problem solving in physical education

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problem solving in physical education

Teaching Cooperative Learning and Problem Solving in PE

Lynn Burrows

This year, I changed up how I teach cooperative learning. I started by looking at the main skills I wanted my students to gain.

  • Listening to others’ ideas
  • Collaboratively solving problems
  • Valuing everyone’s voice

I decided the best way to have my students learn and practice these skills wasn’t through the traditional cooperative learning activities. Instead, I began by teaching them a variety of simple games.

  • A four-team Capture the Flag type game
  • A six-team invasion type game
  • A six-team tagging game
  • A four-team knock down the targets game

Throughout these activities, I emphasized the characteristics of a good teammate. This includes reinforcing the skills, listening to others’ ideas, solving problems, and valuing everyone. Learning about the characteristics of a great teammate led us into the Invention Adventure!

Invention Adventure

SturTell Ball Holder

Choice of equipment:

  • SturTee Ball Holders                                           
  • Giant Balls

GoRings

  • Pool Noodles
  • GoRings Set

(This is what I used, but you can use whatever you have available.)

Instructions:

  • Work with your partner to create a game to teach to the class.
  • Take turns sharing your ideas and building off each other’s ideas (listen, collaborate, and problem solve ).
  • When you have a game you believe is ready, go explain it to the teacher.

Students Teach the Game

Teachthegame

When the first pair of students worked out the details of their game, they got up in front of the class and explained it. I helped them with starters, “the set up of this game is…”, “the object of this game is…” Their classmates can ask clarifying questions, “what happens when someone gets tagged?” Then the class played the game for about 4-5 minutes. During this short playtime, a game flaw usually became apparent. For example, it was too hard to hit the target, it was too easy to defend an opponent, etc.

Revising the Game

We then re-grouped and students made suggestions to the game creators. I helped the first few groups frame the discussion with, “First think about what part of the game wasn’t working. For example, it was too hard, it was too easy… Then your comment needs to be a suggestion for solving.”

  • Game creators led this discussion, they called on students for suggestions, and just took them all in. They didn’t try to come to a decision during the discussion.
  • Students could ask clarifying questions. If the Game Creators didn’t know the answer, they said “we will let you know.”
  • Game Creators were given 1-2 minutes to determine how they could revise the game. During this short break, the rest of the class met with their creating parter and discussed their own game inventions.
  • Game Creators instructed the class on the revised game and we played the revised game.

Lesson Objective: Students work cooperatively with others.

Teachthegame2

Not only did students get lots of practice on the lesson objective, it was super fun to see how incredibly creative they were! They loved sharing their ideas with the class and seeing their fun games get even better with the suggestions of their classmates. It has taken a little longer than I usually give to cooperative learning activities, but I think it has been worth it. I plan on using their game creations as warm-up activities throughout the year.

How do you teach cooperative learning skills? We’d love to hear about your experiences facilitating student created games. Please share them with us!

One Response

Hello Lynn, I hope you are well Do you have the lesson plan for a six-team invasion type game or a six-team tagging game?

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problem solving in physical education

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problem solving in physical education

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ORIGINAL RESEARCH article

The problem-solving method: efficacy for learning and motivation in the field of physical education.

\nGhaith Ezeddine

  • 1 High Institute of Sport and Physical Education of Sfax, University of Sfax, Sfax, Tunisia
  • 2 Research Unit of the National Sports Observatory (ONS), Tunis, Tunisia
  • 3 Research Laboratory: Education, Motricity, Sport and Health, EM2S, LR19JS01, University of Sfax, Sfax, Tunisia
  • 4 Department of Neuroscience, Rehabilitation, Ophthalmology, Genetics, Maternal and Child Health (DINOGMI), University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy
  • 5 Centre for Intelligent Healthcare, Coventry University, Coventry, United Kingdom
  • 6 Laboratory for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • 7 High Institute of Sport and Physical Education of Ksar Saîd, University Manouba, UMA, Manouba, Tunisia

Background: In pursuit of quality teaching and learning, teachers seek the best method to provide their students with a positive educational atmosphere and the most appropriate learning conditions.

Objectives: The purpose of this study is to compare the effects of the problem-solving method vs. the traditional method on motivation and learning during physical education courses.

Methods: Fifty-three students ( M age 15 ± 0.1 years), in their 1st year of the Tunisian secondary education system, voluntarily participated in this study, and randomly assigned to a control or experimental group. Participants in the control group were taught using the traditional methods, whereas participants in the experimental group were taught using the problem-solving method. Both groups took part in a 10-hour experiment over 5 weeks. To measure students' situational motivation, a questionnaire was used to evaluate intrinsic motivation, identified regulation, external regulation, and amotivation during the first (T0) and the last sessions (T2). Additionally, the degree of students' learning was determined via video analyses, recorded at T0, the fifth (T1), and T2.

Results: Motivational dimensions, including identified regulation and intrinsic motivation, were significantly greater (all p < 0.001) in the experimental vs. the control group. The students' motor engagement in learning situations, during which the learner, despite a degree of difficulty performs the motor activity with sufficient success, increased only in the experimental group ( p < 0.001). The waiting time in the experimental group decreased significantly at T1 and T2 vs. T0 (all p < 0.001), with lower values recorded in the experimental vs. the control group at the three-time points (all p < 0.001).

Conclusions: The problem-solving method is an efficient strategy for motor skills and performance enhancement, as well as motivation development during physical education courses.

1. Introduction

The education of children is a sensitive and poignant subject, where the wellbeing of the child in the school environment is a key issue ( Ergül and Kargin, 2014 ). For this, numerous research has sought to find solutions to the problems of the traditional method, which focuses on the teacher as an instructor, giver of knowledge, arbiter of truth, and ultimate evaluator of learning ( Ergül and Kargin, 2014 ; Cunningham and Sood, 2018 ). From this perspective, a teachers' job is to present students with a designated body of knowledge in a predetermined order ( Arvind and Kusum, 2017 ). For them, learners are seen as people with “knowledge gaps” that need to be filled with information. In this method, teaching is conceived as the act of transmitting knowledge from point A (responsible for the teacher) to point B (responsible for the students; Arvind and Kusum, 2017 ). According to Novak (2010) , in the traditional method, the teacher is the one who provokes the learning.

The traditional method focuses on lecture-based teaching as the center of instruction, emphasizing delivery of program and concept ( Johnson, 2010 ; Ilkiw et al., 2017 ; Dickinson et al., 2018 ). The student listens and takes notes, passively accepts and receives from the teacher undifferentiated and identical knowledge ( Bi et al., 2019 ). Course content and delivery are considered most important, and learners acquire knowledge through exercise and practice ( Johnson et al., 1998 ). In the traditional method, academic achievement is seen as the ability of students to demonstrate, replicate, or convey this designated body of knowledge to the teacher. It is based on a transmissive model, the teacher contenting themselves with exchanging and transmitting information to the learner. Here, only the “knowledge” and “teacher” poles of the pedagogical triangle are solicited. The teacher teaches the students, who play the role of the spectator. They receive information without participating in its creation ( Perrenoud, 2003 ). For this, researchers invented a new student-centered method with effects on improving students' graphic interpretation skills and conceptual understanding of kinematic motion represent an area of contemporary interest ( Tebabal and Kahssay, 2011 ). Indeed, in order to facilitate the process of knowledge transfer, teachers should use appropriate methods targeted to specific objectives of the school curricula.

For instance, it has been emphasized that the effectiveness of any educational process as a whole relies on the crucial role of using a well-designed pedagogical (teaching and/or learning) strategy ( Kolesnikova, 2016 ).

Alternate to a traditional method of teaching, Ergül and Kargin (2014 ), proposed the problem-solving method, which represents one of the most common student-centered learning strategies. Indeed, this method allows students to participate in the learning environment, giving them the responsibility for their own acquisition of knowledge, as well as the opportunity for the understanding and structuring of diverse information.

For Cunningham and Sood (2018) , the problem-solving method may be considered a fundamental tool for the acquisition of new knowledge, notably learning transfer. Moreover, the problem-solving method is purportedly efficient for the development of manual skills and experiential learning ( Ergül and Kargin, 2014 ), as well as the optimization of thinking ability. Additionally, the problem-solving method allows learners to participate in the learning environment, while giving them responsibility for their learning and making them understand and structure the information ( Pohan et al., 2020 ). In this context, Ali (2019) reported that, when faced with an obstacle, the student will have to invoke his/her knowledge and use his/her abilities to “break the deadlock.” He/she will therefore make the most of his/her potential, but also share and exchange with his/her colleagues ( Ali, 2019 ). Throughout the process, the student will learn new concepts and skills. The role of the teacher is paramount at the beginning of the activity, since activities will be created based on problematic situations according to the subject and the program. However, on the day of the activity, it does not have the main role, and the teacher will guide learners in difficulty and will allow them to manage themselves most of the time ( Ali, 2019 ).

The problem-solving method encourages group discussion and teamwork ( Fidan and Tuncel, 2019 ). Additionally, in this pedagogical approach, the role of the teacher is a facilitator of learning, and they take on a much more interactive and less rebarbative role ( Garrett, 2008 ).

For the teaching method to be effective, teaching should consist of an ongoing process of making desirable changes among learners using appropriate methods ( Ayeni, 2011 ; Norboev, 2021 ). To bring about positive changes in students, the methods used by teachers should be the best for the subject to be taught ( Adunola et al., 2012 ). Further, suggests that teaching methods work effectively, especially if they meet the needs of learners since each learner interprets and answers questions in a unique way. Improving problem-solving skills is a primary educational goal, as is the ability to use reasoning. To acquire this skill, students must solve problems to learn mathematics and problem-solving ( Hu, 2010 ); this encourages the students to actively participate and contribute to the activities suggested by the teacher. Without sufficient motivation, learning goals can no longer be optimally achieved, although learners may have exceptional abilities. The method of teaching employed by the teachers is decisive to achieve motivational consequences in physical education students ( Leo et al., 2022 ). Pérez-Jorge et al. (2021 ) posited that given we now live in a technological society in which children are used to receiving a large amount of stimuli, gaining and maintaining their attention and keeping them motivated at school becomes a challenge for teachers.

Fenouillet (2012) stated that academic motivation is linked to resources and methods that improve attention for school learning. Furthermore, Rolland (2009) and Bessa et al. (2021) reported a link between a learner's motivational dynamics and classroom activities. The models of learning situations, where the student is the main actor, directly refers to active teaching methods, and that there is a strong link between motivation and active teaching ( Rossa et al., 2021 ). In the same context, previous reports assert that the motivation of students in physical education is an important factor since the intra-individual motivation toward this discipline is recognized as a major determinant of physical activity for students ( Standage et al., 2012 ; Luo, 2019 ; Leo et al., 2022 ). Further, extensive research on the effectiveness of teaching methods shows that the quality of teaching often influences the performance of learners ( Norboev, 2021 ). Ayeni (2011) reported that education is a process that allows students to make changes desirable to achieve specific results. Thus, the consistency of teaching methods with student needs and learning influences student achievement. This has led several researchers to explore the impact of different teaching strategies, ranging from traditional methods to active learning techniques that can be used such as the problem-solving method ( Skinner, 1985 ; Darling-Hammond et al., 2020 ).

In the context of innovation, Blázquez (2016 ) emphasizes the importance of adopting active methods and implementing them as the main element promoting the development of skills, motivation and active participation. Pedagogical models are part of the active methods which, together with model-based practice, replace traditional teaching ( Hastie and Casey, 2014 ; Casey et al., 2021 ). Thus, many studies have identified pedagogical models as the most effective way to place students at the center of the teaching-learning process ( Metzler, 2017 ), making it possible to assess the impact of physical education on learning students ( Casey, 2014 ; Rivera-Pérez et al., 2020 ; Manninen and Campbell, 2021 ). Since each model is designed to focus on a specific program objective, each model has limitations when implemented in isolation ( Bunker and Thorpe, 1982 ; Rivera-Pérez et al., 2020 ). Therefore, focusing on developing students' social and emotional skills and capacities could help them avoid failure in physical education ( Ang and Penney, 2013 ). Thus, the current emergence of new pedagogical models goes with their hybridization with different methods, which is a wave of combinations proposed today as an innovative pedagogical strategy. The incorporation of this type of method in the current education system is becoming increasingly important because it gives students a greater role, participation, autonomy and self-regulation, and above all it improves their motivation ( Puigarnau et al., 2016 ). The teaching model of personal and social responsibility, for example, is closely related to the sports education model because both share certain approaches to responsibility ( Siedentop et al., 2011 ). One of the first studies to use these two models together was Rugby ( Gordon and Doyle, 2015 ), which found significant improvements in student behavior. Also, the recent study by Menendez and Fernandez-Rio (2017) on educational kickboxing.

Previous studies have indicated that hybridization can increase play, problem solving performance and motor skills ( Menendez and Fernandez-Rio, 2017 ; Ward et al., 2021 ) and generate positive psychosocial consequences, such as pleasure, intention to be physically active and responsibility ( Dyson and Grineski, 2001 ; Menendez and Fernandez-Rio, 2017 ).

But despite all these research results, the picture remains unclear, and it remains unknown which method is more effective in improving students' learning and motivation. Given the lack of published evidence on this topic, the aim of this study was to compare the effects of problem-solving vs. the traditional method on students' motivation and learning.

We hypothesized would that the problem-solving method would be more effective in improving students' motivation and learning better than the traditional method.

2. Materials and method

2.1. participants.

Fifty-three students, aged 15–16 ( M age 15 ± 0.1 years), in their 1st year of the Tunisian secondary education system, voluntarily participated in this study. All participants were randomly chosen. Repeating students, those who practice handball activity in civil/competitive/amateur clubs or in the high school sports association, and students who were absent, even for one session, were excluded. The first class consisted of 30 students (16 boys and 14 girls), who represented the experimental group and followed basic courses on a learning method by solving problems. The second class consisted of 23 students (10 boys and 13 girls), who represented the control group and followed the traditional teaching method. The total duration was spread over 5 weeks, or two sessions per week and each session lasted 50 min.

University research ethics board approval (CPPSUD: 0295/2021) was obtained before recruiting participants who were subsequently informed of the nature, objective, methodology, and constraints. Teacher, school director, parental/guardian, and child informed consent was obtained prior to participation in the study.

2.2. Procedure

Before the start of the experiment, the participants were familiarized with the equipment and the experimental protocol in order to ensure a good learning climate. For this and to mitigate the impact of the observer and the cameras on the students, the two researchers were involved prior to the data collection in a week of familiarization by making test recordings with the classes concerned.

An approach of a teaching cycle consisting of 10 sessions spread over 5 weeks, amounting to two sessions per week. Physical education classes were held in the morning from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., with a single goal for each session that lasted 50 min. The cyclic programs were produced by the teacher responsible for carrying out the experiment with 18 years of service. To do this, the students had the same lessons with the same objectives, only pedagogy that differs: the experimental group worked using problem-solving pedagogy, while the control group was confronted with traditional pedagogy. The sessions took place in a handball field 40 m long and 20 m wide. Examples of training sessions using the problem-solving pedagogy and the traditional pedagogy are presented in Table 1 . In addition, a motivation questionnaire, the Situational Motivation Scale (SIMS; Guay et al., 2000 ), was administered to learners at the end of the session (i.e., in the beginning, and end of the cycle). Each student answered the questions alone and according to their own ideas. This questionnaire was taken in a classroom to prevent students from acting abnormally during the study. It lasted for a maximum of 10 min.

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Table 1 . Example of activities for the different sessions.

Two diametrically opposed cameras were installed so to film all the movements and behaviors of each student and teacher during the three sessions [(i) test at the start of the cycle (T0), (ii) in the middle of the cycle (T1), and (iii) test at the end of the cycle (T2)]. These sessions had the same content and each consisted of four phases: the getting started, the warm-up, the work up (which consisted of three situations: first, the work was goes up the ball to two to score in the goal following a shot. Second, the same principle as the previous situation but in the presence of a defender. Finally, third, a match 7 ≠ 7), and the cooling down These recordings were analyzed using a Learning Time Analysis System grid (LTAS; Brunelle et al., 1988 ). This made it possible to measure individual learning by coding observable variables of the behavior of learners in a learning situation.

2.3. Data collection and analysis

2.3.1. the motivation questionnaire.

In this study, in order to measure the situational motivation of students, the situational motivation scale (SIMS; Guay et al., 2000 ), which used. This questionnaire assesses intrinsic motivation, identified regulation, external regulation and amotivation. SIMS has demonstrated good reliability and factor validity in the context of physical education in adolescents ( Lonsdale et al., 2011 ). The participants received exact instructions from the researchers in accordance with written instructions on how to conduct the data collection. Participants completed the SIMS anonymously at the start of a physical education class. All students had the opportunity to write down their answers without being observed and to ask questions if anything was unclear. To minimize the tendency to give socially desirable answers, they were asked to answer as honestly as possible, with the confidence that the teacher would not be able to read their answers and that their grades would not be affected by how they responded. The SIMS questionnaire was filled at T0 and T2. This scale is made up of 16 items divided into four dimensions: intrinsic motivation, identified regulation, external regulation and amotivation. Each item is rated on a 7-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (which is the weakest factor) “not at all” to 7 (which is the strongest factor) “exactly matches.”

In order to assess the internal consistency of the scales, a Cronbach alpha test was conducted ( Cronbach, 1951 ). The internal consistency of the scales was acceptable with reliability coefficients ranging from 0.719 to 0.87. The coefficient of reliability was 0.8.

In the present study, Cronbach's alphas were: intrinsic motivation = 0.790; regulation identified = 0.870; external regulation = 0.749; and amotivation = 0.719.

2.3.2. Camcorders

The audio-visual data collection was conducted using two Sony camcorders (Model; Handcam 4K) with a wireless microphone with a DJ transmitter-receiver (VHF 10HL F4 Micro HF) with a range of 80 m ( Maddeh et al., 2020 ). The collection took place over a period of 5 weeks, with three captures for each class (three sessions of 50 min for each at T0, T1, and T2). Two researchers were trained in the procedures and video capture techniques. The cameras were positioned diagonally, in order to film all the behavior of the students and teacher on the set.

2.3.3. The Learning Time Analysis System (LTAS)

To measure the degree of student learning, the analysis of videos recorded using the LTAS grid by Brunelle et al. (1988) was used, at T0, T1, and T2. This observation system with predetermined categories uses the technique of observation by small intervals (i.e., 6 s) and allows to measure individual learning by coding observable variables of their behaviors when they have been in a learning situation. This grid also permits the specification of the quantity and quality with which the participants engaged in the requested work and was graded, broadly, on two characteristics: the type of situation offered to the group by the teacher and the behavior of the target participant. The situation offered to the group was subdivided into three parts: preparatory situations; knowledge development situations, and motor development situations.

The observations and coding of behaviors are carried out “at intervals.” This technique is used extensively in research on behavior analysis. The coder observes the teaching situation and a particular student during each interval ( Brunelle et al., 1988 ). It then makes a decision concerning the characteristic of the observed behavior. The 6-s observation interval is followed by a coding interval of 6 s too. A cassette tape recorder is used to regulate the observation and recording intervals. It is recorded for this purpose with the indices “observe” and “code” at the start of each 6-s period. During each coding unit, the observer answered the following questions: What is the type of situation in which the class group finds itself? If the class group is in a learning situation proper, in what form of commitment does the observed student find himself? The abbreviations representing the various categories of behavior have been entered in the spaces which correspond to them. The coder was asked to enter a hyphen instead of the abbreviation when the same categories of behavior follow one another in consecutive intervals ( Brunelle et al., 1988 ).

During the preparatory period, the following behaviors were identified and analyzed:

- Deviant behavior: The student adopts a behavior incompatible with a listening attitude or with the smooth running of the preparatory situations.

- Waiting time: The student is waiting without listening or observing.

- Organized during: The student is involved in a complementary activity that does not represent a contribution to learning (e.g., regaining his place in a line, fetching a ball that has just left the field, replacing a piece of equipment).

During the motor development situations, the following behaviors were identified and analyzed:

- Motor engagement 1: The participant performs the motor activity with such easy that it can be inferred that their actions have little chance to engage in a learning process.

- Motor engagement 2: The participant-despite a certain degree of difficulty, performs the motor activity with sufficient success, which makes it possible to infer that they are in the process of learning.

- Motor engagement 3: The participant performs the motor activity with such difficulty that their efforts have very little chance of being part of a learning process.

2.4. Statistical analysis

Statistical tests were performed using statistical software 26.0 for windows (SPSS, Inc, Chicago, IL, USA). Data are presented in text and tables as means ± standard deviations and in figures as means and standard errors. Once the normal distribution of data was confirmed by the Shapiro-Wilk W -test, parametric tests were performed. Analysis of the results was performed using a mixed 2-way analysis of variance (ANOVA): Groups × Time with repeated measures.

For the learning parameters, the ANOVA took the following form: 2 Groups (Control Group vs. Experimental Group) × 3 Times (T0, T1, and T2).

For the dimensions of motivation, the ANOVA took the following form: 2 Groups (Control Group vs. Experimental Group) × 2 Time (T0 vs. T2).

In instances where the ANOVA showed a significant effect, a Bonferroni post-hoc test was applied in order to compare the experimental data in pairs, otherwise by an independent or paired Student's T -test. Effect sizes were calculated as partial eta-squared η p 2 to estimate the meaningfulness of significant findings, where η p 2 values of 0.01, 0.06, and 0.13 represent small, moderate, and large effect sizes, respectively ( Lakens, 2013 ). All observed differences were considered statistically significant for a probability threshold lower than p < 0.05.

Table 2 shows the results of learning variables during the preparatory and the development learning periods at T0, T1, and T2, in the control group and the experimental group.

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Table 2 . Comparison of learning variables using two teaching methods in physical education.

The analysis of variance of two factors with repeated measures showed a significant effect of group, learning, and group learning interaction for the deviant behavior. The post-hoc test revealed significantly less frequent deviant behaviors in the experimental than in the control group at T0, T1, and T2 (all p < 0.001). Additionally, the deviant behavior decreased significantly at T1 and T2 compared to T0 for both groups (all p < 0.001).

For appropriate engagement, there were no significant group effect, a significant learning effect, and a significant group learning interaction effect. The post-hoc test revealed that compared to T0, Appropriate engagement recorded at T1 and T2 increased significantly ( p = 0.032; p = 0.031, respectively) in the experimental group, whilst it decreased significantly in the control group ( p < 0.001). Additionally, Appropriate engagement was higher in the experimental vs. control group at T1 and T2 (all p < 0.001).

For waiting time, a significant interaction in terms of group effect, learning, and group learning was found. The post-hoc test revealed that waiting time was higher at T1 and T2 vs. T0 (all p < 0.001) in the control group. In addition, waiting time in the experimental group decreased significantly at T1 and T2 vs. T0 (all p < 0.001), with higher values recorded at T2 vs. T1 ( p = 0.025). Additionally, lower values were recorded in the experimental group vs. the control group at the three-time points (all p < 0.001).

For Motor engagement 2, a significant group, learning, and group-learning interaction effect was noted. The post-hoc test revealed that Motor engagement 2 increased significantly in both groups at T1 ( p < 0.0001) and T2 ( p < 0.0001) vs. T0 ( p = 0.045), with significantly higher values recorded in the experimental group at T1 and T2.

Regarding Motor engagement 3, a non-significant group effect was reported. Contrariwise, a significant learning effect and group learning interaction was reported ( Table 1 ). The post-hoc test revealed a significant decrease in the control group and the experimental group at T1 ( p = 0.294) at T2 ( p = 0.294) vs. T0 ( p = 0.0543). In addition, a non-significant difference between the two groups was found.

A significant group and learning effect was noted for the organized during, and a non-significant group learning interaction. For organized during, the paired Student T -test showed a significant decrease in the control group and the experimental group (all p < 0.001). The independent Student T -test revealed a non-significant difference between groups at the three-time points.

Results of the motivational dimensions in the control group and the experimental group recorded at T0 and T2 are presented in Table 3 .

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Table 3 . Comparison of the four motivational dimensions in two teaching methods in physical education.

For intrinsic motivation, a significant group effect and group learning interaction and also a non-significant learning effect was found. The post-hoc test indicated that the intrinsic motivation decreased significantly in the control group ( p = 0.029), whilst it increased in the experimental group ( p = 0.04). Additionally, the intrinsic motivation of the experimental group was higher at T0 ( p = 0.026) and T2 ( p < 0.001) compared to that of the control group.

For the identified regulation, a significant group effect, a non-significant learning effect and group learning interaction were reported. The paired Student's T -test revealed that from T0 to T1, the identified motivation increased significantly only in the experimental group ( p = 0.022), while it remained unchanged in the control group. The independent Student's T -test revealed that the identified regulation recorded in the experimental group at T0 ( p = 0.012) and T2 ( p < 0.001) was higher compared to that of the control group.

The external regulation presents a significant group effect. In addition, a non-significant learning effect and group learning interaction were reported. The paired Student's T -test showed that the external regulation decreased significantly in the experimental group ( p = 0.038), whereas it remained unchanged in the control group. Further, the independent Student's T -test revealed that the external regulation recorded at T2 was higher in the control group vs. the experimental group ( p < 0.001).

Relating to amotivation, results showed a significant group effect. Furthermore, a non-significant learning effect and group learning interaction were reported. The paired Student's T -test showed that, from T0 to T2, amotivation decreased significantly in the experimental group ( p = 0.011) and did not change in the control group. The independent Student T -test revealed that amotivation recorded at T2 was lower in the experimental compared to the control group ( p = 0.002).

4. Discussion

The main purpose of this study was to compare the effects of the problem-solving vs. traditional method on motivation and learning during physical education courses. The results revealed that the problem-solving method is more effective than the traditional method in increasing students' motivation and improving their learning. Moreover, the results showed that mean wait times and deviant behaviors decreased using the problem-solving method. Interestingly, the average time spent on appropriate engagement increased using the problem-solving method compared to the traditional method. When using the traditional method, the average wait times increased and, as a result, the time spent on appropriate engagement decreased. Then, following the decrease in deviant behaviors and waiting times, an increase in the time spent warming up was evident (i.e., appropriate engagement). Indeed, there was an improvement in engagement time using the problem-solving method and a decrease using the traditional method. On the other hand, there was a decrease in motor engagement 3 in favor of motor engagement 2. Indeed, it has been shown that the problem-solving method has been used in the learning process and allows for its improvement ( Docktor et al., 2015 ). In addition, it could also produce better quality solutions and has higher scores on conceptual and problem-solving measures. It is also a good method for the learning process to enhance students' academic performance ( Docktor et al., 2015 ; Ali, 2019 ). In contrast, the traditional method limits the ability of teachers to reach and engage all students ( Cook and Artino, 2016 ). Furthermore, it produces passive learning with an understanding of basic knowledge which is characterized by its weakness ( Goldstein, 2016 ). Taken together, it appears that the problem-solving method promotes and improves learning more than the traditional method.

It should be acknowledged that other factors, such as motivation, could influence learning. In this context, our results showed that the method of problem-solving could improve the motivation of the learners. This motivation includes several variables that change depending on the situation, namely the intrinsic motivation that pushes the learner to engage in an activity for the interest and pleasure linked to the practice of the latter ( Komarraju et al., 2009 ; Guiffrida et al., 2013 ; Chedru, 2015 ). The student, therefore, likes to learn through problem-solving and neglects that of the traditional method. These results are concordant with others ( Deci and Ryan, 1985 ; Chedru, 2015 ; Ryan and Deci, 2020 ). Regarding the three forms of extrinsic motivation: first, extrinsic motivation by an identified regulation which manifests itself in a high degree of self-determination where the learner engages in the activity because it is important for him ( Deci and Ryan, 1985 ; Chedru, 2015 ). This explains the significant difference between the two groups. Then, the motivation by external regulation which is characterized by a low degree of self-determination such as the behavior of the learner is manipulated by external circumstances such as obtaining rewards or the removal of sanctions ( Deci and Ryan, 1985 ; Chedru, 2015 ). For this, the means of this variable decreased for the experimental group which is intrinsically motivated. He does not need any reward to work and is not afraid of punishment because he is self-confident. Third, amotivation is at the opposite end of the self-determination continuum. Unmotivated students are the most likely to feel negative emotions ( Ratelle et al., 2007 ; David, 2010 ), to have low self-esteem ( Deci and Ryan, 1995 ), and who attempts to abandon their studies ( Vallerand et al., 1997 ; Blanchard et al., 2005 ). So, more students are motivated by external regulation or demotivated, less interest they show and less effort they make, and more likely they are to fail ( Grolnick et al., 1991 ; Miserandino, 1996 ; Guay et al., 2000 ; Blanchard et al., 2005 ).

It is worth noting that there is a close link between motivation and learning ( Bessa et al., 2021 ; Rossa et al., 2021 ). Indeed, when the learner's motivation is high, so will his learning. However, all this depends on the method used ( Norboev, 2021 ). For example, the method of problem-solving increase motivation more than the traditional method, as evidenced by several researchers ( Parish and Treasure, 2003 ; Artino and Stephens, 2009 ; Kim and Frick, 2011 ; Lemos and Veríssimo, 2014 ).

Given the effectiveness of the problem-solving method in improving students' learning and motivation, it should be used during physical education teaching. This could be achieved through the organization of comprehensive training programs, seminars, and workshops for teachers so to master and subsequently be able to use the problem-solving method during physical education lessons.

Despite its novelty, the present study suffers from a few limitations that should be acknowledged. First, a future study, consisting of a group taught using the mixed method would preferable so to better elucidate the true impact of this teaching and learning method. Second, no gender and/or age group comparisons were performed. This issue should be addressed in future investigations. Finally, the number of participants is limited. This may be due to working in a secondary school where the number of students in a class is limited to 30 students. Additionally, the number of participants fell to 53 after excluding certain students (exempted, absent for a session, exercising in civil clubs or member of the school association). Therefore, to account for classes of finite size, a cluster-based trial would be beneficial in the future. Moreover, future studies investigating the effect of the active method in reducing some behaviors (e.g., disruptive behaviors) and for the improvement of pupils' attention are warranted.

5. Conclusion

There was an improvement in student learning in favor of the problem-solving method. Additionally, we found that the motivation of learners who were taught using the problem-solving method was better than that of learners who were educated by the traditional method.

Data availability statement

The original contributions presented in the study are included in the article/supplementary material, further inquiries can be directed to the corresponding author.

Ethics statement

University Research Ethics Board approval was obtained before recruiting participants who were subsequently informed of the nature, objective, methodology, and constraints. Teacher, school director, parental/guardian, and child informed consent was obtained prior to participation in the study. In addition, exclusion criteria included; the practice of handball activity in civil/competitive/amateur clubs or in the high school sports association. Written informed consent to participate in this study was provided by the participants' legal guardian/next of kin.

Author contributions

All authors listed have made a substantial, direct, and intellectual contribution to the work and approved it for publication.

Acknowledgments

Special thanks for all students and physical education teaching staff from the 15 November 1955 Secondary School, who generously shared their time, experience, and materials for the proposes of this study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

The reviewer MJ declared a shared affiliation, with no collaboration, with the authors GE, NS, LM, and KT to the handling editor at the time of review.

Publisher's note

All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article, or claim that may be made by its manufacturer, is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.

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Keywords: problem-solving method, traditional method, motivation, learning, students

Citation: Ezeddine G, Souissi N, Masmoudi L, Trabelsi K, Puce L, Clark CCT, Bragazzi NL and Mrayah M (2023) The problem-solving method: Efficacy for learning and motivation in the field of physical education. Front. Psychol. 13:1041252. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.1041252

Received: 10 September 2022; Accepted: 15 December 2022; Published: 25 January 2023.

Reviewed by:

Copyright © 2023 Ezeddine, Souissi, Masmoudi, Trabelsi, Puce, Clark, Bragazzi and Mrayah. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) . The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

Disclaimer: All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article or claim that may be made by its manufacturer is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.

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Critical inquiry and problem-solving in physical education

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Whether they agree that we are now in a period of postmodernity, late modernity or high modernity , social commentators do agree that we live in times characterised by profound social and cultural changes which are recognisable globally but reach into the everyday lives of individual. The nature of these changes is in large part attributed to enormous advances in technology which have allowed for the rapid processing and transmission of information within and across countries and cultures. On one hand, the greater accessibility of information from a larger range of sources has exposed different points of view and thus provided more spaces for the challenging of taken-for-granted truths. At the same time, however, the ubiquitous presence of television and other forms of electronic media have provided a context in which populations can be persuaded to particular points of view, which include ways of understanding health and the values and meanings associated with physical activity and...

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Associated data.

The original contributions presented in the study are included in the article/supplementary material, further inquiries can be directed to the corresponding author.

This review aims to provide a detailed overview of the current status and development trends of blended learning in physical education by reviewing journal articles from the Web of Science (WOS) database. Several dimensions of blended learning were observed, including research trends, participants, online learning tools, theoretical frameworks, evaluation methods, application domains, Research Topics, and challenges. Following the guidelines of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA), a total of 22 journal articles were included in the current review. The findings of this review reveal that the number of blended learning articles in physical education has increased since 2018, proving that the incorporation of online learning tools into physical education courses has grown in popularity. From the reviewed journal articles, most attention is given to undergraduates, emphasizing that attention in the future should be placed on K-12 students, teachers, and educational institutions. The theoretical framework applied by journal articles is also limited to a few articles and the assessment method is relatively homogeneous, consisting mostly of questionnaires. This review also discovers the trends in blended learning in physical education as most of the studies focus on the topic centered on dynamic physical education. In terms of Research Topics, most journal articles focus on perceptions, learning outcomes, satisfaction, and motivation, which are preliminary aspects of blended learning research. Although the benefits of blended learning are evident, this review identifies five challenges of blended learning: instructional design challenges, technological literacy and competency challenges, self-regulation challenges, alienation and isolation challenges, and belief challenges. Finally, a number of recommendations for future research are presented.

1. Introduction

The integration of multiple technologies into traditional instruction has attracted enormous attention and offered numerous research avenues over the years. For instance, influential studies have confirmed the benefits of blended learning. According to Müller and Mildenberger ( 1 ), the definitions of blended learning most commonly used in scientific publications are those by Graham [( 2 ), p. 5]: “blended learning is a combination of face-to-face and computer-mediated instruction” and by Garrison and Kanuka ( 3 ): “thoughtfully integrate the face-to-face learning experience in the classroom with the online learning experience.” Therefore, blended learning in this review includes technology-supported learning with the exception of fully online and fully face-to-face instruction. According to the sequence of integrating traditional classroom-based and online instruction, blended learning can be classified in the forms of blended, hybrid, flipped, or inverted. Despite the forms of blended learning, the use of blended learning has greater potential for transferring content into practice ( 4 ) and improves the quality and quantity of interaction between teachers and students ( 1 ), flexibility ( 5 ), learning engagement ( 6 ), and differentiated instruction ( 7 ) in classrooms.

To date, blended learning models are considered to be the most widely adopted instructional model by educational institutions as they are regarded as effective in providing flexible, timely, and continuous learning ( 8 ). The models have proven to be an upgrade from traditional learning models and fully online learning models as blended learning models combine the advantages of online and face-to-face learning ( 9 ). As a result, blended learning approach is referred to as the “new traditional model” or the “new normal” due to its advantages in optimizing the teaching and learning ( 10 ).

The significance of physical education in contemporary schooling is recognized internationally. Yang et al. ( 11 ) note that in addition to motor skills and physical fitness, physical education has a positive impact on students in several dimensions, such as their personal and social skills, patience, self-esteem, and self-confidence ( 12 – 14 ). In traditional teaching models of physical education, students are placed in a relatively passive position in order to receive knowledge and skills provided by the curriculum and the teaching content is inflexible as it ignores student differences and limits the opportunities for individual instruction and remediation by teachers ( 15 , 16 ). To address the issue with the traditional teaching models of physical education, López-Fernández et al. ( 17 ) suggest blended learning models to provide students with personalized learning opportunities to optimize the quality of their learning in physical education classes, as well as to motivate students to learn.

A systematic review is necessary to understand current research situations of blended learning in physical education. Even though there have been considerable studies on blended learning in physical education, a systematic review of blended learning in this field is limited. To date, only one systematic review investigating the effectiveness of blended learning in higher physical education has been published ( 18 ). Therefore, this study aims to synthesize and analyze the findings to describe the current state and research trend of blended learning in physical education, and thus establish new directions for future research. This study was driven by the following research questions:

  • What are the research trends in blended learning in physical education?
  • Who are the main participants?
  • What are the main online learning tools?
  • What are the theoretical frameworks and evaluation methods used in blended learning in physical education?
  • What are the application domains and Research Topics involved in blended learning in physical education?
  • What are the reported challenges of blended learning in physical education?

2. Methodology

2.1. search process.

This systematic review follows the guidelines of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) ( 19 ). The search on the Web of Science (WoS) electronic database for the articles began in July 2022 and concluded in August 2022. WoS electronic database was chosen because of its high reputation and reliability in investigating leading articles. A search string was developed according to researchers' understanding and knowledge in the field of blended learning and physical education, as well as relevant blended learning and physical education search strings reported in other studies such as in Rasheed et al. ( 8 ) and Yang et al. ( 11 ). The search strings: (blended learning OR blended course OR hybrid learning OR hybrid course OR flipped learning OR flipped learning OR flipped classroom) AND (physical education OR sport * OR physical activity * OR exercise), were inserted in the advanced search query of the Web of Science database. The field option was then specified as a topic and restricted the search to the Social Sciences Citation Index. Then, the references of the papers included in this study were reviewed to ensure that the selected papers answered the six research questions of this review.

2.2. Eligibility criteria

To be considered for inclusion in this review, selected journal articles had to meet the following criteria: (a) define blended learning as the incorporation of traditional face-to-face and online learning, (b) related to blended learning in sports or physical education, (c) empirical study of SSCI indexing, and (d) published in English. On the other hand, the exclusion criteria included: (a) articles with sole concern on the face-to-face portion of blended learning, (b) book chapter reviews, meeting abstracts, reports, and review articles, (c) non-English articles, and (d) unavailable full-text articles.

2.3. Study selection

A total of 531 journal articles were identified from the Web of Science database. A total of 256 duplicate articles were removed after considering the articles following the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Then, using the EndNote reference management software, a database of 135 articles with their titles, abstracts, and full text was created. The articles were carefully read and 22 articles were found pertinent to this review. Figure 1 shows the filtering process of this review based on the PRISMA statement ( 19 ).

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A review process based on the PRISMA statement.

2.4. Data extraction and quality assessment

The data extraction process included the identification of (a) the article's author, nationality, and publication year, (b) participants (i.e., K-12 students, undergraduates, teachers, and others), (c) online learning tools (i.e., learning platforms, learning software, recorded lectures, online learning materials, and others), (d) theoretical frameworks and evaluation methods (i.e., interviews, questionnaires, tests, and other methods), (e) application domains (i.e., basketball, football, badminton, and other courses) and Research Topics (i.e., perceptions, satisfaction, learning effects, and other items), and (f) challenges.

As the reviewed articles differed in research design, a quality assessment tool developed by Rowe et al. ( 20 ) that has been proven to be a useful tool for assessing qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods was utilized ( 21 ). The tool assesses five important methodological aspects of a study, namely the background or literature review, sample, study design or methodology, outcome measures, and conclusions (see Table 1 ). The total score ranges from 0 to 5, with the higher scores representing better methodological quality. Articles scoring 4 or 5 are considered to be high in quality, articles scoring 3 are considered to be of moderate quality, and studies scoring between 0 and 2 are considered to be low in quality. In this review, two trained reviewers independently assessed the quality of the article, with disagreements resolved by the third reviewer. All 22 articles received a score between 4 and 5, indicating their high methodological quality.

Methodological quality assessment tool.

* Total score = sum of individual scores.

This part reports the current state of blended learning in physical education and the key findings by addressing the six research questions of this review. The summary of the characteristics of the 22 studies involved is shown in Table 2 .

Characteristics of the studies examined in the preset review.

3.1. Research trends

The first article on blended learning in physical education was published in 2011. However, since then, the research in this field was limited with zero publications in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017, and only one publication in 2016. However, beginning in 2018, physical education researchers have become increasingly interested in blended learning, with the number of articles reaching a peak in 2020. Journal articles published before August 2022 were also included. However, the number did not represent the accurate situation for the entire year of 2022 because this review concluded in August 2022. The graph of the trends in research on blended learning in physical education is shown in Figure 2 .

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Number of articles published by year.

Based on the number of publications on blended learning in physical education from 2011 to 2022, studies conducted in China accounted for 41 per cent of the total number of publications ( n = 9). From the nine studies, Lin, Hsia, and Hwang authored five studies ( 27 , 29 , 30 , 36 , 39 ). The next highest number of publications on blended learning in physical education was conducted in Spain ( n = 6) and the United Kingdom ( n = 3), while each of the remaining studies was conducted in countries such as the United States, Singapore, Australia, and Ireland.

3.2. Participants

This review identified a total of 3,543 subjects enrolling in the 22 reviewed articles, with 2 ( 34 ) to 602 participants in each study ( 22 ). It is found that the majority of research subjects were undergraduate students ( n = 15). A total of 5 articles reported detailed information about the majors of their participants and the locations of their degree programs, namely undergraduates of exercise science from Griffith University ( 23 ), undergraduates of physical education from the University of Granada, Organization of Educational Centers (Degree) ( 24 ), undergraduates of Pablo de Olavide University, Physical Activity and Sports Science (Degree) ( 25 ), undergraduates of sports management from San Antonio de Murcia University and Pablo de Olavide University ( 37 ), and undergraduates of sport and exercise science from the Edge Hill University ( 41 ). Out of the 22 reviewed articles, 3 articles focused on teachers, 1 article focused on teachers and undergraduates ( 37 ), and 3 articles focused on K-12 students. Among K-12 students, only primary and secondary students were included ( 32 , 33 , 35 ).

3.3. Learning tools

A variety of learning tools were used in the blended learning activities of physical education. Nine journal articles focused on learning platforms, such as Moodle, Wisdom Master Pro, TronClass, and Superstar as learning tools. Online learning materials, including online lectures, online documents, and online websites were studied in six articles. Learning software was mentioned in three articles, while one article used recorded lectures as the primary learning tool. Also, there were articles combining two learning tools ( 32 , 34 ). The use of a learning platform and robots as learning tools was also studied in an article ( 35 ). Nevertheless, four articles did not report any learning tools.

3.4. Theoretical frameworks and evaluation methods

Blended learning is a pedagogical framework based on multiple theories of teaching and learning. This review discovered that the theories presented in the articles include self-determination theory (SDT) ( 22 , 31 ), WSQ-based flipped learning model ( 29 ), ARQI-based flipped learning model ( 30 ), constructivism theory ( 34 , 37 ), hybrid learning theory ( 35 ), post-humanism theory ( 37 ), cognitive apprenticeship and reflective practice theory ( 36 ), ICRA-based flipped learning model ( 39 ), and 3C model ( 42 ). However, of the 22 articles included in this review, 12 articles did not report a theoretical framework that was used to guide their research and teaching practice.

In terms of evaluation methods, 11 articles on blended learning in physical education used only 1 assessment method, 5 articles used 2 assessment methods, and 6 articles used 3 or more assessment methods. Questionnaires were employed by the greatest number of articles ( n = 15), with 3 of them open-ended questionnaires ( 23 , 25 , 41 ). The evaluation methods were followed by tests ( n = 11) and interviews ( n = 10). Other evaluation methods such as lesson observation, field notes, document analysis ( 34 ), and reflective blogging ( 37 ) were also used.

3.5. Application domains and research topics

The range of applications for blended learning in physical education was diverse. There were 10 articles involving sports courses such as the Physical Activity and Wellness course ( 22 ), Sports Coaching course ( 23 ), and Sports Management course ( 40 ). There were also two articles on theory courses ( 37 , 42 ). In addition, most of the current blended learning articles explored dancing ( 27 , 29 , 30 , 38 ), followed by basketball ( 28 , 31 ), football ( 26 ), Wushu ( 35 ), billiards ( 36 ), and badminton ( 39 ). A total of seven articles did not refer to specific areas of the physical education ( 17 , 24 , 25 , 32 – 34 , 41 ).

This review discovered that many articles investigated more than one Research Topic, and the totals exceeded the number of reviewed articles. As a result, the current review grouped the Research Topics of the 22 articles on blended learning in physical education into seven categories. The first category is the perceptions of students or teachers. This topic was investigated in 13 articles and was the most important concern of the blended learning community. The second category was the effects of blended learning in physical education on student learning. This topic was investigated in 12 articles. A total of 6 investigated the third category of blended learning in physical education which is student satisfaction with blended learning. In addition, 4 articles examined the student motivation ( 22 , 29 , 33 , 36 ) and self-efficacy ( 27 , 30 , 36 ), while 2 articles studied task load. Other Research Topics such as attendance ( 24 ), self-assessment tools ( 25 ), skills qualifications and career development ( 26 ), psychological needs ( 33 ), learning interest and attitude ( 35 ), and interaction ( 40 ) were also discovered.

3.6. The challenges of blended learning in physical education

This review identified five categories of challenges of blended learning in physical education. They were instructional design challenges, technological literacy and competency challenges, self-regulation challenges, alienation and isolation challenges, and belief challenges (see Table 3 ). First, instructional design challenges ( n = 6) involved a set of challenges related to scientific planning and rationalization of all aspects of the teaching and learning process in advance, based on student learning characteristics and teacher teaching styles. The second category was technological literacy and competency challenges ( n = 5), which relates to a range of challenges associated with student/teacher proficiency and competence in the appropriate use of technology for teaching and learning. The third category, self-regulation challenges ( n = 2) involved a series of related student behaviors that prevent students from self-regulating the emotions, thoughts, and actions they plan to take in achieving their learning goals. Belief challenges ( n = 2) included negative attitudes and perceptions of teachers or students about the use of technology for teaching or learning. Finally, alienation and isolation challenges ( n = 1) involved a set of associated emotional discomforts suffered by teachers or students when teaching or learning outside of traditional classrooms, mainly caused by loneliness and isolation from others.

The challenges of blended learning in physical education.

4. Discussion

4.1. summary of findings and discussion.

In this systematic review of the adoption of blended learning in physical education, 22 journal articles retrieved from the Web of Science (WOS) database were analyzed and grouped according to research trends, participants, learning tools, theoretical framework, evaluation methods, application domains, Research Topics, and challenges. The publication trend shows that there has been a growing interest in blended learning in physical education since 2018. This indicates that researchers have recognized the role of technology in physical education and have sought to apply technology in physical education to meet student educational needs based on the current challenges and technological teaching resources offered by contemporary society ( 32 ). In addition, the paucity of high-quality literature suggests that research on blended learning in physical education is still in its infancy around the world. Of the 22 articles in this review, 9 were conducted in China, 6 in Spain, and 3 in the UK. Each of the other articles was published in countries such as the USA, Singapore, Australia, and Ireland. Also, previous research supports the view that studies on blended learning in skills-based subjects are very limited and somewhat disconnected ( 27 , 31 , 43 ).

For the participants, the majority of blended learning journal articles in physical education have focused on undergraduates. This is in line with the study by Yang et al. ( 11 ) which found that researchers were more concerned with mobile learning in higher physical education. However, only a limited number of articles investigated K−12 students and teachers separately. This review discovers that blended learning can be a challenge for K−12 students as they have poor self-control and are unfamiliar with the operation of online learning platforms, making it difficult for them to watch instructional videos independently before class. As a result, some articles report several suggestions for applying blended learning in the K-12 educational setting, including determining the duration of online learning based on student attention spans ( 44 ), designing simple and streamlined online courses to create organized learning environments that enable students to improve user experience and reduce cognitive load ( 45 ), connecting online learning content to student experiences ( 46 ), creating study groups in which the teacher sets a theme and the students participate in the learning in a group form to develop the awareness of active participation and the ability to collaborate ( 47 ), providing personalized support ( 48 ), and learning through games to develop skills and knowledge related to course objectives ( 49 ). One prominent suggestion by the reviewed articles is that applying blended learning allows for the facilitation of various types of interactions ( 50 ). Among them, student-student interaction refers to peer support and collaborative learning, student-teacher interaction consists of evaluation, motivation, guidance, and prompt feedback ( 51 ), student–online learning content interaction is the process of intellectual interaction with learning content, to promote students' learning ( 52 ), and student-interface interaction refers to the interaction between students and the technology used to deliver educational content ( 53 ).

In addition, there is a limited number of articles on blended learning in physical education focusing on teachers. This may be because the selection of teachers as subjects for the study is challenging for several reasons. For example, the sample size may be too small for quantitative analysis and some teachers may be reluctant to embrace new teaching models. Nevertheless, technologies, through blended learning, offer many new opportunities for teaching. Besides that the use of blended learning could improve teachers' attitudes toward the application of technology, and it could also enhance their ability to apply technology to physical education, which is crucial for their professional development ( 54 ). Therefore, future blended learning papers in physical education should place greater emphasis on the teacher community.

Blended learning as an innovative pedagogical model requires the application of emerging methods in practice to meet specific pedagogical requirements ( 55 ). This review observed that teachers use different teaching platforms and online learning resources when incorporating blended learning in physical education in order to meet their pedagogical goals. The frequency of “learning platform” ranked highest among the selected studies, followed by “online learning materials” and “learning software.” With the development of educational technology, many student-centered learning platforms (e.g., Moodle, Superstar) are adopted by teachers in different educational institutions. These learning platforms are supported by teachers because they are powerful, easy to use, and can meet the common needs of both teachers and students ( 56 ). In addition, online learning materials which include online lectures, online documents, and online websites have also become teachers' choices. Compared to online learning platforms, online learning materials are richer in content and more diverse in learning formats. Teachers can select appropriate materials according to their student learning interests and practical needs ( 57 ). Self-developed learning tools or learning materials appropriate for the delivery of the courses are also created by teachers. One article developed and applied a robot ( 35 ), one article used recorded lectures ( 37 ), and a total of three articles used instructional software (e.g., basketball teaching mobile application) as the primary learning tool for learning activities ( 28 , 32 , 36 ). In general, while research on blended learning in physical education prior to 2020 on learning tools was homogeneous, the form diversifies as teachers begin combining two learning tools to produce better learning outcomes beginning in 2020, with the increased number of blended learning studies in physical education.

The theoretical framework is an essential component of disciplinary inquiry as it provides researchers with a strong argument for the significance of a particular research question and guides the analysis and interpretation of the data collected ( 58 ). The variety of theoretical frameworks found in reviewed articles indicates that blended learning in physical education is still in the stage of theoretical exploration, especially with twelve articles failing to specify a theoretical framework or a theoretical model used in the studies. The most commonly cited theories in this study are the self-determination theory (SDT) ( 22 , 31 ) and the constructivist theory ( 34 , 37 ). The self-determination theory asserts that individual development and progress are achieved through the satisfaction of three basic psychological needs: autonomy (self-identity and autonomy of choice), relatedness (being loved and interacting), and competence (being perceived as effective and capable). Meeting these three needs in a learning task will significantly enhance students' intrinsic motivation ( 14 ). This is because, in blended learning, students can determine their own learning time and pace based on their preferences (autonomy) and individual learning levels (competence). Blended learning also allows for collaborative learning that provides a highly interactive learning environment that meets student needs for relevance (relatedness). In short, many studies support the existing literature that blended learning environments have a positive impact on students' cognitive learning outcomes and “needs” for competence, autonomy, and relatedness ( 59 , 60 ).

On the other hand, constructivism, upholding the constructivist theory, believes that students do not passively acquire knowledge, but actively construct new understanding and knowledge through personal experience and social discourse and combine new information with existing knowledge ( 61 ). Blended learning emerged to overcome the disadvantages of passive learning in traditional physical education learning models and enhance students' learning experiences and build problem-solving skills for further practice by optimizing the combination of various learning modes. Applying constructivist theory to a blended learning environment, therefore, increases student interaction, learning efficiency, and quality ( 62 ). Post-humanist theory seeks to provide a new epistemology that is non-anthropocentric and rejects dualism as a central ( 63 ). Guided by this theory, researchers have a better understanding of the significance of online and face-to-face instruction in blended learning. Also, according to post-humanist theory, when introducing blended learning in physical education, teachers need to design and use an integrated approach so that all instructional elements, as well as their components (e.g., online instructional materials and face-to-face activities), are interacting, thus enhancing the learning experience of students ( 37 ). This review also discovers another theory associated with metacognition that stresses helping students master and reflects on their current learning situations in blended learning in physical education so that they can improve their skill performance. It is cognitive apprenticeship. Cognitive apprenticeship is an instructional model proposed by American cognitive psychologists Collins, Brown, and Duguid in 1989 that emphasizes the importance of the process by which teachers transfer skills to students. The reflective practice focuses on students' reflection on their performance in an ongoing practice for personal development.

In traditional physical education learning models, students can only passively accept knowledge and skills in the classroom. To extend the learning time and space, a new approach involving virtual learning environments has been proposed, which is the Collaborative Cyber Community (3C) model ( 64 ). This model highlights the importance of interaction and collaboration in a virtual environment where students can gain motor skills and knowledge and teachers can develop the competencies to guide students in technology-related instruction. In addition, some theoretical frameworks based on the flipped learning model were also included in some of the reviewed articles, such as the watch, summary, and question (WSQ) flipped learning model, the annotation, reflection, questioning, and interflow (ARQI) flipped learning model, and the identification, communication, reflection, and analysis (ICRA) flipped learning model. The watch, summary, and question (WSQ) flipped learning model aims to guide students to mark key points and difficulties when watching instructional videos and summarize and ask questions during the before-class stage to promote students' understanding of the learning content ( 29 ). Even though students can focus on understanding the learning content through WSQ flipped learning model, there is a lack of practical experience and reflection on motor skills. In contrast, practice videos in the annotation, reflection, questioning, and interflow (ARQI) flipped learning model facilitate students' ability to observe their sports performance from a spectator's perspective and critically reflect on their motor skills and internal experiences, thus allowing them to improve their performance ( 30 ). Similarly, based on the educational theory of reflective practice, the Identification, Communication, Reflection, and Analysis (ICRA) flipped learning model was developed to improve the effectiveness of flipped sports learning and to create pedagogies that are more suitable for motor skill learning ( 39 ).

Evaluation for learning is a method used for instruction that provides feedback to students and teachers to promote learning and guide the next stage of action. Feedback includes informal feedback (e.g., immediate verbal comments on student performance or behavior) and formal feedback (e.g., written feedback given at the end of a test and recorded as evidence for use by the student and the organization). Evaluation to facilitate learning involves high-quality peer assessment of learning with each other and self-assessment, with the results used as a basis for deciding what will be learned in the future ( 65 ). In terms of evaluation methods, this review found half of the articles used formal feedback (tests), with questionnaires and interviews being the most common of the other feedback methods. Other evaluation methods such as lesson observation, field notes, document analysis ( 34 ), and reflective blogging ( 37 ) were also mentioned, indicating the diversity of assessment methods of blended learning in physical education research. In addition, it is worth noting that five articles in this review used two evaluation methods, while six articles used three or more evaluation methods. This is in line with the current research trend where mixed methods research is increasingly valued in social science research as it provides a better understanding of what blended learning entails and how it can support student learning in a variety of ways ( 66 ).

In terms of the application areas of blended learning in physical education, the dynamic domain was explored the most, indicating that at this stage, the research on blended learning in physical education is mainly focused on physical exercise, which is in line with the characteristics of physical education. Even though studies have been investigating blended learning in single sports, such as dance, basketball, football, and Wushu, the sports categories are limited and lack richness. Moreover, this review discovers that the physical education theory (PET) curriculum is currently a less studied ( 37 , 42 ), probably because it is mainly conducted in higher education. However, it still has a vital role to play in the development of physical education. These two articles on the physical education theory (PET) curriculum only used interviews and questionnaires to investigate teachers' and students' experiences and satisfaction, so future research could use other research methods such as experimental and mixed methods to further investigate students' effectiveness and depth of perception. Furthermore, three articles explored both theoretical and pedagogical activity aspects of the physical education curriculum, such as the Physical Activity and Wellness ( 22 ), Sports Coaching ( 23 ), and Sports Management ( 40 ). The findings showed that there are different specificities to the use of blended learning, particularly the collaborative nature between students, experiential learning, the increased autonomy of students in their learning process, and the greater effect of critical thinking. Students receive more guidance and feedback from teachers in classroom activities, which is impossible to achieve with traditional teaching methods.

The findings from the dimension of the Research Topic reveal that perceptions ( n = 13), as well as learning effects ( n = 12) and satisfaction ( n = 6), have been the main concerns of researchers when conducting blended learning studies, in addition to motivation ( n = 4) and self-efficacy ( n = 4). This is largely in line with the study by Chen et al. ( 67 ) which flipped the science classroom and found that the researchers were more concerned with the student's learning effects, as well as their perceptions and attitudes/motivation. This is justified because blended learning is a new approach for most teachers and hence, it is essential to examine the impact of a relatively new pedagogical model on students' academic performance and perceptions. However, from the review of 22 articles, blended learning in physical education has generally met researchers' expectations. For instance, several studies mentioned the positive impacts of blended learning on students' learning effects, self-efficiency, interaction, and satisfaction ( 23 , 27 , 28 , 32 , 35 ), as well as their perceptions, motivation, and attitude ( 31 , 36 , 38 , 41 , 42 ). Furthermore, other topics such as the task load ( 29 , 30 ), attendance ( 24 ), self-assessment tools ( 25 ), skills and career development ( 26 ), and psychological needs in sports ( 33 ) were also conducted. The findings show that blended learning in the field of physical education, though in a developmental stage, meets the expectations of researchers.

While the advantages of blended learning models in optimizing teaching and learning are evident in countless influential studies, incorporating technology into education also brings a degree of unease to students and teachers. The most common problem related to blended learning in physical education is the instructional design challenge. Researchers have recently begun to develop or use online technologies for teaching or training activities. However, due to its specificity and complexity, physical education is more difficult to design in blended learning than other academic learning activities ( 68 ). The research by Boelens et al. ( 69 ) identifies four key challenges in the design of blended learning environments: incorporating flexibility, facilitating interaction, facilitating the learning process for students, and creating an effective learning environment. The shortcomings of instructional designs such as a lack of variety in content ( 29 , 34 ) and lengthy videos ( 23 ) are mentioned in several articles. Also, Liu et al. ( 42 ) report that students experience a sense of distance when involved in too many online learning activities. Tsai et al. ( 70 ) concur stating that online courses in blended learning should only be offered every 2 weeks so that students can learn on their own and, if they encounter problems, they can solve them through face-to-face interaction. Another challenge is the technological literacy and competency that have become necessary for teachers and students to pursue contemporary education. The findings of López-Fernández et al. ( 17 ), Lucena et al. ( 32 ), and Reddan et al. ( 23 ) emphasize the lack of literacy and competency among students and teachers in using technology. Liu et al. ( 42 ) mention that students are more conservative in enhancing their information-related skills, which affects their learning outcomes and satisfaction with the course. Similarly, Hsia et al. ( 29 ) highlight the need for blended-learning students to be technologically competent because incompetence with learning technology can be a barrier to students' success in blended learning.

Another challenge for students in blended learning is that they are expected to self-regulate their learning activities outside of face-to-face classes. Two articles specifically identified the types of self-regulation challenges, namely procrastination ( 42 ) and improper time management ( 29 ). It is worth noting that procrastination is considered a chronic habit of unnecessarily putting off things that need to be done ( 71 ). Students' procrastination behavior differs in traditional and blended models, as students in blended learning environments experience a more pronounced sense of transactional distance ( 8 ). Belief challenges in this study refer to the negative attitudes and perceptions of teachers or students regarding the use of technology for teaching and learning. As reported by Brown ( 72 ), the difficulties encountered in adopting technology may be seen as disruptive to teaching and learning. Teachers may think of blended learning as instruction that has two teaching sections to deal with. For example, some physical education teachers believe that blended learning meant extra work compared with traditional teaching ( 17 ). Chao et al. ( 38 ) also report that students are reluctant to accept pre-class preparation. Furthermore, past research has mentioned that student learning activities, such as homework and preparation before face-to-face lectures, are challenging due to the alienation and loneliness felt by students online. Similarly, the study by López-Fernández et al. ( 17 ) finds that alienation and loneliness were also a challenge for physical education teachers because they find it more challenging to establish social relationships, either between teachers and students or between students, in the blended learning model than in the traditional model. This view was confirmed by a previous study of blended learning in physical education, where teachers felt disconnected from students and expressed concerns associated with the potential lack of social relationships and learning opportunities for students in a virtual environment ( 73 ).

4.2. Limitation

First, this study is limited by the use of rich eligibility criteria and methodology to consider only high-impact journals. Referring to other databases such as Google Scholar, PubMed, or Scopus might have resulted slightly differently. Second, only articles written in English are chosen. Third, the definition of blended learning opted in this review is a combination of traditional and online learning, so articles that do not conform to this definition are excluded, such as those that only mention the face-to-face part of blended learning. Finally, the study only focuses on the application of blended learning in physical education, such as the development trends and the main findings of current research. Therefore, the results cannot be extended to all research dimensions. Nevertheless, this research should be adequate to provide a roadmap for future research on blended learning in physical education.

5. Conclusion and suggestions

According to the overall findings, blended learning is in the initial stages of its development in the field of physical education. This result can be seen in several ways. First, researchers around the world have tried to apply blended learning in physical education, but the number of high-quality studies is very limited. Second, the majority of participants in the studies of blended learning on physical education are undergraduates, and a limited number of studies have been conducted on other subjects such as K−12 students and teachers. This review also reveals that studies prefer to investigate proven learning tools and the materials chosen by teachers as pre-course learning materials based on their personal preferences. In terms of theoretical framework, half of the researchers in the field of blended learning in physical education tend to not mention any theoretical framework. In addition, many prefer adopting a single evaluation method, with questionnaires being the most common method. Moreover, the focus of most journal articles on blended learning in physical education are on the preliminary aspects of blended learning research, namely perceptions, learning outcomes, satisfaction, and motivation. This leaves room for further research. This review also discovers that the most studied item in most articles on blended learning in physical education is dance. However, the majority of studies take a broad approach by not mentioning any specific item of physical education. Finally, the most common challenges for students and teachers revealed in this review are instructional design challenges, technological literacy and competency challenges, self-regulation challenges, alienation and isolation challenges, and belief challenges. In conclusion, this review provides a foundation for the future development of blended learning models by demonstrating the current status and development trends of blended learning in physical education.

Based on the results and discussion of the current review, several recommendations regarding blended learning in physical education are presented. First, it is necessary to improve the skills and perceptions of teachers. It is also evident that the researchers are very concerned about student perceptions of blended learning and learning outcomes. Most teachers and students identify instructional design and technological literacy and competence as their most obvious challenges. This implies that teachers need more training to improve their course design and management of online classes, including the use of multiple technologies as instructional support tools and the design of learning activities with various strategies at different stages of blended learning. To further explore the impact of blended learning on physical education, future research needs to focus on other populations (K−12 students, teachers, and educational institutions) and situations in other countries or regions. Future research should also focus on the application of blended learning in static physical education. Furthermore, it is recommended that the potential of blended learning in other sports be explored. In terms of the Research Topic, apart from the perceptions and learning effects, other aspects such as psychological needs and influencing factors should also be investigated.

Data availability statement

Author contributions.

Conceptualization, software, formal analysis, investigation, resources, and writing—original draft preparation: CW. Methodology: CW and YY. Validation, writing—review and editing, visualization, and project administration: CW and RO. Data curation: CW and XJ. Supervision: RO, KS, and NM. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

9 Activity Ideas for STEM in Physical Education

  • Lauren Chiangpradit
  • November 16, 2023
  • Reviewed by Sean Barton
  • Reviewed by Haley MacLean

Integrating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) into Physical Education (PE) classes offers an innovative approach to education. In an era where sports statistics, science, and technology increasingly influence athletics, PE classes are uniquely positioned to blend physical activity with STEM learning and 21st century skills. This article explores how PE educators and facilitators can use STEM learning in their coursework. It also provides a range of supplemental curriculum activity ideas to get students at different education and skill levels engaged.

The Synergy of Movement and Learning

Research indicates that physical activity can significantly bolster cognitive abilities. When students participate in movement-based learning, they benefit physically and experience enhanced concentration, memory, and creativity. This cognitive boost is crucial for comprehending and applying STEM concepts, which often demand high levels of problem-solving and critical thinking. Active learning, where students engage in physical activities while learning STEM concepts, results in more profound understanding and retention of information. Integrating physical and mental challenges not only makes learning more enjoyable, but is more effective, as students apply theoretical concepts in practical settings, leading to better comprehension and recall.

Physical Education STEM Activities for Elementary School

Integrating STEM into elementary physical education presents a fantastic opportunity to lay the foundation for lifelong learning and curiosity in young students. Through these innovative activities, elementary school children can explore and understand key STEM concepts while engaging in fun and physical play. Each activity is designed to be not only educational but highly interactive and suitable for their developmental stage. Here are some engaging activities that blend physical education with STEM learning for elementary students:

  • Jump and Measure: Students perform a variety of jumps – like the long jump and high jump – and measure their distances or heights. This activity introduces basic concepts of measurement and physics, encouraging students to understand how force and motion play a role in their physical activities.
  • Geometry with Body Movements: In this activity, children use their bodies to create geometric shapes, either individually or in groups. It’s an engaging way for students to learn about basic geometry, spatial awareness, and symmetry. Teachers can challenge students to form complex shapes, enhancing their understanding and teamwork skills.
  • STEM Soccer : In a lesson devoted to measuring throw-ins, students collect data in centimeters and convert their data to meters dividing by 100. Students then evaluate measurement systems to decide the best measurement size. This disguised learning,  interactive lesson is a great way for physical education teachers to add STEM into their PE classes.
  • Weather and Exercise: Students observe and record weather patterns over a week and discuss how different weather conditions affect physical activities. This integrates meteorology into PE, allowing students to see the real-world application of science in their everyday activities.
  • Heart Rate Exploration: After engaging in various exercises, students measure their heart rates to learn about the cardiovascular system and the science behind exercise. This activity not only educates them about their bodies, but about the importance of physical fitness in maintaining health.
  • Playground Physics: Utilizing playground equipment, this activity allows students to explore concepts like gravity, force, and motion. They can experience firsthand how these physical laws impact their play and movements, turning the playground into a living laboratory.

STEM Activities for Middle School PE Students

As students enter middle school, their capacity for more complex and abstract thinking grows significantly. This developmental stage is an ideal time to introduce more intricate STEM concepts through physical education, enhancing their learning experience with practical applications. The following STEM activities are tailored for middle school students, offering a blend of intellectual challenge and physical engagement. These activities are designed to pique students’ curiosity in STEM fields through the familiar and enjoyable medium of sports and physical exercises. By participating in these activities, students not only deepen their understanding of STEM concepts, but learn valuable lessons in teamwork, problem-solving, and the practical application of classroom knowledge to real-world scenarios. Here’s a look at some stimulating and educational STEM activities for middle school PE:

  • Sports Statistics Analysis: Students gather and analyze sports statistics from games or physical activities. This teaches them about data collection, interpretation, and the importance of statistics in understanding and improving athletic performance.
  • STEM Football: During a lesson in STEM Football, students collect and graph data of a controlled experiment by using a line graph. Students then explain the relationship between kinetic energy and mass by writing a claim evidence supported by evidence-based reasoning from class data. This lesson highlights the strong classroom connection between physical education and STEM learning, and how it can help create tangible examples for students.
  • Energy and Movement: This activity focuses on the concept of kinetic and potential energy in the context of sports. Students explore how energy is transferred and transformed during different physical activities, such as running, jumping, or throwing a ball.
  • Biomechanics of Sports: Here, students delve into the study of human movement and mechanics in various sports. They learn about the science behind athletic performance, injury prevention , and how athletes optimize their movements for maximum efficiency and safety.
  • Mathletics Relay: A relay race where each leg involves solving a math problem before passing the baton. This combines physical fitness with mathematical skills, emphasizing quick thinking and teamwork.
  • Technology in Sports Training: Students explore how technology is increasingly used in sports training and performance analysis. They might look at wearable tech, video analysis software, or other tools that help athletes improve their skills and coaches to make informed decisions.

Advanced STEM Challenges for High School Learners

High school students, with their advanced cognitive skills and heightened interests, are well-positioned to tackle complex STEM challenges through physical education. This section of the curriculum is designed to offer high school learners in-depth, hands-on experiences that combine higher-level STEM concepts with physical activities and sports. These advanced activities are not just about physical exertion; they require students to engage in critical thinking, problem-solving, and creative innovation. They provide an opportunity for students to see the real-world applications of the STEM knowledge they acquire in their classrooms, bridging the gap between theoretical learning and practical implementation. By participating in these activities, high school students can gain a deeper understanding of various STEM fields, such as physics, engineering, biotechnology, and environmental science, observing how these disciplines intersect with sports and physical fitness. Here are some challenging and intellectually stimulating STEM activities designed for high school learners:

  • Physics of Sports Equipment Design: Students research and discuss the physics principles involved in the design of sports equipment. This can include topics like material science, aerodynamics, and ergonomics, providing insights into how equipment is optimized for performance and safety.
  • Engineering a Miniature Golf Course: Students design and construct a miniature golf course, applying concepts of geometry, physics, and design. This project not only involves creativity, but a practical application of STEM principles by creating functional and enjoyable mini-golf holes.
  • Sports Analytics Project: Students undertake a project to analyze a sports game using statistical methods and tools. This activity introduces them to data science in sports, teaching them how to interpret and use data to understand game strategies and player performance.
  • Biotechnology in Athletics: This topic explores how biotechnology is used in sports, from equipment design to performance enhancement techniques. Students might study material innovations, genetic research in athletics, or the ethical implications of biotechnology in sports.
  • Environmental Science in Outdoor Sports: Students analyze how environmental factors impact outdoor sports activities. They can study topics like climate change, pollution, and natural terrain, understanding the interplay between sports and the environment.
  • Virtual Reality Sports Training: Students explore how VR technology is being used for skill development, strategy training, and injury rehabilitation in various sports by discussing the emerging role of virtual reality in sports.

Tech, Tools, and Supplemental Resources for STEM in Physical Education

Bringing STEM into PE classes effectively requires the right resources, including technology tools, educational kits, and comprehensive guides. Resources like the STEM Sports® kits provide ready-to-use activities that seamlessly blend physical education with STEM learning. These kits offer an invaluable resource for teachers looking to enrich their curriculum and engage K-8 students through a cross-curricular learning approach. For additional resources, tools, and innovative ideas, please visit STEM Sports® .

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SEL Possibilities in Physical Education

Physical education teaches relationship-building and self-management skills, making it a natural for social and emotional learning.

Middle school student stretches with teacher in gym class

Social and emotional learning (SEL) has become one of the fastest-growing topics in the world of education. As a result, school districts all across the country are asking, “What does SEL look like in our schools, and how can we improve it?” While the search for SEL opportunities continues, schools should consider the integral role that physical education class can play in the long-term goal of social and emotional learning. 

Outdated stereotypes of dodgeball and kickball have plagued physical education (PE) for years. But PE is far more than just rolling out the ball for kids to play and mess around. Instead, physical education today offers a wide variety of fitness, health, and wellness skills that help students to prepare for long-term healthy lives. And beyond developing cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength, PE is a subject that supports the full picture of healthy lives.

As a result, physical education offers a valuable opportunity to impact all areas of student development—physical, mental, social, and emotional. Better yet, all of these are packed into the national standards for physical education.

Physical Education’s Social and Emotional Standard 

Almost every subject presents an opportunity to find unique ways to incorporate social and emotional learning into class. But not every subject has it written directly into its national standards. Physical education does. Within the five national physical education standards defined by Shape America , standard number four states, “The physically literate individual exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others.”

Many physical education teachers proudly boast of this as the SEL standard. If we take a closer look, the standard directly taps into CASEL and what they define as the five core competencies of SEL:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-management
  • Responsible decision-making
  • Relationship skills
  • Social awareness

Using these five core competencies, physical education departments can evaluate and label how they currently offer social and emotional learning throughout their program and where they can potentially improve.

The 5 Core Competencies in Action

To help illustrate the connection between SEL and PE, let’s use Canton High School in Massachusetts as an example.

Canton was recently featured in a national video spotlight for their comprehensive approach to physical education. Because it’s a nationally recognized physical education program, let’s find an example of each of the five core competencies in action.

1. Self-awareness (developing interests and a sense of purpose). At Canton High School, the physical education department has evolved its curriculum from ninth to 12th grade to promote self-awareness. Instead of a games/sports-focused ninth- and 10th-grade curriculum, the school offers classes focusing on skill development, personal fitness, and health. The shift fosters a safe and nurturing environment where students can develop personal interests and then begin to make more individual choices in 11th- and 12th-grade electives.

2. Self-management (exhibiting self-discipline and self-motivation; setting personal and collective goals). Every student in the high school's sophomore personal wellness class (featured throughout the video) goes through an introduction-to-fitness course. In this course, students set personal goals on how to improve their general fitness and are guided through ways to motivate themselves through challenging workouts and activities. All of this is done using an individualized approach so that every student has a chance to succeed.

3. Responsible decision-making (learning how to make a reasoned judgment after analyzing information, data, and facts). Students also navigate cognitive nutrition lessons in the same sophomore personal wellness class. Teachers utilize a curriculum that takes an informative, not prescriptive, approach to nutrition. After students get all the facts and information, they have to make their own decisions on personal nutrition that work best for them and their daily lives.

4. Relationship skills (practice teamwork and collaborative problem-solving). As a culmination of the personal wellness class, students form small groups and are tasked with leading a class. The teams must collaborate to find lesson materials, plan an entire lesson, and execute it with a larger group. After teaching the class, the leaders must practice empathy and patience when introducing a new topic to other students.

5. Social awareness (understanding and expressing gratitude). While much of physical education is activity based, Canton has recently implemented a mindfulness curriculum into class. These lessons guide students through mindfulness exercises and practices that include specific sessions on gratitude, heartfulness, communication, and other social awareness concepts. While this is a more obvious SEL connection, it’s one that physical education is adopting in more and more schools.

Putting PE and SEL on Display

As the above example shows, social and emotional learning is not hard to find in physical education class. It might be intimidating to put your PE curriculum under the SEL microscope, but you might be surprised by what you find. As school districts feel the added pressure of incorporating SEL, they should turn to the physical education teachers who have tirelessly worked to develop curriculum and lesson plans like the ones I describe here.

By doing so, we can also make a case for even more emphasis on and investment in SEL in physical education and schools. It all starts with advocating and highlighting that physical education plays a key role in social and emotional learning for our students.

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  3. Problem Solving Steps Health and Physical Education Poster

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  4. (PDF) Including Critical Thinking and Problem Solving in Physical Education

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  5. Pentathlon Institute Active Problem-Solving

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  6. Critical Inquiry and Problem Solving in Physical Education

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  1. Practical Problem Solving

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  3. Physical Mathematics at Work

  4. PROBLEM SOLVING- Physical Education: Pathfit3

  5. PROBLEM SOLVING|PHYSICAL EDUCATION

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COMMENTS

  1. PDF The PE Cooperative Games and Problem Solving Activities

    Physical Education Cooperative Games and Problem Solving Activities Every year, we begin with cooperative and problem solving activities that foster cooperation, encouraging strategic and supportive dialogue, listening to a different opinion than your own, and having fun at the same time.

  2. Teaching Cooperative Learning and Problem Solving in PE

    Teaching Cooperative Learning and Problem Solving in PE This year, I changed up how I teach cooperative learning. I started by looking at the main skills I wanted my students to gain. Listening to others' ideas Collaboratively solving problems Valuing everyone's voice

  3. Including Critical Thinking and Problem Solving in Physical Education

    Many physical education curriculum frameworks include statements about the inclusion of critical inquiry processes and the development of creativity and problem-solving skills. The learning environment created by physical education can encourage or limit the application and development of the learners' cognitive resources for critical and ...

  4. The problem-solving method: Efficacy for learning and motivation in the

    The problem-solving method is an efficient strategy for motor skills and performance enhancement, as well as motivation development during physical education courses. Keywords: problem-solving method, traditional method, motivation, learning, students Go to: 1. Introduction

  5. Including Critical Thinking and Problem Solving in Physical Education

    Including Critical Thinking and Problem Solving in Physical Education DOI: Authors: Shane Pill Flinders University Brendan Suesee University of Southern Queensland Abstract Many physical...

  6. PDF Physical Education Including Critical Thinking and Problem Solving in

    The Aus-tralian Curriculum for Health and Physical Education (ACHPE) has as one of five key ideas to inform the inclusion of critical- inquiry approaches "that assist students in researching,...

  7. Frontiers

    Conclusions: The problem-solving method is an efficient strategy for motor skills and performance enhancement, as well as motivation development during physical education courses. 1. Introduction

  8. Critical Inquiry and Problem-solving in Physical Education

    Critical inquiry, critical thinking and problem-solving are key concepts in contemporary physical education. But how do physical educators actually do critical inquiry and critical thinking? Critical Inquiry and Problem-Solving in Physical Education explains the principles and assumptions underpinning these concepts and provides detailed examples of how they can be used in the teaching of ...

  9. The Application of the Teaching Games for Understanding in Physical

    The Application of the Teaching Games for Understanding in Physical Education. Systematic Review of the Last Six Years. Raúl A. Barba-Martín, 1 Daniel Bores-García, 2 David Hortigüela-Alcal ... with the aim of influencing improved decision-making and problem-solving during the game. The teacher also stopped playing a main role during the ...

  10. (PDF) The problem-solving method: Efficacy for learning and motivation

    Conclusions The problem-solving method is an efficient strategy for motor skills and performance enhancement, as well as motivation development during physical education courses.

  11. Personal and social development in physical education and sports: A

    The four sports studies showed mixed results. In two studies, sports were positively associated with problem-solving skills [10] and reflecting on potential solutions and solving problems [67], whereas in two other studies, sports were not related, or only partly related, to problem-solving skills [21, 86].

  12. Critical inquiry and problem-solving in physical education

    In the remaking of physical education syllabi in the late 1990s and 2000s syllabus 'goals', 'statements' and 'standards' have usually included references to the concepts of understanding diversity, problem-solving, critical thinking and critical inquiry. There has been a shift of emphasis to the student as learner, not only of particular forms ...

  13. Blended learning in physical education: A systematic review

    Abstract. This review aims to provide a detailed overview of the current status and development trends of blended learning in physical education by reviewing journal articles from the Web of Science (WOS) database. Several dimensions of blended learning were observed, including research trends, participants, online learning tools, theoretical ...

  14. Critical Inquiry and Problem Solving in Physical Education

    Critical Inquiry and Problem-Solving in Physical Education explains the principles and assumptions underpinning these concepts and provides detailed examples of how they can be used in the...

  15. The Effect of Physical Education and Sports School Training on Problem

    The athletes creating solutions to the problems more easily will be more efficient in transferring their knowledge to young individuals. The aim of this study is to determine the effects of education in the School of Physical Education and Sports on problem solving skills. 2. Method 2.1.

  16. Including Critical Thinking and Problem Solving in Physical Education

    Including Critical Thinking and Problem Solving in Physical Education Pill, Shane; SueSee, Brendan Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, v88 n9 p43-49 2017 Many physical education curriculum frameworks include statements about the inclusion of critical inquiry processes and the development of creativity and problem-solving skills.

  17. 9 Activity Ideas for STEM in Physical Education

    This cognitive boost is crucial for comprehending and applying STEM concepts, which often demand high levels of problem-solving and critical thinking. Active learning, where students engage in physical activities while learning STEM concepts, results in more profound understanding and retention of information.

  18. PDF The investigation of the effects of physical education lessons planned

    Key words: Cooperative learning, problem solving skills, physical education lesson. INTRODUCTION Physical education is education intended for developing individuals' physical and mental health and physical E-mail: [email protected]. Authors agree that this article remain permanently open access under the terms of the Creative Commons ...

  19. PDF Benchmarks Physical Education

    Problem Solving Creativity I am learning to move my body well, exploring how to manage and control it and finding out how to use and share space. HWB 0-21a I am developing my movement skills through practice and energetic play. HWB 0-22a • Focuses on task and pays attention to stimuli, for example, instructions from a practitioner.

  20. SEL Possibilities in Physical Education

    Social & Emotional Learning (SEL) SEL Possibilities in Physical Education Physical education teaches relationship-building and self-management skills, making it a natural for social and emotional learning. By Doug Curtin August 29, 2022 Drazen Zigic / Shutterstock

  21. PDF An Overview of Problem Solving Studies in Physics Education

    2. Studies on Problem Solving in Physics Education The aim of this study is to present an overview problem solving studies in Physics Education. For this purpose, the results of the extensive research dating back to 1980's have been presented chronologically. In addition, student level, methodology used for the studies were also presented.

  22. Problem-Solving : Journal of Physical Therapy Education

    Problem-Solving. Gwyer, Jan PT, PhD, FAPTA; Hack, Laurita M. PT, DPT, PhD, MBA, FAPTA. Author Information. Journal of Physical Therapy Education 29 (4):p 2, Free. "The best way out is always through.". —Robert Frost. The authors in this issue provide us with options for moving through some of physical therapy education's more difficult ...