Background/Purpose Learning in a domain is normally defined by the experts within the curricula (Kirk, 1993). However, as stakeholders whom educators serve, what do students expect to achieve? This exploratory study examined student conception of achievement in physical education, addressing two questions: (a) what do students expect to achieve? and (b) how do students view the achievement in physical education?
Method Seventh-grade students (N=48) chosen from two middle schools participated in the study. Data were collected from curriculum documents, observation, and cognitive interviews with a ranking sheet (Willis & Schechter, 1997). On the ranking sheet, the defined achievements such as learning sport skills from curriculum guide, NASPE (2004), and previous studies were listed. Student rankings were analyzed descriptively. The interview data, observation notes, and documents were analyzed using constant comparison (Strauss & Corbin, 1998).
Analysis/Results Each of the items had been ranked the lowest and/or the highest by students. On average students ranked staying in shape and having fun the highest. Learning health-related knowledge and sport skills were not ranked the highest. From the interview, students' expectation of achievement in physical education was as diverse as, if not more than what is written in the national/state standards.
Conclusions The data revealed that what students expect to achieve in physical education does not necessarily reflect that the expectations of the achievement standards installed by national and local agencies. This finding provides insights on student conception of achievement in physical education, yet creates a dilemma on achievement evaluation.
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