Effect of a sport education-based teaching unit in physical education on high school students’ social networks and quantitative sociometry scores: A cluster randomized control trial
The present study aimed: (a) to examine the effect of the Sport Education-based teaching unit on students’ sociometric status and quantitative relationship indices from a macro-analysis perspective (classroom-group level); and (b) to study the effect of the program on students’ relationships using a quantitative and visual analysis from a micro-analysis perspective (within the Sport Education subgroup teams level) in the Physical Education setting. One hundred and sixty-five high school students (46.7% females; Mage = 14.0 ± 1.1 years old) from six pre-established classes were cluster-randomly assigned into the experimental (n = 108) or control groups (n = 57). Both groups carried out a six-week intervention program (two Physical Education lessons a week). The experimental group followed the Sport Education model, while the control group methodology was based on direct instruction. Results of the Multilevel Linear Model showed that there were no significant differences in students’ sociometric indices nor sociometric status from a macro-analysis perspective. However, the results of the McNemar's test and the visual analysis of social networks within-teams in the experimental group showed that the students’ relationships changed favorably within-team after the Sport Education program increased positive nominations and reduced negative nominations. In conclusion, these results suggest that the Sport Education model facilitates initiating new positive social relationships and removing negative relationships in within-team students.