The relationship between participation in sport and academic achievement in grade 10 and 11 learners in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District
Dipale, Floyd Modikwe
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The purpose of this research was to determine whether adolescents who participate in sport perform better academically in comparison to their non–participating counterparts. An availability sample of 210 learners between 14 and 24 years from a secondary school in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District took part in this research. The participants were assessed by a Biographical Questionnaire adapted from Mpshe (1996); an adapted version of The Physical Activity Index of Sharkey (1979); the General Scholastic and Aptitude Test (GSAT)(Claassen, De Beer, Hugo & Meyer,1998); The revised two–factor Study Process Questionnaire: R–SPQ–2F of Biggs (1987a, 1987b); The Rosenberg Self–Esteem Scale (RSES), Rosenberg (1965); an adapted version of The Self–concept and Motivation Questionnaire of Bester (2003), and The Psychological Wellbeing (PWB) Scales of Ryff (1989). To obtain an overview of the participants’ academic performance, averages obtained in the June 2010 examinations in the four compulsory learning areas, i.e. Setswana First Language, English First Additional Language, Life Orientation and either Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy, were calculated. A significant relationship between sport participation and academic performance was yielded by a cross–tabulation with a practical significance of 0.09. Univariate regression models with academic performance as dependent variable and the following variables as independent variables were calculated as separate models, namely: IQ, Deep approach and Surface Approach as dimensions of the R–SPQ–2F, Motivation, Self–esteem and Psychological well–being. Only self–esteem was found to significantly predict academic performance. A further analysis using an interaction between sport participation and self–esteem did not yield a significant finding. It was concluded that it is important that Educational planners should take cognisance of the literature and research findings of this study. In future studies bigger samples can be used and the interaction between cognitive, non–cognitive and sociodemographic variables in the prediction of academic performance can be studied.
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