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  • Author: Heather Erwin x
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Collin Webster, Eva Monsma and Heather Erwin

Recommendations for increasing children’s daily physical activity (PA) call on classroom teachers to assume an activist role at school. This study examined relationships among preservice classroom teachers’ (PCT; n = 247) biographical characteristics, perceptions and attitudes regarding school PA promotion (SPAP). Results indicated participants who completed SPAP-related college coursework and had PA-related teaching/coaching experiences reported higher SPAP competence. Significant relationships were found among BMI, personal PA competence and SPAP competence in the contexts of PE and extracurricular settings. Personal PA competence and SPAP competence at recess and in the classroom predicted 19% of the variance in SPAP attitudes. Experiences in PA settings and preservice training may have important implications for the overall success of efforts to enhance school PA promotion.

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Erin E. Centeio, Heather Erwin and Darla M. Castelli

As public health concerns about physical inactivity and childhood obesity continue to rise, researchers are calling for interventions that comprehensively lead to more opportunities to participate in physical activity (PA). The purpose of this study was to examine the characteristics and attitudes of trained physical education teachers during the implementation of a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program at the elementary level. Using a collective case study design, interviews, observations, field notes, open-ended survey questions, and an online forum monitoring guided the interpretation of teacher perceptions and development of emergent themes. Qualitative data analysis was conducted for each individual teacher and then across the ten teachers which produced four major themes: (a) Leading the Charge: Ready, Set, Go!, (b) Adoption versus Adaptation: Implementation Varies, (c) Social Media’s Place in the Professional Development (PD) Community, and (d) Keys to Successful Implementation. It can be concluded that, based on these findings, elementary physical education teachers are ready and willing to implement CSPAP. Key factors that may influence this implementation are discussed.

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Christine E. Johnson, Heather E. Erwin, Lindsay Kipp and Aaron Beighle

We used achievement goal theory to examine students’ physical activity (PA) motivation and physical education (PE) enjoyment. Purposes included: 1) determine whether schools with different pedagogical approaches varied in student perceptions of mastery and performance climate dimensions, enjoyment, and PA; 2) examine gender and grade differences in enjoyment and PA; and 3) determine if dimensions of motivational climate predicted enjoyment and PA levels in PE, controlling for gender and grade. Youth (n = 290, 150 girls) from three southeast United States middle schools wore a pedometer and completed a motivational climate and enjoyment questionnaire. Boys were more active and enjoyed PE more than girls, and 7th/8th grade students were more active than 6th grade students. Enjoyment was positively predicted by teacher’s emphasis on two mastery climate dimensions, controlling for gender. PE activity time was predicted by two performance climate dimensions, controlling for gender and grade. Implications for practice are discussed.

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Heather E. Erwin, Amelia Mays Woods, Martha K. Woods and Darla M. Castelli

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Heather E. Erwin, Megan Babkes Stellino, Michael W. Beets, Aaron Beighle and Christine E. Johnson

Obesity levels among American children are increasing at an alarming rate, due in part to a lack of regular physical activity (PA). Physical education (PE) is one way to facilitate student PA. The overarching PA goal for physical educators is 50% PA for students. Self-determination theory suggests that PA levels in PE and a variety of other contexts depend upon individuals’ motivation levels. The purpose of this study was to determine whether autonomy and lesson type related to children’s self-determination for, and actual, PA in elementary PE. Children from four elementary schools in the southern US engaged in four different PE lessons, representing variations in teaching conditions associated with student groupings and level of task choice. Students completed a motivation scale and wore pedometers and accelerometers. Results showed no situational motivation differences, but PA differences by lesson type existed. A number of plausible explanations are presented.