The effect of an intercultural Physical Education Program in comparison to the typical one on students’ social skills learning

Vassiliki Derri, Iraklis Kellis, Nikolas Vernadakis, Evaggelos Albanidis, Efthimis Kioumourtzoglou

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine the effect of an intercultural physical education program (IPEP), in comparison to the typical physical education program (TPEP), on students’ social skills learning. Thirty-two upper elementary students of different origin (Greek and foreign) were equally distributed into an experimental (IPE) and a control (TPE) group. A student behavior observation scale was used to evaluate the social skills ‘relationships’, ‘verbal interaction’, ‘rewards’, ‘help’, and ‘goals’. After the initial measurement, each group attended the respective 16-lesson physical education program, and then it was post- and retention tested. Results indicated that students in the IPE group, as opposed to those in the TPE group, learned to interact appropriately, to provide rewards and help, and to have better relations with their peers, independently of their origin. Also, Greek students in the IPE group improved significantly their ability to set and achieve goals while foreign students outperformed their foreign peers in the TPE group both in goal setting and peer relations. It seems that the IPEP can have a significant impact on learning certain social skills by all students involved in it.


Keywords

Physical education; Intercultural education; Behavior observation; Student evaluation; Elementary education

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4100/jhse.2014.91.10