Satisfaction and preferences of PE students and the head of the PE department: Meeting the new curricular expectations

Balázs Fügedi, Susan Capel, Henriette Dancs, József Bognár


There has been increasing emphasis worldwide on raising educational standards and improving opportunities for young people. Physical education programs are under strong pressure to demonstrate that their practices are effective in preparing students for successful healthy active living. In Hungary the Act on National Public Education (2011) is designed to achieve these purposes. The aim of this study was to understand how students perceive the daily PE program and how the heads of PE departments perceive students’ perceptions as a result of this act. A total of 1,073 10-14 year-old students from 13 schools in a university city were given a questionnaire and the heads of PE at these schools were interviewed. A large number of students stated that the purpose of PE is conditioning, it is an important subject, and they will be able to utilize what they have learnt in PE later on in their lives. Heads of PE perceive that students have no clear understanding of what PE is about and they do not want thinking and fitness components in PE. Findings demonstrate a clear disagreement between students’ and the heads of PE perspectives. Teachers need to adapt their practices in order to help students acquire skills and attitude for lifelong physical activities as stated in the Hungarian Curriculum (2012). 


Student perceptions; Head of department perceptions; Primary physical education; Content preferences


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