Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Louise L. MacKay

Committee Members

Russell O. Mays, Nancy Dishner, Cecil N. Blankenship


The purpose of this study was to examine the participation, perceptions, and preferences of seventh- and eighth-grade girls in coeducational and gender-separated physical education classes in five schools in East Tennessee. The participants in this study were seventh- and eighth-grade girls attending public schools in two East Tennessee counties. Participants completed a questionnaire pertaining to their physical education classes. Although 465 students were invited to participate in this study, only 241 students returned the permission form. This resulted in a 50% response rate. The findings were descriptive in nature, although basic analyses were calculated to identify any relationships among the different variables.

The literature review examined adolescents' activity patterns, adolescents' self-esteem, gender equity issues, coeducational physical education versus same-gender physical education, and physical educators and their roles.

The study revealed that most seventh- and eighth-grade girls dressed out for physical education and participated in coeducational physical education classes. A majority of the seventh- and eighth-grade girls preferred having a female physical education teacher. Seventh- and eighth-grade girls' participation rates did not decrease in a coeducational class setting. There was not a significant relationship between the gender of the physical education teacher and seventh- and eighth-grade girls' participation in physical education activities. Seventh- and eighth-grade girls agreed their physical education teachers were fun, fair, and easy to talk to. Seventh- and eighth-grade girls also agreed that their physical education teachers explained things well and motivated them to do their best. Having boys in physical education classes was not a major factor for girls in dressing out for physical education classes or in their participation rates.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.