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Michael Hodges, Pamela Hodges Kulinna, Chong Lee and Ja Youn Kwon

Students of all ages have documented a deficiency in health-related fitness knowledge (HRFK). However, improving students HRFK may require a change in teacher practices and professional development (PD).


This study, framed by Guskey’s Model of Teacher Change (GMTC; Guskey, 2002), sought to assist teachers’ HRFK instruction as part of their physical education curriculum and practices. Initially, researchers examined: (a) teachers’ perceptions of health-related fitness knowledge instruction, followed by, (b) selected teachers’ perceptions of the professional development (PD) methods and the approach to teaching HRFK.


Semistructured interviews were conducted among elementary physical education teachers’ (N = 9) in one suburban school district. A randomly selected smaller group of teachers (n = 5), had PD on Knowledge in Action Lesson Segments (KIALS), an approach to teaching HRFK. Teachers were asked to implement KIALS into their fifth grade physical education classes and interviewed two additional times.


Three themes emerged from the data: (a) HRFK is critical but I can’t get to it; (b) If you show it, they will implement it; and (c) Knowledge in Action gets the job done.


PD procedures in this study and KIALS were seen as favorable. Results paralleled GMTC principles, as researchers confirmed quality PD, and observations of positive student outcomes further reinforced teachers’ beliefs. Teachers also expressed a willingness to continue using KIALS after the completion of this study, concluding achievement of the final fourth principal of the change process. Findings suggested that KIALS, if presented with similar PD will be well-received by teachers supporting their efforts to improve student HRFK outcomes.

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Michalis Stylianou, Pamela Hodges Kulinna, Donetta Cothran and Ja Youn Kwon

This study was informed by the literature on teaching metaphors and the theory of occupational socialization. Its purpose was to examine in-service Physical Education teachers’ initial (before entering the profession), current, and ideal metaphors of teaching, related factors, and potential differences in participants’ metaphors based on their teaching experience. A mixed-methods approach was employed for this study, including a modified version of an existing survey (N = 66; Alger, 2009) and interviews (N = 13). Descriptive statistics indicated that while participants predominantly embraced teacher-centered metaphors initially, about half of them reported their current and ideal metaphors as student-centered. Constant comparison and analytic induction techniques revealed three themes and several subthemes: (a) fluidity (own definitions, combination of metaphors), (b) formation of initial views of teaching (acculturation, professional socialization), and (c) evolutionary forces and constraints (experience, pressure of test scores, time allocation, resources). These results have implications both for preservice and in-service teacher education programs.

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Allison Ross, Ja Youn Kwon, Pamela Hodges Kulinna and Mark Searle

Background: Despite recommendation and confirmed physical activity benefits, participation in active transportation to school (ATS) has continued to decline. This study’s purpose was to create and test a model of ATS that is directly explained by the constructs of parent attitude, the physical environment, and social capital controlling for age and gender. Methods: Participants were parents (N = 248) of children at 6 elementary and 2 middle schools in 1 district in the Southwestern United States. The survey included previously validated behavior, environmental, attitude, and social items (eg, Safe Routes to School Parent Survey/U.S. General Social Survey). Structural equation modeling was used to test the fit of the model and whether parent attitude, the physical environment, and social capital were associated with active transportation. Results: An adjusted measurement model was a good fit for the data. The physical environment (β = 0.391; P < .01) as well as parent attitude (β = 0.535; P < .001) were positively associated with ATS. Conclusion: This study supports a model of ATS, affirming that parent attitude, the physical environment, and social capital are effective constructs from which to conceptualize associations with walking and biking to school.

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Ja Youn Kwon, Pamela H. Kulinna, Hans van der Mars, Audrey Amrein-Beardsley and Mirka Koro-Ljungberg

Purpose: Given the emphasis on the important role of physical education within Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs (CSPAPs), the purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) prepares teacher candidates for CSPAP roles. Methods: A total of 144 PETE program completed the online survey about curriculum and learning experiences on CSPAP. Descriptive statistics and frequency analyses were used, and open-ended questions were summarized to extract common answers. Results: Of the 144 PETE programs, 107 (74.3%) included no CSPAP learning experiences. The prevalent type of learning experience was incorporating CSPAP components in the existing courses, while field experiences were not frequently used. PETE personnel expressed the utility of field experiences as an ideal CSPAP preparation. Conclusion: Few PETE programs offer CSPAP-related learning experiences. When it was present, the prevalent way to teach CSPAP implementation was infusing CSPAP concepts into current courses.