Advances in Physical Education
2012. Vol.2, No.3, 126-131
Published Online August 2012 in SciRes (http://www.SciRP.org/journal/ape) http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ape.2012.23022
Copyright © 2012 SciRe s .
Student’s Voice Online: Experiences of PE in Finnish Schools
Kirsti Lauritsalo1*, Arja Sääkslahti2, Helena Rasku-Puttonen1
1Department of Teacher Education, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
2Department of Sport Sciences, University of Jyväskyl ä , Jyväskylä, Finland
Received April 24th, 2012; re vised May 27th, 2012; accepted June 8th, 2012
The aim of this descriptive study was to find out how people describe their experiences of physical educa-
tion (PE) in Internet discussion forums. The data for this study were collected during one randomly cho-
sen week in April 2007 via a Google™ search using the Finnish word “koululiikunta” [school PE]. The
first 200 hits lead into nine discussion forums, which were analysed by using qualitative content analysis.
These nine discussion forums included all together 356 messages. For searching these discussion forums
no criteria about the writers’ age, race, class, gender or other were set. The messages were coded with se-
quential classification and grouped into positive, negative and both positive and negative messages. The
results revealed that the messages were positive (12%), both (24%) and negative (64%). In the positive
messages the focus was on physical education in general and the experiences were more related to the
writer him/herself. In the negative messages the emphasis was on factors external to the writer. The writ-
ers’ messages, in particular where they reported negative experiences revealed strongly held feelings and
emotions. We need to widen our understanding of the relationship between PE and the contents of teacher
education curriculum to guarantee every pupil the opportunity to have positive experiences in PE. These,
in turn, help to create a basis for life-long physical activity and a positive relation to one’s body, the main
target of PE. In PE one’s own body and feelings are intensively involved at a time when vivid and
memorable experiences are taking place for a young person and lasting damage can easily be done.
Teachers should listen to students’ voices and consider what lies behind them in order to develop PE
pedagogy and a safe PE learning environment.
Keywords: School Physical Education; Peoples’ Experiences; Internet; Discussion Forums
The large scale of discussion forums allows people to net-
work easily. When doing this the individual can guarantee that
the message is sent without embarrassment, meaning that what-
ever one writes can be said anonymously. Different kinds of
discussion forums make it possible for people to express them-
selves through real or fictitiou s messages (Markham, 2007). The
personality itself can be totally hidden behind the screen (Mark-
ham, 1998; Tapscott, 2009). Such forums are places for bring-
ing out the opinions, feelings and experiences created by people
interested in the same topic published on the Internet. Joining is
not dependent on time or place. In Finland about 85% of people
have access to the Internet at home and almost all people (89%)
under 74 years use the Internet (Statistics Finland, 2011). Of all
Internet users in Finland, 44% of men and 45% of women use
the net for chat or discussion forums (Statistics Finland, 2011).
A user is likely to have joined a Web forum voluntarily. He/she
has a need to comment, object, defend or introduce something
new in order to share opinions about the subject with others.
The writer has every opportunity to tell the truth and describe a
real experience, but just as easily the story told may be wholly
imagined. Control of the self, conditions and presentation is an
important benefit of online communication (Markham, 1998).
Deep-felt e moti ons, di sa pp oi ntmen t s an d expe rien ce s cre ate s trong
feelings that people want to write about and share with others.
It seems to be easier to express these negative feelings online (e.g.
Ransom, La Guardia, Woody, & Boyd, 2010; Seale, Char-
teris-Black, MacFarlane, & McPherson, 2010). Physical educa-
tion aims at producing positive experiences in schools (NASPE,
2004). However, it is a subject that strongly divides people’s
opinions. The present study aimed to examine how people de-
scribe their experiences of physical education (PE) in the Internet
forums. Thus far, there has not been enough research about the
discussions around physical education in the Internet forums.
Earlier Studies Concerning School PE Experiences
Today’s sedentary lifestyle has been accompanied by global
concern about the resultant increase in overweight (McKenzie,
2007), while at the same time health-related physical education
aims to promote life-long physical activity. How PE is experi-
enced at school is important for the future sport and health be-
haviour of the student him/herself (Trudeau & Shephard, 2005;
Yli-Piipari, 2011). Therefore, today’s schools and the prevail-
ing physical education culture are under strong pressure to pro-
duce positive student experiences.
According to the substantial body of earlier research most
pupils (around 75%) like physical education at school (e.g.
Carlson, 1995; Dyson, 2006; Groves & Laws, 2000; Rikard &
Banville, 2006; Subramaniam & Silverman, 2007). Researchers
chiefly highlighted positive experiences despite the fact that
opposite opinions among the pupils also exist. In researching
the relationship between PE bibliographies and the PE teaching
practices of classroom teachers, both quantitative and qualitat ive
analyses (Morgan & Hansen, 2008) showed that negative PE
K. LAURITSALO ET AL.
experiences were common within the teachers’ own school time
memories. The main reason given for bad experiences were the
feeling of not being taught, not having learned and the teachers
being “tyrants”. Some teachers produced negative experiences
related to the strong atmosphere of competition, in which the
pupils felt uncoordinated and scared. Such a situation can lead
to avoidance and alienation in PE. Carlson (1995) published an
alienation-nonalienation model for be in investigating student
alienation from PE in schools. She found that around 80% of
students enjoyed and had positive experiences of PE. She was
worried about the remaining 20%, for whom meaninglessness
(understood as lack of personal meaning), powerlessness and
isolation were the three main feelings that caused those students
to have a negative attitude towards PE. In their study, Williams
and Bedward (2001) focused on issues related to female gender
and culture and the differences between teachers’ and students’
co nstr ucti ons o f phy sica l act ivity , spo rt an d leisure. They found
that some activities, e.g. football and swimming, and having a
school uniform policy, were highly related to cultural differ-
ences and suggested that “the complexity of issues of culture
and gender in relation to physical activity should not be underes-
timated” (Williams & Bedward, 2001: p. 63). Rikard and Ban-
ville (2006) found that most high school students like PE, the
main reasons given being fun, liking sports in general and lik-
ing the activity offered. The most common reasons for disliking
PE were dislike of the activity offered, too much teacher talk,
too little playing time, and that it was boring.
In Finland findings regarding experiences of PE have mainly
been positive (e.g. Palomäki & Heikinaro-Johansson, 2011;
Yli-Piipari, 2011). According to the Finnish national core cur-
riculum for basic education (2004) the aim of PE is to build the
pupil’s self-esteem and a positive physical self-concept throu-
gh favourable PE experiences and to encourage cooperativeness
and positive future sport and health behaviour. These objects
are in line with the international targets of physical education
An important question, however, remains: why is it that 20%
- 30% of pupils do not like physical education or have negative
feelings towards it? Because the Internet offers a “safe” channel
to express one’s emotions and describe one’s experiences dur-
ing PE classes, it might be fruitful to analyze how PE experi-
ences are described through this medium.
Purpose of the Study
A student’s experience of PE at school is important for his or
her future sport and health behaviour. For this reason schools
and physical education culture are under strong pressure to pro-
duce increasingly positive student experiences. The aim of this
descriptive study was to find out what kind of PE experiences
people describe in Internet discussion forums.
The data for this study were collected from Internet discus-
sion forums during a randomly chosen week in April 2007.
During the weeks before that date nothing in particular had
happened in Finland to prompt any special reason to motivate
the di sc uss ion abou t PE. T he dat a we re co lle cte d u sin g a Google™
search engine that shows the requested documents according to
the number and quality of the links leading to them. It is the
most widely known and used search engine in Finland. Via a
Google™ search with the broad term “koululiikunta” (“school
PE” in Finnish) the first 200 hits included nine discussion fo-
rums. Since no criteria (age, race, class, gender or other) were
set, these Web forums represented a variety of areas including
discussions on animal rights [www.oikeuttaelaimille.net], junior
football [www.nappulafutis.com], health [www.myartic.net], ov er -
weight [www.terhi.net, http://chat.yle.fi] and memories of sports
in school [http://ranneliike.net; http://chat.yle.fi; http://demi.fi,;
http://keskustelu.suomi.24.fi]. All nine forums were selected,
numbered from one to nine and analyzed further. The forums
contained between 11 - 150 messages varying in length. Alto-
gether the nine discussion forums yielded 450 separate messages.
Using qualitati ve content a nalysis (Patt on, 2002), going t h r ough
and reading the messages several times, they seemed to fall
clearly into four different groups.
1) If no negative comments about PE were contained in the
message it was called “positive”. Also a message stating an
opinion or agreement with the former writer and not containing
anything negative was included in this group.
2) If the message included a single positive comment while
the rest was negative—or vice versa—it was assigned to a group
3) If the message contained no positive comment it was
4) The fourth group consisted of messages with various top-
ics mixed in with the issue of PE. This group was called “other”.
The messages in this group included, for example, messages
about eating and being overweight, smoking, the writer’s own
physical condition and other school subjects.
These groups were labelled positive, negative, both positive
and negative (later called both for short) and other. After read-
ing the messages in the “other” group more closely, the whole
group was discarded because it did not directly com- monthe
topic of this research. Having done this, 356 messages re-
mained. To ensure reliability the data were coded with sequen-
tial classification within six months. In case of unclear or am-
biguous messages our research team classified them as a team
in order to avoid subjectivity.
The Ethics of Internet Research
The Internet can be seen as a form of cultural production
where people build virtual persons and social images for the
self and others (e.g. Basset & O’Riordan, 2002). In line with ot h e r
researchers (see e.g. Bruckman, 2002), we see the Internet as a
social environment for publishing one’s thoughts and feelings.
We also assume, like Pitts (2004), that the web forums we re-
search are “truthful” (see Hine, 2000), and that the issues the
writers raise are real for themselves. In our data the 365 mes-
sages were posted by 239 different pseudonyms. Trolls (Tepper,
1997), seeking to disrupt these forums with provocative mes-
sages about school PE, did not seem to be present. This was not,
however, empirically verified and must thus be considered a
limitation of this study. The ethics of online research depend on
the nature of the research and on the target group (e.g. Basset &
O’Riordan, 2002). In this study the data were collected from
open forums, which are available to everyone, whether as a
subscriber or reader. Discussions and opinions exist in these open
Copyright © 2012 SciRe s . 127
K. LAURITSALO ET AL.
forums independently of research purposes. Out of the nine
forums only two (animal rights and junior football) could be
considered as primarily for a more limited audience, although
they too were openly accessible. By chance, the selected forums
were discussing PE during that particular week. No claims about
the writers’ off-line identities can be made.
The results of this study reveal how the writers in the Internet
discussion forums described their experiences of PE in Finnish
schools. Of the 356 messages 12% were positive (n = 41), 24%
included both feelings (n = 87) and 64% were negative mes-
sages (n = 228). The purpose was to gain an overview of the
kinds of experiences people recounted in the Web forums. The
results and excerpts are given in order of frequency. All the
writers behind the messages referred to in this study were given
codes in which the first digit indicates the discussion forum and
the second the running number of the message. Since the mes-
sages were wr itten anony mously the gend er and age of the w ri t e r s
are unknown. In addition the time when the writers experienced
school PE varies. The original messages have been translated
from Finnish into English for this report by a native English
speaker transl at or.
I Liked School PE
Positive messages included statements about the writer’s suc-
cess in PE, the writer’s development when his/her skills were
not yet very advanced and positive attitude towards the subject.
Good memories about PE teachers, their enthusiasm and assis-
tance as well as their positive attitude towards sport as a hobby
were also mentioned.
“The best things in PE were the games and even the indi-
vidual sports; our teachers encouraged the weaker ones
too to join in, and nobody was given a hard time if a girl
could n ’t r e a l l y take part or didn’t understand. Teachers like
that are rare.” (4,25)
The wide range of PE, especially during the higher classes,
the importance and the amount of PE lessons and good feelings
about competitions between schools were also mentioned. What
also seemed to be important was a good class atmosphere and
en vi ro nme nt , whe r e th e pu pil s f e lt ac ce pt ed a s a par t of t h e group.
“We’ve always had a good PE group in which it’s been
fun to do things together. Myself, I’ve never been brilliant
at PE, but I’m reasonably good at most things. Ice skating
is the only thing that genuinely causes me problems. I’ve
never been tremendously popular among the other pupils,
but in PE lessons I felt I was welcome in the group.”
These positive results are in line with those of earlier resea rch
(Groves & Laws, 2000; Rikard & Banville, 2006; Strean, 2009).
I Like PE, but...
In the messages referring to both positive and negative ex-
periences, opinions were very different and conflicted with each
other. The main focus in these messages was on the teacher and
to almost the same degree the writers’ self-esteem. In some me s-
sages the writer liked the teacher but hated something about the
particular sport itself and in other messages just the opposite.
Many messages described one unpleasant or traumatic experi-
ence while the rest of the message was positive.
“The same PE teacher from seventh grade right through to
the end of upper secondary school, yippee! And exactly
the same stuff EVERY YEAR! Compulsory! By the way,
my mum had the same teacher as well... and no doubt
she’s still there, that dry old bag of bones.” (5,47)
In this group the memories of the lower grades were gener-
ally not as positive as later on, but again in some messages it
was just the opposite. The l ower comprehen sive school t eacher’s
skills were complained about more than the subject teacher’s
teaching skills in PE in the upper levels of comprehensive
school (see also Strean, 2009).
“In the lower comprehensive our PE teacher was abysmal.
In his lessons roughly 80% of the time was devoted to
him explaining how things should be done, and then for
the remaining ten minutes we played according to “simpli-
fied” rules. In the upper level of comprehensive school the
PE lessons have been significantly better because we’ve
had a professional PE teacher.” (2,12)
Attitudes towards one’ own body, being overweight and tee n-
age in general were frequently presented. In particular, the com-
pulsory showering after PE lessons was a highly controversial
topic. Opinions were divided over team versus individual sports.
Some wrote in favour of team sports but described negative ex-
periences of individual sports, and vice versa. It was impossible
to identify sports that were generally liked or disliked, because
opinions differed so widely (see also Williams & Bedward,
2001). The monotony of sports was another common complaint.
Writers reposted doing the same sports year after year finding
this repeated boring.
“Personally, it’s not like I hate school PE, but team disci-
plines in particular piss me right off. Swimming and ori-
enteering, on the other hand, are really great sports.”
PE Is Traumatic
The biggest number of messages fell into the negative cate-
gory. The teacher was the focus of most of them. The teacher’s
behaviour was often mentioned. A common complaint was the
teacher’s attitude, which was even seen as teachers being ‘Na-
zis’. Also hate towards teachers was strong. The teachers’ way
of teaching the subject or of treating the pupils was heavily
criticized. Descriptions along these lines have also been found
earlier (Morgan & H ansen, 2008 ; Rikar d & Banville, 2006 ; Strean,
2009; Trout & Graber, 2009; Williams & Bedward, 2001).
“Here’s to my PE teacher in lower comprehensive, he was
a complete Nazi, I HATED him. Always getting at the
ones who couldn’t do things, shouting, taking the mickey
out of people, behaving like a total sadist. Once he even
laughed when I got hit in the nuts by a ball during the
lesson. I was pretty lacking in confidence anyway… well,
that really didn’t make me feel any better or help my
The class environment, especially the competition and de-
pressing nature of the interaction between the pupils came up in
Copyright © 2012 SciRe s .
K. LAURITSALO ET AL.
many ways in a large number of messages. The other pupils
watching while one pupil was doing an exercise were an un-
pleasant moments. These results support earlier findings (e.g.
Morgan & Hansen, 2008; Trout & Graber, 2009).
“The teacher actually had less influence than my class-
mates. At the end of the day the teacher was pretty pow-
erless to do anything about the internal hierarchies in our
class. These can’t be altered by simply changing the way
teams are picked. However you look at it, for a long pe-
riod PE was a drag, the pressures to perform enormous,
and even now I don’t want to know when it comes to
team games.” (4,20)
Self-esteem was often mentioned from the bodily attractive-
ness and sports competence point of view (Fox & Corbin, 1989).
In particular pupils who were more grown up and physically
more mature than the others felt embarrassed. Physical fitness
and an overweight body were often subjects of comparison and
caused bad experiences. Skills or the lack of them as well were
mentioned many times.
“Traumatic. My grade for PE was 6 - 7. From the first
grade right through to the end of upper secondary school,
for a full twelve years PE has caused me stomach cramps
and anxiety. The most enjoyable school days were those
when there was no PE. Since I was the diligent sort I
didn’t even dare to skip the PE classes. Throughout com-
prehensive school everybody got down on me in PE les-
sons, pupils and teachers alike, because I was totally use-
less. In upper secondary school things were a bit more
civilized, but still caused me grief.” (4,35)
Some sports created strong negative feelings and anxiety that
affected pupils’ attitude towards PE as a whole during their
school years. Team sport and playing games were most often
mentioned, but individual sports received negative feedback as
well. (See e.g. Rikard & Banville, 2006)
“One word: gymnastics. I’ll remember forever the hu-
miliation, when I couldn’t do any of the compulsory exer-
cises. I couldn’t get over the horse, and the teacher had to
LIFT me over. I was so, so embarra ssed. And what’s that
movement, when you kind of have to swing around a
horizontal bar? Well, I didn’t make it even onto the bar. I
couldn’t do a cartwheel. I couldn’t even do a somersault.
Finally in the upper comprehensive I learned to bounce on
the trampoline, and even there I flew off and hit the
ground. I hate, hate, repeat, hate gymnastics.” (5,19)
In this group of negative messages the facilities and the
equipment were important factors as well. Small gyms or lack
of them, unpleasant dressing rooms and showers, different ite ms
of sports equipment and carrying them to school—like cross-
country skis or ice skates—were mentioned. An interesting
group of messages dealt with the question of the leather mate-
rial used in sports equipment.
“… what should you do, when almost every item of sports
equipment is made of leather? Basketballs, footballs, base-
ball gloves... My old skates are made of leather, and skat-
ing on the timetable?” (1,1)
“First of all we lugged the skis to school in the morning,
and then stuck them in a really tightly packed store room.
In spite of the racks the skis in the store room were in a
totally chaotic state and finding one’s own skis amongst
all the rest was a real struggle. If you didn’t have your
own skis then you had to use the school skis, which didn’t
usually match, and which were straight from the Stone
Age. During PE classes we walked a few kilometres to the
sawdust circuit carrying our skis and then staggered around
the track, all the same if it was minus 25 or we were up to
our ankles in water. Then we walked back carrying our
skis and watched as the PE teacher went shooting past in
his car.” (7,3)
Testing and evaluation as well as report numbers for PE have
left bad memories in some of the writers’ minds. This is a com-
mon result found in many earlier studies (Hartmann, Zahner,
Pühse, Schneider, Puder, & Kriemler, 2009; Trout & Graber,
2009; Wrench & Garrett, 2008)
“We had fitness tests, at which I was naturally absolute
rubbish. Doing so badly was horrible and unpleasant in
itself, but the final humiliation came when on the next
occasion the teacher gave us all a handout showing each
pupil’s results in the different parts of these tests. My
name showed up in virtually every activity right at the
bottom of the list.” (5,31)
To summarize the present results, in the positive messages
the focus tend to be physical education in general and personal
experiences. The messa ges dealt with the writer’s sport compe-
tence and general physical self-worth. In the negative messages
the emphasis was more on factors external to the writer like the
teacher or the other pupils, the curriculum, facilities and equip-
ment, and also showering.
Discussion and Conclusion
The aim of this study was to examine what kinds of physical
education experiences in school are recounted in Internet dis-
cussion forums. The main findings were the themes that the
writers sent into cyberspace. The messages posted in the Inter-
net discussion forums studied here referred to negative experi-
ences more frequently and more vehemently than has been pre-
viously reported in PE studies. Despite sometimes even very
strong expressions of disliking physical education it is impor-
tant for pedagogical reasons to sort out what kind of situations
cause negative messages. Earlier studies have found that most
pupils like physical education in school. These prior results
have been based on surveys and questionnaires (Carlson, 1995;
Palomäki & Heikinaro-Johansson, 2011), interviews (Carlson,
1995; Williams & Bedward, 2001) and through the analysis of
diaries and classroom observations (Groves & Laws, 2000).
The use of the open discussion forums as data base could be
seen as a further, nontraditional, possibility to listen to students’
voices. When interpreting these results we have to emphasise
that the messages are from writers in Internet discussion forums
and therefore not representative of all school pupils or all peo-
ple. The Internet as an anonymous forum offers an easy oppor-
tunity for the expression of the strong feelings and often in a
very extreme way. However, this method of data collecting en-
ables the description of experiences that might be too personal
to describe by other means. It might be easier to talk about very
sensitive, even intimate matters on the Internet (Pitts, 2001;
Seale et al., 2010).
Copyright © 2012 SciRe s . 129
K. LAURITSALO ET AL.
Bad memories of body image and physical self-esteem (Fox
& Corbin, 1989) and feelings of hurt caused by a teacher or
peers may remain with the writer for life (Strean, 2009). They
may have future effects, where such individuals become PE
teachers themselves (Morgan & Hansen, 2008). The results of
this study verify the target of PE, building up pupil ’s self-e st ee m
and a positive physical self-concept (NASPE, 2004). This should
effect the pedagogical decisions teachers make during PE les-
sons. Also extrinsic factors (e.g. facilities) seem to have a st rong
role, which should be taken into consideration while planning
the resources of teaching for the future.
The findings are related to the method used to collect the
data and the reality that only certain types of people are active
in Internet forums. It is possible on the Internet to write about
things that would not necessarily emerge in questionnaires. One
particular example that shows the possibilities of the method
used in this study, were some of the messages that were cap-
tured by the broad search term “school PE”, such as the issue of
animal rights. Most probably the aversion to using leather (in
balls, ba seball mitt s, skates) durin g PE would never ha ve e m e r g ed
using other, less open-ended data sources. Such issues have not
previously been noted out in the PE context.
The method used in this study clearly offers a new approach
for research on people’s opinions. Relatively few studies have
used Internet forums in this way. Because the present data were
collected from Web forums the research process did not influ-
ence the target group or their opinions (Seale et al., 2010). In
some studies researchers investigate the subject in a specific
forum specially set up for the purpose of their research. This
was not the case in this study. Discussions and opinions exist in
forums independently of research purposes. Data collected in
this way are totally unaffected by social pressure or the need to
please interviewers or teachers (cf. Seale et al., 2010). However,
there may be an unwritten imperative in forums to compete
with previous writers and make one’s experiences sound even
worse or better than theirs (Hagger, Wood, Stiff, & Chatzis-
arantis, 2009). It may be that the Internet encourages more
forthright expression and that negative examples fuel the effects
of other writers. Also, some controversial messages (trolling)
might be posted with the express purpose of inciting strong
reactions (flaming) from people (Millard, 1997; Tepper, 1997).
People writing in Web forums are active in giving and re-
ceiving emotional and informational support (Ransom et al., 2010;
Pitts, 2001; Seale et al., 2010). Readers cannot know if the
writers have really experienced the things they write about or
whether they are dramatizations of their experiences or even
wholly imaginary. These issues remain unresolved in this study.
Internet forums open the door to an inner world where nei-
ther the writers nor the messages are there explicitly for re-
search purposes. This provides an opportunity to follow imper-
ceptibly a conversation in its authentic environment. The clear
difference between the positive and negative groups is in the
strength of the emotions the writers describe. It is interesting to
observe what major consequences small and sporadic experi-
ences can have. It would be interesting to know what the true
implications might be of the writers being hidden behind a
screen. Sometimes a person’s own uncertainty or ambivalence
regarding his/her self-esteem underlies negative experiences
(Fox & Corbin, 1989). To obtain the most inclusive view of these
phenomena different data collection methods should be used in
Some clear limitations in this study should be acknowledged.
The first is that we do not know the identity of the person be-
hind the computer. Tapscott argues that “they’re screenagers,
Net addicted, losing their social skills, and they have no time
for sports or healthy activities. Time spent online could have
been devoted to sports and face-to-face conversation; the result
is a generation of awkward, fat people” (Tapscott, 2009: p. 3).
If that is the case, it might mean that these individuals have
difficulties coming to terms with the normal and natural effects
of their own body and feel uncomfortable with it. Since the
participants write anonymously , it is impossible to discover t hei r
cultural background, race, schooling, gender or age. In Finland,
in most cases from the third grade (8 - 9 years of age) onwards
girls and boys do PE separately: this may have influenced the
view of some of the writers. Owing to these limitations, issues
concerning the writer’s personal background were not in focus
in this study, and should therefore be examined in future re-
search. In relation to discussions forums it is important to un-
derstand that a limited population segment find such sites, read
the messages and react. In Finland, however, quite a large num-
ber of people use the Web forums (Statistics Finland, 2011).
The present results are based on all the messages posted in nine
Web forums during a specific period. The Internet is one way
of listening to peoples’ voices. When decoding the data one
challenge is to be able to reach the writer’s feelings. Another
challenge is to understand and construe a message the way the
writer intended. The smilies and other emoticons used in the
messages helped to confirm the interpretation of the writer’s
Since people are not physically active enough, it is important
to find out and analyze in more detail what lies behind this. Our
findings imply that physical education does not provide every-
one with enjoyable experiences and happy memories. It would
be helpful for teachers and teacher educators to be aware of the
feelings that PE arouses in order to develop PE pedagogy and
the PE learning environment to the advantage of all students.
PE teachers make valuable and challenging work with sensitive
students. Today’s new school-going generation may have a
different relationship with their bodies; if so, this challenges PE
teachers to find new ways to encourage students to adopt a
physically active lifestyle.
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