Using Randomization and Dealing with Covariates in an Experiment – Are We Doing it Correctly?
G. Ziv, R. Lidor, Y. Netz
One of the factors that undermines the ability to show causation in an experiment is baseline differences between the experimental groups. Generally, the researcher should be assured that differences in the dependent variable/s between the experimental groups are caused by the independent variable/s examined, and not by baseline differences in various other variables (including differences in the dependent variable/s). We argue in the current article that simple randomization does not necessarily mean baseline equality in various variables among the experimental groups. In addition, the article provides methods for dealing with such possible inequalities. Specifically, the purpose of the current article is fourfold: (a) to define and discuss simple randomization and its possible disadvantages; (b) to propose stratified randomization as an alternative to simple randomization; (c) to examine a number of strategies that can help researchers deal with covariates; and (d) to recommend several steps that researchers can take to help them decide how to randomize participants into groups, as well as how to deal with possible covariates. Researchers in the various fields of sport and exercise science should carefully choose the desired method for group randomization in order to improve their ability to show causation between the variables in their experiment.
Descriptors: Experimentation, simple randomization, stratified randomization, covariates
Cooperative learning and the relation between gender grouping and motivational climate in physical education classes
R. Cohen, S. Zach, M. Arnon
The aim of this study was to check if the cooperative learning model is an effective tool for influencing the motivational climate in Physical Education lessons, in comparison to the direct teaching model. Three 7th grade classes, comprising 121 students (65 boys and 56 girls) in a mixed gender public school in the center of Israel, took part in the study. A questionnaire on what takes place during Physical Education lessons and sport activity was the main study tool employed for examining how students perceive the motivational climate in Physical Education lessons. The same teacher who taught the three classes examined a boys-only class (n=46), a girls-only class (n=35) and a mixed-gender class (n=40; 19 boys and 21 girls). The questionnaire was given to the students before and after the application of the learning program, which encompassed both approaches: direct learning and cooperative learning. The findings of the study indicate that in each of the three groups, regardless of class gender composition or the teaching method applied, perception of the skill climate was higher than the perception of the production climate. The only difference found was in the mixed-gender class, where the boys' production climate was higher than the girls'. These findings suggest that motivational climate should not be associated with the teaching method.
Descriptors: Physical education teaching models, direct instruction, performance climate, task climate
The Cold War and the Olympic Games: The 1980 Moscow Olympics Boycott
The Olympics always have been accompanied by political problems, and despite its many attempts, the Olympic movement has never succeeded in separating sports from political issues. One of the primary ways taken in this context is a boycott. The article provides detailed analysis of the 1980 Moscow Olympics boycott and examines the causes and consequences in various aspects, exploring whether each party to the conflict saw failure or success in this case, and evaluates the attitude of the IOC. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979 ended the period of détente, and a new Cold War resumed. While this one was the official reason that the United States boycotted the Games, this analysis shows other possible reasons: Carter's weakening position, and the US administration's desire to cause a decrease in the propaganda value of the Olympics that were being held for the first time in a Communist country. On the other hand, the Soviet side saw success in the Games as a sporting event and as a propaganda tool for boasting about the Communist ideology. The fact that the United States is an influential power has been an example to many other countries, and it can be seen that the independence of the National Olympic Committees, as it should be demonstrated according to the Olympic Charter rules, did not take place in practice. The Soviet reaction was a boycott against the Olympics in 1984, and not necessarily the withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan as required. The lack of efficiency in achieving a specific goal may indicate that boycotting a sporting event could be an effective strategy if it is part of a more comprehensive general political movement, and not as a means in itself.
Descriptors: Olympic Games, Soviet Union, United States, International Olympic Committee, sport and politics, propaganda
Inclusion, Universal Design and adaptation in physical in physical education
In this viewpoint article, principles are described within the frameworks of welfare, health, and education, promoting the development of a theory of inclusion and adaptation within formal and informal physical education and sport participation networks. Based on the models proposed, processes of movement task analysis are presented, enabling the teacher/coach to select an appropriate setting and useful actions for promoting accessibility and inclusion of participants with disabilities in physical education. Utilizing these principles and processes may facilitate the attainment of a active and healthy lifestyle for persons with disabilities, and reduce health hazards, of which this population is particularly at risk.
Descriptors: Inclusion, special needs, learning, accessibility, disability
The nation stands behind it: The team of all Israeli citizens
A. Ben Porat
This paper reviews the political evolution of the selection to the Israeli football teams, from the establishment of the State in 1948 to the present. This article is supported by two assumptions: First, that the game of football has a wide contextual meaning, and thus the national team is instrumental in the formation of national identity. Second, the game is context-dependent: In addition to FIFA's rules, which are obeyed by all its members, in every society the game's organization and meaning depend on its environment – the former two are altered by changes in the latter. This paper describes the evolution of the Israeli national team in the first decade of statehood, during which the national selection represented the Jewish-Zionist sector of Israel only. Since then, the composition of the national team has gone through demographic changes: the first Israeli Arab player joined in 1976, and since then Israeli Arabs and other non-Jewish footballers have been selected for the Israeli national team, which has become "the team of all its citizens". In the current political situation in Israel, this can be seen as a political statement.
Descriptors: Football, nation, national football team, integration, citizenship
Walking groups for adults – a case study
Programs and interventions supporting a healthier way of life have become more and more common in public health policy. The 60+Sport Project was one of these, initiated in 2009 and active until 2012, in 12 municipal authorities. In this framework, this article depicts a case study of a walking group in Pardes Hanna-Karkur that has been active ever since. During this period of time there were more than 300 weekly walking events with more than 500 people participating. Data were collected starting from 2012 to form a database that would enable studying the characteristics of a successful physical activity intervention, as well as to understand adherence rate among adults. In this case study we emphasize four elements that sustain a walking group: a variety of walking tracks in green open spaces in the vicinity of the city, continuous recruitment of participants,
Parents can have a significant influence on their children’s lifestyle habits – including physical activity and eating habits – in a way that may reduce obesity and sedentary behavior, which are major concerns for public health. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between family health habits, physical activity among parents, and eating meals together, and exercise patterns among children. This was a quantitative cross-sectional study, based on the Health Behavior in School-aged Children questionnaire, which was conducted in Israel in 2015. The study involved 13,849 children and adolescents in grades 6, 8, 10, 11, and 12. Just over half of the participants were female (51%), and 76% were from the Jewish sector. The study’s results indicated that among those children and adolescents who eat family meals with at least one parent, the chances of exercising for at least 60 minutes per day was 1.4 times greater than those who did not report eating family meals together. Mothers who regularly exercised increased their children's chances of engaging in physical activity by 1.6 times, whereas a physically active father was not associated with physical activity of at least 60 minutes a day among his children. The framework of the family was found to have a substantial influence on predicting physical activity habits. Having breakfast and dinner every day with at least one parent was significantly associated with exercising for at least 60 minutes every day. Taking various actions, such as developing and operating intervention programs in cooperation with the parents in the community, could help to ensure a healthier future generation.