INVESTIGATION OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PHYSICAL LITERACY AND THE TARGET STRUCTURES
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Physical literacy is an emerging concept within physical education (PE). It aims to provide individuals with increased physical competence, confidence and motivation to maintain purposeful physical pursuit throughout their life (Whitehead, 1990a; 2010a. Research surrounding achievement motivation has demonstrated the role teachers can play in increasing motivation within PE by manipulating the motivational climate. Teachers, as significant others, can manipulate the motivational climate by using Epstein’s (1989) TARGET structures (task, authority, recognition, grouping, evaluation and time), which can foster motivation within PE. The purpose of this study was to primarily investigate if the TARGET structures predict perceived physical literacy (competence, confidence, motivation, knowledge and understanding within PE. A second aim of the study was to investigate whether the perception of any one structure was more prominent in predicting perceived physical literacy over other TARGET structures. Two hundred and thirty five male and female year 8-11 pupils, aged 12-16, were given two PE specific questionnaires to measure their perceptions of TARGET and physical literacy. Multiple regression analysis revealed that perceptions of task and recognition-evaluation were significant predictors of all the attributes of perceptions of physical literacy within PE. Perceptions of time and authority were also found to be significant predictors of perceived pressure, importance and enjoyment within PE. These findings provide valuable suggestions for PE teachers and education specialists in emphasising and manipulating the TARGET structures to help promote physical literacy and eventually keep individuals involved with physical activity.
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