Comparison of citizen skills in bachelor of physical education students

Mendive. Revista de Educación, July-august 2020; 18(3):647-660

Translated from the original in Spanish

Comparison of citizen skills in bachelor of physical education students


Cotejo de las competencias ciudadanas en estudiantes de Licenciatura en Educación Física


Comparação de competências cidadãs em alunos de Bacharelato em Educação Física


Jayson Bernate1, Brayan Bejarano1, David Cardozo1 

1 Corporación Universitaria Minuto de Dios Uniminuto. Colombia. ORCID:,,, E-mail:,,


Received: June 5th, 2020.
Approved: July 14th, 2020.



The objective of this article is to compare citizen competencies in undergraduate students in physical education at the Minuto de Dios University Corporation of the first and last semester. For this, the questionnaire entitled Pedagogical practices for the development of citizen competencies was applied, which has five variables to evaluate the actions (3 items), emotions (9 items), empathy (7 items), environment (7 items) and critical thinking (3 items) with a Cronbach's alpha of 0, 73 for the total scale. The incidental sample consisted of 450 first and last semester students. The methodology is quantitative and descriptive in scope. For the study the SPSS software was used, the statistical analysis was performed with descriptive statistical techniques. The findings Showed That the Variable With the highest values With respect to the arithmetic mean is ambient, with intermediate values are the variables of actions, emotions and empathy and the lower averages With respect to the arithmetic mean were presented in the critical variable thinking. In conclusion, citizen competences are linked to various ways of interpreting and valuing a sense of citizen action in relation to participation in a social constructive sense.

Keywords: Citizen Competencies; university students; student training.


El objetivo de este artículo es comparar las competencias ciudadanas en estudiantes de Licenciatura en Educación Física en la Corporación Universitaria "Minuto de Dios" de primer y último semestre. Para esto se aplicó el cuestionario para medir competencias ciudadanas en universitarios, el cual se compone de cinco variables para evaluar las acciones (tres ítems), emociones (nueve ítems), empatía (siete ítems), ambiente (siete ítems) y pensamiento crítico (tres ítems) con un alfa de Cronbach de 0,73 para la escala total. La muestra incidental estuvo conformada por 450 estudiantes de primer y último semestre. La metodología es de carácter cuantitativo y alcance descriptivo. Para el estudio se utilizó el software SPSS y el análisis estadístico se realizó con técnicas de estadística descriptiva. Los hallazgos demostraron que la variable con los valores más altos respecto a la media aritmética es ambiente; con valores intermedios están las variables de acciones, emociones y empatía y los promedios menores respecto a la media aritmética se presentaron en la variable de pensamiento crítico. A modo de conclusión, las competencias ciudadanas están ligadas a diversas formas de interpretar y valorar un sentido de acción ciudadana en relación con la participación de forma constructiva y social.

Palabras clave: competencias ciudadanas; estudiantes universitarios; formación estudiantil.


O objetivo deste artigo é comparar as competências de cidadania dos alunos do Bacharelado em Educação Física da Corporação Universitária "Minuto de Dios" do primeiro e último semestres. Para isso, foi aplicado o questionário para medir competências de cidadania em estudantes universitários. É composto por cinco variáveis para avaliar ações (três itens), emoções (nove itens), empatia (sete itens), ambiente (sete itens) e pensamento crítico (três itens) com um alfa de Cronbach de 0,73 para a escala total. A amostra incidental consistiu em 450 alunos do primeiro e último semestre. A metodologia é quantitativa por natureza e descritiva no seu âmbito. O software SPSS foi utilizado para o estudo e a análise estatística foi realizada com técnicas estatísticas descritivas. Os achados mostraram que a variável com valores mais altos em relação à média aritmética é o ambiente; com valores intermediários estão as variáveis de ações, emoções e empatia e as médias mais baixas em relação à média aritmética foram apresentadas no variável pensamento crítico. Como conclusão, as competências cidadãs estão ligadas a diversas formas de interpretação e valorização do sentido da ação cidadã em relação à participação de forma construtiva e social.

Palavras-chave:competências cidadãs; estudantes universitários; formação de estudantes.



Citizen competences are the set of abilities and capacities, both communicative, emotional and cognitive, which are constantly related to basic knowledge and guide the individual both morally and politically at the time of insertion in society, developing citizen competences in Physical education implies a detachment from traditionalist educational models, which generates new perspectives on teaching -learning and thus to achieve significant learning by framing comprehensive training for students.

It is evident that today we live in a society that suffers from high rates of behavior that permeate social and cultural processes, these in turn, generate that values such as tolerance and respect for others are increasingly lost, the Ministry of Education (2010) states: "The citizens competencies are a set of cognitive, emotional and communication skills, we must develop to learn to live with others and above all, to act constructively in society" (p.1).

On the other hand, Fragoso (2015) maintains that:

   Abide by the citizenship means, to be aware that becomes part of a social and institutional order, which is governed by standards of coexistence that protect everybody, as individuals and as part of the specific social groups with which we can or not identify. By abiding by citizenship we become participants in a socially and historically articulated idea of a `city'. Compliance with citizenship implies a basic understanding of the customs, values, and traditions, forms of interaction and symbolic exchange of the place we inhabit. This at the same time constitutes the foundation of civility. (p.15)

Taking into account the aforementioned, it can be inferred that the citizen is capable of making sense of their own actions, which cooperates positively or negatively to a society from the civic and ethical perspective, for which reason it should be taken into account the concept of citizenship skills which is defined by Goncalves & Lopes (2016) as "We  define citizenship skills here as the set of abilities and cognitive, emotional and communication skills - integrated - related basic knowledge (content, procedures, mechanisms) that morally and politically guide our citizen action "(p.16).

On the other hand, it is worth mentioning that a society with citizens that have a threshold of low citizen competences has an impact on the action of the individual and / or citizen in front of the society in which they coexist, and being able to optimally develop citizen competences helps the individual to develop in different contexts and to  sociocultural scopes as tasks that are reflected in the behavior of a society, also taking into consideration the development to a conceptual, behavioral and political level.

Likewise, starting from the political constitution that currently governs the governmental levels of the nation, it aims to give priority to democracy throughout the national territory and empowers human rights that were so much defeated in past political constitutions.

The Colombian Ministry of Education proposes a strategy called RED to carry out a strengthening and / or accompaniment to educational practices, this has as its objective the optimal development of democratic learning in academic spaces, all of this is based on a learning teaching methodology significant for the student from an experience of constructive and collective learning, which is aimed at generating and enhancing citizen competences in each of the students who are being trained as integral citizens, therefore the Ministry of Education (2010) notes that:

   The accompaniment strategy Red for the Development of Learning on Citizen Competences, REDE @ PRENDER, a strategy that seeks to train educators in the development of citizen competences, through a bet that integrates virtual and face-to-face elements. The center of this process is the qualification, feedback and enrichment of pedagogical initiatives that are already being carried out in the Educational Institutions of the country.

It should also take into account the role of the physical education teacher in pedagogy and formation of citizens with citizenship skills that not only the physical education class is limited to focus on driving results and morphological changes, but also in behavioral changes and generate meaningful learning. Calle (2017) states the following:

Developing civic competences from the Physical Education class implies completely detaching from traditional educational schemes, and generating a new vision of teaching - learning, allowing students to participate in their teacher training. Teacher-student relationships should be characterized by dialogue and not imposition; Teachers must be able to recognize the abilities and limitations that they possess in their students, in order to achieve significant learning. (p.162)

Education at all levels and programs must prioritize the formation of individuals with moral, respectful and ethical values, aware of the fulfillment of their social duties to live in harmony. By means of Physical  Education and sports in general it can be generated an enabling environment for transfer to children and youth moral and ethical values, as Bernate, Fonseca & Castillo affirm (2019) "in the practice of a sport it can be as simple as the fact respect the rules of the same and respect the integrity of those who are rivals" (p. 90) in this way by means of games youth is in constant interaction with different types of skills, as they are: communicative, cognitive and emotional, consequent acts worked and developed in the daily planning of the curricular plans from physical education, it can allow children and young people to solve problems in a peaceful way, being the teacher the main actor in the educational field to transmit these citizen competences inside and outside the classroom. As recommended: Bernate, Fonseca, Betancourt, García, & Sabogal (2019)

The physical education class can be a mediator to train students in an integral way, that is, to train ethical, critical and self-reflective citizens capable of interacting with the world around them, in order for them to be participants in society in a constructive way. For this reason, social skills are a fundamental part of human development because they are a tool for relating to others, to be able to accept ideas, knowledge and emotions. (p.79)

Finally it is appropriate to cite some authors who referenced as background, to start Torres & Reyes (2015, p. 14) determined with taking the instrument in college that must first strengthen cognitive skills which will help improve the conceptualization of the different categories of democracy, responsibility, human rights and the concept of person, in this way it is going to promote the formation of some integral citizens who understand their role as young people in the daily construction of a better community.

Otherwise Maussa & Villareal (2015, p.22) determined that globalized society requires a globalized culture, which can be achieved from an education for globalized citizenship that has its pillars in democratic participation, respect for differences and the environmental balance.

Finally, Tey, Vilà & Martínez (2014, p.2) propose that if students are offered practical opportunities as an exercise that links them to their professional community, citizen competences can be reinforced in this regard. According to what was previously supported, the objective of this article is to compare the citizen competences in students of Bachelor's degree in Physical Education at the Minuto de Dios University Corporation of the first and last semester.




The population participating in this investigation are the students of Bachelor of Physical Education of the first and last semester of the Faculty of Education of the University Corporation Minuto de Dios UNIMINUTO Headquarters , located in Bogotá Colombia. A simple random sampling was performed obtaining; 186 students of the first semester of the Bachelor in Physical Education, of which 54 were identified with the female gender for 29 % and 132 were identified as male to a 71 %. And 264 students in the last academic semester of the Bachelor's degree in physical education, of whom 174 are male (65.91 %) and 90 female (34.09 %) with ages between: 25 years (32.6 %), 26 years (17.4 %), 27 years (26.9 %) and 28 years (23.1 %). Regarding the socioeconomic stratum, the majority of the population is from stratum 3 (79.4 %), followed by stratum 2 (18.1 %), and stratum 4 (2.5 %). For 450 students randomly selected in academic program listings mentioned above.


The design used in this research was a non-experimental, cross-sectional quantitative design. This type of methodological approach has been chosen because it is a research method capable of responding to problems both in descriptive terms and in relation to variables when the information is collected in a systematic way, guaranteeing the rigor of the data obtained. As Hernández- - Pina and Maquilón (2010) point out, survey designs are very common in the field of education since they are applicable to multiple problems and allow information to be collected on a large number of variables.


The instrument used is the survey to measure citizen competences in university students prepared and validated by Zambrano (2018) with a list of 29 items that includes integrative skills (3 items actions), communicative (9 items ambient is democratic), emotional (7 items emotions, 7 items of empathy) and cognitive (3 items critical thinking). The response format was by means of a Likert-type scale with five response options: (1) completely disagree, (2) partially agree, (3) Undecided, (4) Agree and (5) completely agree. (See annex 1)


To collect the data, the participants were informed about the nature of the research; the authorization was requested from the teachers and students. An authorization form was delivered to the randomly selected participants, requesting their consent to participate in the study. On the day of the survey application, the objective of the survey and the variables were explained. Each student had 45 minutes to answer in a self-administered way. The statistical study was carried out using the SPSS 23.0 program, an analysis of the reliability of the instrument was made, descriptive statistics of the variables and dimensions of the study were calculated taking into account the mean, standard deviation and variance, to subsequently carry out the discussion and draw the conclusions of the study.



For the measurement of the expression of a construct through a test or quiz, comprising a number of items combined and which it should be established scales set trial, it must be shown previously that there is internal consistency among these, All items must measure the same construct and therefore must be correlated with each other, which is known as internal consistency or homogeneity. In these measurement instruments it is preponderant to demonstrate that the results of the sample with which we will work have the psychometric properties of validity and reliability.

The reliability for the applied instrument can be calculated using Cronbach's Alpha, which allows estimating the proportion of the variance of the common factors between the items. The value for alpha ranges from zero to one, the closer to 1 the greater the internal consistency. Its calculation is made from the function of the number of items and the average correlation between the items.

Where N is the number of items and r is the mean correlation between the items.

Alpha coefficient> .9 to .95 is excellent

Alpha coefficient> .8 is good

Alpha coefficient> .7 is acceptable

Alpha coefficient> .6 is questionable

Alpha coefficient> .5 is poor

Alpha coefficient <.5 is unacceptable

Table 1 - Instrument reliability  

  Total Scale

Cronbach's Alpha

No. of elements















Critical thinking



Verifying Cronbach's alpha for each group of items, we observed that although groups 2 and 3 (emotions and empathy) have values> .6, determined by the previous scales as questionable, they were validated and accepted because the total Alpha of the instrument It is found on the acceptance scale (> .7), allowing to establish a valid and reliable internal consistency index for the results obtained in the sample. 

 Table 2 - Dimensions and items of the instrument 





1: True communication is the one that occurs in listening to the arguments of others, without imposing your own.

2: I like to participate in class to publicize my points of view on the topic that is being developed.

3: If I observe that my opinions are not heard, I insist that my colleagues and teachers know it.




4: I don't mind losing control when I am very angry.

5: My actions can affect the people around me.

: It seems important to me to assume a critical position in situations of sexual discrimination

: It is important to identify the emotions that make it difficult for me to empathize with a competing partner

: Dialogue is a conciliation strategy that allows agreement between the people involved

9: Offenses are a lack of respect for the dignity of other people.

10: People should control their impulses when unfair situations arise in their daily activities.


11: It is easy for me to realize what other people feel (anger, joy, sad fear) around me.

12: When a partner is rejected I feel bad; I help him by including him in my study group.

13: When a partner suffers from problems, I take actions to help him.

14 : When my colleagues tell me about their problems, I am indifferent

15: When I see cases of human rights violations on television, I try to put myself in the victim's place.

16: When I communicate, I prefer to do it with gestures to express my feelings of respect and love towards other people.

17: I feel better when I help people than when I ignore them.


18: It is important that the teacher stimulates democratic relations in the classroom.

19: It is important that the teacher provides an adequate environment to achieve the proposed objectives.

20: It is important that the teacher considers the opinions of his students.

21: I appreciate the importance of the norms that make possible the preservation of cultural differences and regulate our coexistence.

22: Constructive dialogue and a climate of trust between students and teachers promote learning.

23: University students actively learn, making it possible to know their interests.

24: The construction of norms among all favors healthy coexistence.

25: The classroom environment favors the acquisition of habits of group living and respect for others.

26: The teacher must be consistent with what he says and does.

Critical thinking

27: When a teacher places a query topic for the next class, I am interested in doing it, even if it is not gradable.

28: When the teacher delivers the qualified works and you did not develop it, I solve it by lying; the important thing is to win the subject.

29: When a colleague does not carry out his autonomous work, I explain to him without taking into account the reasons for his irresponsibility.

Table 3 - Descriptive statistics of the student variables first semester                            






Typical deviation 











3,505 1






3.64 75






4.98 94






2.75 56


Valid N (per list)






Analysis of results according to table 3

When carrying out the analysis and interpretation of data that the application of the instrument throws, in the first semester students, it is observed that the variable actions composed of three items evidenced an arithmetic mean of 4, 5; in other words, they do it on many occasions, and they have a low dispersion index, since the standard deviation was 0.64.

In the second variable, it is observed that emotions are composed of seven items and showed an arithmetic mean of 3,5; in other words , they do it on some occasions, and have a low dispersion index, since the standard deviation was 0.69.

In the third variable, it is observed that empathy is made up of seven items and shows an arithmetic mean of 3.6; in other words, they do it on some occasions, and have a low dispersion index, since the standard deviation was 0.71.

In the fourth variable, it is observed that the environment was the highest and it is composed of nine items and showed an arithmetic mean of 4.9; that is to say, they succeed on almost all occasions, and have a low dispersion index, since the standard deviation was 0.73.

Finally, the thinking variable obtained the lowest arithmetic mean of the study with 2.7; that is to say, they do it few on occasions and present a low dispersion index, since the standard deviation was 0.68. 

  Table 4 - Descriptive statistics of the student variables last semester






Typical deviation 










4.9 1






4.8 1





4.6 3




Critical Thought






Valid N (per list)






Analysis of results according to table 4

When carrying out the analysis and interpretation of data that the application of the instrument throws, in the students of the last semester, it is observed that the variable actions composed of three items evidenced an arithmetic mean of 4.7; that is to say, they do it on many occasions, and have a low dispersion index, since the standard deviation was 0.74.

In the second variable, it is observed that emotions are made up of seven items and show an arithmetic mean of 4.5; that is to say, they do it on many occasions, and have a low dispersion index, since the standard deviation was 0.69.

In the third variable, it is observed that empathy is made up of seven items and shows an arithmetic mean of 4.4; in other words, they do it on many occasions, and they have a low dispersion index, since the standard deviation was 0.68.

In the fourth variable, it is observed that the environment was the highest and it is composed of nine items and showed an arithmetic mean of 4.9; that is to say, they achieve it in almost all occasions, and present a low dispersion index, since the standard deviation was 0.74.

Finally, the thinking variable obtained the lowest arithmetic mean of the study with 2.8; that is to say, they do it on few occasions and present a low dispersion index, since the standard deviation was 0.71. 



Measurement of citizenship skills in students of Bachelor in Physical Education  of the university corporation Minuto de Dios (UNIMINUTO), both first and second semester students had low standard deviations, these averages were regular in the first semester students, according to the score established by the test, in the case of the results and averages that the last semester students showed, there was a considerable improvement in the items that refer to: actions, emotions, empathy and environment, on the other hand, there was an exception in the variable of critical thinking, which showed a noticeable decrease, that is, both first semester and last semester students find it difficult to think rationally and reflectively towards determining doing and believing.

Graph 1 - Comparison of Statistics in Variables

As observed in Graph 1, the variables of emotions and empathy had a notable improvement during the 5 years of teacher training, in the variables of actions and environment there was stability in terms of weighting, the most worrying is the situation of the critical thinking variable, since at the time of applying the test in first semester students it was very low, but there were almost no positive changes in the teacher and teacher training process.

Given that these students who were administered the instrument are preparing to train future generations from the area of Physical Education regardless of the discipline in which they are going to play shows that they do not acquire and enhance the fundamentals from the part of critical thinking that society needs to have a behavioral change and political partner, that is the challenge which the university teacher group is confronted daily.

It is necessary to emphasize the issues raised by Tünnermann (2003) as cited in Jara & Stiepovic (2007): "(... ) education are essential tools for facing successfully the challenges of the modern world and to form citizens able to build a society fairer and more open, based on solidarity, respect for human rights." (P. 2)

It is important that the curricula are coherent, that these in turn provide individuals with tools to be a conscious citizen with their action before society, therefore the importance that the educational processes taught in pedagogical spaces are the most pertinent, not only in the specific or related area, but also with which they provide their students with the tools and competences already mentioned.

UNIMINUTO with its philosophy of teaching emphasized in the phraseological pedagogical model which is synthesized in that the student should carry out reflective processes that allow its continuous improvement, and where it is intended to reflect on the methods and models applied by teachers, so that turn to self - assess responding well, the processes of self - evaluation of the educative practices, because making such reflective process allows the progressive updating and constant of all the actors involved in higher education, that's why this research aims with the results the program to evaluate their academic process and curriculum of the Bachelor of Physical Education  and can achieve  their pedagogical practices  and humanistic concerning citizenship skills, and from there to rethink the academic processes from different academic areas of the program and faculty.

It is relevant and pertinent that the micro curricula and contents that make up the Bachelor's degree program in Physical Education generate strategies emphasizing and enhancing citizen competences, this in order that these allow individuals to develop skills and knowledge for their actions, in the same way, to be involved in any social aspect, as Rodríguez, Ruíz & Guerra (2007, p.45) propose. It is important to implement not only in the ethics classes but also in the institutional training of each university, the classes of citizen competences to implement in the citizen trends and practices that allow for a more orderly and calm life in society.

On the other hand, it would take into account the educational training the are receiving in school, as it was evident that both the first- and last semester of the Physical Education program in the critic thought variable, Borgobello, Sartori, & Sanjurjo (2018, p. 21) support a democratic change in university classrooms: an experience in the training of Physical Education teachers, taking into account the aforementioned, a change could be proposed in the micro curricula in the university so that they have a critical approach so that in the training of these future teachers have an integral training that contributes to critical thinking and also helps to improve the levels of citizen competence in the graduates of the career, generating a social impact in educational centers.

Therefore, we must take into account that the curriculum of the career of Bachelor in Physical Education should have academic spaces in which it has as its objective the integral formation of students in training and / or Future teachers in what concerns the citizenship competences, thus generating a new perspective not only in the university, even more important in the students who study the Bachelor's degree. It is important to include Urrea, Bernate, Fonseca, & Martinez (2018, p.3) who  are holding  that since college we must be concerned not only by the change of content, but the procedural principles that allow a teacher more democratic action which is appropriate to the demands of those changes.

It is relevant to mention that the variable of the critical thinking was the only one who declined in reference to the first semester students, so the need that Uniminuto and other spaces in Higher Education  emphasize this, because it is one of the most important and one of the least importance is being given, therefore we agree with Bernate, Fonseca & Betancourt (2019, p.12) who  noted that, to develop the capacity for independent and critical thinking is a major commitment of the university formation, and a social expectation about the professionals who graduate from it. It is expressed in different ways, among which the claim of "autonomy to think and design solutions", "ability to face new problems", "versatility to obtain and evaluate sources of information", these and many other expressions come under cover the eaves of a concept as broad and, therefore, eventually ambiguous, as "critical thinking".

As the main conclusion, it can be inferred that generating new educational perspectives from the university directors, who incorporate and generate academic spaces that are on the institutional horizon, promoting and developing the objective of evolving critical thinking and improving levels of action and environment in which a very little improvement in the educational process of the university was also evidenced, this would allow generating a full development of these future teachers.

Another conclusion of this research is that the citizen competences in the university degree programs, in this case of Physical Education reaffirm the importance and relevance of focusing the curricular plans in order to improve and contribute to the optimization of these competences in the students in training , since they will train boys and girls in the near future, not only in the specific area, but they will owe them first as individuals and then in the disciplinary area, for this reason it is imperative that they know the shortcomings in which they must improve and correct in order to contribute to the integral formation of society.

 Finally, it should be noted that the University Corporation Minuto de Dios UNIMINUTO, main headquarters as it regards its slogan quality education to reach of all must be constantly changing and improving its process of teaching focusing on that their students have a training quality and that change is seen not only at a professional level , but also reflected in their behavior towards the community and their change in social structures in favor of the improvement of a stable society.



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Appendix 1- Survey to measure citizen skills in university students

Source: Zambrano (2018)


Conflict of interest:

Authors declare not to have any conflict of interest.


Authors´ Contribution:

Authors participated in the writting process of this article and in the analysis of documents.


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Copyright (c) Jayson Bernate, Brayan Bejarano, David Cardozo