Throughout history there have been debates as to what content knowledge (CK) is of most value for physical education (PE). Much recent conversation has circulated around the hope that time spent in PE supports students’ regular participation in physical activity (PA). Researchers’ use of the term PA, however, often stresses the similarities while ignoring important differences. Utilizing teacher knowledge theory, feminist poststructural scholarship, and interpretive methodologies we attempted to better understand how teachers selected curricular content by examining their CK. We found that the teachers’ PA biographies led them to develop deeply embodied and gendered knowledge and competencies, or ±comfort,“ when it came to teaching particular PAs, and this was a major factor in how they selected curricular content. Implications of the study highlight the socially constructed nature of teacher CK and issues associated with secondary PE curricula and wider physical activity culture(s).
Matthew Ferry and Nate McCaughtry
Matthew Ferry and Nate McCaughtry
Despite the expansion and diversification of contemporary physical activity culture, curricula of many secondary physical education programs remain narrowly comprised of sport content. Given the personal and contextual nature of teaching and the immense amount of control teachers exercise over their programs, we examined how a group of 15 secondary physical educators selected content. Using Interpretive methodology we spent two school years working with the teachers. The main finding of this study revealed that the deeply embodied biographically based emotional connections these teachers had with sports played a powerful role in how they selected content. In particular, we found that the teachers’ discussion of their emotional bonds with sports were very akin to how one might explain a love affair. Sternberg’s (1986) Triangular Theory of Love and other literature are used to explain what this love affair may mean for all stakeholders concerned with curricula in secondary physical education.
Matthew Ferry, Nate McCaughtry and Pamela Hodges Kulinna
The purpose of this study was to examine teachers’ social and emotional knowledge of students and how it functioned within the wider context of their daily work lives. Five elementary school physical education teachers participated in six rounds of observations with formal and informal interviews over one school year. Data were analyzed through constant comparison and inductive analysis. We identified four key junctures where social and emotional knowledge of students played a critical role in teachers’ work. The results of this study and previous literature point to the complex interconnections between teachers’ social and emotional knowledge of their students and teaching practices.
Timothy A. Brusseau, Pamela H. Kulinna, Catrine Tudor-Locke and Matthew Ferry
Embracing a physically active lifestyle is especially important for American Indian (AI) children who are at a greater risk for hypokinetic diseases, particularly Type 2 diabetes. The purpose of this study was to describe AI children’s pedometer-determined physical activity (PA) segmented into prominent daily activity patterns.
Participants included 5th- and 6th-grade children (N = 77) attending school from 1 Southwestern US AI community. Children wore a pedometer (Yamax Digiwalker SW-200) for 7 consecutive days.
Boys accumulated 12,621 (±5385) steps/weekday and girls accumulated 11,640 (±3695) steps/weekday of which 38% (4,779 ± 1271) and 35% (4,027 ± 1285) were accumulated at school for boys and girls, respectively. Physical education (PE) provided the single largest source of PA during school for both boys (25% or 3117 steps/day) and girls (23% or 2638 steps/day). Lunchtime recess provided 1612 (13%) and 1241 (11%) steps/day for boys and girls, respectively. Children were significantly less active on weekend days, accumulating 8066 ± 1959 (boys) and 6676 ± 1884 (girls).
Although children accumulate a majority of their steps outside of school, this study highlights the important contribution of PE to the overall PA accumulation of children living in AI communities. Further, PA programming during the weekend appears to be important for this population.
Timothy A. Brusseau, Pamela H. Kulinna, Catrine Tudor-Locke, Matthew Ferry, Hans van der Mars and Paul W. Darst
The need to understand where and how much physical activity (PA) children accumulate has become important in assisting the development, implementation, and evaluation of PA interventions. The purpose of this study was to describe the daily PA patterns of children during the segmented school-week.
829 children participated by wearing pedometers (Yamax-Digiwalker SW-200) for 5 consecutive days. Students recorded their steps at arrival/departure from school, Physical Education (PE), recess, and lunchtime.
Boys took significantly more steps/day than girls during most PA opportunities; recess, t(440) = 8.80, P < .01; lunch, t(811) = 14.57, P < .01; outside of school, t(763) = 5.34, P < .01; school, t(811) = 10.61, P < .01; and total day, t(782) = 7.69, P < .01. Boys and girls accumulated a similar number of steps t(711) = 1.69, P = .09 during PE. For boys, lunchtime represented the largest single source of PA (13.4%) at school, followed by PE (12.7%) and recess (9.5%). For girls, PE was the largest (14.3%), followed by lunchtime (11.7%) and recess (8.3%).
An understanding of the contributions of the in-school segments can serve as baseline measures for practitioners and researchers to use in school-based PA interventions.