Self-directed learning: An innovative strategy for sport and physical education


  • Giusi Antonia Toto University of Foggia, Italy
  • Pierpaolo Limone University of Foggia, Italy



SDL, Performance, Sport science, Physical education


A rapidly developing research area focuses on the study of Self-directed learning (SDL) applied to sport and physical education. The hypothesis is that this methodology can, in extracurricular contexts, improve development and athletic performance in an effective and efficient way. The data were collected by 20 secondary school students, engaged in an 80 m fast running performance, divided into two groups: the first group followed the SDL methodology (n = 10; age = 16.7) and the second group (n = 10; age = 16.9) followed traditional training programme led by a schoolteacher. At the same, initial conditions were evaluated by an entry test (speed test) and at the end of the two treatments, which lasted for 3 weeks, the test was re-administered to evaluate the results and individual interviews were conducted to evaluate perceptions and self-efficacy. In addition to fast running, arms and legs were assessed with isotonic exercises. The monitoring of the two treatments was self-directed in the SDL and conducted by the teacher in the traditional training. The results obtained demonstrate the SDL in sports performance, if not performed by professionals in which the practice is already validated, obtains poor results in terms of both outcomes and perception. The result of this experimental work provides the basis for the interventions that promote the SDL methodology applied to sport and physical education within formal school contexts, still used today in informal and sporting contexts.


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How to Cite

Toto, G. A., & Limone, P. (2019). Self-directed learning: An innovative strategy for sport and physical education. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 14(4proc), S568-S577.