The purpose of this study was to investigate physical education curriculum from the teachers’ perspective. Elementary and secondary physical education teachers (N=60) completed a questionnaire that assessed their level of agreement on each of four statements associated with 12 commonly held goals for physical education. For each goal, teachers assessed the following areas using a 5-point Likert scale: their personal commitment to the goal, their expertise in content related to the goal, whether they taught to the goal in their present curriculum, and student achievement in the area. Chi-square analyses indicated that, in general, goal and expertise statements were directly related, but what was actually taught was rated 1 point lower than goal statements. Student learning statements were related to teachers’ goals but were rated even lower. Our study suggests that teachers’ goals and expertise may not be the determining factors in the taught curriculum and student achievement. Future research needs to focus on identifying barriers that prevent teachers from teaching what they would like, and feel prepared, to teach.
Dolly D. Lambdin and Mary A. Steinhardt are with the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, Belmont Hall 222, The University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712.