Helping Middle School-Age Girls Understand the Value of Participating in Physical Education Programs through Critical and Creative Thinking

Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Nina Greenwald


The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the importance of utilizing physical education as a vehicle for middle school-age girls to think critically and creatively about major health issues in their lives. The paper examines different health issues that can affect girls’ health including, weight control (specifically, obesity and anorexia), disease prevention (specifically, coronary heart disease and osteoporosis), and mental well-being (specifically, low self-esteem and depression). Middle school-age girls are at a transitional stage in their lives and need guidance in acquiring proper thinking tools to make well-informed decisions. Thinking strategies that can train middle school-age girls to think more thoroughly are problem-solving, decision-making and metacognition. Thinking tools such as a Problem-Solving Graph, a Decision-Making Matrix, Journaling, SCAMPER, and Why-Why Diagramming are introduced to help girls work through the various thinking strategies. The purpose of this paper is to training girls to think critically and creatively about the implications of physical education for the mental well-being. This paper proposes a manual to guide instructors through different teaching techniques that can be significant in any middle school-age girl’s learning abilities.


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