Sports Experiences as Funds of Knowledge for Science: College Students’ Ideas about Science in American Football

Main Article Content

Lisa Ann Borgerding
Fatma Kaya
Mila Rosa Librea-Carden
Davida Pantuso
Jaren Maybin


Physics and physical science content are essential for many professional fields, and they are an important component of scientific literacy. Yet, students are commonly less engaged in physics learning at all levels.  Funds of knowledge approaches to science instruction build upon learners’ real-world experiences and interests in order to make science learning more relevant and engaging.  This study investigates how college undergraduates’ football experiences elicit physical science content knowledge with a larger goal of developing physical science instruction that better connects to learners.  This exploratory interpretive study utilized individual interviews and a focus groups with 22 college students to elicit their ideas about a variety of common football contexts: kicking, pursuit, throwing, and football deflation.  The analysis identified several physical science concepts elicited by particular football scenarios, particular football experiences that could be utilized in science instruction, and some misconceptions or points of confusion about physical science concepts.  Implications for curricular development, teacher education, and research are provided.

Article Details

Research / Empirical