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Volume 42 (2023): Issue 3 (Jul 2023)

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Initiating and Sustaining a Teacher-Initiated Community of Practice as a Form of Continuing Professional Development: Internal Leaders’ Perspectives

Bomna Ko, Yun Soo Lee, and Tristan Wallhead

Background: Communities of practice (CoP) have been proposed as a promising form of continuing professional development for teachers’ learning. However, there remains limited understanding of the processes and factors that sustain teacher-initiated CoP. Purpose: This study provides a qualitative examination of a group of internal leaders’ perspectives on how a large teacher-initiated CoP in South Korea was established and sustained as an effective form of continuing professional development. Methods: Data included semistructured interviews with the internal leaders, Website artifacts, and researchers’ reflective journals, and were analyzed through inductive analysis. Results: Findings included the following: (a) shared passion for good teaching, (b) widening professional network, (c) collaboration through sharing, and (d) continuing professional development opportunities via technology. Discussion: The CoP were initiated by a group of teachers with a shared value for improving their teaching in schools and were sustained through online and offline interactions that created a safe space for sharing ideas, collaborative interactions, and learning opportunities.

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A Whole-of-School Approach to Physical Activity Promotion: The Case of One Secondary School in England

Emma Jaymes and Collin A. Webster

Purpose: Whole-of-school approaches to physical activity (PA) promotion are recommended internationally, but there remains little descriptive research detailing the implementation of such approaches, especially at the secondary level. The purpose of this case study, which drew upon a social-ecological perspective, was to examine a whole-of-school approach used by one secondary school in England. Method: Participants (N = 30) included three members of the school’s senior leadership team, eight teachers, 15 students, and four parents. Data were collected during 5 months using open-ended questionnaires that all participants completed, 14 staff interviews with staff, three focus groups with students, six observations, and attendance records from various PA opportunities. Results: Thematic analysis identified five key PA opportunities and uncovered four themes in relation to these opportunities: Student Autonomy, Support from Leadership, New School, and Physical Education Time. Discussion/Conclusion: This study highlights the importance of targeting multiple levels of influence when implementing whole-of-school PA programming.

Open access

How Movement Habits Become Relevant in Novel Learning Situations

Dean Barker, Hakan Larsson, and Gunn Nyberg

Purpose: To (a) present a theoretical framework that describes how learners’ movement habits become relevant in the development of movement capability and (b) present data that illustrate how this process occurs in practice. Method: An investigation with preservice physical education teachers was conducted in two phases. The first phase involved examining participants’ movement habits, and the second phase involved examining the participants’ development of novel capabilities in the context of unicycling. Results: Empirical materials from two participants are presented as case studies. The cases demonstrate how different sets of movement habits interact with novel tasks, making the demand for creative action more or less likely. The cases also demonstrate how subjective and physical elements are interwoven. Finally, the cases provide insights into potentially productive habits for movement learning. Discussion/Conclusion: The paper is concluded with pedagogical implications, including a consideration of how crises might be managed in educational contexts.

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Recycling and Resistance to Change in Physical Education: The Informal Recruitment of Physical Education Teachers in Schools

Michelle Elizabeth Flemons, Joanne Hill, Toni O’Donovan, and Angel Chater

Purpose: Physical education (PE) teachers’ interactions with students were explored to examine self-selection for PE teaching as a career option during school. Method: Semistructured life story interviews were conducted with 29 PE teachers at different career stages. Complementing occupational socialization, Bourdieu’s habitus, capital, field, and practice were adopted as thinking tools to inform thematic analysis. Results: Three key themes were identified: (a) acceptance into the inner sanctum based on physical competence, effort, and enthusiasm for the traditional curriculum; (b) opportunities provided to students accepted into the inner sanctum, and (c) outside the inner sanctum: mismatched habitus and self-selection for PE teaching. Conclusion: Students exchanged competence, effort, and enthusiasm in the traditional curriculum for acceptance and opportunities to encourage self-selection for teaching PE. Without acceptance, individuals experienced challenges gaining career support. Dominated by a homogenous group resistant to change, PE needs independent careers information to promote change through heterogeneity.

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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.