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Open access

The Success and Struggles of Physical Education Teachers While Teaching Online During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Erin Centeio, Kevin Mercier, Alex Garn, Heather Erwin, Risto Marttinen, and John Foley

The purpose of this study was to investigate physical education teachers’ perceptions of implementing online physical education during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as to explore their needs with regard to support for future teaching experiences. A total of 4,302 teachers completed four open-ended questions as part of a larger survey. Deductive and inductive qualitative analysis led to three themes: (a) Teachers’ Proud Moments, (b) Help! So Many Obstacles, and (c) Future Challenges. Teachers stated many successes and challenges that they experienced through the COVID-19 pandemic. Many items specifically focused on use and access to technology, student participation, and meeting students’ needs in various ways. Results can provide guidance for how to address the essential components of physical education in the online environment. In addition, results may provide insight to those who educate, train, and prepare teachers to teach in a virtual and/or physically distanced environment.

Open access

Implementation and Effectiveness of a CSPAP-Informed, Online Secondary Methods Course With Virtual Field Experiences During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Collin A. Webster, Jongho Moon, Hayes Bennett, and Stephen Griffin

This study examined the implementation and effectiveness of a comprehensive school physical activity program (CSPAP)-informed, 15-week physical education secondary methods course, adapted from its previous in-person format to be completely online for fall 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. The participants were 15 preservice physical education teachers (PPETs) and three course instructors. Each PPET taught six virtual physical education lessons to middle and high school students learning at home. Multiple data sources including focus groups, individual interviews, and course artifacts were analyzed to address research questions centered on the fidelity of course delivery, adaptations made to the course during implementation, and the PPETs’ approach to lesson planning and teaching. The findings showed a high level of implementation fidelity, and few adaptations were made to the course. Three themes were identified with respect to the PPETs’ pedagogical approach: personalization, inquiry-based instruction, and resilience. This study provides a case example of trying to prepare PPETs for professional roles in the COVID era.

Open access

#HealthyKidsQuarantined: Supporting Schools and Families With Virtual Physical Activity, Physical Education, and Nutrition Education During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Laurel Whalen, Jeanne Barcelona, Erin Centeio, and Nathan McCaughtry

When COVID-19 shuttered Michigan schools, 52 elementary and middle schools statewide were in various stages of implementation of comprehensive health programs, including the integration of physical activity, physical education, and nutrition education. To support the transition to a virtual learning environment, #HealthyKidsQuarantined was launched, providing virtual physical activity, physical education, and nutrition education curriculum and resources. Content was distributed weekly via e-mail to teachers and families alongside a daily social media campaign that disseminated resources to a national audience. Results identified significant content usage by schools (21,300 views/downloads) and engagement through social media (9,800 views/downloads). Teachers, students, and families expressed value in the health content provided, stating it was a support needed in a time of chaos. This study suggests that providing virtual health content may be a feasible way to sustain school and family investment in comprehensive youth health. Furthermore, by utilizing multiple dissemination strategies, virtual programming may be an effective mechanism to expand reach.

Open access

Physical Education Teachers’ Experiences With Remote Instruction During the Initial Phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Kevin Mercier, Erin Centeio, Alex Garn, Heather Erwin, Risto Marttinen, and John Foley

This study investigated physical education (PE) teachers’ experiences with remote instruction in the United States during the initial outbreak of COVID-19. PE teachers (n = 4,362) from all 50 states completed a survey identifying their experiences with remote instruction in May, 2020. Survey responses were analyzed by geographic region, district type, and school level. Teachers reported having students submit assignments (51% yes), using video instruction (37% yes), being less effective when instructing remotely (20% yes), and emphasizing student outcomes focused on health-related fitness (32% yes), and physical activity value/enjoyment (43% yes). Access to technology (40% yes) and required student assignments (43% yes) were lowest among teachers from the South. Rural teachers reported the least access to technology (37% yes) and rated themselves as least effective (24% yes). Secondary level teachers reported the highest percentage of required assignments (84% yes). Teachers’ responses identify unique challenges to delivering equitable and effective remote PE instruction.

Open access

Physical Education in the COVID Era: Considerations for Online Program Delivery Using the Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program Framework

Collin A. Webster, Emily D’Agostino, Mark Urtel, Jaimie McMullen, Brian Culp, Cate A. Egan Loiacono, and Chad Killian

In the wake of COVID-19, online physical education (OLPE) has become essential to the sustainability of school physical education programs. The purpose of this article is to consider factors that may be influential in efforts to deliver OLPE to students. The comprehensive school physical activity program model is used to frame a multicomponent conceptualization of OLPE and its goals and outcomes. Central to this framing is the intersectionality of school physical education, the family, and the community. This article provides a platform for physical education teacher educators and researchers to advance OLPE in its support of both the educational and public health benefits of high-quality physical education programs.

Open access

Special Series: Research on Teaching Physical Education in the Age of COVID-19

Bryan McCullick

Open access

An Actor-Oriented Perspective on Implementing a Pedagogical Innovation in a Cycling Unit

Andy Vasily, Tim Fletcher, Doug Gleddie, and Déirdre Ní Chróinín

Purpose: The purpose of this research was to use an actor-oriented perspective to analyze one teacher’s implementation of the Meaningful Physical Education approach in one Grade 5 classroom in Saudi Arabia. Method: A single case study design was used, with the case being defined as Andy and his teaching of a cycling unit to one Grade 5 class. Data consisted of blog posts, tweets, and semistructured interviews. Results: Andy identified several spheres of influence on implementation, including his personal philosophy, students, co-teachers, and several organizational/environmental characteristics of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) School, as well as important attributes of the innovation that supported implementation. Discussion/Conclusion: An actor-oriented perspective offered insight into a teacher’s insider perspective of a pedagogical innovation, which enabled understanding of how he made sense of Meaningful Physical Education and used those ideas to guide planning, instructional, and assessment decisions in the cycling unit.

Open access

Physical Education Teachers and Competing Obesity Discourses: An Examination of Emerging Professional Identities

Dean Barker, Mikael Quennerstedt, Anna Johansson, and Peter Korp

Aim: To provide insight into how physical education teachers use discursive resources related to obesity to create particular professional identities. Method: Data come from focus group and individual interviews with physical education teachers in Sweden. Discourse theory on teacher identities frame the analysis of the empirical material. Results: Data suggest that teachers in Sweden make use of six distinct but related discursive contributions to produce three professional identities: the caring practitioner, an identity concerned with ensuring all pupils irrespective of size participate in physical education; the activity luminary, an identity that focuses on inspiring pupils toward activity across the lifespan, and; the body rationalist, an identity concerned with challenging unrealistic media discourses and reassuring pupils that they have “normal” bodies. Discussion: The identities appear more inclusive, sensitive, and critical than current physical education literature on obesity suggests, however they also contain elements that are fundamentally unsympathetic to overweight individuals.

Open access

Erratum: Pill and Hyndman (2018)

Open access

Affective Learning in Physical Education: A Systematic Review

Eishin Teraoka, Heidi Jancer Ferreira, David Kirk, and Farid Bardid

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to carry out a systematic review of intervention programs that have addressed affective learning outcomes within physical education and to explore pedagogical practices in alignment with teaching, lesson content, and learning outcomes. Method: The literature search was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement. Included were 26 peer-reviewed pedagogical studies of physical education programs that addressed affective outcomes and reported fidelity of implementation. Results and Discussion: Affective outcomes were grouped into four themes: motivation, emotional responses, self-concept, and resilience. The findings showed that offering choice, encouraging peer feedback, asking deductive questions, focusing on personal improvement, and differentiating are effective teaching strategies that were widely used to support affective learning in children and adolescents. This review highlights the importance of fidelity of implementation to understand how intervention programs are delivered.