SERA PE Network: A conversation about meaningfulness in physical education and youth sport.

Title: A conversation about meaningfulness in physical education and youth sport.

Date: Wednesday 25th May 2022

Time: 1645 – 1800

Location: This is a hybrid event.

To sign up online click here: online registration

To sign up in-person click here: in-person registration

The in-person location is: University of Edinburgh, Moray House School of Education and Sport, St Leonard’s Land room 3.23

Organisers: Scottish Physical Education Research Network and Physical Culture Research in Education Group at Moray House School of Education and Sport, University of Edinburgh

Speakers: Dr Deirdre Ní Chróinín and Dr Richard Bowles (Mary Immaculate College, Ireland); Dr Tim Fletcher (Brock University, Canada); Dr Bård Erlend Solstad (Norwegian School of Sport Sciences)

Who is this online seminar for: Teachers, Researchers, Student Teachers, Youth Sport Coaches

Seminar Overview

There is evidence that pursuing physical activity for primarily intrinsic reasons (for example, meaningfulness, personal satisfaction, or pleasure) rather than extrinsic reasons is more likely to lead individuals to commit to a physically active lifestyle. Meaningfulness is fundamentally about an individual’s interpretation of experience, not the experience itself. Thus, attending closely to the meaningfulness of experiences necessitates consideration of the ways in which meaningfulness involves a complex mix of individual cognitive and affective elements as well as relational, social, and cultural dimensions. Meaningful experiences in physical activity promote regular participation in a way that enriches a participant’s life. A systematic review of meaningful experiences in physical education and youth sport (Beni et al., 2017), led to the identification of the following qualitative aspects, or features, of sport participation that influence meaningfulness:

  1. having fun in the moment,
  2. experiencing ‘just right’ or optimal challenge (not too hard and not too easy),
  3. feeling competent to participate,
  4. having opportunities for social interaction, with friends, peers and the teacher/coach,
  5. seeing the personal relevance of experiences to their lives, both the importance of experiences as well as how it connects to other parts of their lives,

This seminar will engage the presenting panel and audience in a conversation about meaningfulness in relation to physical education and youth sport. The stimulus for the conversation will be reflections from each of the panel on their experiences and understandings of meaningfulness in relation to physical education and youth sport. This seminar will also reflect on two related research and knowledge exchange projects:

Seminar Structure:

  • Introduction
  • Panel Reflections (approx. 20 minutes)
  • Audience discussion in small groups in relation to the panel reflections (approx. 10 minutes)
  • Q and A with panel and audience (approx. 20 minutes)

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