Description of Physical Education Instructional Theory/Practice Gap in Selected Secondary Schools

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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The theory/practice gap in physical education instructional practices has been more or less assumed. Recent research employing data-based analysis has provided some insight about instructional procedures being used. There is little evidence about the existence, size, and reasons contributing to the perceived gap. Instructors N = (128) from 20 randomly selected Illinois secondary schools were interviewed via questionnaire to obtain evidence relative to the perceived gap in the use of instructional “theory.” Results indicate that an overall gap exists in the regular use of planning (40%), teaching approaches (64%), practice (31%), evaluation (40%), and teaching/learning environment procedures (18%). The reason most often given for not using recommended planning, practice, and evaluation procedures was an expressed belief that “it was not necessary” (42%). Recommended instructional practices were used significantly more often by teachers from large schools and by teachers with more inservice education. The amount of instructor teaching experience is significantly related to the use of selected instructional theory.

Request reprints from Marian E. Kneer, Dept. of Physical Education, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60680.

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