Favoritism, physical education, appropriate practices


Having a teacher show interest or concern may greatly influence, and encourage student learning; as well as fostering life-long positive behaviors, attitudes, and self-esteem. However, it is noted teachers have a tendency to select ‘favorites’ among their students (Cooper & Good, 1983; Tal & Babad, 1990; Aydogen, 2008); with physical education not immune to this practice. Thus, the purpose of this study was to better understand individual’s (i.e., former students in k-12 physical education) perspectives regarding their reflective experiences of teacher favoritism in physical education during their time in school physical education. Participants were 318 college-aged students from a private university located in the western United States, utilizing a 13-question survey instrument. Data analyses, particularly participant qualitative responses, revealed favoritism in PE was common and viewed negatively by students through a negative lens. The results from this study should give current physical educators pause to reflect on their teaching behaviors.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date





David O. McKay School of Education


Teacher Education

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor