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Marianne Woods, Grace Goc Karp, and Elizabeth Escamilla

This study engaged 26 preservice teachers (PTs) in research focused on students in a secondary methods course who had early field experience (EFE). The purposes of the study were (a) to determine what PTs learned about students in an early field experience (EFE) that engaged them in a structured teacher research project and (b) to examine how the teacher research process was used by PTs. Results indicated that questions about students became more refined and focused through the research process and that there were fluctuations between student-centered and teacher-centered questions during the EFE. The prevailing themes indicated that PTs came to know more about student motivation and interests, characteristics, and peer interactions. More importantly, much of their data challenged previous beliefs and assumptions about students, as PTs began making connections between their newfound knowledge of students and its implications for curriculum, instruction, and management decisions.

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Grace Goc Karp and Marianne L. Woods

Examining how preservice teachers (PTs) perceive and implement assessment may provide clues as to how we can refocus the way future teachers use assessment. A conceptual framework addressing PT beliefs and how they change was applied in this study to examine PTs’ (N = 17) beliefs and understanding of the role of assessment and evaluation on student learning and instruction while implementing a high school physical education program. PTs experienced and discussed the role of needs assessment, assessment-focused instruction, and authentic and alternative assessments in relation to student learning and instruction using a teaching for understanding framework (Wiggins, 1998). Data gathered included surveys and interviews documenting PTs’ previously held beliefs and conceptions; current perceptions of the assessment concepts used during the course and in their units; analysis of assessments used in unit plans; and PTs’ perceptions of assessment and student learning during and after the unit taught. PTs planned and implemented alternative/authentic as well as traditional assessments in three out of four units. PTs’ beliefs about student learning and assessment were varied. Despite ultimate lack of teacher authority, PTs felt that doing these assessments affected their beliefs about assessment. Some PTs accommodated new information about authentic assessment and expanded their understanding, whereas other PTs either resisted or assimilated this new knowledge into existing belief structures. The results indicate that shaping critical and authentic assessment experiences in teacher preparation deserves increased attention and deliberate planning throughout PETE programs if shifts in beliefs are to be made.

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Grace Goc-Karp and Dorothy B. Zakrajsek

This study determined and compared the planning models taught in preservice physical education (theoretical) with those practiced in junior high school physical education (reality). Empirical and ethnographic data were collected through a survey of college professors (n = 59), close-ended (n = 36) and open-ended surveys of teachers (n = 28), and a nonparticipant observation study (n = 4). The results indicated that the theoretical model focused on planning for student learning whereas the reality model focused on planning for teaching. The personal philosophy of the teachers, coaching commitments, the teachers’ routines of planning and teaching, and the students’ reactions were major influences on how teachers planned and why they planned. Reasons for lack of transfer of the planning model from theory into practice are discussed and suggestions for further investigation are made.

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Karen P. DePauw and Grace Goc Karp

In preparing for the 21st century, faculty and professional preparation programs must be responsive to the ever-expanding knowledge base in physical education and sport, as well as the shifting economic and social conditions in society. Creative approaches to undergraduate education will be needed. Current curricular approaches in undergraduate physical education programs provide minimal preparation in disability issues for undergraduate students. Since the 1970s, specialists in adapted physical education have been educated and provided with the necessary skills for teaching individuals with disabilities in specialized settings. On the other hand, the preparation of regular physical educators, who will provide physical activity for the majority of individuals with disabilities, is inadequate. Traditional approaches espouse a hierarchical delivery of information that is not only unrelated to other knowledges but often devoid of the viewpoint that knowledge and situations are problematic and socially constructed. A model is proposed that integrates knowledge and understanding of disability issues and infuses them throughout the undergraduate physical education curriculum.

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Barbara Tyree Smith and Grace Goc Karp

This qualitative study explored how students adapt to marginalization in a seventh-grade middle school physical education class in the Pacific North-west. The study’s focus included how marginalized students were excluded within the class and how students, identified as marginalized, adapted to exclusion or temporary acceptance. Marginalized students were those who were unable to be accepted into or remain in a group for a period of time (approximately one week). Data were collected through 60 field observations, over a 14-week time period. Informal and formal interviews were conducted with teachers and students. Three boys and 2 girls were identified as marginalized within the physical education class. Formation of groups and strategies used to exclude marginalized students were found to greatly influence how students became initially marginalized. Once marginalized, students rarely changed their status, although a few were able to use strategies that reduced their status temporarily.

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Grace Goc Karp, Kay Williamson, and Bethany Shifflett

Traditionally, faculty members have had to balance three main components of their work: research, teaching, and service. This balance can be influenced by career stage, personal work orientations, and organizational climate. This study was an exploration of the work roles of physical education teacher educators (PETEs) by gender and tenure status in research or doctoral-granting institutions. A survey was devised to gather information regarding background, workload, institutional expectations, personal skills, sources of support and feedback, and job satisfaction. Respondents (N = 98) from programs cross-referenced with the Carnegie classification system (Carnegie Foundation, 1987), and the Physical Education Gold Book (1987) returned the survey (77% response rate). Frequencies, cross-tabulations, and measures of central tendency and variability for continuous variables were obtained. Results suggested dissonance existed in the areas of research and teaching. Structural ambiguity was evident between institutional values and personal skills, particularly for tenured women.

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Marianne Woods, Grace Goc Karp, and Michael R. Judd

Given recent evidence that a shortage of qualified candidates for PETE positions exists (Boyce & Rikard, 2008; Woods, Goc Karp, & Feltz, 2003), this dual purposed study was designed to examine the nature of and possible factors that may contribute to that shortage. The first purpose was to examine the results of searches from the perspectives of search chairs for PETE positions posted during the 2007–08 academic year. The second purpose was to determine K-12 teachers’ perceptions about pursuing advanced degrees and careers in PETE. Search chairs highlighted low numbers of qualified applicants and the need for strategies that improve the recruitment of individuals to choose PETE doctoral studies. The majority of teachers (52%) reported aspirations to continue their careers teaching at the K-12 level instead of pursuing teaching in higher education. Suggestions for policy reexamination in PETE doctoral programs related to hiring and recruitment are provided.

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Catherine P. Abel-Berei, Grace Goc Karp, Marcis Fennell, Elisa Drake, and Simon Olsen

A Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP) can help children be physically active for 60 min/day. Physical Education for Progress grants provided opportunities to improve physical education and physical activity programming. Purpose: This study explored stakeholders’ perspectives on the effects of a Physical Education for Progress grant on a district-wide CSPAP. Method: Stakeholders included physical educators (n = 10; K–12), administrators (n = 6), and one superintendent. Individual, semistructured interviews were used to examine how the grant affected stakeholders’ perspectives of the CSPAP. Results: The grant affected the CSPAP by providing (a) opportunities for professional development, (b) opportunities to establish a K–12 curriculum map, and (c) access to equipment and resources. Discussion: Framed in social ecological theory, intrapersonal, interpersonal, institutional, and community levels were influenced by the grant. Interactions between levels enabled changes in all CSPAP components, especially quality PE. Conclusion: A Physical Education for Progress grant is a successful mechanism to enhance a district-wide CSPAP.