Elementary Students’ Construct of Physical Education Teacher Credibility

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Nilo C. Ramos Oklahoma State University

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Bryan A. McCullick University of Georgia

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The purpose of this study was to investigate elementary students’ perceptions of PE teacher credibility. Eight high- and low-skilled students from grades 3 and 5 were selected from a school employing a PE teacher holding a National Board Certification. Data were collected in the school setting utilizing observations, field notes, an open-ended questionnaire, student drawings, a photo elicitation activity, and group and individual interviews. Data were analyzed inductively and deductively using Miles and Huberman’s (1994) four-stage analysis in relation to source credibility theory (Hovland, Janis, & Kelley, 1953). Data trustworthiness was ensured through a peer debriefer, reflexivity journal/audit trail and triangulation. In the eyes of the students, a credible PE teacher “Looks Like One,” “Practices What She Preaches,” and “Is an ‘Awesome’ Pedagogue.” Implications for both current PE teachers and PETE programs concerned with teacher effectiveness and, consequently, student learning are discussed.

Ramos is with the School of Applied Health and Educational Psychology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK. McCullick is with the Department of Kinesiology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA.

Address author correspondence to Nilo Ramos at niloramos@hotmail.com.
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