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Todd R. Pennington, Keven A. Prusak and Carol Wilkinson

“What we have is a systemic failure —one that involves the relationship of physical education programs in public schools with teacher preparation in higher education.”(Siedentop & Locke, 1997). This assessment led Prusak, Pennington, Vincent-Graser, Beighle, and Morgan (2010) to an examination of a school district that seemed to have achieved Systemic Success in PE (SSPE). The authors sought to understand SSPE’s history from conception to institutionalization. This three-year, qualitative, follow-up study was conducted using Collins’ (2001) framework from Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t.

Making this examination from a business sector perspective provides an insightful look into the making of SSPE. Results of this study provide evidence that while social sector organizations (such as education) share much in common with business sector companies, there are distinct and fascinating differences. Collins’ (2001) framework is both confirmed and extended in this study. Findings also provide a means for PE practitioners and PETE programs to accomplish what Siedentop and Locke (1997) hoped for—to succeed together.

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Keven A. Prusak, Tirza Davis, Todd R. Pennington and Carol Wilkinson

Couched in attitude theory, this follow-up study examines children-voiced perceptions of enjoyment and usefulness toward a district mandated elementary physical education (PE) program. Attitudes of 277 5th and 6th grade males and females from four representative schools from within a district were assessed in a mixed methods study. Survey results were analyzed to examine between groups, schools (based on SES), and gender differences. Twelve males and twelve females were selected from lowest and highest survey responders for follow-up interviews. Survey results indicated a generally positive attitudes (enjoyment: M = 2.71, SD = 0.35; usefulness M =2.69, SD = 0.35) with significant enjoyment differences (F(3, 266) = 5.627, p ≤ .001) noted between schools. Qualitative results define quality PE as enjoyable and useful when it (a) provided a fun, social, learning environment and activities, (b) made an impact on healthy knowledge and behaviors, and (c) consisted of well managed classes taught by engaging teachers.

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Susan Vincent Graser, Alan Groves, Keven A. Prusak and Todd R. Pennington

Background:

Researchers have noted both the utility and limitations of using pedometers to measure physical activity (PA). While these unobtrusive devices are widely accepted for their ability to measure accumulated PA, they have been criticized for their inability to measure exercise intensity. However, recent steps-per-minute (SPM) research provides reasonably accurate measures of intensity allowing users to assess time spent at recommended PA levels. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the SPM taken that are associated with moderate physical activity in 12- to 14-year-old youth.

Methods:

Ninety-three participants (49 boys and 44 girls; ages 12 to 14) walked on a treadmill for 3 minutes at each of 4 different speeds while wearing a pedometer and a heart rate monitor.

Results:

On average boys and girls reached their moderate activity intensity threshold at 122 SPM and 102 SPM, respectively. However, individual differences must be taken into account when determining appropriate SPM intensities for youth.

Conclusions:

The impact of individual differences underscores the need to address SPM for moderate intensity individually rather than with a single guideline for everyone at this age.