Motivation theory as basis for an optimal learning environment in physical education

🇳🇴 Summary in Norwegian 

Arne Martin Jakobsen
Nord University, Norway

More and more studies point to the fact that physical activity is crucial in preventing a number of non-communicable diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even certain cancers. At the same time as these insights have emerged, interest has increased in understanding the factors that influence the propensity to engage in exercise, training, sports, yes, all forms of physical activity. Special attention has been paid to school physical education, and the reason for this is that it has long been known that the general level of activity among young people are not considered sufficient to achieve the preventive effect that would counteract the spread of the various diseases mentioned. Research in this area has come to focus on the motivational aspect when it comes to young people’s choice to be, or not be, physically active. The central question is how the learning environment in the school’s physical education can be designed to motivate students to be physically active. There has been some research on this, and the results from a number of intervention studies suggest that students’ motivation can be stimulated through the application of widely known motivation theories. The Norwegian sports educator Arne Martin Jakobsen presents in his article some central motivation theories, of which the most important, self-determination theory (SDT) gets the most space. It can be noted that the motivation issue regarding physical education has been addressed previously on; what Jakobsen does is to present the theory thoroughly, and to link it to some other motivation theories to find an optimal method for creating a positive learning environment within the physical education subject.

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ARNE MARTIN JAKOBSEN, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in Physical Education at Nord University. His primary research interest is physical education. He also teaches sport management and coaching.

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