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Mike DeCecco

Sister Mary Ann

Field Experience Task

We did our field experience at middle school in the Bronx and the first
thing I saw when entering in the gym, was how poorly the space and
equipment was for the students. There was pillars coming down in the
middle of the gym, if you would even call it a gym. It was more like a room
because it didnt even have basketball hoops, bleachers or anything like that.
It seemed like the physical education program was not quality and it wasn't
an ideal place for students to run around and participate in a safe
environment. My middle school experience when I was that age was a lot
different from this one. It seemed like the students of Westchester were
given a lot more opportunities in physical activity such as updated
equipment and ample amounts of space both indoors and outside on the
football field/track.
I was observing middle school students, and there was this one girl in
seventh grade, named Adrianna. The problem that occurred was not being
motivated for physical education class. This problem happens to a lot of

students and I happened to notice it in a couple more students, not just her.
Both boys and girls show this lack of intrinsic motivation and this was also
evident when I was in middle school or high school. Boys would be coming to
class not prepared, wearing jeans and boots, and girls would be on their cell
phones off to the side not participating in any of the activities. Technology
has been a real downfall to physical activity in many people. Society has
become so sedentary which just adds to the reoccurring problem of students
not participating in physical education class. However, using technology for a
teacher can be a good thing in class if you can use it the right way. Maybe
watching videos of certain sports to look at different skills or strategies and
then having the students apply those skills in a game-like activity.
The students at this school would be playing in this game which
involves an elimination game. There would be three balls given to three
students to start the game and they would have to try and throw the ball and
hit someone to get them out. They could even hit someone who has the ball.
Whoever had the ball was not allowed to move unless they rolled the ball on
the ground and chased after it to pick it up. The students without the ball
were allowed to run anywhere around the gym, even though the space was
really small. If a student got hit with the ball, then they would sit out on the
side and the only way for them to get back into the game was if whoever hit
them, also got out. Adrianna would be in the game, but would not really care
if she got hit or not and she would not run around. She showed no interest in
the game and it was real evident by her emotion and participation. When she

got out for the first time, she went to the sideline where you were supposed
to go when you got hit. I was observing her and I noticed how she would
make no attempt to get back into the game. She just sat down and started
talking to her other friends who also were sitting out. The physical education
teachers weren't aware of her non participation in the activity and she ended
up sitting down basically until class was over. Adrianna even got some of her
friends not to participate by talking to them, so it created a little domino
effect amongst the other students of the class. As kids, this is not how you
want to spend your time in P.E. class. Obesity has been a problem in the
United States and a lack of physical movement is a huge part of that.
Furthermore, the type of game that the students were playing was not
helping Adriannas problem. First, it was kind of like dodgeball which is not
really allowed in physical education class. Also, it involved a game where
students are sitting out and getting eliminated. Students are supposed to
be moving around as much as possible and the teachers lesson plans should
consist of little time where students are not participating or waiting in lines. I
observed at another school somewhere near Manhattan College and there
were times where students would only get minimal attempts to throw a ball
or run around because they would be waiting in line. Not playing this type of
game would be beneficial to Adrianna and the other kids in her class that
have the same problem.
Students of all types express similar interests for not wanting to
participate in physical education. The students in this class shows a lack of

motivation and chooses not to participate in any of the activities that are
presented to her. It has been noted from many studies that physical
education can benefit and play an important role in health related fitness and
self-esteem. This will have limited success if the students are not motivated
to be active in their lessons. Participation can lead to feelings of autonomy
and competence and may produce joy, excitement, and other satisfying
emotions. Some strategies may help this girl participate in the lesson and
increase her intrinsic motivation. Sallis and McKenzie argued that positive
experiences in PE could influence children to adopt physically active adult
lifestyles which can improve public health (Ntoumanis, 2001). Behavior can
be either intrinsically motivated, extrinsically motivated or amotivated.
Intrinsically motivated behaviors can occur without external rewards and are
undertaken out of interest in the activity itself rather than the outcomes of
the activity, and are optimally challenging. The article also mentions that,
cooperation bring students together to help each other learn and improve.
Cooperation makes an activity inherently more interesting whereas
competition among students can undermine their intrinsic motivation toward
the activity. It would be helpful for students like Adrianna to make lessons
that are not designed to have winners and make games that require group
work to achieve a task. Improvement of individual performance will also be a
good strategy because it gives them motivation to beat their personal best
and provides self-determination. Providing students with alternate tasks is a
good idea because it allows students to make choices. She may find the task

more meaningful and may show more interest in the activities. This relates to
the regular classroom because students enjoy learning more when they
actually are interested in the lesson. When they are more interested, they
are more engaged and active. Another possible motivational tool is to use
extrinsic rewards. For example, the teacher may do something like if all the
students participate and cooperate for the day, then they get to play
whatever they want on Fridays. In addition, as the physical education
teacher, it is important that he designs lessons that require a lot of
movement. Thats one of the main goals that a teacher should have, to keep
the students active, instead of their normal classes in which they are usually
stuck in a chair.
The first plan I would do when trying when trying to motivate Adrianna
is when she is in the game, I would praise her efforts and provide some
positive feedback. Things such as good job or I like the way you did that
are good to say when trying to make a student feel good about themselves
and feel like they are doing something right. This might make her want to
participate because she will be hearing good things about herself and she is
getting attention which a lot of students want. Furthermore, I would
encourage her to share her opinions and thoughts on the activities that we
do. Ask her if she likes any of the games that they do in class or maybe any
hobbies that she likes to do. If she mentions what she likes to do, I would let
the physical education teacher know and maybe one day he would create a
fun lesson that interests her. In addition to those strategies, I would inform

Adrianna that the lessons that they do in class can relate to real life and may
be beneficial for her health and social life. Physical activity or sports can be a
good way to make friends, I know that i have made a lot of friends from
being on a bunch of different sports teams. There have also been studies
that have proven that physical activity helps increase academic
performance. If she is aware of this information and takes her other classes
seriously, then maybe she would be a little more motivated to try in physical
One of the following days, I tried to execute my plan of trying to
motivate Adrianna into participating in the lesson of that day. The students
were playing a different game which was kind of like cricket where they hit
the ball and would run to the base, then try and hit the ball again at home
plate before the next pitch was thrown. Her team was up to bat so she was
on the sideline not doing anything. Again, this is a game where there is too
much sitting out and waiting in line. I went up to the girl while she was on
the sideline and told her it would be a good idea to participate in the activity
because it can only benefit you. I even mentioned how physical activity
improves academic achievement and how it is good for her health in the long
run. After I talked with her for a little longer, she eventually got up and
incorporated herself into the game. However, she still wasn't really putting in
any effort in moving around, but at least she was part of the activity. It was
better than just sitting around on the sideline, but still not the ideal situation.
The important thing is that is a small step in the whole process. Down the

road, Adrianna may participate more class by class, and has to start
Adrianna mentioned how she liked to dance when I was talking to her.
If i had a new plan or more time to work with I would have done it a little
differently to try something new in motivating her. I would approach the
physical education teachers and try to convince them to fit in some kind of
dance lesson for the week. This way Adrianna will be entertained and so will
a lot of other students who enjoy to dance as well. This way it will get her to
move around for at least the week and maybe she will continue in other
lessons as well.