Study on learning strategies in elementary school physical education

Masanori Kaji*, Yuta Ono

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Problem Statement:The Japanese elementary school’s Course of Study, having been fully implemented in April 2020, aims to create high-quality learning and enable people to actively engage in such learning throughout their lives. Though the importance of potential future benefits and the need to develop optimal approaches to learning emphasizing “how learners learn” and learning strategies in physical education have been suggested, the conditions for learning strategies in elementary school physical education, however, have not been adequately researched.Approach: A pilot survey was conducted and was followed by a main survey conducted with 1,450 public elementary school students across Japan, using the questionnaire survey method. Purpose: This study examines learning strategies employed by Japanese elementary school students in physical education through the development of the Learning Strategies in Elementary School Physical Education scale. It also examines students’ characteristics according to grade and sex. Results:The results indicated that learning strategies in elementary school physical education consist of five factors (15 items): emphasis on learning discipline, challenging work, importance of teachers’ instructions, cooperative effort between peers, and thinking and judgment. The reliability and validity of the learning strategy scales were confirmed by internal consistency and construct validity. We examined differences between grades but found no significant differences for any factor. Regarding sex differences, scores were significantly higher for boys than girls for challenging work. Discussion: Elementary school learners’ strategies in physical education can be understood in terms of five factors, but the factors we identified vary substantially from those identified in previous research. This may have resulted from our collection and selection of items through a pilot free-text study. Learning strategies of elementary school learners did not include factors such as “creation of fun” or “fair work,” which were identified for older students. Such learning strategies may be acquired later in their educational progression.Conclusions: The use of a variety of learning strategies in elementary school physical education enhances learning and shapes subsequent physical education performance. These strategies may evolve as students progress through later educational stages.

Original languageEnglish
Article number439
Pages (from-to)3211-3217
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Education and Sport
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Nov


  • Grade differences
  • Japanese elementary school
  • Learning strategies
  • Physical education
  • Sex differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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