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Physical Education Alternative Certification Programs: Learning Opportunities for Teacher Candidates

Jaehun Jung, Layne Case, Samuel W. Logan, and Joonkoo Yun

Purpose: This study investigated differences in (a) completion of teaching methods courses and (b) participation in professional development opportunities between alternatively and traditionally certified physical educators. Method: The sample included 1,850 physical educators (mean age: 42.7 years, male: 61.7%, female: 38.3%) from the 2017 to 2018 National Teacher and Principal Survey. Prevalence estimates of physical educators who (a) completed undergraduate or graduate teaching methods courses during their education and training and (b) participated in professional development were calculated. Results: The results of binary logistic regressions reveal that alternatively certified physical educators were less likely to complete various teaching methods courses before entering the teaching profession. In addition, there were no differences in participation in professional development except in instructional strategies for students with disabilities. Conclusion: Considering unprepared teachers tend to leave the profession early, alternative certification programs need to provide substantial levels of learning opportunities, including teaching methods courses.