Students’ motivations for academic physical education

PhD L.M. Stolyar2
PhD, Associate Professor O.N. Loginov1
E.V. Lyubina1
T.I. Makarenkova1
V.V. Averyasov1
1Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Moscow
2Moscow State Pedagogical University, Moscow

Keywords: physical education, motivation, training methods, mental conditioning, survival in emergency situations.

Background. Nowadays it is common knowledge that physical trainings shall ideally be habitual for the whole lifetime. This is the reason why the academic educational system gives a special priority to the academic physical education and sports facilitating research projects, including those to improve the PE and reporting tools – in the context of the initiatives to improve the public awareness of and emergency and life safety preparedness with due physical fitness viewed among the key prerequisites for the latter.

Objective of the study was to explore the ways to improve students’ emergency preparedness with the humanities university students’ motivations for physical education being rated versus those of the cadets of Ministry of Emergency Situations (MES) Academy.

Methods and structure of the study. For the purposes of the study we run a questionnaire survey of the humanities (economics and pedagogical) university students and cadets (n-340, including 107 males and 233 females) of Ministry of Emergency Situations (MES) Academy in 2016-17. The survey form offered the following questions:

1. Do you like physical practices?

2. Who has been of the greatest influence on your interest in physical practices?

3. What is the role of physical fitness in an emergency situation?

4. What are the key goals of the physical practices for you: (1) health; (2) physical progress; (3) body shaping; (4) other (please indicate).

Questions 1 and 3 were requested to be substantiated by scores on a 5-point scale, with 1 and 5 points meaning no value and the highest value, respectively. Questions 2 and 4 offered a few optional responses.

The sample responses gave a priority to the following 7 health motivations: enthusiasm; emergency preparedness; good sport facilities; image of a coach; appealing training method; and good emotional climate during training sessions. The humanities group average score was 2.55 (3.10 males and 2.11 females) in response to the question ‘Do you like physical practices?’ The question ‘Who has been of the greatest influence on your interest in physical practices?’ was responded as follows: parents were ranked first; followed by friends in the second place; and school was ranked only fifth. The question ‘What is the role of physical fitness in an emergency situation?’ was scored by 2.95 points on average. And the question on the goals of physical practices yielded the following ranking: (1) health scored by 3.15 points; (2) physical development scored by 3.25 points; and (3) body shaping scored by 4.05 points. Most of the sample was uncertain on the ‘other’ options.

The sample was split up into two Experimental Groups (EG1 and EG2) and two Reference Groups (RG), in the humanities universities and MES Academy, with each group composed of 25-32 people. The RGs were trained as required by the traditional academic curriculum within the approved timeframe. The EGs were briefed for 15 min prior to every training session on the matters of due physical and mental fitness as a prime prerequisite for the individual safety and success in emergency situations. The EG training practices were designed to master and train the basic motor skills and physical qualities by special physical exercises to ensure emergency preparedness as overviewed in the theoretical training hours. Practical physical trainings in the EGs were designed as recommended by the classical physical education systems.

In addition to the mental conditioning for the physical education to be prepared for emergency situation, the EG trainings included a variety of relay races (with different logical practices), team sports and active games with rhythmic musical illustrations. The training model testing experiment was run in October 2016 through June 2017 and included 38 training sessions.

Study findings and discussion. Given in Tables 1 and 2 hereunder are the EG versus RG questionnaire survey and progress test data.

Table 1. Pre-experimental EG versus RG questionnaire survey and progress test data

 

Group

Test rates (M±m)

Enthusiasm

Health

 

Emergency preparedness

Sport facilities

Trainer’s personality

Training method

Emotional climate

Humanities university students

1

RG

 

2,55±0,7

3,15±0,2

2,95±0,7

2,9±1,7

3,77±0,4

3,55±0,6

3,2±1,0

2

EG1

2,62±0,4

3,14±0,7

2,90±0,3

2,80±0,7

3,60±0,7

2,65±0,6

2,84±0,3

3

EG2

 

2,45±0,9

3,10±0,3

2,93±0,8

3,75±0,5

3,62±0,5

2,75±0,6

2,88±0,2

MES Academy cadets

1

RG

 

4,15±0,8

4,15±0,2

4,25±0,7

3,92±0,4

3,75±0,4

2,75±0,6

2,70±0,6

2

EG1

4,25±0,7

4,10±0,2

4,30±0,7

3,9±0,7

3,85±0,4

2,70±0,6

2,75±0,8

3

EG2

 

4,15±0,5

4,20±0,3

4,30±0,8

3,95±0,7

3,70±0,4

2,80±0,3

2,85±0,4

 

t

0,14

0,26

0,30

0,05

0,40

0,47

0,86

 

P

> 0,05

 

> 0,05

 

> 0,05

 

> 0,05

 

> 0,05

 

> 0,05

 

> 0,05

 

 

Table 1. Post-experimental EG versus RG questionnaire survey and progress test data

 

 

Group

Test rates (M±m)

Enthusiasm

Health

 

Emergency

preparedness

Sport facilities

Trainer’s personality

Training method

Emotional climate

Humanities university students

1

RG

 

2,56±0,7

3,13±0,2

2,98±0,7

3,86±0,7

3,66±0,4

3,71±0,6

2,99±0,9

2

EG1

4,04±0,4

4,05±0,7

4,50±0,3

3,80±0,7

3,83±0,7

2,65±0,6

3,84±0,3

3

EG2

 

4,15±0,9

4,15±0,3

4,66±0,8

3,95±0,5

3,92±0,5

3,75±0,6

3,48±0,2

MES Academy cadets

1

RG

 

4,16±0,8

4,15±0,2

4,25±0,7

4,22±0,4

3,95±0,4

3,75±0,6

3,40±0,6

2

EG1

4,60±0,7

4,20±0,2

4,75±0,7

4,29±0,7

3,95±0,4

3,72±0,6

3,55±0,8

3

EG2

 

4,75±0,5

4,30±0,3

4,85±0,8

4,25±0,7

3,99±0,4

3,81±0,3

3,85±0,4

 

t

2,64

2,73

2,48

3,14

3,04

3,26

3,15

 

P

< 0,05

< 0,05

< 0,05

< 0,01

< 0,05

< 0,01

< 0,01

It should be emphasized that the MES cadets were tested with the higher motivations versus the humanities university students.

Conclusion. The new training method testing experiment showed its benefits as verified by the successful mobilization and development of the latent motivations for physical practices in the EG including the motivations for getting mentally and physically fit for potential emergency situations.

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Corresponding author: oleg.loginov@list.ru

Abstract

Academic physical education curricula with an emphasis on the students’ emergency preparedness give a special priority to the students’ motivations and determined attitudes to the educational process. Objective of the study was explore the ways to improve students’ emergency preparedness with the humanities university students’ motivations for physical education being rated versus those of the cadets of the Ministry of Emergency Situations  (MES) Academy. Experimental Groups (EG) of humanities university students and cadets (n=187) of the MES academy were trained and studied in the period of 2016-2017. The Reference Groups (RG) were trained as required by the standard physical education curriculum within the approved timeframe. The EGs were briefed for 15 min prior to every training session on the matters of due physical and mental fitness as a prime prerequisite for the individual safety and success in emergency situations. The EG training practices were designed to master and train the basic motor skills and physical qualities by special physical exercises to be prepared for emergency situations as overviewed in the theoretical training hours. The training model was found beneficial as verified by the EG versus RG progress in the motivational domain, with the MES cadets tested with the higher motivations versus the humanities university students.