Social constructivists posit that learning involves social interactions among individuals in a given place and time. Since teachers play a significant role in how social interactions are developed and determined in the school classroom, it is important to learn how teachers make decisions about their teaching behaviors and interactions with their students. Because extreme ego orientations have been shown to have a mediating effect on performance behavior in achievement settings, the purpose of this study was to investigate the potential mediating effect of an extreme ego orientation on preservice teachers’ perspectives on teaching physical education. Data collection consisted of two formal interviews, several informal interviews, and observations of the participants’ teaching. Five themes reflecting the teaching perspectives held by the participants emerged from the data: (a) teachers must maintain control and manage their classes, (b) the best students should be singled out, (c) physical education is an isolated subject area, (c) physical education and athletics are inherently linked, and (d) because only the best can do physical education well, teachers must grade on effort. Findings demonstrate how extreme ego orientations were actualized in preservice teachers’ perspectives of teaching.
Inez Rovegno, Weiyun Chen and John Todorovich
The purpose of this study was to describe four accomplished teachers’ enacted pedagogical content knowledge of teaching hand dribbling to third grade children. We aimed to investigate and make accessible the knowledge and wisdom of practicing teachers. We videotaped three sequential lessons of each teacher and conducted formal and informal interviews. Three themes emerged from a grounded analysis of the data: (a) approaching dribbling content as a network of connected movements and tactics, (b) refining movement patterns based on knowledge initially acquired in younger grades, and (c) teaching the cognitive processes (learning orientation, self-regulation, movement and tactical analysis and critique, and making decisions) embedded in and relevant to lesson dribbling activities.
Weiyun Chen, Inez Rovegno, John Todorovich and Matt Babiarz
The purpose of this study was to describe third grade children’s movement responses to dribbling tasks taught by four accomplished teachers and how children’s dribbling varied with changes in task constraints. Children in four intact classes were videotaped during three dribbling lessons as part of their physical education program. Videotapes were analyzed to provide descriptions of children’s movement responses. Typically, when children dribbled while walking or jogging they controlled the ball, pushed with finger pads, and looked at the ball. When dribbling tasks were more difficult, in general, there was less ball control and more slapping with palms (less mature patterns) while at the same time more instances of children lifting their heads to look up (a more mature pattern). Task constraints had differential impacts on different dribbling elements. One implication is that teachers need to consider this differential impact in designing practice conditions and in selecting assessment tasks.
Gilles Kermarrec, John R. Todorovich and David S. Fleming
Research in educational psychology and sport psychology indicates that school achievement depends on students’ capacity to self-regulate their own learning processes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the self-regulation components employed by students in a natural physical education setting. Twenty-three French students, 14 and 15 years old, were videotaped during their regular physical education class as their teachers taught them a new skill. The students then watched a recording of their performance and provided the researcher with a verbal description of their cognitive activity during the lesson. Verbal data were then analyzed using both qualitative and quantitative techniques. The data revealed that the students employed a 17-component self-regulation model while learning a new skill in the natural physical education context. Three teaching models that emerged for eliciting the identified self-regulation components among students are also discussed.
John R. Todorovich, Daniel K. Drost, F. Stephen Bridges and Christopher K. Wirth
Disciplinary isolation has facilitated health education, public health, and physical education professionals to sometimes pursue common goals without the benefit of interdisciplinary collaboration and perspectives. Recognizing the potential benefits of interdisciplinary collaboration efforts to solve complex problems, faculty members at the University of West Florida developed an innovative doctoral program combining the disciplines of physical education, health education, and health promotion. Beginning with the salient common ground of issues related to engagement in physical activity, the program is designed to explore, compare, and contrast best practices in research and practice from each discipline. Benefits include synergistic solutions to common problems, graduates who transcend traditional professional silos to be more impactful, and the creation of innovative research endeavors. Graduates also find that they meet contemporary workforce needs outside of academia and are more marketable as faculty in kinesiology and health-related departments because of their rich, multidisciplinary knowledge base. Challenges to program implementation include prior student socialization from traditional studies in their disciplines and faculty working to move beyond their professional comfort zones to collaboratively mentor students in the program.