• The Impact of Student Choice on Learner Engagement in Physical Education

      Kozub, Francis M.; Bray, Michael; The College at Brockport (2013-05-08)
      Physical activity levels decline with age and this begins in children as young as sixth grade and continues into adulthood. Research has demonstrated that children ages 12-21 do not regularly participate in vigorous physical activity and that there is a 50-75 percent decrease in physical activity levels from kindergarten to 12th grade (Bryon & Solmon, 2012). Inactivity is attributed to a decrease in motivation due to various factors, including boredom of repeated activities, coeducational classes, and a lack of perceived competence. This synthesis comprised of 14 studies that examined how curriculums that offer choices can have an impact on self-determination and student engagement. Choice in general has been found to increase self-determination in persons of all ages (Deci & Ryan, 2000) and the findings from the critical mass also supports more self-determined learners in physical education when choices are offered. It was also found that students have a desire to choose activities that they enjoy and increase self-competence. Students in general want to receive several opportunities to participate and feel physically challenged. Students lose interest in large-sided games because team sizes are too large. Gender appears to be a factor that influences findings and it appears that males may differ from females in relation to activity preferences. Gender differences are something that physical educators should consider when developing or revising their curriculum. Factors related to choice were examined and then recommendations were provided for implementing choice into a physical education curriculum.