Inclusive physical education, with a focus on autonomy, competence and relatedness

Solveig Fogh Rostbøll, Pouline Mouritzen, Charlotte Østergaard, Louise Hinrichsen, Thomas Gabriel Piaster, Kasper Kaare Gade

    Research output: Contribution to conference without a publisher/journalAbstractResearchpeer-review


    In Denmark, a considerable percentage of children, e.g. girls with a migrant background, do not participate in physical activities, PA and
    are marginalized in physical education, PE lessons. Evaluation of PE in Danish schools shows that the causes of the pupils demotivation
    are lack of study plan, lack of participation and too much focus on competitive sports (Danmarks Evalueringsinstitut 2004, Von Seelen
    2012). A school reform is currently being implemented in Denmark. The intention is to improve inclusive education and to enhance the
    academic standards for all pupils in the public schools. This study investigates girls’ motivation for physical education. On the basis of the
    empirical findings, our study suggests a didactics, which enhances the pupils’ activity rates and improve their participation in PE. The data
    analysis is inspired by Self Determination Theory, which is a motivational theory, containing three main categories: autonomy, competence
    and relatedness. Methods: The study focuses on the 6th and 7th grade and specifically on girls. The data consist of observations in
    8 classes at two schools in socio-economic underprivileged areas and two schools in socio-economic privileged areas and focus group
    interviews, combined with in-depth interviews with 16 selected girls before and after a 7 weeks intervention in so called Inclusive PE.
    Results: The findings showed that the three categories from the Self Determination Theory are suitable for investigating motivation for PE.
    Significant in the study was the girls’ feeling of the boys’ dominance in PE in the ordinary PE lessons also in a Danish context. The interventions
    in inclusive PE in the classes focusing on ‘autonomy, ‘competence’ and ‘relatedness’, showed that it increased the girls’ motivation
    for PE, especially in the classes where the girls had a good relationship with the teacher. Furthermore, it was clear that the girls felt best in
    an environment characterized by helpfulness, cooperation and work in smaller groups. In the interviews, the girls pointed out the importance
    of knowing the goals of the teaching, variation in the activities and achieving specific skills. Discussion: A review of studies in PE
    using SDT conclude that it is not the content that matters for the children’s’ feeling of motivation but the methods used and the teachers’
    way of giving response to the pupils (Berghe 2014). The present study reaches the same conclusion, but goes further in the suggestion of
    an inclusive didactics in PE focusing on all three categories in SDT.
    Translated title of the contributionInclusive Physical Education, with a focus on Autonomy, competence and relatedness
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2015
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    Event20th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science: Sustainable Sport - Malmø, Sweden
    Duration: 24 Jun 201527 Jun 2015
    Conference number: 20


    Conference20th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science
    Internet address


    • education


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