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Effectiveness of the Physical Education Curriculum at the United States Military Academy in Preparing Its Women Graduates

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Doctoral thesis

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Understanding the participant perspective of a program is important in order to determine if the curriculum is in fact achieving the desired outcomes. The purpose of the study was to examine the effectiveness of the physical education curriculum of the United States Military Academy in the preparation of its women graduates for their role as Army officers and leaders. This study focused on the perceptions of women graduates concerning the physical education curriculum and related experiences. To provide a context for this study an extensive review of the literature centered around the changes which have been implemented at the United States Military Academy within the Department of Physical Education since the arrival of women in 1976. Participants were 181 women graduates of the United States Military Academy from the classes of 1980, 1985, and 1990. Data were collected using a survey questionnaire which centered around the operational definition of effectiveness. In this study effectiveness was defined as an evaluation of the extent to which the individual participant derived satisfaction from the physical education program, acquired fitness knowledge and skills, adopted a pattern of regular participation in fitness activities, and ultimately, observed a beneficial impact on the unit to which the individual is assigned. Follow-up telephone interviews were conducted with 13 women graduates in an attempt to probe for additional information in areas identified during the data analysis. Content analysis was used to determine the categories which were most prevalent in the data. The categories which emerged for the classes include increased self-confidence, hard work and discipline excelling physically credibility being a role model benefits of fitness teaching and increased self-esteem.

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  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Anatomy and Physiology

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