David Hortigüela Alcalá and Alejandra Hernando Garijo
It seems important to consider students’ attitudes towards physical education (PE), and the way they learn sports. The present study examines students’ perceptions of motivation and achievement in PE after experiencing three consecutive sport units. Two hundred and thirty seven students from the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade in a high school in Burgos (Spain) and two teachers agreed to participate. They were divided into two groups in order to compare two instructional approaches. The experimental group (A), 128 students, experienced Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU), while the control group (B), 109 students, experienced a technical-traditional approach. Each group was taught by a different teacher. The study followed a mixed-method research design with quantitative (questionnaire) and qualitative (interview) data. Results revealed that group A showed greater motivation and achievement in PE than group B. Significant differences were found in achievement. Participants with better academic results in group A were more positive in sport participation. Meanwhile, students who practiced more extracurricular sports in group B were more actively involved in sport. Teachers disagreed greatly on the way sport should be taught in PE.
The need for continuous recording rain gauges makes it difficult to determine the rainfall erosivity factor (Rfactor) of the Universal Soil Loss Equation in regions without good spatial and temporal data coverage. In particular, the R-factor is only known at 16 rain gauge stations in the Madrid Region (Spain). The objectives of this study were to identify a readily available estimate of the R-factor for the Madrid Region and to evaluate the effect of rainfall record length on estimate precision and accuracy. Five estimators based on monthly precipitation were considered: total annual rainfall (P), Fournier index (F), modified Fournier index (MFI), precipitation concentration index (PCI) and a regression equation provided by the Spanish Nature Conservation Institute (RICONA). Regression results from 8 calibration stations showed that MFI was the best estimator in terms of coefficient of determination and root mean squared error, closely followed by P. Analysis of the effect of record length indicated that little improvement was obtained for MFI and P over 5- year intervals. Finally, validation in 8 additional stations supported that the equation R = 1.05·MFI computed for a record length of 5 years provided a simple, precise and accurate estimate of the R-factor in the Madrid Region.