ORCID : 0000-0002-9093-2746
Frontiers in Psychology
Frontiers Media S.A.
School of Arts and Humanities / School of Education
Edith Cowan University - Open Access Support Scheme 2021
Specialist Sport Programs (SSPs) are an underexamined activity that combines the best features of two different contexts for adolescent development: a sporting program and a secondary school. A mixed-methods study was conducted to determine the influence of participation in SSPs on the educational outcomes of lower secondary students in Western Australia. The results demonstrated a significant improvement in specialist students' mean grade for Mathematics over the course of a year, while their mean grade for all other subjects, and their level of engagement with school, remained stable over the same period of time. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with key stakeholders (e.g., specialist students and their parents, as well as teachers and graduates of the SSPs). Overall, the participants felt that SSPs had a positive influence on students' engagement with school, and that this engagement had a positive impact on their academic achievement. Taken together, the results of this research suggest that there is a role for SSPs in promoting positive educational outcomes for lower secondary students attending public schools located in low SES areas.
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