Comparing Canadian Generalist and Specialist Elementary School Teachers’ Self-Efficacy and Barriers Related to Physical Education Instruction

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
View More View Less
  • 1 University of Western Ontario
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year online subscription

USD  $64.00

1 year online subscription

USD  $86.00

Student 2 year online subscription

USD  $122.00

2 year online subscription

USD  $162.00

Purpose: We aimed to explore and compare generalist and physical education (PE) specialist (males and females) elementary teachers’ self-efficacy to teach and the barriers perceived when teaching PE. Methods: Canadian elementary school teachers completed the validated online survey, Teacher Efficacy Scale in PE, with 11 additional questions examining the perceived strength of barriers related to teaching quality PE. Results: Specialist teachers’ self-efficacy (n = 296) was significantly higher (p < .05) than that of generalist teachers (n = 818). Gender was found to predict teachers’ self-efficacy, with female generalists reporting the lowest scores on the Teacher Efficacy Scale in PE. There was a statistically significant difference between the perceived strength of nine out of the 11 listed barriers, with generalist teachers reporting barriers as more inhibitory than specialists. Discussion/Conclusion: This study highlights the gap between generalists’ and specialists’ self-efficacy to teach and the perceived barriers when teaching PE. Efforts specifically targeted to supporting female generalists teaching PE are necessary.

Truelove is with Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada. Johnson and Burke are with the School of Health Studies, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada. Tucker is with the School of Occupational Therapy, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.

Tucker (ttucker2@uwo.ca) is corresponding author.
  • Allinder, R.M. (1994). The relationship between efficacy and the instructional practices of special education teachers and consultants. Teacher Education and Special Education, 17, 8695. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Armour, K., & Harris, J. (2013). Making the case for developing new PE-for-health-pedagogies. Quest, 65, 201219. doi:

  • Ashton, P. (1984). Teacher efficacy: A motivational paradigm for effective teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 35, 2832. doi:

  • Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York, NY: W.H. Freeman.

  • Barroso, C.S., McCullum-Gomez, C., Hoelscher, D.M., Kelder, S.H., & Murray, N.G. (2005). Self-reported barriers to quality physical education by physical education specialists in Texas. Journal of School Health, 75, 313319. PubMed ID: 16179081 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Blair, R., & Capel, S. (2011). Primary physical education, coaches and continuing professional development. Sport, Education and Society, 16, 485505. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Blair, R., & Capel, S. (2013). Who should teach physical education in curriculum time and extra-curricular time? In S. Capel& M. Whitehead (Eds.), Debates in physical education (pp. 171187). London, UK: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Breslin, G., Hanna, D., Lowry, R.G., McKee, D., Haughey, T., & Moore, N. (2012). An exploratory study of specialist and generalist teachers: Predicting self-efficacy in delivering primary physical education. Working Papers in the Health Sciences, 1(1), 19.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Callea, M.B., Spittle, M., O’Meara, J., & Casey, M. (2008). Primary school teacher perceived self-efficacy to teach fundamental motor skills. Research in Education, 79(1), 6775. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Carney, C., & Chedzoy, S. (1998). Primary student teacher prior experiences and their relationship to estimated competence to teach the national curriculum for physical education. Sport, Education and Society, 3, 1936. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chase, M.A., Lirgg, C.D., & Carson, R.L. (2001). Development of the physical education teacher efficacy scale: Evaluation of reliability, concurrent and construct validity. Paper presented at the American Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Convention, Cincinnati, OH

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Davis, K.S., Burgeson, C.R., Brener, N.D., McManus, T., & Wechsler, H. (2005). The relationship between qualified personnel and self-reported implementation of recommended physical education practices and programs in U.S. schools. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 76, 202211. PubMed ID: 16128487 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Deacon, B.W. (2001). Physical education curriculum review report. Ministry of Education, Curriculum Branch.

  • Decorby, K., Halas, J., Dixon, S., Wintrup, L., & Janzen, H. (2005). Classroom teachers and the challenges of delivering quality physical education. The Journal of Educational Research, 98, 208221. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Faucette, N., Nugent, P., Sallis, J.F., & McKenzie, T.L. (2002). “I’d rather chew on aluminum foil:” Overcoming classroom teachers’ resistance to teaching physical education. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 21, 287308. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Faulkner, G.E.J., Dwyer, J.M., Irving, H., Allison, K.R., Adlaf, E.M., & Goodman, J. (2008). Specialist or nonspecialist physical education teachers in Ontario elementary schools: Examining differences in opportunities for physical activity. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 54, 407419.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fletcher, T., Mandigo, J., & Kosnik, C. (2013). Elementary classroom teachers and physical education: Change in teacher-related factors during pre-service teacher education. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 18, 169183. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gallahue, D.L., Ozmun, J.C., & Goodway, J. (2012). Understanding motor development: Infants, children, adolescents, adults (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ghaith, G., & Yaghi, H. (1997). Relationships among experience, teacher efficacy, and attitudes toward the implementation of instructional innovation. Teaching and Teacher Education, 13, 451458. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Government of Canada. (2015). Education in Canada. Retrieved from http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/newcomers/aftereducation.asp?_ga=1.194909869.1874446491.1423934168

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hallal, P.C., Anderson, L.B., Bull, F.C., Guthold, R., Haskell, W., Ekelund, U., & Lancet Physical Activity Series Working Group. (2012). Global physical activity levels: Surveillance progress, pitfalls, and prespects. The Lancet, 380(9838), 247257. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hardman, K. (2011). Physical education, movement and physical literacy in the 21st century: Pupils’ competencies, attitudes and behaviours. In 6th FIEP European Congress. Physical Education in the 21st Century–Pupils’ Competencies. Poreč, Croatia.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hardman, K., & Marshall, J.J. (2000). Physical education in schools: Preliminary findings of a worldwide survey. Part II. Journal of the International Council for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport, and Dance, 36(4), 812.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hardman, K., & Marshall, J.J. (2014). World-wide survey of school physical education: Final Report. Paris, France: UNESCO.

  • Harris, J., Cale, L., & Musson, H. (2012). The predicament of primary physical education: A consequence of ‘insufficient’ ITT and ‘ineffective’ CPD? Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 17, 367381. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Holm, S. (1979). A simple sequentially rejective multiple test procedure. Scandinavian Journal of Statistics, 6, 6570.

  • Hummel, T.J., & Sligo, J.R. (1971). Empirical comparison of univariate and multivariate analysis of variance procedures. Psychological Bulletin, 76, 4957. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hyndman, B.P. (2017). Perceived social-ecological barriers of generalist pre-service teachers towards teaching physical education: Findings from the GET-PE study. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 42(7), 2646. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jess, M., & McEvilley, N. (2015). Traditional and contemporary approaches to carrier-long professional learning: A primary physical education journey in Scotland. Education 3-13, 43(3), 225237. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jones, L., & Green, K. (2015). Who teaches primary school physical education? Change and transformation through the eyes of subject leaders. Sport, Education, and Society, 22, 113.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kilborn, M., Lorusso, J., & Francis, N. (2016). An analysis of Canadian physical education curricula. European Physical Education Review, 22, 2346. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Konstantinidou, E., Zisi, V., Katsarou, D., & Michalopoulou, M. (2015). Barriers and inhibitors of creativity in physical education. European Psychomotricity Journal, 7(1), 1731.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mandigo, J., Francis, N., Lodewyk, K., & Lopez, R. (2009). Physical literacy for educators. Physical and Health Education Journal, 75(3), 2730.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McKenzie, T.L., Feldman, H., Woods, S.E., Romero, K.A., Dahlstrom, V., Stone, E.J., . . . Harsha, D.W. (1995). Children’s activity levels and lesson context during third-grade physical education. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 66, 184193. PubMed ID: 7481079 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McKenzie, T.L, Sallis, J.F., Faucette, N., Roby, J.J., & Kolody, B. (1993). Effects of a curriculum and in-service program on the quantity and quality of elementary physical education classes. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 64, 178187. PubMed ID: 8341841 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McKenzie, T.L., Sallis, J.F., & Nader, P.R. (1992). SOFIT: System for observing fitness instruction time. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 11, 195205. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McKenzie, T.L., Stone, E.J., Feldman, H.A., Epping, J.N., Yang, M., Strikmiller, P.K., . . . Parcel, G.S. (2001). Effects of the CATCH physical education intervention: Teacher type and lesson location. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 21, 101109. PubMed ID: 11457629 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Morgan, P., & Bourke, S. (2008). Non-specialist teachers’ confidence to teach PE: The nature and influence of personal school experiences in PE. Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy, 13, 129. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Morgan, P., & Hansen, V. (2008a). Classroom teachers’ perceptions of the impact of barriers to teaching physical education on the quality of physical education programs. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 79, 506516. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Morgan, P., & Hansen, V. (2008b). The relationship between PE biographies and PE teaching practices of classroom teachers. Sport, Education and Society, 13, 373391. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pate, R.R., Davis, M.G., Robinson, T.N., Stone, E.J., McKenzie, T.L., & Young, J.C. (2006). Promoting physical activity in children and youth: A leadership role for schools. Circulation, 114, 12141224. PubMed ID: 16908770 doi: Retrieved from http://circ.ahajournals.org

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Petrie, K. (2010). Creating confident, motivated teachers of physical education in primary schools. European Physical Education Review, 16, 4764. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rich, Y., Lev, S., & Fischer, S. (1996). Extending the concept and assessment of teacher efficacy. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 56, 10151025. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sallis, J.F., McKenzie, T.L., Alcaraz, J.E., Kolody, B., Faucette, N., & Hovell, M.F. (1997). The effects of a 2-year physical education program (SPARK) on physical activity and fitness in elementary school students. Sports, play and active recreation for kids. American Journal of Public Health, 87, 13281334. PubMed ID: 9279269 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Spence, J.C., Melnychuk, N., Mandigo, J.L., Marshall, D., Schwartz, M., Thompson, L.P., & Dunn, J.C. (2004). A descriptive profile of physical education teachers and related program characteristics in Alberta. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 50(1), 87102.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sperka, L., & Enright, E. (2018). The outsourcing of health and physical education: A scoping review. European Physical Education Review, 24, 349371. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Statistics Canada. (2015). Women in teaching-related professions, Canada, 1996 and 2006: Table 13. Retrieved from https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/89-503-x/2010001/article/11542/tbl/tbl013-eng.htm

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stratton, G. (1996). Children’s heart rates during physical education lessons: A review. Pediatric Exercise Science, 8, 215233. doi:

  • Westheimer, J. (2008). What kind of citizen? Democratic dialogues in education. Education Canada, 48(3), 610.

  • Williams, B.J., Hay, P.J., & Macdonald, D. (2011). The outsourcing of health, sport and physical educational work: A state of play. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 16, 399415. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Williams, B.J., & Macdonald, D. (2015). Explaining outsourcing in health, sport and physical education. Sport, Education and Society, 20, 5772. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Xiang, P., Lowy, S., & McBride, R. (2002). The impact of a field-based elementary physical education methods course on preservice classroom teachers’ beliefs. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 21, 145161. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 316 316 32
Full Text Views 45 45 6
PDF Downloads 26 26 4