The purpose of many physical education programs in schools across the United States is to make students who pass the class "physically educated" students; hence the name of the class itself. To be "physically educated" means having a certain set of characteristics fostered by repeated exposure to constructive, effective physical education environments. One of the most important qualities a physically educated student possesses is that they "value physical activity and its contributions to a healthy lifestyle." This is simple enough. However, when high school students on the brink of adulthood do not possess attitudes that value any type of regular physical activity, the goal of the physical education class becomes much harder to reach. Through differentiation of physical education curriculum, teachers are able to increase levels of student autonomy, therefore increasing their motivation to participate in regular physical activity. A peer-reviewed questionnaire can be administered to the class in order to gather a baseline reading of their motivation levels before strength and conditioning unit begins. After both the educator and the students completed the differentiated curriculum and physical activities, the questionnaire can be administered again. By comparing the results of the post-instructional motivational questionnaire and the recorded progress of each student on individual fitness logs, the effectiveness of the differentiated curriculum may be assessed.
My name is Derrick Alvarez. As of the Spring 2013 semester, I am a senior Physical Education-Teacher Education major at Valparaiso University. I am a firm believer in the idea that a sound body equals a sound mind. The healthier this nation's students become, the more success they will experience in their lives. This research is very important to me as a future Physical Education teacher and Athletic Trainer because it will help to develop different teaching strategies designed to increase and maintain student motivation levels in my class.
Alvarez, Derrick, "How Increased Motivation Levels Can Lead to Increased Levels of Muscular Strength and Cardiovasular Endurance" (2013). Education Senior Action Research Projects. Paper 21.