated highest. The degrees of satisfaction with the student-teacher relationship were rated from moderate to high.

Furthermore, the students rated moderate their satisfaction with the educational process quality (learning interest and educational material quality), own physical self-perfection and health improvement by the academic physical education service. The students were the least satisfied with their competitive successes and public appreciation of their academic progress.

 

Table 2. Rated students’ satisfactions with the academic physical education service

Satisfaction rates

{C}

{C}

±σ

Academic progress

4,19±0,96

Competitive success

3,05±1,17

Educational process quality: interest and educational material quality

3,58±0,82

Physical self-perfection

3,53±0,85

Health improvement

3,47±1,05

Student-teacher relationship

3,79±1,01

Public appreciation of the academic progress

2,67±1,36

General student’s responsibility

4,09±1,04

Integrated satisfaction rate

3,55±1,03

 

Overall, the students’ satisfactions with the academic physical education service were found more consistent than their motivations for the latter. Most variable on the satisfaction list was the satisfaction with the public appreciation of the academic progress that means that some students are happy with their progress acknowledgements and some are not. The specific satisfaction rates were found in closer correlations with the integrated satisfaction rate than was the case with the motivations, with 7 correlations found and tested significant.

It should be emphasized that the correlation of the students’ overall satisfaction with the academic physical education service with their competitive success related satisfaction rate was 99.9% significant! The satisfactions with their own physical self-perfection, academic progress and health improvement were found 99%-correlated with the integrated satisfaction rate; and the public appreciation of the academic progress and general student’s responsibility was found 95% correlated with the integrated satisfaction rate.

The integrated satisfaction rates and integrated motivation rates were found interrelated (р≤0.01) – probably due to the overall satisfaction with the academic physical education service being connected with the competitive success motivation (р≤0.01); with insignificant correlations with the other motivations found by the analysis.

Conclusion. The students’ attitudes to the academic physical education service were found largely determined by their competitive success rates, and this may be the reason why the non-sporting students are mostly indifferent to the academic physical education service. Positive attitudes to the discipline were found largely driven by the individual physical abilities and resources. It is not unlikely that the competitive success centered agendas of the academic physical education teachers associated with their discriminatory attitudes favouring the most promising athletes – effectively discourage others and suppress their motivations for the academic physical education service. Therefore, special inclusive incentives shall be offered to ‘non-sporting’ students to have their health improvement resource untapped via the academic physical education service – since the self-perfection and health building motivations are normally dominant in everybody’s motivational structure and satisfaction with the academic physical education service. As demonstrated by the study data and analysis, such inclusive incentives have not been provided so far despite the inclusive policies being formally declared and prioritized for the last decades.

 

References

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Corresponding author: m.a.08@mail.ru

 

Abstract

The questionnaire survey designed to find attitudes of the technical university students (n=158) to the academic physical education service showed their motivations for and satisfaction with the service being at moderate levels. The set of motivations was found to be dominated by the academic progress and general student’s responsibility as the key drivers largely irrelevant for the service quality as such, with both of the factors reportedly being most satisfying for the respondents.

The integrated motivation for the academic physical education was found to depend on competitive success, health improvement, academic progress acknowledgement and student-teacher’s relationship motivations. The integrated satisfaction with the academic physical education service was found to depend on competitive success rate, physical progress, academic progress and individual health improvement related satisfaction rates. Integrated motivation for the academic physical education was found correlated with the satisfactions with the individual competitive successes; and this situation may be indicative of the health potential of this academic discipline remaining still largely untapped.