This study examined California middle school physical education teachers’ (grades 6–8) use of assessments based on state standards to grade their students.
An electronic survey was used to collect data.
Of the 309 teachers surveyed, 74% based their assessments on the state physical education standards. Teachers who used standards-based assessments were more prone to assigning higher percentages of students’ grades to achievement-based assessments (e.g., skills testing, fitness, standards competency) than teachers who did not use standards-based assessments. However, all teachers gave similar weightings to administrative-based assessments (e.g., dressing out appropriately). Most of the teachers (91.2%) who reported not using standards-based assessments had limited to no professional development pertaining to the standards and perceived this as the biggest challenge to using standards-based assessments.
This study shows that professional development may be an important factor in teachers’ use of standards-based assessments and achievement-focused grading in middle school physical education.
Michael and Webster are with the Dept. of Physical Education & Athletic Training, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina. Patterson, Laguna, and Sherman are with the Department of Kinesiology, California State University Fullerton, Fullerton, California.