Everybody who has told me they hate math has traced it back to a teacher they had.
Unfortunately, teaching, like other "helping" professions, attracts power-freaks, in addition to those who are genuine helpers.
Public release date: 6-Jan-2010
Contact: Carmen Leibel
University of Alberta
A negative phys ed teacher can cause a lifetime of inactivity
Humiliation in physical education class as a child can turn people off fitness for good, according to a University of Alberta researcher.
Billy Strean, a professor in the U of A's Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, says a negative lifelong attitude towards physical activity can be determined by either a good or a bad experience, based on the personal characteristics of the coach or instructor. For example, negative experiences may come from a teacher who has low energy, is unfair and/or someone who embarrasses students.
One study participant wrote, "I am a 51-year-old-woman whose childhood experiences with sports, particularly as handled in school, were so negative that even as I write this my hands are sweating and I feel on the verge of tears. I have never experienced the humiliation nor felt the antipathy toward any other aspect of life as I do toward sports."
Strean also found study participants had better experiences from minimally organized games such as street hockey, compared to the more organized activities. He suggests adults try not to over-organize sports and allow the children to explore sporting activities on their own, with minimal rules and no scorekeeping.