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Thomas L. McKenzie, John E. Alcaraz, James F. Sallis and F. Nell Faucette

We assessed effects of a physical education professional development program on 3 manipulative skills of 4th- and 5th-graders. Seven schools were randomly assigned to 3 treatment conditions: PES (Physical Education Specialists), TT (Trained Classroom Teachers), and CO (Controls). Students (358 boys, 351 girls) were randomly selected from 56 classes and tested on throwing, catching, and kicking. In the fall baseline, boys scored higher than girls; 5th-graders scored higher than 4th-graders. In the spring, children in PES schools had improvements of 21%; those in TT and CO schools gained 19% and 13%, respectively. Gain scores were significant for catching (p = .005) and throwing (p = .008). Intervention effects did not differ by gender or grade. Adjusting for condition, boys made significantly greater gains than girls. The results indicate that children’s manipulative skills can be improved by quality physical education programs delivered by PE specialists and classroom teachers with substantial training.

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Stephen Harvey and Shane Pill

Research commentary suggests the utilization of Tactical Games Models (TGMs) only exists in isolated instances, particularly where teachers demonstrate true fidelity to these models. In contrast, many academics have adopted TGMs into their courses. Consequently, the purpose of this study was to investigate reasons for this disparity. Participants were 44 academics and 80 physical education teachers. Results showed that academics provided a myriad of reasons why teachers may not use TGMs, although all agreed on the need for increased teacher professional development in TGMs. Physical education teachers’ outlined that numerous competing versions of TGMs was confusing and they required more hands-on examples of TGMs. Results further highlighted disparities between academics and teachers’ conceptual understanding and pedagogical applications of TGMs. There is a critical need to create improved connections between academics and physical education teachers, which could be achieved through the extended examination of the micropedagogies of teachers practice in TGMs.

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Natalie J. Lander, Lisa Hanna, Helen Brown, Amanda Telford, Philip J. Morgan, Jo Salmon and Lisa M. Barnett

Purpose:

Competence in fundamental movement skills (FMSs) is positively associated with physical activity, fitness, and healthy weight status. However, adolescent girls exhibit very low levels of fundamental movement skill (FMS) proficiency.

Method:

In the current study, interviews were carried out with physical education teachers to investigate their perspectives of: (i) the importance and relevance of teaching FMSs to Year 7 girls, and (ii) the factors influencing effective FMS instruction.

Results:

There were two major findings in the data: Year 7 was perceived to be a critical period to instruct girls in FMSs; and current teaching practices were perceived to be suboptimal for effective FMS instruction.

Conclusion:

Apparent deficits in current FMS teaching practice may be improved with more comprehensive teacher training (both during physical education teacher education (PETE) and in in-service professional development) in pedagogical strategies, curriculum interpretation, and meaningful assessment.

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Brendan Cropley, Andrew Miles, Sheldon Hanton and Ailsa Niven

This article offers an exploration of factors that influence the effectiveness of applied sport psychology delivery through reflection on a series of consulting experiences. Knowledge gained by a British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) trainee sport psychologist (Cropley), through a process of reflective practice during the first year of supervised experience, is presented around a number of themes that have emerged from current literature regarding the characteristics of effective service providers (A. Anderson, A. Miles, P. Robinson, & C. Mahoney, 2004). It is argued that reflection improves self-awareness and generates knowledge in action that can enhance the delivery of applied sport psychology. Support is therefore provided for the adoption of reflective practice as a tool for personal and professional development.

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Amanda Martindale and Dave Collins

The field of applied sport psychology has recognized the growing consensus that professional autonomy and discretion brings with it the need to train, regulate, and evaluate practice (Evetts, 2001). However, research into how practitioners’ professional judgment is formed and the decision-making processes involved has not received concurrent attention. This paper illustrates some of the possible outcomes and implications for applied sport psychologists from consideration of Professional Judgment and Decision Making (PJDM) research in other fields such as medicine and teaching and in parallel disciplines such as clinical and counseling psychology. Investigation into the nature of decision content and how the crucial “intention for impact” (Hill, 1992) is formulated carries implications for the assessment, reflective practice, and professional development and training of applied sport psychologists. Future directions in PJDM research are suggested and a call is made for practitioners to be open to involvement in research of this nature.

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Juliette Stebbings, Ian M. Taylor, Christopher M. Spray and Nikos Ntoumanis

Embedded in the self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000) framework, we obtained self-report data from 418 paid and voluntary coaches from a variety of sports and competitive levels with the aim of exploring potential antecedents of coaches’ perceived autonomy supportive and controlling behaviors. Controlling for socially desirable responses, structural equation modeling revealed that greater job security and opportunities for professional development, and lower work–life conflict were associated with psychological need satisfaction, which, in turn, was related to an adaptive process of psychological well-being and perceived autonomy support toward athletes. In contrast, higher work–life conflict and fewer opportunities for development were associated with a distinct maladaptive process of thwarted psychological needs, psychological ill-being, and perceived controlling interpersonal behavior. The results highlight how the coaching context may impact upon coaches’ psychological health and their interpersonal behavior toward athletes. Moreover, evidence is provided for the independence of adaptive and maladaptive processes within the self-determination theory paradigm.

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Jeffery P. Simons and Mark B. Andersen

The history and development of applied sport psychology practice has not received the same attention and documentation as that of academic sport psychology. After a brief introduction to the literature on the history and professional development of applied sport psychology, some personal perspectives from consultants who have been practicing “in the field” over the last two to four decades are provided. Eleven well-known practitioners discuss how they got started, how their consulting has developed, what significant experiences they have had, and what lessons they have learned along the way. They relate their views on the progression of professional practice and what the future may hold. Finally, they offer some encouragement, cautions, and words of wisdom for fellow and future colleagues in sport psychology consulting.

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Jaimie McMullen, Pamela Kulinna and Donetta Cothran

The purpose of this study was to explore classroom teachers’ perceptions of incorporating physical activity breaks into their classroom and to determine specific features of preferred activity breaks. These perceptions are considered within the conceptual framework of Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP). Twelve elementary and high school classroom teachers from one Indigenous school district participated in the study. The data were collected using semistructured interviews and teachers’ reflective journals and were analyzed inductively by conducting systematic searches for patterns across data types. Emergent themes included: the need for and threats to classroom control; a preference for breaks with connections to academic content; and the importance of implementation ease and student enjoyment. The findings indicated that teachers prefer activity breaks that are easy to manage, quick, academically oriented and enjoyable for students. These findings have practical implications when considering physical education teacher education and professional development that targets classroom teachers.

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Keven A. Prusak, Todd Pennington, Susan Vincent Graser, Aaron Beighle and Charles F. Morgan

Siedentop and Locke (1997) proposed three critical elements that must exist in our profession to make a difference and achieve systemic success in physical education (SSPE): (a) quality PE in the schools, (b) effective physical education teacher education (PETE) programs, and (c) a working relationship between the two. Using Cuban’s (1992) curriculum change and stability framework, this qualitative study examines the existence of a program that has achieved all three elements in the southwestern US. For over three decades some seventy-two teachers in dozens of schools have yearly served over 40,000 children. This study revealed a fully functioning model consisting of four key, interdependent components driven by a system of accountability measures. The results of the SSPE model—quality PE for children—is achieved by (a) district-wide mandated curriculum, methodologies and language, (b) well-defined district PE coordinator roles, (c) a partnership university, and (d) frequent, ongoing professional development. Results of this study strengthen Siedentop and Locke’s (1997) recommendation for collaborative efforts between universities and partner school districts and provide a model to guide and manage the curriculum change process in K-6 PE.

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Nicole J. Smith, Monica A.F. Lounsbery and Thomas L. McKenzie

Background:

Physical education (PE) is recommended as a source for physical activity (PA) and learning generalizable PA skills. Few studies have objectively examined high school PE, specifically its delivery, including PA, lesson contexts, and class gender composition.

Methods:

We used the System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT) to assess PA during 6 lesson contexts in 47 boys-only, 54 girls-only, and 63 coed lessons from 7 high schools. MANOVA assessed differences based on class gender composition.

Results:

Actual lesson length was 27.7 min, only 65% of the scheduled length of class periods. Students engaged in moderate-vigorous PA (MVPA) 54% of the time, with boys being more active than girls. Game play was the most dominant context (47%), and little time was allocated to knowledge and skill development. Class size, lesson length, PA, and lesson contexts all differed by class gender composition (P < .001).

Conclusions:

Many differences in the conduct of high school PE are related to class gender composition. Boys accumulated more MVPA than girls. When held, PE lessons contributed about 25% of recommended daily PA minutes; improvements could be made by increasing allocations to fitness and skill practice and reducing transition and management time. Teacher professional development is warranted.