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.
Kim C. Graber, Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, Jamie A. O’Connor, and Jenny M. Linker
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.
Ben D. Kern, Chad M. Killian, Douglas W. Ellison, Kim C. Graber, Elaine Belansky, and Nicholas Cutforth
The purpose of this study was to determine how the research intervention called Healthy Eaters, Lifelong Movers (HELM) and associated San Luis Valley Physical Education Academy (SLVPEA) influenced teachers’ beliefs about physical education and the extent to which they sustained pedagogical changes over time. Seventeen physical educators who completed the 2-year intervention were interviewed 3 years later, and data collected during HELM/SLVPEA using the System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time were analyzed to create an individual change profile. Mean difference of System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time variables at baseline and postintervention was analyzed using dependent, paired-samples t tests, treating each participant as a separate case. Qualitative data were analyzed using a standard interpretive approach and constant comparison methodology. Teachers made significant changes during HELM/SLVPEA and maintained these changes 3 years later. Their beliefs about physical education were altered, and many reported feeling less marginalized. The provision of resources along with ongoing site support facilitated changes in beliefs and practice.
Melinda A. Solmon, Kim C. Graber, Amelia Mays Woods, Nancy I. Williams, Thomas J. Templin, Sarah L. Price, and Alison Weimer
This paper evolved from a panel discussion presented at the 2020 American Kinesiology Association Leadership Workshop focused on promoting physical activity through Kinesiology teaching and outreach. The authors consider the role of Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) in promoting physical activity by examining the historical role that PETE has played in what are now Departments of Kinesiology, the status of PETE programs today, and how the future of PETE programs can impact the future of the discipline of Kinesiology. The challenges and barriers that PETE programs face are presented. The role of PETE programs in research institutions is examined, and case studies are presented that demonstrate the complexities the academic units face regarding allocating resources to PETE programs. The consequences of program termination are considered, and the authors then make a case that PETE programs are important to the broader discipline of Kinesiology. The authors conclude by encouraging innovative solutions that can be developed to help PETE programs thrive.