Investigating the Relationship between Teaching Games for Understanding and High School Physical Education Students’ Enjoyment, Self-Efficacy, and Intentions to Enroll
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Physical education (PE) is a useful course which provides a variety of physical, cognitive, and affective benefits to students; however, rates of student enrollment in Canadian PE classes are in decline (Lodewyk & Pybus, 2013). Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) was developed as a means of teaching students to be better games players and enjoy PE more than traditional teaching methods (e.g. Collier, 2005; Mandigo, Holt, Anderson, & Sheppard, 2008). Research has demonstrated that there is a link between TGfU and enjoyment (e.g. Mandigo et al., 2008), self-efficacy (Gubacs-Collins, 2007), and between enjoyment and participation in sports or physical activity (Kidman & Lombardo, 2010); however, there has been minimal research examining TGfU’s effect on student enrollment. Three ninth-grade PE teachers and 71 grade nine students in a southwestern Ontario school obtained consent to participate in the study. Questionnaires were used to collect data on four occasions across a two-week TGfU unit. Repeated-measures analysis revealed that ninth grade student enjoyment, self-efficacy, and intentions to enroll remained static over time (p > 0.05). Analysis also revealed that students who reported high enjoyment at baseline decreased in enjoyment over the course of the TGfU unit (p = 0.00). Students reported that the unit was fun and they liked the games aspect of TGfU; while the students disliked the unit because it was boring. Findings of decreased enjoyment in students with initially high enjoyment is novel to this study with previous findings have shown an increase in enjoyment (e.g., Jones, Marshall, Peters, 2010). Future research should continue to examine the effects of various instructional models on student enrollment to provide the benefits that PE has to offer.