The purpose of this descriptive study was to analyze university supervision from the perspective of student teachers (STs), and to examine postlesson conference discourse between STs and university supervisors (USs) to determine if STs perspectives on supervisory models aligned with what actually occurred. Determining STs expectations and desires regarding supervisory model preferences and then providing a forum for STs to comment on the actual university supervision that they experienced fills a void in the literature, as student voice pertaining to this area of university supervision is missing. Data were collected via ST opportunities to answer written questions before and after their capstone experience. A total of 80 postobservation conferences were audio-recorded, transcribed and inductively analyzed to determine conference discourse. Results determined that the 28 STs overwhelmingly (96%) expressed a preference for a collaborative supervision approach, which ultimately they declared they experienced. Word counts revealed that for all postobservation conferences, STs (58%) spoke more often than USs (42%), which suggests that a collaborative model of supervision did actually occur. Analysis of idea units demonstrated that USs asked a lot of questions (31% of all their idea units) and a majority of them (73%) were categorized as higher order—such as reflective or evaluative questions versus lower order questions such as informational questions. This led to a great deal of ST reflection on their lessons during the postobservation conferences.
Steven Wright, Michelle Grenier and Kathy Channell
Michelle Grenier, Karen Collins, Steven Wright and Catherine Kearns
The purpose of this qualitative study was to assess the effectiveness of a disability sport unit in shaping perceptions of disability. Data from interviews, observations, and documents were collected on 87 elementary-aged students, one physical education teacher, and one teaching intern. Comparisons were drawn between fifth graders engaged in a five-week disability sport unit to fourth graders participating in their standard physical education curriculum. Findings revealed differences in the way fourth and fifth graders came to view individuals with disabilities. The results support an analysis of curriculum development that underscores the significance of the social model in positively impacting constructions of disability. Recommendations include the use of disability sports in physical education as an effective strategy for educating students in game play, knowledge of the Paralympics, and the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in a variety of sporting venues.
Michael R. McGuigan, Glenn A. Wright and Steven J. Fleck
The use of strength training designed to increase underlying strength and power qualities in elite athletes in an attempt to improve athletic performance is commonplace. Although the extent to which strength and power are important to sports performance may vary depending on the activity, the associations between these qualities and performance have been well documented in the literature. The purpose of this review is to provide a brief overview of strength training research to determine if it really helps improve athletic performance. While there is a need for more research with elite athletes to investigate the relationship between strength training and athletic performance, there is sufficient evidence for strength training programs to continue to be an integral part of athletic preparation in team sports.
Steven Wright, Michael McNeill, Joan Fry, Steven Tan, Clara Tan and Paul Schempp
This study examined 49 student teachers’ actions and perspectives when implementing a curricular innovation (the tactical games approach). Data were collected via videotaped lessons, interviews, and follow-up questionnaires. Questions for interviews and questionnaires were pilot tested and data were analyzed using the constant comparison method. Videotape analysis was facilitated by Noldus’s Observer (4.0) software and was tested for interobserver reliability. Results revealed that pupils were actively engaged for more than half (52%) of class time. The majority of student teachers’ questions were of low order (76%). The greatest challenges student teachers faced were pupils being new to the approach, or lacking skills. The greatest facilitators to implementing the tactical approach were physical education teacher education courses. Student teachers suggested that more opportunities to teach using the tactical approach in schools during methods classes would better prepare them for practicum. A follow-up questionnaire, one year later, determined that 87% of participants were still using the “innovation” in their teaching.