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Kevin Patton and Linda L. Griffin

This article describes comparative case studies of 2 of 12 veteran middle school physical education teachers participating in the Assessment Initiative for Middle School Physical Education (AIMS-PE), a reform-based teacher development project. The goals of the project were to help teachers examine and reframe their assessment practices and to design and implement curricular programs that encourage active teaching and learning. The following research questions guided this study: (a) What are the ways in which teachers changed their practices and/or beliefs concerning physical education teaching and assessment of student learning? and (b) what factors, both personal and institutional, influenced the level of changes (i.e., materials, teaching approaches, beliefs) experienced by each teacher? Three patterns of change were prominent in the teachers’ experiences: (1) increased planning and more efficient organization and management, (2) improved alignment of instruction processes and assessments, and (3) a shift in teacher roles characterized by the use of more indirect pedagogies to facilitate student-oriented small-sided games and student peer assessment. Even though these teachers made substantial changes, major shifts in assessment and instructional practices were not accomplished overnight. Changes required time, opportunity, and ongoing support.

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Linda L. Griffin and Suzan F. Ayers

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Linda L. Griffin, Daryl Siedentop and Deborah Tannehill

This study describes the instructional ecology of a high school sport setting involving 4 players from a 10-player team and their coach. Systematic observation strategies were used to detail 44 practices. Post-season focus group interviews were conducted with the team and, individually, with the coach. The managerial, instructional, and student social systems in this volleyball setting interacted intimately. The quiet practice expectations, the posting of fast-paced practice tasks, and the coach clearly “in charge” all speak to orderly management. This system supports the explicitness and specificity of tasks and the clear, differentiated expectations of players by role and responsibility within the instructional task system. Both systems were interwoven and operated jointly to increase player cooperation and practice involvement. Complex levels of the accountability system related to a player’s position and role on the team. Practice effort and quality of match play time produced a secondary accountability system related to competition.

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Suzan F. Ayers and Linda L. Griffin

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Judith L. Oslin, Stephen A. Mitchell and Linda L. Griffin

The purpose of this article is to report on the development and validation of the Game Performance Assessment Instrument (GPAI). The GPAI is a multidimensional system designed to measure game performance behaviors that demonstrate tactical understanding, as well as the player’s ability to solve tactical problems by selecting and applying appropriate skills. The GPAI provides analyses of individual game performance components (e.g., decisions made, skill execution, and support) and/or overall performance (e.g., game involvement and game performance). The individual game performance components were developed and evaluated by experts to determine validity and reliability. The GPAI protocol was field tested across three categories of games: invasion (soccer and basketball), net/wall (volleyball), and field/run/score (softball). Validity and reliability were examined through three separate studies using middle school physical education specialists and their sixth-grade classes. Findings suggest that the GPAI provides a valid and reliable method for assessing game performance.

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Patt Dodds, Linda L. Griffin and Judith H. Placek

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Linda L. Griffin, Patt Dodds, Judith H. Placek and Felix Tremino

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Alisa R. James, Linda L. Griffin and Patt Dodds

The purpose of the study was to examine the ecologies of two teachers and the extent that each teacher’s agenda aligned with instructional activities and assessments for each unit of instruction. Data were collected in four ways: (1) videotaped record of each lesson, (2) live observation field notes and expanded field notes from the videotape, (3) formal and informal interviews, and (4) document data. Field note data were analyzed inductively and excerpted into meaningful units that demonstrated aspects of the classroom ecology and instructional alignment. Interview data were analyzed qualitatively through constant comparison. Results indicated that the teachers had differing agendas for the units of instruction. The differences in their agendas resulted in different classroom ecologies and a weakened program of action. The teachers shifted their espoused agendas (focus on student learning) to an enacted agenda that focused on safety and completing tasks. As a result of this shift, the focus of each teacher’s agenda was not assessed in the manner that they had espoused. Consequently, there was no instructional alignment between the teachers’ espoused agenda, lesson tasks, and assessments.