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Title:The Process of Team Selection in Children's Self-Directed and Adult-Directed Games (Play, Socialization)
Author(s):Evans, John Robert
Department / Program:Physical Education
Discipline:Physical Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Physical
Abstract:The study explored the way in which children selected their teams in their playground games and, as a means of contrast, the same process was examined in the formal setting of the physical education class. A qualitative research strategy employing a naturalistic mode of inquiry was adopted. Observation and interviews were the primary means of gathering information with a brief questionnaire providing supplementary data. The fieldwork was undertaken in one elementary school over a period of fourteen weeks and focused specifically on team games played by boys in grades three to six. The major findings were that, in the playground, the team selection process was an intricate mechanism by which children established and maintained 'fair' teams. Children were most particular about who got to be captains, the order of selection, and who could and could not play. The main criterion influencing the selection of captains, and of teams, was athletic ability with friendship as an interrelated factor. In physical education classes teachers generally chose the teams themselves most often using a system of counting by number. They were reluctant to involve the children in the process of team selection because of a concern about the time that would be consumed, and because they did not want to see individual children constantly chosen last by their peers. Overall, the study revealed a number of qualitative differences between the games children organize for themselves and those organized for them by adults. In the playground the game was a negotiated process, one in which the children were in control and where cooperation and accommodation were essential to the continuance of the game. It is argued that such spontaneous games offer children unique social experiences not available in adult-directed settings. In the formal class setting, the authority of the teacher prevailed and the children were obliged to accept a subordinate and non-participant role. Teachers were preoccupied with keeping children active, maintaining order, and making maximum use of limited time. The point is made that the physical education class may be an appropriate setting in which to provide children with the opportunity for leadership roles and responsibility under adult guidance.
Issue Date:1985
Description:274 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8600171
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1985

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