College of Health Sciences & Human Performance

Date of Award


Document Type

Research Project Report

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Patricia Sherblom, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Lois Hale, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Steven Aicinena, Ed.D.


It is important to understand secondary school students’ attitudes toward physical education since they will be future members of the workforce who will need to use their knowledge to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Students’ perceptions and feelings contribute to their attitudes toward specific content areas and toward their school experience in general. The purpose of the proposed study was to examine attitudes that secondary school students have toward physical education in Trinidad. The study also sought to ascertain whether there was a link between gender or race and, activities seen as most liked in the physical education curriculum and students’ attitudes toward Physical Education. Secondary school students, boys and girls, a total of 75 students, age 14-15 years were used in the current study. A survey instrument was administered to assess students’ attitudes and preferences. The instrument was organized in sections related to (a) demographic information, (b) reasons students choose to participate in physical education and reasons students choose not to participate in physical education and (c) most and least liked activities in the physical education curriculum. A Likert scale with responses ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree and open-ended questions were used. All the subjects were required to have a parent sign a consent form to permit them to participate. The study was field tested on students of the same age and within the same form group as the sample. A chi-square was used to determine students’ current enjoyment of physical education and preferences in the curriculum. Comparisons of attitude and activity preferences were made by gender and race. Results indicated that boys and girls differed on activity preferences. Boys favored basketball, running and throwing while girls 11 liked netball and social dance. While African, East Indians and Mixed students responded similarly on many items, there were some significant differences based on race. East Indian students were less likely to feel positively toward basketball and social dance when compared to African and Mixed students, 36% and 23% respectively. Subjects cited environmental and social issues such as discomfort with showering and changing as reasons for disliking physical education. Subjects requested that new activities be added to the existing curriculum. These findings may be important for designing meaningful secondary school physical education learning experiences to influence students to participate in physical education classes.



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