The influence of competition and cooperation on children's movement competence and self-esteem

Wakelin, Justin (2007-12)

Thesis (M Sport Sc (Sport Science))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.


The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of two different approaches to presenting content during a sport module in physical education on the movement competence and self-esteem of children ages 11 - 12. One approach consisted of competitive activities and the other approach consisted of cooperative activities and cooperative learning. The following measurement criteria were selected to assess movement competence: response time, coincident timing, eye-hand coordination (throwing and catching) and eye-hand coordination (striking). Harter’s (1982) Perceived Competence Scale for Children was used to measure children’s perceptions their competence in terms of cognitive, social and physical competence and general self-esteem. Pre-tests were administered to a competitive activities group (n=14), a cooperative activities group (n=14) and a control group (n=25). Following a10-week intervention programme, the competitive group achieved significant improvements in response time and eye-hand coordination (striking). The cooperative group improved significantly in their response time. There were no significant improvements in the control group. None of the groups demonstrated significant changes in perceptions of cognitive, social or physical competence or on general self-esteem. This study concluded that participation in cooperative activities as well as competitive activities can help children develop their movement competence. Approaches to the development of positive self-perceptions and self-esteem still require further research. Neither the nature of competitive activities nor cooperative activities seemed sufficient to produce changes.

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