The purposes of this study were to determine physical education activity preferences of 9th grade students in a southern California school district and to compare preferences by ethnicity. Results indicated that basketball, football, bowling, softball/baseball, swimming, and volleyball were the most preferred activities. These preferences may be based on socio-economic status, racial stereotyping, perceived dominance of particular sports by a culture, and role modeling within a culture. There were significant differences for 13 of the 37 activities listed when responses were compared by ethnicity. Results suggest that, given the importance of curriculum design in engaging students, physical education teachers with diverse ethnic class compositions have a more challenging task than teachers of classes with more homogeneous ethnic groupings. It is recommended teachers survey students yearly for their activity preferences to identify units that appeal to a wide section of students. Physical education teachers are also encouraged to allow their students the choice to participate in units taught by other physical education teachers during the same class period. Further research should seek to identify why various students of various ethnic groups prefer specific physical education activities.


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pp. 16-23
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