Teacher Beliefs and Changes in Practice Through Professional Development

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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  • 1 University of Wyoming
  • | 2 Georgia State University
  • | 3 Kent State University
  • | 4 University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • | 5 University of Denver
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The purpose of this study was to determine how the research intervention called Healthy Eaters, Lifelong Movers (HELM) and associated San Luis Valley Physical Education Academy (SLVPEA) influenced teachers’ beliefs about physical education and the extent to which they sustained pedagogical changes over time. Seventeen physical educators who completed the 2-year intervention were interviewed 3 years later, and data collected during HELM/SLVPEA using the System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time were analyzed to create an individual change profile. Mean difference of System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time variables at baseline and postintervention was analyzed using dependent, paired-samples t tests, treating each participant as a separate case. Qualitative data were analyzed using a standard interpretive approach and constant comparison methodology. Teachers made significant changes during HELM/SLVPEA and maintained these changes 3 years later. Their beliefs about physical education were altered, and many reported feeling less marginalized. The provision of resources along with ongoing site support facilitated changes in beliefs and practice.

Kern is with the Division of Kinesiology and Health, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, USA. Killian is with the Department of Kinesiology and Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA. Ellison is with the School of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies, Kent State University, Kent, OH, USA. Graber is with the Department of Kinesiology & Community Health, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL, USA. Belansky and Cutforth are with the Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver, Denver, CO, USA.

Kern (bkern2@uwyo.edu) is corresponding author.
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