Feelings of isolation have long been found to be experienced by many teachers, particularly by those within some specialist disciplines, including physical education (PE). The potential effects of teacher isolation are undesirable and plentiful. They include a lessening of interest in one’s work, burnout, and/or an absence of community connection. Given the uniqueness of their discipline, PE teachers may especially be impacted by the following: Their discipline is “low status” and marginalized, they are frequently both physically and psychologically isolated from their peers, and they often are one of very few PE specialists in a school. Given these sorts of unique challenges for PE teachers, the authors undertook a scoping review of literature in order to gather and provide a comprehensive and up-to-date account of peer-reviewed literature related to PE teachers and isolation, as well as offer implications for PE research and practice.
Christa Spicer and Daniel B. Robinson
Daniel B. Robinson, Lynn Randall, and Joe Barrett
Physical literacy is a term and concept that has, in recent years, been gaining in both usage and popularity in many physical education (PE) contexts. However, discussion, writing, and understanding of physical literacy have been marked by uncertainty, confusion, or resistance. Since physical literacy can be found in several curricular documents and outcome statements, it would certainly be ideal for PE teachers to share a common understanding. This article reports on a qualitative case study in which 12 lead PE teachers from four Canadian provinces were interviewed, the purpose of which was to acquire knowledge about PE teachers’ understanding of physical literacy. Results suggest that these leaders are largely unable to articulate conceptions of physical literacy that are in line with contemporary perspectives. In light of these findings, a discussion about these physical literacy (mis)understandings is also offered.
Nathan Hall, Brent Bradford, José da Costa, and Daniel B. Robinson
Background and Purpose: Despite widespread evidence suggesting the numerous benefits from being active in outdoor environments, children in many Western nations have recently been spending less time outdoors. This cross-sectional exploratory study provides a descriptive examination of physical education teachers’ embracement of alternative environment activities (AEAs) in physical education programs. Method: Data were collected from 225 current physical education teachers in Alberta and Manitoba, Canada, through an online survey. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, factor analysis, Levene’s tests, and independent t tests. Results: Significant differences were found in relation to teachers’ experiences, or lack thereof, with professional development in relation to the extent to which teachers embraced AEAs. Furthermore, cost was discovered to be the greatest perceived barrier to teaching AEAs. Discussion and Conclusions: This study reveals an established need for teachers’ professional development in teaching AEAs and for discovering ways to decrease cost barriers for teaching AEAs.