Author Chan, Alvin Chin San
Title Characteristics of three secondary girls' schools with high fitness levels.
Institute Academic Exercise (B.Sc. Hons.) (Physical Education) National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University
Year 2001
Supervisor Fry, Joan Marian
Call no. GV303.S55 Cha

This study examined student, teacher and programme characteristics that may be associated with students' high fitness achievement in three secondary girls' schools that were ranked within the top 5 positions in their physical fitness levels in 1999. It explored students' attitudes toward PE lessons, PE teachers and their self-perceived physical fitness, teachers' values and beliefs toward teaching PE and schools' physical fitness programme context.

The subjects (n = 120) were a group of secondary 3 girls, PE teachers (n = 10), PE HODS (n = 2) and a sport secretary. Two questionnaires: "Students' Attitudes Questionnaire" and "Teachers' Attitudes Questionnaire," were respectively administered to the students and PE teachers. A set of 10 interview questions was designed to find out about the schools' fitness programme context from the HODS and sport secretary. Descriptive statistics involving frequencies. percentages, means and standard deviations were calculated for the students' and teachers' attitudes questionnaires. The responses from the interview questions were analysed for key themes.

The results showed that students had positive attitudes toward their PE lessons and felt that their PE teachers involved them in the decision making. Generally, the students perceived highly of their overall physical fitness. PE teachers valued self-actualisation/individual development as the most important outcome goals while physical activity and fitness collectively was ranked second. The HODS attributed a vibrant school environment, a jogging programme and a team of dedicated and responsible PE teachers to the schools' high fitness levels. It is hoped that while accounting for contextual variations these findings would indicate to low fitness achieving schools ways to model or adopt some methods of success.

Some recommendations for further research in this area might include a longitudinal study on the attitudes of students and their physical fitness and a study of the relationship between teachers' belief systems and what is taught in their classes. Case studies of high fitness achieving schools could also he conducted to provide greater contextual data.