Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-27-1976


This study was conducted for the purpose of gathering information in order to better understand the perception of the role of physical education held by those students in teacher preparation programs in physical education. Based upon a review of the literature and informed speculation, a question­naire was formulated which gathered data from seven independent variable groups and about students' perceptions of fourteen different roles for physical education.

The questionnaire was completed by 349 students at the University of New Mexico, Ohio State University, State University of New York at Brockport, and the University of Oregon, enrolled in required professional courses in physical education during the Spring of 1976. The data was analyzed on an IBM 360 computer using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. Cross­tabulations, Chi Square tests, and multiple linear regression analysis were conducted on the data.

The results of the analysis led to the findings that within each school it is possible to account for some of the variance in response of students' perception of the role of physical education by variables from the independent variable groups of:

(1) demographic characteristics: sex, and class level

(2) the point in an individual's life when he/she makes the decision to become a physical educator

(3) the factor or factors which influence an indivi­dual to want to become a physical educator

(4) the amount of experience an individual has had in competitive athletics

(5) the individual's attitude toward the relationship of physical education and athletics

(6) the individual's general lifestyle as measured by his/her use of free, unobligated time

(7) the type of job position which an individual wants upon graduation.

Interestingly, the variable group which accounted for the greatest amount of variance differed for students at each school. However, the variable group which consistently explained the highest amount of variance was "the individual's general lifestyle," as measured by the use of free, unobligated time.

Most of those responding indicated they wanted to spend a great deal of time on all of the role behaviors measured in the study except classroom management and administrative tasks. The role behaviors which received the greatest support by the majority of the respondents were teaching motor skills and developing physical fitness in students. A final tendency which was revealed by this study was for there to be some evidence of a linear relationship existing between questionnaire items related to coaching and athletics and homogeneity of responses.

Document Type


Level of Degree


First Committee Member (Chair)

Dale Lester Hanson

Second Committee Member

Lawrence Bernard Rosenfeld

Third Committee Member

Kenneth Carl Lersten

Fourth Committee Member

Richard Elmer Lawrence