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  • Author: Thomas L. McKenzie x
  • Physical Education and Coaching x
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Thomas L. McKenzie, Elizabeth K. Clark and Randi McKenzie

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Nell Faucette, Thomas L. McKenzie and Patricia Patterson

This study examined types of activities available to children and how classes were organized when elementary P.E. was taught by nonspecialist classroom teachers. Observations were conducted in 84 elementary schools in southern California. The observation instrument was validated by having independent observers code three videotaped classes and compare their responses to those of three teacher educators specializing in observation methods and elementary P.E. Interobserver reliabilities were 96.3 on the activity selection and 83.3 on class organization. Results indicated that when students were involved in an organized class activity, they usually participated as an entire class in game-type activities such as relays, kickball, and dodgeball. The children had few opportunities to engage in skill practice or gymnastics and dance activities. Frequently, teachers dropped P.E. classes from the day’s schedule or permitted children to engage in free play. Fitness related activities were prominent during less than 3% of the classes.

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B. Robert Carlson and Thomas L. McKenzie

Data gathering for research on teaching in physical education appears to be heading into a new era, an era in which electronic data collection tools will merge with older measurement techniques to make the processes of storing, analyzing, and transporting data more efficient. The rapid development of microcomputing technology has reached the stage in which portable computers are now practical as state-of-the-art tools for on-site research projects. This article addresses one of the most critical problems for doing research on teaching using time based variables. In the past, when duration recording was the observational technique, there were two ways to collect data: either through multiple stop watches or through interval recording. Both methods have their limitations—one in the manipulation of the several watches and the other in converting interval data to accurate units of time. Outlined in this article is a microcomputer program for on-site duration coding, data analysis, permanent storage, and mainframe support for research on teaching physical education. The system is complex by design but practical to use. It produces total observation time, total time by category, frequency by category, mean length of occurrence, and the percent of total time each category was observed.

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M. Patricia Giebink and Thomas L. McKenzie

This article reports two related studies designed to examine the effects of three intervention strategies (instructions and praise, modeling, and a point system) on children’s sportsmanship in physical education class and in a recreation setting. Four target boys (mean age 12.3 years) were monitored during 22 physical education class Softball games and during 21 recreational basketball games. In softball, an ABCDA reversal design indicated that while the effects on individual children varied, all three interventions increased sportsmanship and decreased unsportsmanlike behaviors. The improved sportsmanship behavior of the softball class did not transfer to basketball, however, and further interventions were implemented in that setting. Here, an ABAC reversal design revealed that instructions and praise intervention were effective in reducing unsportsmanlike behavior but it had little effect on increasing sportsmanship. In both settings, the point system with contingent back-up reinforcers was the most effective intervention.

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Thomas L. McKenzie, James F. Sallis, Paul Rosengard and Kymm Ballard

SPARK [Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids], in its current form, is a brand that represents a collection of exemplary, research-based, physical education and physical activity programs that emphasize a highly active curriculum, on-site staff development, and follow-up support. Given its complexity (e.g., multiple school levels, inclusion of both physical education and self-management curricula), SPARK features both diverse instructional and diverse curricular models. SPARK programs were initially funded by the NIH as two separate elementary and middle school intervention studies, and the curriculum and instructional models used in them embody the HOPE (Health Optimizing Physical Education) model. This paper reviews background information and studies from both the initial grants (1989–2000) and the dissemination (1994-present) phases of SPARK, identifies program evolution, and describes dissemination efforts and outcomes. Procedures used in SPARK may serve as models for others interested in researching and disseminating evidence-based physical education and physical activity programs.

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Thomas L. McKenzie, James F. Sallis and Philip R. Nader

This paper describes SOFIT (System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time), an observation instrument designed to assess variables associated with students’ activity levels and opportunities to become physically fit in physical education. SOFIT involves the direct observation of classes while simultaneously recording student physical activity levels, curriculum context variables, and teacher behavior. The paper reports the reliability, validity, and feasibility of using the instrument, as well as data from using SOFIT to assess 88 third- and fourth-grade classes.