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Keven A. Prusak and Paul W. Darst

This study examined the choices made by adolescent girls in physical education classes when allowed to choose from among a variety of walking activities. Following the TARGET (Epstein, 1988; Treasure & Roberts, 1999) structures, nine walking activities were created to reflect one of four themes: social, exercise/fitness, game-like, or competition. Participants were 570 girls from 21 intact 7th and 8th grade classes from five schools in two school districts. Every 3 days for 9 days, students chose from a list of three activities representing a combination of the four themes. They were significantly more likely to choose (a) a social activity over two exercise and fitness activities; (b) either a game-like or competitive activity over an exercise/fitness activity; and (c) a social activity over a game-like activity or a game-like activity over a competitive activity. Adolescent girls may benefit from activities that are designed to be social, game-like, and/or competitive.

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Alan C. Lacy and Paul W. Darst

The purpose of the study was to analyze the teaching/coaching behaviors of winning high school head football coaches during practice sessions. A systematic observation instrument with 11 specifically defined behavior categories was utilized to collect data on behaviors of 10 experienced winning coaches in the Phoenix, Arizona, metropolitan area during the 1982 season. Each coach was observed in three phases of the season: preseason, early season, and late season. Segments of the observed practices were classified as warm-up, group, team, or conditioning. Analysis of the data showed that the total rate per minute (RPM) for behaviors was higher in preseason than in either of the other two phases. Four of the 11 defined behavior categories (praise, scold, instruction, positive modeling) had significant differences (.05 level) in RPM between the preseason and the other two phases of the season. No significant differences were found between the early season and the late season phases. The group segment was used most in the preseason, while the team segment was used more of the time in the early season and late season. A lower RPM during the warm-up and conditioning segments indicated less involvement by the head coaches than in the group and team segments of practice.

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Hans van der Mars, Paul Darst, Bill Vogler and Barbara Cusimano

Active supervision patterns of 18 elementary physical educators were studied in relation to physical activity levels of 3 students per teacher (n = 54) during allotted fitness time. Activity level was measured using the system for observing fitness instruction time (SOFIT) activity categories. Results showed that during fitness instruction teachers spent over 90% of the time in peripheral areas of the gym, actively moved about (7.9 sector changes per minute), and provided augmented feedback to students (3.7 total rpm). Students’ most predominant activity levels were very active, standing, and walking, respectively. Students’ moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) levels averaged 51.9%. Higher percentages of peripheral positioning and demonstrating by teachers correlated with lower amounts of standing still and higher amounts of very active and MVPA behavior. Higher rates of corrective feedback correlated with higher levels of students’ walking and MVPA behavior.

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Mary Jo Sariscsany, Paul W. Darst and Hans van der Mars

This study sought to determine the effects of three teacher supervision patterns on student on-task and practice skill behavior. Three experienced physical education instructors and 3 off-task junior high school males served as subjects. An alternating treatments design was used to study the on-task behavior, total practice trials and appropriate practice trials under three supervision patterns: (a) close with feedback, (b) distant with feedback, and (c) distant with no feedback. Under the active supervision patterns (with feedback), teachers issued specific skill feedback to target students at a minimum of 0.5 per minute. Findings indicated that when the treatments were successfully implemented, (a) the percentage of on-task behavior was significantly higher during active supervision for two target students and (b) mixed results were produced for total practice trials and appropriate practice trials across all three treatments.

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Hans van der Mars, Paul Darst, Bill Vogler and Barbara Cusimano

Supervision patterns of elementary physical educators were analyzed in relation to work involvement patterns of students in each teacher’s class. The supervision patterns analyzed included teacher location, rate of movement, and provision of verbal feedback. Work involvement by students was categorized into on-task, off-task, total motor engagement, and successful motor engagement (ALT-PE). Results showed that teachers spent more time along the periphery of the activity area, and that they were positioned more along the sides. They were active movers, averaging six sector changes per minute, and active in providing verbal feedback (3.2/min). Teacher feedback patterns did not correlate with teacher location/movement patterns. Teachers’ location (periphery) and movement correlated significantly with students’ total motor engagement. Teacher movement also correlated significantly with ALT-PE. Positive behavior feedback correlated with students’ on-task behaviors. Findings indicate that active supervision is important in maintaining students’ involvement with learning tasks in physical education.

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E. William Vogler, Hans Van der Mars, Barbara E. Cusimano and Paul Darst

Teaching effectiveness with elementary level mainstreamed and nondisabled children was analyzed from the perspective of teacher experience and expertise. There were three analyses: (a) experienced (12.6 yrs) versus less experienced (2.3 yrs) teachers, n=10 each, (b) expert (met 4 of 5 criteria) versus nonexpert (met no criteria) teachers, n=5 each, and (c) expert (met 4 of 5 criteria) versus experienced (no criteria, similar experience) teachers, n=4 each. Classes were matched on activities. Teaching effectiveness was evaluated by analysis of how the teacher allocated class time and how time was spent by the student. Specifically, motor appropriate, on- and off-task data were collected on one mainstreamed and one nondisabled student from each class. Results indicated that teacher behavior differed little as a function of either experience or expertise. Mainstreamed students were significantly less motor appropriate and more off-task than nondisabled students, and neither experience nor expertise significantly altered those differences. The results imply that greater teacher experience or expertise does not necessarily translate into improvements of teacher and student behavior, and simple placement of mainstreamed students with teachers with more experience or expertise may not necessarily be beneficial.

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E. William Vogler, Hans van der Mars, Paul Darst and Barbara Cusimano

Classroom processes were analyzed to study the effectiveness of main-streaming in physical education. Thirty teachers and 30 mainstreamed handicapped students were videotaped in elementary school P.E. classes. Data on their classroom behavior were coded using standard systematic ALT–PE “effective teaching” observation practices. There were many favorable classroom processes to indicate that mainstreaming was a good context for both handicapped and nonhandicapped students (e.g., comparable ALT–PE percentages and a more positive than negative interaction between teacher and student). Variables most predictive of ALT–PE were interruptions in class and whether a teacher was itinerant or not.

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Hans van der Mars, Paul W. Darst, E. William Vogler and Barbara Cusimano

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Tyler G. Johnson, Timothy A. Brusseau, Paul W. Darst, Pamela H. Kulinna and Janel White-Taylor


The purposes of this study were to describe and analyze the steps/d of nonwhite minority children and youth by gender, grade level, race/ethnicity, and mode of school transportation. A secondary purpose was to compare the steps/d of minority children and youth to their Caucasian grade-level counterparts.


Participants were 547 minority youth grades 5 to 8 from 4 urban schools. Participants wore sealed pedometers for 6 consecutive week/school days. Three hundred and ten participants responded to a questionnaire concerning their mode of transportation to and from school.


Statistical analyses indicated a main effect for gender (F(3, 546) = 13.50, P < .001) with no interaction. Boys (12,589 ± 3921) accumulated significantly more steps/d than girls (9,539 ± 3,135). Further analyses also revealed a significant main effect for mode of school transportation (F(2, 309) = 15.97, P ≤ .001). Walkers (12,614 ± 4169) obtained significantly more steps/d than car (10,021 ± 2856) or bus (10,230 ± 3666) transit users.


Minority boys obtain similar steps/d as their Caucasian grade-level counterparts; minority girls obtain less steps/d than their Caucasian grade-level counterparts. Minority youth who actively commute are more likely to meet PA recommendations than nonactive commuters.