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“Learn to Function in the System”: The Organizational Socialization of Urban Physical Educators

Colin G. Pennington, Galila Werber-Zion, and Tanya Prewitt-White

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore how urban physical educators’ experiences influence their motivations toward vocational persistence emphasizing health and fitness. Methods: Participants included 16 urban physical educators who participated in semistructured interviews about their experiences teaching in urban settings. For minority youths, who predominantly attend urban public schools, fitness rates are lower than the national average. Physical education has been discussed as a potential solution to combating this public health trend; however, considering Common Core reforms in public education by which health and physical education has been de-emphasized as a curricular requirement, scholars are pursuing knowledge of how the experiences of urban physical educators are evolving. Using occupational socialization as the operating theoretical framework, this study seeks to explore how 16 urban physical educators’ experiences are evolving with the changes in public education, including administrative support and other indicators of marginalization and attrition.  Results: Qualitative data analysis resulted in the construction of six themes which suggest that teaching students to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle remains a powerful motivator for urban physical educators’ persistence despite feelings of marginalization and burnout. Conclusions: The authors provide practical suggestions for practitioners and scholars to overcome feelings of marginalization and lack of resources.

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A Qualitative Examination of Online Practices During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Observational Preferences Within Physical Education

Ken Murfay, Sarah Pyszczynski, and Heather Erwin

Purpose: This qualitative case study examined students’ interpretations of their physical activity (PA) experiences within in-person and online physical education and how that influenced their PA self-efficacy. Method: The study participants were 40 (24 females) current high school students from three different schools who participated in focus group semistructured interviews. Results: Two themes were developed during analysis of the coded data: (a) online participation in PA within physical education was awkward and (b) students had a variety of observational preferences based on perceived and actual similarities/differences between students and their teachers, peers, and people within online videos. Discussion/Conclusion: The design of PA experiences should attempt to support or increase students’ PA self-efficacy by limiting students’ feelings of being uncomfortable or on display, increasing students’ opportunities to learn from each other in comfortable ways, and providing students with detailed demonstrations from teachers and peers with a variety of skill levels.

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Physical Education Teachers’ Swimming Skill Analysis in 6- to 12-Year-Old Children: Findings From an Online Survey

Inga Fokken, Ilka Staub, and Tobias Vogt

Purpose: This study aims to investigate how physical education teachers analyze their students’ swimming skills. Particular attention is given to information gathering within the diagnostic process. Methods: Data were collected from a quantitative online survey of German physical education teachers from primary and secondary schools (n = 551). This survey’s questionnaire is based on evaluated statements from a qualitative interview study (n = 10). Findings: Teachers’ diagnostic approaches vary greatly and differ in terms of quality criteria and usability. The predominant method used is movement observation, but 50.3% of the teachers do it rather rarely or without the use of criteria. Many of them (63.8%) would like to be supported by a diagnostic tool for the analysis of swimming skills. Discussion/Conclusion: It has been concluded that an accurate analysis of the students’ swimming skills as a precondition for adaptive lesson structuring is not achieved. It is necessary to determine whether a diagnostic tool could improve this process.

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What Makes Teachers’ Professional Learning More or Less Effective?: An Evolution of Community of Practice for Physical Education Teachers

Keejoon Yoon, Sunghae Park, and Hyunwoo Jung

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to explore the developmental stages of a community of practice (CoP) and its impact on teachers’ professional learning. Methods: Eight physical education (PE) teachers and one professor participated in this project, which specifically examined a CoP focused on PE (PE-CoP). Interviews and observations, as well as a focus group, were used to collect the data, which were analyzed through a constructivist revision of grounded theory. Results: The PE-CoP, which shared the same teaching model, progressed rapidly in its early stage by providing the teachers with collaborative activities to develop innovative pedagogies. Learning from the existing members was then added as a main type of professional learning for the teachers. The PE-CoP, however, gradually lost its collaborative approach, which led to ineffective professional learning. Conclusions: Finding an optimal balance between retaining focus on the primary goal of creating a CoP and offering fresh activities for more experienced members was determined to be a key factor in making the community healthy and sustainable.

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“No One Works in Isolation Here”: The Socialization of Physical Education Teachers Into a Professional Learning Community

Zack Beddoes, Emily Whitney, Jenna Starck, and Keely Reese

Purpose: Drawing from occupational socialization theory and social capital theory, the purpose of this study was to investigate the socialization of physical education teachers in a professional learning community during induction. Method: Because this investigation consisted of a single school, a single instrumental case study design was utilized. The school was purposely chosen given its status as a “model professional learning community.” Two physical education teachers, three school administrators, and the founding principal participated in this study. Data collection consisted of a combination of dyadic interviews, focus groups, observations, and documents. Results: Data analysis revealed three overlapping themes with supportive categorical subthemes: (a) Dispersed and Inclusive Leadership, (b) Teacher Empowerment, and (c) Culture of Belonging. Discussion: Implications for physical education teachers include the necessity of ongoing collaboration with administrators, cross-curricular colleagues, and physical education teaching peers. Physical educators should seek to develop strong social capital within the school professional learning community.

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Volume 42 (2023): Issue 4 (Oct 2023)

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Cross-Cultural Adaptation and Psychometric Properties of the Persian Version of the Life Skills Scale for Physical Education

Mohsen Vahdani, Lorcan Cronin, and Najmeh Rezasoltani

Purpose: The purpose of this research was to develop and assess the psychometric properties of the Persian version of the Life Skills Scale for Physical Education (P-LSSPE). Method: During Study 1, which included four translators, eight physical education experts, and 45 physical education students, the LSSPE was translated and adapted into Persian, and its content validity was assessed. Study 2 assessed evidence for the factorial validity and reliability of the scale with a sample of 1,004 students. Study 3, which included 462 students, assessed nomological validity evidence. Results: In Study 1, the content validity analyses indicated that the P-LSSPE items and their dimensions were clear in language, practical in application, and represented the life skills in question. In Study 2, a bifactor confirmatory factor analysis model was the best representation of the data and provided evidence for the construct validity of the scale. In Study 3, evidence for the nomological validity of the P-LSSPE was provided, with the correlation coefficients indicating that teacher autonomy support was associated with students’ development of all eight life skills and total life skills. Discussion/Conclusion: Overall, the findings of this research suggest that the P-LSSPE can be used to accurately measure the life skills development of Iranian physical education students.

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Developing Adaptive Planning Skills by Preservice Physical Education Teachers

Kyuil Cho, Emi Tsuda, Phillip Ward, and Won Seok Chey

Purpose: This study examined how physical education preservice teachers (PSTs) developed adaptive skills in the planning of the lessons in the 5 weeks of an introductory physical education method course using the practice-based teacher education framework. Method: Twenty-two PSTs edited three lesson plans over the 5 weeks. A total of 150 lesson plans were analyzed using descriptive statistics to explore (a) the total number of adaptations, (b) the total number of adaptations made to core practices, and (c) the types of adaptations. Findings: The PSTs made a wide-ranged number of adaptations from lesson plan one to three (one [median = 38.50, range 6–101]; two [median = 49.00, range 14–184]; three [median = 38.00, range 18–97]). They made adaptations most frequently in providing clear instruction and type two adaptations (refine). Conclusions: The results support the use of pedagogical approaches within the practice-based teacher education framework effective in developing PSTs’ adaptive competence in lesson plans.

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Tracking District and School Physical Education Time Policies After Legal Adjudication: A Case Study in California

David Kahan, Thomas L. McKenzie, Maya Satnick, and Olivia Hansen

Purpose: Studies tracking changes in physical education (PE) policy adherence after an intervention are scarce. In California, successful litigation against 37 school districts for not providing adequate PE time compelled district schools’ teachers to post PE schedules online or on-site for 3 years. We performed a follow-up study 4 years after the expiration of lawsuit settlement stipulations to determine the level of adherence in the absence of external accountability. Methods: We reexamined the websites of all 37 school districts, 106 schools’ websites that posted time information in spring 2018 (Time 1), and a proportionate 20% random sample of schools’ websites (n = 150) that posted no information at Time 1. We used descriptive statistics and paired t tests to detect differences between Times 1 and 2. Discussion/Conclusion: District websites mostly maintained postings of PE time documents and information, while the proportion of Time 1 posting school websites with such content dropped by 58%–67%. At the school level, compliance to policy mandates was positively, but not permanently impacted by a lawsuit intervention.

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“It’s Been a Hell of a First Year. I Can Tell You That”: Two Novice Physical Educators’ Experiences Teaching in a Global Pandemic

Jacob T. Peterson, Meghan Dennis, and Matthew D. Curtner-Smith

Purposes: The purposes of this study were to describe (a) the perspectives and practices of two beginning physical education teachers working in the COVID-19 pandemic and (b) the influence of the teachers’ occupational socialization on these perspectives and practices. Method: Data were collected with four qualitative techniques (formal interviews, informal interviews, document analysis, and a reflection journal). They were analyzed by employing the techniques of analytic induction and constant comparison. Findings: Jason and Lane were able to cope with and successfully adapt their teaching to the conditions dictated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This appeared to be due to the influence of their professional and secondary professional socialization and the fact that their schools’ cultures were mainly supportive. Conclusions: The study indicates that research-based undergraduate physical education teacher education combined with a specialist sport pedagogy master’s degree can produce skilled physical educators able to deliver effective physical education, even in very difficult circumstances.