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  • Author: Sarah A. Doolittle x
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Sarah A. Doolittle and Paul B. Rukavina

This single case study (Yin, 2009) compares an established urban physical education/sport/physical activity program with two models: Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program/CSPAP (AAHPERD, 2013; CDC, 2013); and Lawson’s propositions (2005) for sport, exercise and physical education for empowerment and community development to determine their applicability in urban schools. Data include semistructured interviews, multiple observations, and artifacts collected over two academic years. Triangulation, peer debriefing, and interpretative and member checks were used for trustworthiness. Findings indicate that most aspects of both theories were evident in the program, though goals exceeded those of CSPAP as stated, and Lawson’s concept of “community” was limited. Major themes related to establishing this CSPAP are described, including practical strategies for budget, scheduling and staffing, and qualities of leadership. Stakeholders reported that they valued the program not for student wellness, but for personal, social and academic well being, as well as for contributions to the school culture.

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Susan M. Schwager and Sarah A. Doolittle

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Sarah A. Doolittle, Patt Dodds and Judith H. Placek

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Patt Dodds, Judith H. Placek, Sarah Doolittle, Kathy M. Pinkham, Thomas A. Ratliffe and Penelope A. Portman

Within a social-systems framework, this study described teacher/coach recruits’ (TCs) personal attributes, sport-participation social situation backgrounds, being influenced by significant others on occupational choice, and other occupational decision factors. TCs were compared on these variables with recruits into other sport-related occupations (ORs). TCs and ORs shared some similar personal attributes but had different gender proportions and high school academic backgrounds. Both groups had extensive backgrounds in sport, but TCs participated more during high school and college. The two groups’ most influential significant others differed, as did their ranked lists of occupational attractors. Other occupational decision factors (age of decision, firmness of decision, career maps) were similar. These results are explained with reference to social-systems theory.

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Sarah A. Doolittle, Paul B. Rukavina, Weidong Li, Mara Manson and Angela Beale

Using the Social Ecological Constraints model, a qualitative multiple case study design was used to explore experienced and committed middle school physical education teachers’ perspectives on overweight and obese students (OWS), and how and why they acted to include OWS in physical education and physical activity opportunities in their school environments. Three themes emerged. 1) OWS are “the same, but different.” Teachers attempted to treat all students the same, but perceived variations among OWS’ participation in PE and related individual constraints. 2) Teachers’ concerns lead to individual goals and specific actions. Teachers identified specific goals and approaches to help individual OWS who needed extra attention. 3) OWS are a responsibility and challenge. Many of these teachers felt a responsibility to devote extra time and effort to help struggling OWS to succeed. These teachers avoided obesity bias, and exhibited beliefs and actions similar to a caring perspective.

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Judith H. Placek, Sarah A. Doolittle, Thomas A. Ratliffe, Patt Dodds, Penelope A. Portman and Kathy M. Pinkham

This study described 476 recruits’ physical education backgrounds and beliefs about the purposes for physical education. Beliefs about purposes are formed in part by physical education experiences and are important to examine because they are difficult to change and because they influence students’ receptivity to teacher education. Most recruits recalled programs that focused on traditional team sports, games, and fitness programs, with less emphasis on individual sports and expressive or noncompetitive activities. Few differences by sex, race, or socioeconomic status were found. Recruits’ reported purposes were coded into nine categories; the top purposes were learning skills, named specific activities, and fitness. The discussion focuses on the possibility of the existence of a de facto national curriculum and factors to consider if changes in physical education curriculum are desired.