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Matthew Smith and Christina Lee

This study examined the facilitatory effect of goal setting in physical performance. Three potential mechanisms that may mediate this effect are described: increases in time spent practicing, promotion of effective training strategies, and increases in commitment resulting from public goal setting. Students (N=51) performed a novel task under one of three conditions: public goal setting, private goal setting, and no goal setting. Goals selected, time spent practicing, strategies used during practice, and actual performance were assessed. Subjects in the two goal-setting groups showed better performance than those in the control-group; those in the public goal-setting group spent the most time in practice, but this was not reflected in better performance. Test performance was predicted by baseline performance and by the goal set; practice time, training strategy, and public goal setting did not account for further variance in performance. Although this study failed to find a mediating effect for these three mechanisms, the results must be interpreted with caution.

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Matthew D. Curtner-Smith

Much research on physical education preservice teachers’ (PTs) perceptions of effective teaching during early field experiences (EFEs) or student teaching has indicated a concern for keeping pupils well-behaved, busy, and happy (e.g., Placek, 1983). The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of an EFE, combined with a methods course developed from the knowledge base on effective teaching, on PT conceptions of the teaching-learning process. Data were collected using the critical incident technique (Flanagan, 1954) and a reflective questionnaire (O’Sullivan & Tsangaridou, 1992). PT responses were analyzed by employing Goetz and LeCompte’s (1984) analytic induction method. PTs were concerned with pupil learning or elements of teaching related to pupil learning, focused primarily on teaching technique, and believed that knowledge of sports and games was a vital component of teacher effectiveness, frequently mentioning that they were lacking in this area.

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Matthew D. Curtner-Smith

Studies of the influence of conventional methods courses on preservice classroom teachers (PCTs) have provided mixed results. The purpose of the study described in this paper was to break new ground and examine the effects of a critically oriented 6-week methods course and a 9-week early field experience on one class of 24 PCTs. Data were collected during and immediately after the early field experience by asking PCTs to complete critical incident reflective sheets, success/nonsuccess critical incident reflective sheets, and an anonymous reflective questionnaire. Analytic induction was used to analyze them. Results indicated that PCTs were able to reflect at a technical and practical level and achieved many of the goals at which conventional methods courses are aimed. Conversely, there were few examples of critical reflection. Personal, cultural, and programmatic factors explaining this finding are discussed.

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Laura Prior and Matthew Curtner-Smith

Purpose: Most research examining the effects of socialization on physical education teachers’ curricula is dated, has been incidental, and conducted in secondary schools. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of occupational socialization on the curricula delivered by elementary teachers. Methods: Participants were 10 teachers. Data were collected with six qualitative techniques and analyzed by employing standard interpretive methods. Findings and Discussion: Three groups of teachers were identified. These were nonteachers, conservatives, and progressives. The curricula they delivered varied greatly in terms of pedagogies and quality. Each teacher group was closely aligned to orientations for teaching and coaching, and these orientations were forged by the teachers’ socialization profiles. Conclusions: The findings provided clues as to how the cycle of poor and nonteaching might be broken in U.S. elementary schools. In addition, these findings served to potentially modify occupational socialization theory pertaining to physical education.

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Margaret Stran and Matthew Curtner-Smith

The purpose of this study was to (a) examine how two preservice teachers (PTs) interpreted and delivered the sport education (SE) model during their student teaching and (b) discover factors that led to the their interpreting and delivering the model in the ways they did. The theoretical framework used to guide data collection and analysis was occupational socialization. Data were collected using a variety of qualitative techniques and analyzed using standard interpretive methods. Results revealed that high quality SE-Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) facilitated both a commitment to the model and the ability to teach the full version of it for a teaching-oriented and moderately coaching-oriented PT. Key elements of SE-PETE responsible for this commitment and competence appeared to be the teaching of prescribed mini-seasons before student teaching, the conditions encountered by PTs during teaching practice, and a host of PETE faculty characteristics congruent with the general PETE occupational socialization literature.

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Chan Woong Park and Matthew D. Curtner-Smith

The purpose of this study was to describe and examine the occupational socialization of nine adapted physical educators (APEs). The questions we attempted to answer were (a) What were the perspectives and practices of the APEs? and (b) What factors influenced these perspectives and practices? Data were collected through six qualitative techniques and analyzed by using analytic induction and constant comparison. At the time the study was conducted, the APEs possessed traditional or progressive teaching orientations. They had been attracted to a career as an APE through their participation in sport and physical activity and interactions with persons with disabilities. The quality of adapted physical education teacher education the APEs received varied, but high-quality adapted physical education teacher education appeared to exert a powerful influence on their values and pedagogies. The school cultures and conditions in which the APEs worked on entry into the workforce either served to support or negate their programs. We conclude the paper by providing several hypotheses regarding the influences of occupational socialization on in-service APEs’ teaching.

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Tasha Guadalupe and Matthew D. Curtner-Smith

Purpose: In this paper, we describe the study of one teacher as she attempted to purposefully negotiate the curriculum (e.g., goals, content, tasks, and evaluation) with one of her middle school classes. We used key concepts, constructs, and ideas from hegemonic masculinity and feminist theory to guide us in this endeavor. Method: We used seven qualitative techniques to gather data during an 18-lesson unit taught by the teacher Joanne to 37 girls. We employed standard interpretive methods during the analysis. Findings and Conclusions: Both high-skilled and low-skilled passive girls became more motivated to take part in physical education, although low-skilled girls generally had less voice in the negotiation process than their high-skilled peers. Key reasons for Joanne’s success were her skill, the support provided by the school’s leadership team, and the fact that the unit took place within a single-sex class. Conversely, the unit was constrained by Joanne’s and the girls’ socialization and Joanne’s focus on state and local standards.

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Lance G. Bryant and Matthew D. Curtner-Smith

The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of a physical education teacher’s disability on elementary school pupils’ learning and perceptions of the teacher’s competence. Participants (N = 113) were randomly assigned to view one of two virtually identical videotaped swimming lessons. In the first lesson, the teacher was able-bodied (ABL) while in the second, she taught from a wheelchair (WCL). Following the viewing of their assigned lesson, pupils completed an examination over lesson content and a perception questionnaire regarding the teacher. Results showed that pupils who viewed the WCL scored significantly higher on the technique portion of the examination than pupils who watched the ABL. There were no significant differences between the perceptions of either group.

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Shrehan Lynch and Matthew D. Curtner-Smith

The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of one sociocultural foundations class taught by Florence, a teacher educator, on the perspectives and practices of two physical education preservice teachers (PTs), Michael and Bob. Within a narrative inquiry approach, data sources were nonparticipant observation, intraviews, conversations, exit slips, digital interactions, responses to three fictional physical education teaching scenarios, a fictional curriculum outline, three stimulated recall interviews, documents, and various forms of visual data. Theoretical thematic analysis was employed to work with and make sense of the data. Findings indicated that both PTs faced frustration and discomfort during class. Nevertheless, the class resonated and raised the PTs’ critical awareness of sociocultural issues related to physical education. Key reasons for the apparent success of the class were the deinstitutionalizing pedagogical methods employed by Florence and Florence’s “problem-posing” education which prompted the PTs to question their perspectives and assumptions about society and culture.

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Zachary Wahl-Alexander and Matthew D. Curtner-Smith

Purpose: To examine the influence of negotiations between students and graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) on GTAs’ instruction within university physical activity classes. Method: Participants were 10 GTAs working in one university. Data collection and analysis were guided by constructs from the classroom ecology paradigm. Data collection techniques employed were non-participant observation, informal and formal interviews, and document analysis. Data were analyzed using analytic induction and constant comparison. Results: The type, focus, and extent of negotiations in GTAs’ activity classes varied considerably depending on whether or not they had received prior pedagogical training, gained experience of teaching physical education in schools, and were familiar with the content. Conclusion: Our findings suggest two courses of action be taken if quality activity courses are to be delivered. First, such classes should be taught by GTAs with pedagogical training and teaching experience. Alternatively, previously untrained and inexperienced GTAs should be given extensive preparation.