Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

High school athletics and the “whole adolescent”: A case study of three urban high schools
by Davidson, William B., Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2010, 202; 3425182
Abstract (Summary)

As the United States Congress prepares the debate related to the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), better known as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), there has been a great deal of recent interest expressed in the area of "whole child" education. The "complete education" approach has become a key component of the Obama Administration's educational reform agenda. An area often under-represented in education literature is the impact of high school athletic programs as they relate to the development of the "whole adolescent."

The purpose of this study is to describe the degree to which athletic programs at 3 urban high schools incorporate a holistic orientation to the development of the "whole adolescent" by exploring the characteristics of each athletic program's impact on the athletes' social, emotional, and physical development and the relationship between athletic participation and the athletes' academic performance.

This study utilized a qualitative multiple case study approach. Data analysis using closed and open coding methods was employed to analyze the results of field observations, interviews of 3 athletic administrators, 3 athletic directors, 9 varsity boy's head coaches, and 9 varsity male athletes. In addition, relevant documents were analyzed. Across sites, each school's male population, each participating varsity team, and each participating athletes' grade point averages were compared.

The findings from this research propose that athletic programs positively influence the "whole adolescent," specifically in the areas of social, emotional, physical, and academic development. The data also reveal that these specific athletic programs extend their influence beyond just physical improvement. Overall, it was found that the 3 schools all incorporated a holistic approach to educating their athletes and stressed the following areas to support this all encompassing approach: a focus on "well roundedness," the expectation of high levels of citizenship for all athletes, the use of the coach as a pivotal figure to promote the holistic approach, and an active and consistent focus on the importance of academics Each athletic program is similar in their approach: however, one school stands-out, it has several unique aspects incorporated into its athletic program that attempt to meet the needs of its athletes.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Korostoff, Marilyn
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 71/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Physical education, Secondary education
Keywords: Academic achievement, Adolescents, Athletics, High school, Whole child
Publication Number: 3425182
ISBN: 978-1-124-25921-5
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