The Relationship between Instructional Alignment and the Ecology of Physical Education

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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The purpose of the study was to examine the ecologies of two teachers and the extent that each teacher’s agenda aligned with instructional activities and assessments for each unit of instruction. Data were collected in four ways: (1) videotaped record of each lesson, (2) live observation field notes and expanded field notes from the videotape, (3) formal and informal interviews, and (4) document data. Field note data were analyzed inductively and excerpted into meaningful units that demonstrated aspects of the classroom ecology and instructional alignment. Interview data were analyzed qualitatively through constant comparison. Results indicated that the teachers had differing agendas for the units of instruction. The differences in their agendas resulted in different classroom ecologies and a weakened program of action. The teachers shifted their espoused agendas (focus on student learning) to an enacted agenda that focused on safety and completing tasks. As a result of this shift, the focus of each teacher’s agenda was not assessed in the manner that they had espoused. Consequently, there was no instructional alignment between the teachers’ espoused agenda, lesson tasks, and assessments.

James is with the Department of Physical Education and Sport, State University of New York–College at Brockport, Brockport, NY; and Griffin is with the School of Education, and Dodds is professor emerita of education, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA.

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