Group Size, physical education, student learning


The physical education context is fun, yet challenging. There is the potential to offer a multitude of activities and games for students. Thus, PE teachers should put the students in the best position to learn the content. One method PE teachers can use is putting students in small-sided groups during game and activities. The purpose of this study was to investigate K-12 physical education teachers’ perceptions of small-sided games/activities in their PE lessons. For this study 31 K-12 physical educators from five states participated in the study. The PE teachers were emailed a survey for them to fill out. The questions were structured to produce answers to the survey that were short answers. Analysis of the interview data revealed four themes concerning small-sided games/activities in physical education lessons. They were, 1) the importance of small-sided groups, 2) PE teachers observations of students in 2v2 and 3v3 activities, 3) how do PE teachers know small-sided groups are better than large-sided games, and 4) small-sided groups affect on student attitudes. The results from the data collected show that small-sided games/activities are helpful and important to students learning, students have more interaction with the equipment, and students feel more comfortable to participate in small-sided games/activities.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

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David O. McKay School of Education


Teacher Education

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor