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Title: From the sports hall into the classroom : learning life skills through sport
Author: Allen, Georgia
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2013
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This study draws upon a wide range of research to examine underachievement in UK schools. With underachievement continuing to be present within the UK’s educational system, it is essential that a remedy is found. The notion that physical activity is linked to an increase in academic performance is not a new concept; however researchers are still trying to determine the scope of such a claim. There is a widespread belief that sport can be used as a vehicle to promote positive youth development. In particular, using sport to teach adolescents various life skills has become popular over the previous decade. However, little research has looked at the transfer of life skills into other academic and life domains. Therefore the overarching purpose of this study was to determine if an after-school, sports based life skills programme had any impact on male underachievement within the UK education system. The Transfer-Ability Programme (TAP) was a multi-faceted intervention, which sought to teach twenty underachieving, male students life skills through sport. The results have been presented in three phases with Phase 1 determining the impact of TAP on academic performance in Science, Phase 2 examined the perceptions of the twelve-thirteen year old participants on whether they transferred life skills from the sports hall into the classroom during TAP, and Phase 3 explored the enablers and barriers that facilitated or prevented life transfer. Statistical results indicate that the intervention groups’ academic grades significantly improved during the intervention to a level above teaching prediction. This suggests that teaching life skills through sport may reduce male underachievement. T-tests show that the participants in the intervention group perceived their learning of life skills to significantly increase pre-post TAP. Interview data also supports the notion that the intervention group participants perceived to have learnt the life skills and then transferred them into other academic domains. Phase 3 highlighted five themes that enable or prevent life skill transfer; Support from peers, Pride, Opportunities, Rewards and Transfer experience. These themes are collectively referred to as the SPORT model. The results show that young adolescent males can learn and transfer life skills if deliberately taught to do so. Finally, the findings are discussed with reference to how teachers and physical educators may teach life skills within their lessons, and how life skill transfer may be supported.
Supervisor: Rhind, D.; Koshy, V. Sponsor: School of Sport and Education, Brunel University
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Underachievement ; Life-skills ; Youth development ; Physical activity