Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Dianne Cooney Miner

Second Supervisor

Timothy Franz


Lack of physical activity and poor nutrition are factors that contribute to the obesity epidemic. Promotion and support of meaningful quality physical education experiences may be an appropriate focus to improve the health, fitness and wellness of students. The purpose of the research study is to determine if there is an impact in students in grades eleven and twelve physical education who receive choice vs. no choice on their health related fitness indicators and their motivation for physical activity. The research is grounded int eh Self-Determination Theory (SDT) of human motivation to determine if the social contexts (climate) in physical education have any relationship to their motivation and performance in the class. SDT is related to this study because it connects levels of human motivation to perform with social contexts and autonomy. The overall purpose of the study was to determine if students who receive choice had increased health-related fitness scores (fitnessgram assessment data), higher perceptions of autonomy or climate satisfaction (perceived autonomy: climate survey). All are factors associated with being a self-determined individual. The research methodology used was a quasi-experimental research design. The study took place at a large suburban district in Upstate new York. The participants were male and female students in grades eleven and twelve from three schools. Some students receive their first choice and some do not receive their choice. This study has implications for future physical education curriculum programs and enhancement of student performance research.

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