Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Physical Education


Physical educators are concerned not only with the teaching of specific skills but also with the development of democratic values, character and favorable attitudes toward one’s problems, work, competitors and co-workers. These values and attitudes underline behavior and personality development and are acquired through interaction with others. This involves the learning process as well as the subject matter taught. Sometimes instructors place too much emphasis upon subject matter and too little upon the learning process. The learning process may be characterized, in part, by Thorndike’s laws of learning. He has stated that students learn best when they are physically and mentally ready to learn; they learn best through practice if they understand the “what”, “how”, and “why” in relationship to the practice. Thorndike also stated that learning is more apt to be meaningful when the attitude of the learner toward what he is doing becomes as important as wjhat he is dong. Within a physical education class period there are many elements which have either a positive or negative effect upon the learning process. Among these factors are the physical activities, instruction, equipment, conditions of the dressing rooms and playing facilities, and the attitudes of students and teachers. The physical elements of the program can be observed and evaluated through the use of established criteria and standards. The attitudes of the students toward the instruction, activities and facilities are not as easily assessed and careful evaluative techniques must be employed. It has been said that we learn what we want to learn. This in turn creates the question, “what makes us want to learn?”. The answer may lie in our curiosity, our desire for knowledge, our interest or in our favorable attitude toward the learning situation. Since attitudes and learning are closely related, it is imperative that physical educators strive to develop favorable attitudes within their students. The desired attitudes may be developed through increased knowledge and a deeper appreciation of the subject matter. Students may also gain favorable attitudes toward the learning environment if they are able to understand themselves. This is the first step in understanding and tolerating the weaknesses and frailties found in others. It is through play and physical activity that physical educators strive to curb the selfish drives of students and to replace them with group and individual cooperation. This study was designed to assist in evaluating the present women’s physical education department at South Dakota State College by determining the favorable and unfavorable attitudes of the women students toward the various areas of the present program. An evaluation of the physical education program was necessary to determine whether or not this particular program met the needs and interests of the students and accomplished its educational objectives.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

South Dakota State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. Department of Physical Education and Recreation
Physical education for women.


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University