Physical and Health Education Pedagogy is a broad area that addresses issues of teaching-learning in a variety of settings in which physical activity and other health behaviors are involved. This area is also concerned with the facilitation and promotion of healthy lifestyles across the life-span, with a particular emphasis on childhood and adolescence.
Current research in the Physical and Health Education Pedagogy program draws upon educational, developmental, psychosocial and health promotion perspectives to investigate topics such as the impact of participation over time in physical education and sport activities on the health and development of children and youth.
Other topics being currently studied include the role of perceptions of relatedness to others in the internalization of physical activity values and behaviors in children and youth and the promotion of physical activity during adolescence by bringing together school, family, and community resources.
Adapted Physical Activity
Adapted physical activity is a professional branch of kinesiology which deals with people who have special needs in the context of physical activity. In many cases this involves individuals with disabilities, but in reality it includes anyone requiring special assistance for optimal development at some point in their lives.
Thus, adapted physical activity is more about individualizing instruction, matching personal strengths and interests with appropriate activities and adapting environments to promote full participation in physical activity, regardless of the population being studied.
The McGill research team emphasizes motor behavior, motivation, and self-determination; as well as intervention strategies that promote personal autonomy. Students are encouraged to seek their own research questions within these constraints. The individuals who have kindly participated in this research program include those with an intellectual disability, learning disability, developmental coordination disorder, and autism.
The graduate program broadly emphasizes motor learning, control, performance, and development of persons with developmental disabilities. Developmental disabilities include those with autism, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and coordination problems. Most research is applied in nature to real world physical activity settings, but with a clear theoretical foundation.
Specifically, the research lines of inquiry have two main thrusts:
- Motor Behavior of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Studies have investigated the motor development and skills of individuals with autism, motor planning, physical activity leisure interests, aspirations as viewed by parents, and the benefits of a variety of instructional interventions.
- Motor Learning and performance of Children with Developmental Disabilities: These studies have explored skill acquisition of children who have coordination difficulties from a cognitive psychology perspective; more specifically self-regulation while learning a motor task. Self-determination models have guided several research projects including a Pictorial Motivation Scale, a study of choice making, and a scale to investigate the use of self-determination techniques by physical education teachers.
Sport and Exercise Psychology
What is Sport and Exercise Psychology?
In Canada, Sport and Exercise Psychology is an interdisciplinary field that is acknowledged as a core discipline within Kinesiology and Physical Education programs. Sport and Exercise Psychology involves the scientific study of people and their behaviours in sport and exercise contexts and the practical applications of that knowledge.
Most people study sport and exercise psychology with two objectives in mind: (1) to understand how psychological and social factors influence an individual’s behavioural outcomes (e.g., sport performance, exercise motivation) and (2) to understand how participation in sport and exercise influences psychological and social development, health, and well-being (Weinberg & Gould, 1999).
Sport and exercise psychology can be applied to a broad population base, such as elite or recreational athletes, youth, physically and/or mentally disabled, older adults, and chronic disease.
Why Sport and Exercise Psychology at McGill?
Since Sport and Exercise Psychology are regarded as two separate sub-disciplines, McGill University offers distinct concentrations within the graduate degree. A graduate degree in either sport or exercise psychology will help prepare you for a range of truly stimulating career options in teaching, research, coaching, consulting, and/or application of knowledge to the field of kinesiology and exercise science.
McGill University is situated in the downtown core of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, which is a major cosmopolitan city. McGill is rated among the top universities in the world, and Kinesiology and Physical Education is a multidisciplinary department with internationally-recognized faculty. McGill's graduate program in Sport and Exercise Psychology (M.A., Ph.D.) can offer you a number of distinct advantages, including development and strengthening of knowledge and skills in your interest areas through strong faculty mentoring. In addition, a 5:1 student-faculty ratio will ensure that you will receive personalized attention. Finally, advising focused on the selection of courses, research topics, and practicum experiences will help advance your career goals.
Sport Psychology Emphasis focuses on coaching psychology, youth involvement and development, sport-specific personality, motivation, arousal, anxiety, stress, aggression, group cohesion, psychological skills, and gender issues.
Exercise Psychology Emphasis focuses on exercise and physical activity issues associated with epidemiology, barriers and motives, social influences and social support, community, group, and individual interventions, self-esteem, body image, stress and coping, emotional well-being, quality of life, and special populations.