Methods: The System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT, McKenzie et al, 1992) was used to measure activity levels. Two intact classes of middle school students (each with 45 seventh graders) from a small Northern California town were taught by the principal investigator, a fourth year physical education teacher with previous experience using sport education. An AB treatment design [First Round (Soccer), Class A SE, Class B TUA; Second Round (Flag Football), Class A TUA, Class B SE)] was utilized to rotate curriculum models. All sessions were videotaped with a total of 13 tapes captured.
Analysis/Results: Videotapes were viewed and analyzed by coders trained in the use of SOFIT. Prior to the study ten graduate students underwent a training protocol. Interobserver agreement measures of 81% were obtained meeting the criteria of 80% identified by Cooper, Heron, & Heward (1987). Data were subsequently displayed in bar graphs and visually analyzed to determine differences and similarities between curriculum models. Results were mixed across curriculum models and classes. During soccer, Class A (SE) averaged more Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA) than Class B (TUA) with 64.45% compared to 60.23%. However during the Flag Football unit, Class A (TUA) had higher MVPA than Class B (SE) with 70.94% compared to 67.55%. Class A had higher MVPA during TUA while Class B had higher MVPA during the SE season.
Conclusions: Healthy People 2010 recommendations suggest that students should spend at least 50% of time in MVPA. Both classes exceeded this requirement (Class A 64.45%, Class B, 67.55%) during sport education seasons. While the TUA resulted in higher MVPA for certain students the overall MVPA results were high for both models. The use of sport education in physical education settings is thus a viable curriculum format because it can lead to activity levels that exceed national health recommendations.
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