In recent years, the physical education (PE) profession has been forced to confront a plethora of issues, from the demise of teacher education programs to the loss of programming in the K–12 context. Calls for change and a time of introspection have been prompted by this climate. The impetus for change has long been a staple of PE discourse. Occupational socialization theory, which describes the forces that shape the decisions and behaviors of physical education teachers, offers insight on the change narrative. Emerging from the results of occupational socialization research are myriad negative issues that highlight a perplexing problem—some PE teachers have the propensity to make irrational decisions. The purpose of this article is to apply decision theory as a means to critically examine issues that have emerged from the negative socialization cycle of PE teachers. Beyond connecting theories, suggestions will be provided to improve the decision-making of PE professionals.
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James D. Wyant, Emily M. Jones, and Sean M. Bulger
In recent years increased attention has been placed on physical education teachers’ use of technology. To date little research has been disseminated regarding the strategies physical education teacher education (PETE) programs are employing to prepare preservice teacher’s to use technology. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence a technology course had on advancing change in preservice teachers. A mixed methods process involving qualitative and quantitative data collection was employed. Participants included 12 preservice teachers enrolled at a mid-Atlantic university. Data analysis revealed four dominant themes emerged from participant data: (1) Increased Technological and Technological Pedagogical Knowledge; (2) Persistent First- and Second-Order Barriers to Technology Use; (3) Necessity of Experiential and Hands-on Learning; and (4) Variation in Warrant for Technology Use. Findings illustrate strengths and limitations of a technology course in a preservice PETE program as well as its potential benefits and impediments to manifesting teacher change.
Emily M. Jones, Jun-hyung Baek, and James D. Wyant
The purpose of this study was to investigate the factors influencing preservice teachers’ (PST) experiences integrating technology within a guided action-based research project in the context of student teaching.
Participants were enrolled at a rural, mid-Atlantic university (N = 80, 53 male; 27 female). Researchers retrieved archived data from five semesters of physical education (PE) student teaching cohorts. Data sources included: Technology Action Research Project poster presentations (n = 75) and reflective journal entries (n = 234). All identifiable information was removed, and qualitative data were analyzed inductively.
Three themes and subthemes emerged Student Clientele, Self as Teacher, and Others as Systems of Support as contributing agents in PSTs’ experiences integrating technology.
Results of this study support technology-rich field-based experiences for PSTs that are guided by an action research framework. Findings enhance our understanding of factors that facilitate and hinder early career PE teachers use of technology in teaching and learning settings.
Edward B. Olsen, Emi Tsuda, James D. Wyant, Ranaysia Burrell, Jessica Mukherjee, Ara McKay, Joseph Herrera, and David Labrador
Purpose: There are limited school physical activity policy dissemination and implementation studies. This is a concern given the adverse mental, physical, and socio-emotional effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on children and adolescents. This study explored New Jersey school administrators’ experiences in disseminating recess guidelines, procedures, and policies as well as implementation strategies in their schools during the pandemic. Methods: A total of 29 elementary school administrators participated in semi-structured interviews. The data were analyzed inductively using a conventional approach to qualitative content analysis. Results: In analyzing the data, five themes were identified: (a) adjustments for recess, (b) communications about recess, (c) successes and challenges of recess, (d) health and well-being among children, and (e) recommendations for recess postpandemic. Discussion/Conclusion: When planning, organizing, and implementing a recess in a postpandemic era, school leaders may want to consider establishing cohorts, developing a handbook, creating a rotation schedule (i.e., blacktop, field, playground), developing a recess committee, utilizing the physical education teacher for staff development, assigning recess equipment and bags, offering a variety of activities, and teaching children how to play.