Articles accommodating gender differences in teaching
The psychosocial benefits include improved social skills, improved leadership skills and increased self-esteem.In a research study by the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute (see Craig et al 2001), 3,334 parents of school-aged children were surveyed, and only 20 per cent indicated that their child received daily physical education.This article is intended to provide an in-depth understanding as to why girls are opting not to take physical education beyond the compulsory levels.Also, the question of segregated or coeducational physical education classes will be discussed.If girls are turned off by physical education in high school, they are much less likely to remainactive as adults.
In a study conducted in Saskatchewan, Avery, Girolami and Humbert (1998, 4) state, “In the school selected for our study, over 80% of the young women who participated in physical education when it was compulsory did not enroll in optional physical education classes.” Another study focusing on participation in physical education (King and Coles 1992) determined that “young females participate less often in physical activities than young males and also consider themselves less fit and less likely to be physically active at age 20” (p 3).
Often, those students are less physically active after graduation and into their adult lives.
If we can understand why many girls are leaving high school with negative feelings about physical education, wecan implement strategies to deal with the trend accordingly.
Research indicates that previous negative experiences in physical education, particularly during elementary school, are the number one reason girls dislike physical education (Avery, Girolami and Humbert 1998).
Many girls have found previous physical education classes to be too competitive, and they feel that teachers show gender bias and make students engage in intense activity (such as running laps or doing pushups) as a form of punishment.
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Avery, Girolami and Humbert (1998, 19) highlight the comment of one participant, who said, “We didn’t bring our stuff so we just sat against the side of the gym, about ten of us.