Dr. Chen's current research focus is on examining effects of various motivational constructs on student learning in physical education as associated with learning outcomes, in-class physical activity, and after-school physical activity behavioral change. These motivation constructs include personal interest, situational interest, expectancy beliefs, and perceived task values. In his research these constructs are being studied in relation to health-related knowledge acquisition, physical fitness development and maintenance, in-class physical activity level, and after-school physical activity behavior. Dr. Chen and his graduate students have being using both quantitative and qualitative research methods to explore various research questions associated with these variables. Findings from the studies have continued to provide strong empirical evidence linking student motivation, learning, and physical activity behavior change to the coherence of the physical education curriculum. This line of research continues to contribute to our understanding about how to reform the K-12 physical education curriculum as a primary intervention means to enhance children’s knowledge about physical activity and maintain an active lifestyle. Below are the most recent publications from these studies.

  • Chen, S., Chen, A., & Zhu, X. (in press) Are K-12 students motivated in physical education? A meta-analysis. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport.
  • Ding, H., Sun, H., & Chen, A. (in press). Gender, BMI, Values, and Learning in Physical Education: A Study on Chinese Middle Schoolers. Learning and Individual Difference.
  • Sun, H., Chen, A., Zhu, X., & Ennis, C. D. (in press). Curriculum Matters: Learning Science-Based Fitness Knowledge in Constructivist Physical Education. The Elementary School Journal.
  • Zhu, X., Chen, A., Sun, H., & Ennis, C. D. (in press) Measurement invariance of expectancy-value questionnaire in physical education. Measurement in Exercise Science & Physical Education.
  • Zhu, X., Ennis, C. D., & Chen, A. (2011). Implementation challenges for a constructivist physical education curriculum. Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy, 16(1), 83-99.
  • Zhu, X., & Chen, A. (2010). Adolescent Expectancy-value Motivation and Learning: A Disconnected Case in Physical Education. Learning and Individual Difference, 20, 512-516.
  • Sun, H., & Chen, A. (2010). An examination of sixth graders’ self-determined motivation and learning in physical education. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 29, 262-277.
  • Chen, A., & Liu, X. (2009). Task values, cost, and choice decisions in physical education. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 28,192-213.
  • Zhu, X., Chen, A., Ennis, C. D., Sun, H., Hopple, C., Bonello, M., Bae, M., & Kim, S. (2009). Student situational interest, cognitive engagement, and learning achievement in physical education. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 34, 221-229.
  • Chen, A., Martin, R., Ennis, C. D., & Sun, H. (2008). Content specificity of expectancy beliefs and task values in elementary physical education. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 79, 195-208.
  • Chen, A., & Liu, X. (2008). Value-based motivation in Chinese college physical education and physical activity. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 5, 262-274.
  • Sun, H., Chen, A., Ennis, C. D., Shen, B., & Martin, R. (2008). Conception of “fun”: Validating sources of situational interest in elementary school physical education. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 79, 62-70.
  • Chen, A., Martin, R., Sun, H., & Ennis, C. D. (2007) Is physical activity at risk in constructivist physical education? Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 78, 500-509.
  • Shen, B., & Chen, A. (2007). An examination of learning profiles in physical education. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 26, 145-160.