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Kim C. Graber, Amelia Mays Woods, and Jamie A. O’Connor

In 2004, Congress passed the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act that requires schools to implement a wellness plan. Grounded in Ecological Systems Theory (EST) (Bronfenbrenner, 1977, 1979), the purpose of this study was to explore the impact of the legislation, discover what measures have been taken to enact the legislation, gauge how the legislation has impacted the work environment of physical educators, and better understand EST in relation to the legislation at the level of the microsystem. In total, 51 individuals participated in in-depth interviews that were triangulated and inductively/deductively coded. The results indicate that (a) principals and physical education teachers had limited knowledge of the plan, (b) school nutrition programs profited more than physical education, (c) physical education is becoming less marginalized, (d) physical education teachers missed an opportunity to use the legislation for program improvement, and (e) individuals at different levels of the system need to interact.

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K. Andrew R. Richards, Chad M. Killian, Kim C. Graber, and Ben D. Kern

The preceding chapters of this monograph have served to situate the study of physical education teacher education recruitment and retention within relevant literature and theory. This chapter outlines the sequential explanatory design methods, whereby participants in an online survey were selected using stratified random sampling to participate in follow-up interviews. The chapter opens with an overview of participant identification and recruitment. Participants were program coordinators drawn from a database that included contact information for physical education teacher education faculty members working at colleges and universities across the United States. Next, the participants in the quantitative and qualitative elements of the study are described, with attention to both individual and institutional factors. Survey design and content validity are discussed, as well as the development of a qualitative interview guide. The chapter concludes with a discussion of quantitative and qualitative data analysis strategies used to support the results presented in the subsequent chapters.

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Ben D. Kern, Kim C. Graber, Amelia Mays Woods, and Tom Templin

Physical education teachers have been criticized for not implementing progressive or innovative instruction resulting in enhanced student knowledge and skills for lifetime participation in physical activity. Purpose: To investigate how teachers with varying dispositions toward change perceive socializing agents and teaching context as barriers to or facilitators of making pedagogical change. Methods: Thirty-two teachers completed a survey of personal dispositions toward change and participated in in-depth interviews. Results: Teachers perceived that students’ response to instructional methods and student contact time (days/week), as well as interactions with teaching colleagues and administrators influenced their ability to make pedagogical changes. Teachers with limited student contact time reported scheduling as a barrier to change, whereas daily student contact was a facilitator. Change-disposed teachers were more likely to promote student learning and assume leadership roles. Conclusion: Reform efforts should include consideration of teacher dispositions and student contact time.

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Kim C. Graber, Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, Jamie A. O’Connor, and Jenny M. Linker

Civic engagement and service learning opportunities provide students with unique real-world experiences they are unable to acquire in a traditional in-class setting. Students develop a commitment to the community in which they live, exposure to other populations, leadership abilities, skills to work successfully within a team, and a chance to learn from failure. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has recognized the importance of such opportunities and has added the Community Engagement Classification to the restructured Carnegie Classifications of Institutions of Higher Education. The purpose of this paper is to provide a synthesis of the literature that addresses civic engagement and service learning opportunities and to describe a university class that was designed to provide undergraduate students with a capstone service learning experience promoting wellness for older adults in the community. Data that were collected to evaluate the success of the class are also described.

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Gabriella McLoughlin, Courtney Weisman Fecske, Yvette Castaneda, Candace Gwin, and Kim Graber

There are many reasons why individuals are motivated to participate in sports. Less attention, however, is given for studying motivation and athlete development in adapted sport. The purpose of this study was to identify the motivations, facilitators, and barriers to sports participation of elite athletes with a physical disability. Participants (N = 23, 17 males, six females, mean age: 24.3 years) were recruited through online listservs, e-mails, and snowball sampling. A semistructured interview guide was employed. Analysis was conducted and grounded in self-determination theory and literature surrounding barriers and facilitators of sports participation. Through coding by multiple researchers, six themes emerged. Themes indicated that athletes attributed participation to constructs of self-determination theory as well as overcoming specific barriers such as cost, time constraints, and lack of opportunity. Among facilitators to their athletic development, there were empowerment and advocacy, increased health, college scholarships, and achieving performance-related goals.

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Amelia Mays Woods, Kim C. Graber, David Newman Daum, and Chris Gentry

This study examined physical activity (PA) variables related to recess PA patterns of kindergarten, first and second grade children, and the social preferences and individuals influencing their PA. Data collected (N = 147) used the System of Observing Children’s Activity and Relationships during Play (SOCARP) instrument. Children were interviewed. Kindergarten boys spent a significantly higher percentage of time in MVPA (t = 3.137, d = .96, p < .008). Kindergarten girls spent significantly more time standing (t = 3.548, d = 1.07, p < .008). Second grade boys spent a significantly (t = 4.44, d = 1.98, p < .0125) more time in sport activities. Second grade girls spent significantly more time in sedentary (t = 4.399, d = 1.11, p < .0125) and locomotor (t = 3.533, d = .899, p < .0125) activities. Participants articulated the prominence of friends, engaging in games/activities, and playing on the playground equipment.

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Amelia Mays Woods, Kristin N. Bolton, Kim C. Graber, and Gary S. Crull

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K. Andrew R. Richards, Kim C. Graber, Amelia Mays Woods, Shelby E. Ison, and Chad M. Killian

Purpose: To examine the workplace experience of physical education teacher educators while accounting for gender and institution type. Method: Participants included 286 U.S. faculty members (151 females and 135 males). Data were collected using an online survey that included measures of negative (i.e., marginalization, isolation, role stress, emotional exhaustion) and positive (i.e., perceived mattering, perceived organizational support) workplace experiences. Primary analyses began with a multivariate analysis of covariance followed up by univariate analyses of covariance to examine the differences in study variables based on gender and institution type. Results: Doctoral institution faculty members reported higher marginalization and lower perceived mattering and organizational support. Female faculty members reported higher role overload and emotional exhaustion. Discussion: Results highlight differences in the faculty experience across institution types as well as gender disparities. Recommendations are provided for improving the faculty experience as well as for future research in the area.

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Kim C. Graber, K. Andrew R. Richards, Chad M. Killian, and Amelia Mays Woods

Purpose: Grounded in occupational socialization theory, the purpose of this investigation was to examine U.S. physical education teacher education faculty members’ work role preferences, how their actual work role responsibilities compare to institutional expectations, and differences in these preferences and responsibilities based on gender and institution type (i.e., bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral institutions). Methods: Participants included 323 physical education teacher education faculty members (188 females and 135 males) from 230 institutions of higher education who completed an online survey. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and a series of 3 × 2 (Institution Type × Gender) factorial analysis of variances. Results: There was relative alignment between what faculty members are expected to do, what they prefer to do, and how they actually spend their time. There are, however, some important differences based on gender and institutional classification. Discussion/Conclusion: Results are discussed within the framework of occupational socialization theory and with reference to faculty role expectations and the propensity for role conflict.

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Gabriella M. McLoughlin, Kim C. Graber, Amelia M. Woods, Tom Templin, Mike Metzler, and Naiman A. Khan

Purpose: To address the obesity epidemic and promote children’s health; several health organizations recommend that schools develop comprehensive programs designed to promote physical activity and health behavior. Given a lack of empirical investigation, the authors sought to understand how physical education programs are perceived within such initiatives. Methods: A case study was conducted to acquire insights of key stakeholders (N = 67) in a school nationally recognized for promoting physical activity and health. Data were collected using formal interviews, informal interviews, observations, and document analysis. Data were analyzed utilizing grounded theory and constant comparison. Results: Physical education was viewed positively by stakeholders; however, physical educators felt marginalized within the school infrastructure. Systemic barriers to program quality included lack of leadership, feelings of marginalization, and insufficient funding and collaboration. Discussion: Findings raise concerns about the difficulty of sustaining a high-quality physical education program even in a school recognized for significant support of physical activity.