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A Nonlinear Pedagogical Approach to Primary School Physical Education: A Case Study

Daniel M. Cooke, Craig B. Harrison, Sarah-Kate Millar, and Simon Walters

Purpose: To explore the insights of adults and children at a New Zealand primary school adopting nonlinear pedagogical approaches to physical education (PE). Methods: This case study was conducted at a single primary school and utilized a qualitative methods design, including interviews or focus groups with the principal, five teachers, and four children. Results: A general inductive approach to analysis identified 11 themes including: empowering teachers and children (principal), letting go of control (teachers), and ownership (children). Discussion/Conclusion: Our findings suggest that a principal’s perceived need for change is important to facilitate school wide change to PE practices. Teachers can successfully adopt PE teaching approaches that align with contemporary pedagogy literature through in situ professional development, resulting in positive PE experiences for children.

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Volume 42 (2023): Issue 1 (Jan 2023)

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Career Transitions: Decision-Making Dynamics Regarding Physical Education Teacher Education Doctoral Program Applications and Entry

Kevin Patton and Melissa Parker

Purpose: This study’s purpose was to explore professional career paths into physical education teacher education. Methods: Participants included 27 physical education teacher educators with an average of 20.2 years of experience selected from among attendees at international conferences, using a combination of convenience and purposive sampling. Data sources included semistructured interviews, living graphs, and participant vitae. Results: Findings describe intrinsic and extrinsic motivating factors to pursue a professional role change and the selection of a doctoral program including: (a) prompted by others, (b) self-initiated, and (c) forced choice. After deciding to pursue a doctoral degree, program choice was predicated by disciplinary and institutional, as well as idiosyncratic and personal considerations. Conclusions: Understanding how and why participants repositioned themselves from their current roles into doctoral education has important implications for further research and practice to enhance the quality of doctoral education.

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Experiences and Perspectives of College Students With Disabilities Toward Integrated Physical Education in South Korea

Seo Hee Lee and Samuel R. Hodge

The purpose of the study was to analyze South Korean college students with disabilities’ recollections about their experiences in segregated (self-contained) special education classes and integrated physical education classes during elementary, middle, and/or high school in South Korea. The research design was retrospective multiple-case study. The participants were five South Korean college students matriculating at a university in South Korea. The primary data sources were semistructured interviews and researcher’s journal entries. The data were analyzed using thematic analysis and exposed four interrelated themes, which were (a) isolated, (b) felt not supported, (c) segregated from peers, and (d) felt relieved and safe. Overall, the findings exposed challenges the participants all had experienced in integrated physical education classes, including feeling isolated and excluded from meaningful participation in class activities. In contrast, they reflected on their experiences in the segregated (self-contained) special education classes with a sense of belonging and acceptance.

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Impact of a Self-Determination Theory–Informed Training on Youth Wellness Program Staff

Shelby E. Ison, Kim C. Graber, and Kevin Andrew Richards

Background: Staff play a critical role in promoting positive youth development in out-of-school-time programs, yet little is known about best-practices for preparing staff to work with youth and meet their needs. The present study seeks to understand the impact of a basic psychological needs training on the staff’s ability to deliver needs-supportive instruction to youth during a summer wellness program. Methods: A quasi-experimental, qualitative design using interviews, observations, and journals was employed to compare the intervention staff (n = 9; M = 21.5) with a comparison group who did not receive the training (n = 8; M = 21.10). Results: Results indicated that the intervention enhanced the staff’s understandings of basic psychological needs and empowered them to be more responsive to youth misbehavior, while educating youth about the importance of appropriate behavior. Conclusions: In order to prepare staff to meet the psychological needs of youth and protect themselves against exhaustion and burnout, future research should examine adequate dosage and content of staff training.

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Service-Learning and Physical Education in Preservice Teacher Training: Toward the Development of Civic Skills and Attitudes

María Maravé-Vivas, Jesús Gil-Gómez, Odet Moliner García, and Carlos Capella-Peris

Purpose: This research analyzes the effects of a Service-learning program on the development of civic attitudes and skills on preservice teachers (n = 98). They provided a direct service of motor sessions aimed at children with functional diversity. Method: The topic was approached using a mixed methodological approach. A pre- and posttest quantitative analysis was performed on the results obtained after applying the Civic Attitudes and Skills Questionnaire, and a qualitative analysis was performed on the content of follow-up journals. Results: The quantitative results indicated a significant positive posttest, and qualitative analysis explained the civic skills and attitudes that the preservice teachers acquired. Discussion/Conclusion: Service-learning is a useful method for promoting the civic attitudes and skills of preservice teachers. The acquired learning specifically affected the different dimensions involved in achieving meaningful learning, an improvement in the skills and attitudes that are essential characteristics of an inclusive teacher.

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How the Lack of Content Validity in the Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy Is Undermining Quality Physical Education

Dean Dudley and John Cairney

Since 2015, the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization has posited physical literacy as a central tenet and pedagogical reform initiative of quality physical education. An assessment of physical literacy is, therefore, becoming an increasingly important aspect of physical education in schools. Internal and external threats to assessment instrument validity are always important considerations in assessment tool development, but this paper identifies why particular attention needs to be paid to the content validity of one such instrument being used by physical educators and researchers. Specifically, this paper interrogates the content validity claims of the Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy—Version 2 and discusses why greater attention needs to be paid to the content validity of this instrument if pedagogical reform in physical education is not to be undermined.

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Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity in Physical Education: A Review of Reviews

Damián Iglesias, Javier Fernandez-Rio, and Pablo Rodríguez-González

Purpose: This paper aimed to examine moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) levels in physical education. Method: A review of reviews was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. The screening process, data extraction, assessment of the risk of bias, and analysis of the results were carried out independently by two reviewers. A total of eight systematic reviews from six databases, which included 224 studies, involving more than 80,000 students (elementary, middle, and high school), enrolled in more than 450 schools worldwide were unpacked. Results: Students fail to meet the 50% recommendation of MVPA lesson time, irrespective of country, school stage, gender, or MVPA measures. Physical education-based interventions increased students’ MVPA during lessons (range 14.3%–24%) compared with control groups. Conclusion: Physical education is uniquely positioned to provide physical activity opportunities for students, but teachers must target the provision of adequate MVPA levels, which is not currently happening.

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Understanding the Teaching and Learning of Fundamental Movement Skills in the Primary Physical Education Setting: A Qualitative Study

Cecilia H.S. Chan, Amy S.C. Ha, Natalie Lander, and Johan Y.Y. Ng

Purpose: Evidence demonstrates that many school children fail to master fundamental movement skills (FMS). Little is known about the teaching and learning of FMS in Hong Kong. This study aimed to capture voices from both teachers and students to better understand the current FMS practices in primary physical education Methods: Semistructured interviews with physical education teachers and focus groups with students were conducted. Thematic analysis of teacher transcriptions was performed. Student focus groups were analyzed using a framework approach, guided by TARGET (i.e., Task, Autonomy, Recognition, Grouping, Evaluation, and Time). Results: Several “teacher” level themes were developed: Self-efficacy (mis)judgment, limited pedagogical content knowledge, ineffective instructional and assessment strategies, insufficient teacher training, and deprioritization of skill development in physical education. Students perceived the need for a more student-centered approach to the teaching of FMS. Conclusions: Results highlighted the need for a different approach to initial and continuous teacher education in FMS. Further investigation into the most effective forms of teacher education is necessary, in order to improve the teaching and learning of FMS in schools.

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Primary School Teachers’ Perceptions of Physical Literacy Assessment: A Mixed-Methods Study

Inimfon A. Essiet, Elyse Warner, Natalie J. Lander, Jo Salmon, Michael J. Duncan, Emma L.J. Eyre, and Lisa M. Barnett

Purpose: Teachers are important stakeholders in supporting children’s physical literacy (PL), yet teachers’ perception of PL assessment is underexplored. Method: Utilizing a mixed-methods design, 122 primary school teachers (of children aged 5–12 years) in Australia completed an online survey, followed by nine interviews. Results: Teachers who favored assessment (58%) tended to report assessing PL in children (χ2[1, N = 110] = 7.025, p = .008). Those who reported assessing PL (also 58%) were more confident to do so (χ2[2, N = 109] = 10.540, p = .005). Teachers considered movement skills, engagement and enjoyment, relationships, and safety and risk as the most important elements for assessing PL. Qualitative data showed nonsupport for PL assessment stemmed from skepticism regarding relevance of assessment, appropriateness of assessment, and views that the curriculum and PL framework were implicitly linked. Conclusion: Professional development, resources, and suitable PL teacher assessments can upskill teachers’ knowledge, confidence, and reduce barriers in implementing PL assessments.