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An Analysis of Physical Education and Health Education Teacher Education Programs in the United States

Phillip Ward, Won Seok Chey, Insook Kim, Emi Tsuda, Bomna Ko, Dena Deglau, and Kyuil Cho

Purpose: There is little known about the state of teacher education programs in this field. The aim of this article is to provide a descriptive analysis of physical education and health education teacher education programs in the United States. Method: Using published curriculums, a census of active undergraduate teacher education programs and a more in-depth analysis of one program from each state based on interviews with program coordinators was conducted. Findings: Data are reported across nine categories: (a) institution and program classifications, (b) degree designations, (c) degree and major’s hours, (d) enrollment, (e) program status and trends, (f) admission and graduation requirements, (g) curricular time, (h) faculty demographics, and (i) health education. Conclusions: The data show that there is a broad interpretation of what counts as physical and health teacher education in terms of curriculum, and there are significant and pressing challenges for the field to address moving forward.

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The Dissemination and Implementation of Recess Guidelines, Policies, and Practices During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Edward B. Olsen, Emi Tsuda, James D. Wyant, Ranaysia Burrell, Jessica Mukherjee, Ara McKay, Joseph Herrera, and David Labrador

Purpose: There are limited school physical activity policy dissemination and implementation studies. This is a concern given the adverse mental, physical, and socio-emotional effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on children and adolescents. This study explored New Jersey school administrators’ experiences in disseminating recess guidelines, procedures, and policies as well as implementation strategies in their schools during the pandemic. Methods: A total of 29 elementary school administrators participated in semi-structured interviews. The data were analyzed inductively using a conventional approach to qualitative content analysis. Results: In analyzing the data, five themes were identified: (a) adjustments for recess, (b) communications about recess, (c) successes and challenges of recess, (d) health and well-being among children, and (e) recommendations for recess postpandemic. Discussion/Conclusion: When planning, organizing, and implementing a recess in a postpandemic era, school leaders may want to consider establishing cohorts, developing a handbook, creating a rotation schedule (i.e., blacktop, field, playground), developing a recess committee, utilizing the physical education teacher for staff development, assigning recess equipment and bags, offering a variety of activities, and teaching children how to play.

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“Knock, Knock … Who’s There?” ChatGPT and Artificial Intelligence-Powered Large Language Models: Reflections on Potential Impacts Within Health and Physical Education Teacher Education

Chad M. Killian, Risto Marttinen, Donal Howley, Julia Sargent, and Emily M. Jones

This research note suggests the emergence of Artificial Intelligence-powered chatbots like ChatGPT pose challenges to the future of higher education. We as a field should pay attention to issues and opportunities associated with this technology across learning, teaching, and research spaces. We propose ignoring, or being indifferent to, predictions about what technologies like Artificial Intelligence-powered chatbots can do can cause us to do “dumb things.” All health and physical education teacher education faculty members should make efforts to learn about these tools to facilitate informed, solution-focused decisions about whether and where to leverage them. We highlight the importance of maintaining sociocritical perspectives when considering use of digital technologies to understand and address digital (in)equity and promote equitable practices. We conclude by emphasizing the need for field-specific consensus statements to guide ethical and appropriate use of Artificial Intelligence-powered chatbots, to ensure the value of these tools is harnessed for the good of the society. [Output by ChatGPT-3]

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Principal Perceptions and Applications of Professional Learning Communities: Implications for the Future of Physical Education

Zack E. Beddoes and Debra S. Sazama

Purpose: To investigate school principals’ perceptions and applications of professional learning communities (PLCs) and how they interpret the roles of physical educators within these structures. Method: This study was conceptualized as an exploratory interview study. Eight elementary and two secondary school principals across four districts participated in semistructured interviews. Each principal had been trained and was currently utilizing the same PLC framework within their respective schools. Result: Data analysis revealed three overarching themes with supportive subthemes: (a) PLCs are Centered on and Structured for Student Learning, (b) The Roles of Physical Educators Differ in Perception and Function, and (c) Successful PLCs are Facilitated by Team Trust and Disrupted by Drift. Discussion: The findings carry implications for principals, physical educators, and physical education teacher education programs. Principals and physical educators have mutually reinforcing responsibilities in creating an equitable space for physical education in the school PLC community.

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Examining the Knowledge and Training of Secondary School Physical Educators Providing Strength and Conditioning Programming

Ben D. Kern, David Bellar, and Wesley J. Wilson

Purpose: The purpose was to examine secondary physical education teachers’ strength and conditioning (SC) knowledge and evaluate associations between SC teaching role, professional preparation, and development. Method: A knowledge survey was developed/validated and distributed to 2,189 middle/high school teachers, with 605 providing complete data. Results: Seventy-five percent of participants reported serving an SC-related teaching role, and mean SC knowledge was 6.77 correct out of 15 (45%). Participants with SC certification, who taught an SC unit/course, who supervised an SC sport program, and who taught in high school performed significantly better. Physical education teacher education preparation, including exercise physiology and weightlifting activity courses, was a significant predictor of SC knowledge. Professional development, such as SC online coursework, meeting with SC professionals, and reading SC publications, was also a significant predictor. Conclusion: To support physical education teachers’ SC knowledge, physical education teacher education programs should include SC-related course offerings, and school administrators should consider offering professional development to physical education teachers who serve in SC roles.

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School–University Partnered Before-School Physical Activity Program: Experiences of Preservice Teachers, Program Facilitators, and Students

Tan Leng Goh

Purpose: Considering the lack of practical Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP) experiences within Physical Education (PE) Teacher Education, the study’s purpose was to examine the experiences of PE preservice teachers, a PE teacher, and the university faculty who implemented a CSPAP, and the students who participated in the program. Method: An 8-week before-school program was implemented in a middle school from Fall 2018 to Spring 2022. One hundred three preservice teachers assisted in implementing the program as part of coursework. Data were gathered through preservice teachers’ journals and focus group discussions, interviews with the university faculty and PE teacher, and students’ surveys. Results: Data were inductively analyzed, and themes were expand preservice teachers’ view beyond PE, benefits for preservice teachers and students, and future opportunities. Discussion/Conclusion: Incorporating CSPAPs into PE Teacher Education curriculum through school–university partnerships can provide practical experiences for preservice teachers to build competency in implementing CSPAPs in schools.

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Adopting Instructional Models in Physical Education: The Influence of Occupational Socialization

Paul R. Malinowski, Ben D. Kern, and Tristan Wallhead

Purpose: To examine the contextual and personal factors that influence teachers’ reported adoption of one or more instructional models (IMs). Methods: Participants (n = 25) were interviewed that reported adopting Sport Education; Teaching Games for Understanding; Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility; and/or Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids in their K-12 curriculum. Results: Viewed through the lens of occupational socialization theory and utilizing constant comparison methodology, the interview data were analyzed and three major themes, each with related subthemes, were developed: (a) IM adoption depends on context and socialization, (b) socializing agents influence IM adherence, and (c) IM implementation is selective. Discussion/Conclusions: Teachers vary in their rationale for adopting one or more IMs, and adherence is frequently a result of principal and student encouragement. Future efforts to disseminate IMs should consider pathways to adoption identified in this study, including teaching conventions, department supervisors, and teaching colleagues.

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The Effect of Classroom-Based Physical Activity Elements on Academic Performance in Children and Adolescents: A Meta-Analysis

Yongjin Xu, Nan Lin, Chunchun Wu, Xu Wen, Fei Zhong, Kehong Yu, Li Shu, and Cong Huang

Purpose: We investigated the effects of classroom-based physical activity (CBPA) interventions on academic performance and assessed the impact of different CBPA elements on academic performance. Methods: Relevant experimental studies in four databases were searched from their inception to September 2022. Random effects models were used to compute standardized mean differences (SMDs) and 95% confidence intervals. Results: A total of 13 studies were included. CBPA interventions could improve academic performance in children and adolescents (SMD = 0.17, p = .02). For the CBPA elements, low frequency (no more than three times per week; SMD = 0.19, p = .01), moderate intensity (SMD = 0.19, p = .01), long time (more than 20 min in each intervention; SMD = 0.14, p = .05), integrated physical activity (SMD = 0.18, p = .04), no more than 400 metabolic equivalents of energy-min/week (SMD = 0.33, p = .001), and more than 8-week interventions (SMD = 0.19, p = .04) tended to improve academic performance. Conclusions: CBPA may improve academic performance in children and adolescents. CBPA elements also have an impact on academic performance.

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The Ableist Underpinning of Normative Motor Assessments in Adapted Physical Education

Martin Giese, Justin A. Haegele, and Anthony J. Maher

Background: Normative motor skill assessments occupy a privileged position in physical education scholarship and practice. So much so, in fact, they manifest as commonsense cultural arrangements in most movement contexts, including adapted physical education. The proliferation of such tools has generally been uncontested, until now. Purpose: We argue that normative motor skill assessments have ableist underpinnings and consequently may do more to subordinate, rather than empower disabled children. More specifically, we suggest that normative motor assessment tools and criteria, perhaps unintentionally, highlight what is perceived to be wrong, bad, and faulty about the ways disabled bodies look and move, thus reinforcing ableist norms and values relating to ability. Conclusions: We end by encouraging adapted physical education scholars and practitioners to critically reflect on ableist notions of ability, particularly as they relate to movement competence, and to work with disabled children because of their embodied experiences to co-design assessments that are more meaningful to disabled children.

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“From a Learning Perspective, It’s a Better Way for Them to Learn”: Impact of an Education Program on Two Youth Soccer Coaches’ Perspectives and Practices

Colin S. Barnes and Matthew D. Curtner-Smith

Purpose: To describe the following: (a) the impact of a progressive coach education program (CEP) on two grassroots youth soccer coaches’ perspectives and practices, and (b) the factors that helped and hindered the CEP’s effectiveness. Methods: Occupational socialization theory framed the study. Andros and Christian were observed during the CEP and pre- and post-CEP while coaching practices and games. Data were collected with four qualitative techniques and two systematic observation instruments. Qualitative data were reduced to themes by employing analytic induction and constant comparison. Descriptive statistics were computed for the categories in the systematic observation instruments. Findings: The CEP had a significant impact on Andros and a negligible one on Christian. The two coaches’ occupational socialization helped explain these differential effects. Conclusions: The study suggests that CEPs should have a greater impact on coaches if they are relatively lengthy, include follow-up support, and coach educators are aware of coaches’ acculturation and organizational socialization.