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Kay M. Williamson

Teacher educators often are criticized because it is felt that they live in an ivory tower and are out of touch with the current realities of public schools. This paper describes how physical education teacher educators perceive their relationship with public school professionals. Fifteen participants were interviewed from both university and college settings, eight women and seven men. They were interviewed on three occasions, each interview lasting from 60 to 90 minutes. A common thread connecting the experiences of the participants was their awareness of an implicit hierarchy between the status of individuals employed in schools and those in universities. This creates a social barrier that teachers and professors alike must confront if they are to achieve functional parity or any degree of mutual comfort in collaborative relationships.

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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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Sandra A. Stroot and Kay M. Williamson

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Susan Wilkinson, Kay M. Williamson and Ruth Rozdilsky

Issues concerning children’s fitness levels and fitness tests have been prevalent in the literature. Topics include whether fitness levels of American youth have declined and whether fitness tests are reliable, valid, and appropriate. Schools have questioned the merit of fitness tests, as opposed to fitness as an activity toward a healthy lifestyle. Absent from discussion are various moral and ethical implications embedded in the differential performance criteria set for boys and girls of the same age. Given the physiological similarity between boys and girls until age 12, this study was conducted to determine if there was a significant difference between fitness scores of boys and girls aged 10 through 13 years on the Physical Best test battery to warrant differential performance criteria. Girls were found to be significantly more flexible than boys on the sit and reach test, while boys performed significantly more pull-ups on the pull-up test. Prior to age 13 there were no statistically significant differences between mean fitness scores of girls and boys of the same age, even though established performance criteria are lower for girls than for boys. It is apparent that potential gender bias exists in the determination of Physical Best’s performance criteria for boys and girls. The consequences of differential expectations are discussed and a call for the re-evaluation of fitness standards are included.