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Xiaofen Deng Keating and Stephen Silverman

The purpose of this study was to determine whether the Physical Education Teacher Attitudes Toward Fitness Tests Scale (PETAFTS) produces reliable and valid scores. There were 4 stages and 4 sets of participants in the development of the PETAFTS. First, the domains of attitude were defined and cognitive and affective components were developed, organized, and validated. In the second stage, 134 full-time physical education teachers participated in a pilot study and PETAFTS was revised based on the information obtained. In the third stage, 28 teacher educators served on an expert panel and organized the items into domain areas. In the final stage, 322 physical education teachers from 10 states tested the revised PETAFTS. Based on the results, the PETAFTS was shortened by deleting and combining some of the items in subdomains; this resulted in a 16-item final version that, according to the indices, generates reliable and valid scores.

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Xiaofen Deng Keating, Prithwi Raj Subramaniam, Rulan Shangguan and Li Chen

This study aimed to examine changes in physical education (PE) programs nation-wide from 2006 to 2010 by analyzing the data reported in the Shape of the Nation published by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. Means and standard deviations for numeric variables in the reports were computed. For categorical variables, percentages were calculated. Data were analyzed using the Wilcoxon test. The data from this study indicate a significant change in elementary PE as more states have mandated elementary PE and licensed elementary PE teachers. Significant increases in required PE units for high school graduation were also noted, indicating a positive change toward enhancing high school PE. However, the percentages of states with funding for professional development and required PE coordinator decreased significantly, suggesting that more work needs to be done if school PE is to provide the help and support requested by public health agencies.

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Xiaofen Deng Keating, Stephen Silverman and Pamela Hodges Kulinna

This study examined preservice teacher (PT) attitudes toward fitness tests in schools. A total of 613 PTs at 10 state universities took part in the study. Participants completed a previously validated instrument designed to measure the affective and cognitive components of attitude toward fitness tests. Results suggested that PTs had only slightly positive attitudes toward fitness tests. They did not believe strongly that fitness tests were important or useful. Similar attitude responses were found as students’ professional preparation increased. Thus, physical education teacher education (PETE) programs did not appear to significantly change PT attitudes. Age, gender, associations with professional organizations, or the type of fitness test PTs had performed in their K-12 education also did not impact their attitudes. PT previous experience with fitness tests, however, did influence their attitudes. As might be expected, those who had positive experiences had more positive attitudes.

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Pamela Hodges Kulinna, Stephen Silverman and Xiaofen Deng Keating

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between teachers’ belief systems toward physical activity and fitness and what is taught in their classes. Forty-two physical education teachers were selected based on high physical activity and fitness or low physical activity and fitness belief system scores on a previously validated instrument. Each teacher was observed twice to measure instructional behaviors related to physical activity and fitness. The relationship between their belief systems and actions was determined. There were no significant differences between the high physical activity and fitness belief system and low physical activity and fitness belief system groups in the percent of class time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity, fitness activities, or teacher behaviors related to fitness.

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Xiaofen Deng Keating, Louis Harrison, Li Chen, Ping Xiang, Dolly Lambdin, Brian Dauenhauer, Willy Rotich and Jose Castro Piñero

Although substantial inquiry has been made into fitness levels of students, there has been scant examination of knowledge in this domain. This article seeks to review and analyze research on student health-related fitness (HRF) knowledge mastery in K–16 programs by examining studies published in the literature. Two major results emerging from the work are misconceptions about fitness and the lack of an adequate amount of HRF knowledge among students at all educational levels (i.e., elementary, secondary, and college). These results were essentially the same as those found more than 20 years ago, indicating a persistent deficiency in fitness education. In addition, little is understood as to how HRF knowledge contributes to the establishment of lifetime physical activity patterns. Student HRF knowledge determinants as well as effective instructional strategies also need thorough study. Based on these findings, implications for improving student HRF knowledge through physical education are discussed, and recommendations for future research are included.