The purpose of this study was to examine preservice physical education teachers’ (PPET) service learning experiences planning and implementing course assignments aligned with comprehensive school physical activity program (CSPAP) recommendations.
Based on service learning principles, PPETs (N = 18) enrolled in a physical education methods class planned, implemented, and reflected on physical activity promotion events before, during, and after school for youth, staff, and parents. Data sources included focus group interviews, written reflections, field notes, and artifacts. Constant comparison techniques and triangulation guided data analysis and interpretation to identify overarching themes describing the PPETs’ successes, challenges, and lessons learned.
Four themes were identified: (a) outcomes with youth, parents, and staff, (b) communication, (c) planning and preparation, and (d) priorities and possibilities.
This study provides insight into the feasibility and outcomes of CSPAP-related service learning for PPETs, and uncovers promising aspects as well as potential issues with CSPAP implementation.