The Fessler and Christensen (1992) teacher career cycle model provides the theoretical framework for this case study incorporating a narrative design nested within a larger research project examining six teachers’ journey across the career cycle (Woods & Earls, 1995; Woods & Lynn, 2001). The current case study sought to gain a greater understanding of why one teacher, Patsy, was unable to negotiate environmental hurdles that are commonplace in physical education and how these factors were being negotiated as a classroom teacher. Data sources included: seven interviews with the participant, multiple interviews with her principals, spouse, and three former university teacher educators, field notes from live lesson observations, and related documents. An interpretative framework was used to understand the perceptions and meanings Patsy gave to her experiences and revealed that she reported being both positively and negatively affected by most of the personal and organizational environmental factors in the teacher career cycle model. Viewing Patsy’s teaching career through the lens of the career cycle provides insight into areas of change necessary to motivate and retain quality physical education teachers.
Susan K. Lynn and Amelia Mays Woods
Karen E. French, Judith E. Rink, Linda Rikard, Amys Mays, Susan Lynn, and Peter Werner
The purpose was to compare the effectiveness of practice progressions on learning the volleyball serve and overhead set. Ninth-grade students were randomly assigned to three groups. Each group practiced the volleyball serve and set for 60 trials over 6 days. The progression group practiced four levels of difficulty of the set and serve. The criterion group began practice at the beginning level of difficulty and had to achieve an 80% success rate before practicing at a more advanced level. The third group practiced the AAHPERD volleyball skill tests for the serve and set for all 60 trials. At the end of practice, all subjects were posttested using these AAHPERD tests. The results indicated the progression and criterion groups had higher posttest scores than the third group. Profiles of the success rates across acquisition for each group showed that students in the third group and low-skilled students in the progression and criterion groups did not improve during practice. Students with some initial skill in the progression and criterion groups exhibited high success rates for acquisition and improvement. These results indicate that sequencing practice in progressive levels of difficulty enhances retention when task difficulty is appropriate for the learner. However, no condition was effective when task difficulty was inappropriate for the learner.
Judith E. Rink, Karen E. French, Peter H. Werner, Susan Lynn, and Amy Mays
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect on student learning of different ways of structuring student practice of complex motor skills. Previous research indicated that students who practiced the volleyball set and serve with a four-step progression learned more than students who practiced only the final test for the same number of practice trials; the effect of motivation and practice focused on specific learning cues was unclear. The present study investigated the specific role of progression, refinement, and motivation in learning the volleyball set and serve. Ninth-grade students were randomly assigned to one of five groups: (a) control, (b) final-test practice with refinement tasks after every five trials, (c) final-test practice with motivational feedback only, (d) four-step progression, and (e) four-step progression with refinement after every five trials. All experimental groups were pretested and posttested using the AAHPERD volleyball tests for the set and serve and practiced each skill 10 times a day for 6 days. The results supported the positive effect of providing students with a progression and the need for refinement tasks for parts of the progression.
Judith E. Rink, Karen French, Amelia M. Lee, Melinda A. Solmon, and Susan K. Lynn
Understanding how the knowledge structures of preservice teachers develop as expertise is acquired would seem to be an important aspect of teacher preparation. The purpose of this study was to compare the pedagogical knowledge structures about effective teaching of preservice teachers and teacher educators in the professional preparation programs of two different institutions. Two groups of preservice teachers at two different points in their preparation program at each of the two institutions were asked to complete a concept map (Roehler et al., 1987) about effective teaching. One group completed the concept map just after the first teaching methods course, and the other group completed the map just prior to student teaching. These data were compared with concept maps of teacher educators at each institution. Quantitative and qualitative data revealed differences between the groups of preservice teachers and between the preservice teachers and the teacher educators.
Catherine D. Ennis, Donetta J. Cothran, Keren S. Davidson, Susan J. Loftus, Lynn Owens, Lisa Swanson, and Peter Hopsicker
The purpose of this study was to examine situational and personal contextual factors that teachers and students reported as enhancing or minimizing student engagement in urban high school physical education classes. In this ethnographic study, 21 physical education teachers and their students in six high schools were observed, and all teachers at six schools and 51 students at five schools were interviewed to examine their perspectives on physical education. Data were analyzed using constant comparison. Findings suggested that students found some tasks to be embarrassing, boring, and irrelevant. Some students preferred to receive a failing grade rather than participate. All participants reported a sense of fear and alienation in the school or class environments. Students, however, described several teachers who created contexts of engagement in these schools. These teachers connected personally with students and worked to provide an innovative curriculum that students felt was relevant and worthwhile.