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Anne-Mette Bredahl

The experience of participation in physical activity was explored in a qualitative study with twenty Norwegian adults with physical and visual disabilities. The interviews showed that more than 75% of negative experiences reported in this study originated from physical education (PE), suggesting that this was a particularly challenging arena. The negative experiences were centered in these common themes: experiences of not being included, experiences of failing, and experiences of not being listened to. The interviews were analyzed applying an existential-phenomenological approach. The participants with relatively minor degrees of disability and with the least visible disabilities were the ones who most often reported negative experiences regarding PE. This suggests the experiences were not generated solely by the actual physical or sensory limitations, but equally by how well the participants’ challenges were understood by their teachers and to what degree adaptations were implemented.

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Ron E. McBride

In a three-phase study, the routine task concerns of physical educators were identified for a planned adaptation of the Teacher Concerns Questionnaire. The first phase of the study identified a list of some 500 concerns, which inductive analysis reduced to 10. A 10-item questionnaire followed by a 5-point Likert scale was then sent to a sample of 500 physical educators. Analysis of the data identified 5 items for use in the Teacher Concerns Questionnaire–Physical Education (TCQ–PE). In the final phase of the study, the newly adapted questionnaire was tested on a sample of experienced physical educators. The strong correlation coefficients obtained support the use of these items in the revised instrument. The TCQ–PE, in conjunction with other assessment techniques, represents a valuable data gathering source for continued research into physical education teacher concerns.

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Patricia Patterson and Nell Faucette

The purpose of the study was to determine if there were differences in attitudes toward physical activity for children in classes taught by specialists versus those taught by nonspecialists. Fourth- and fifth-grade children (N = 414) from four schools participated in the study. Two schools had P.E. specialists teaching the P.E. classes while the other two schools had classroom teachers teaching the classes. Attitudes were assessed by employing the Children’s Attitude Toward Physical Activity (CATPA) inventory (Simon & Smoll, 1974). Although discriminant function analysis resulted in a significant difference between the attitudes of both groups of children, only 57.48% of the cases were correctly classified. These results suggest that teachers play a minimal role in children’s attitudes toward physical activity. It was recommended that additional studies be conducted that examine and control for multiple factors influencing attitude formation.

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David Kirk

In this paper I argue that there is currently an orthodoxy in RT-PE that is unable, through its present epistemologies and methods, to make a major impact on curriculum practice. Three particular issues are highlighted as problematic: strategies for change adopted within the orthodoxy, who has the power to define and legitimate the research agenda, and an apolitical view of change. In presenting an alternative view of how we might close the research/practice gap in RT-PE, I suggest that researchers must develop more democratic approaches to working with teachers, for example along the lines of the teacher-as-researcher movement rather than on them. I also argue that in order to do this, we must develop more appropriate research epistemologies and methodologies. Finally, these two developments must be framed within a more sophisticated and systematically developed understanding of the social change process, and of the political nature of our attempts as educators to bring about change.

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Duncan Macfarlane and Wong Tung Kwong

Levels of activity and enjoyment were measured in 73 Hong Kong primary school children (39 girls and 34 boys), during regularly scheduled physical education (PE) classes. Classroom activities were classified into one of 4 types (ball games, athletics, gymnastics and free play). Activity levels were monitored by heart rate telemetry and by direct observation (CARS), whilst enjoyment was scored using a 5-point Likert scale. Results showed that the average PE class used 22 minutes of the scheduled 35 class time, whilst the students spent 3.7 min in moderate-to-vigorous (MVPA) activity (60-90%HRR), and nearly 50% of the children spent less than 2 minutes with their heart rate above 159 beats · min−1. There were no significant differences in activity levels between genders. Ball games and free play generally produced statistically higher heart rates and CARS values than gymnastics. The levels of enjoyment were low (3.7 − 1.0), but did not vary significantly between gender or activity type. A variety of social and environmental factors may contribute to these low activity and enjoyment levels.

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Peter A. Hastie

The aim of this paper was to quantify teacher behaviors that were associated with high levels of student involvement and, hence, provide further understanding of student accountability. Two observation instruments were used to collect data from teachers during a secondary school volleyball unit. Results showed that the more effective teacher (as measured by ALT-PE) spent more lesson time in the functional behaviors of concurrent instruction and intervening instruction, whereas the less effective teachers spent more time in noninteractive behaviors such as observing. Furthermore, specific cycles of teaching behaviors that discriminated between the effective and less effective teachers were identified. The results are explained in terms of the development of a successful instructional accountability system being developed by the effective teacher in contrast to the instructional pseudoaccountability of the less effective teachers.

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Frank Rife, Shirley Shute and Patt Dodds

Although many observation instruments have been developed in physical education, few have enjoyed such widespread use in such a short time as the Academic Learning Time in Physical Education (ALT-PE) model. Not only has this observation system been used in a variety of research settings, but it has undergone an evolution in concept and coding categories. What does this do to the conceptual underpinnings of this observation system? Will the newer version yield similar or different kinds of information? This article attempts to answer such questions by comparing the two versions on the same set of videotaped physical education classes. Results demonstrate that versions I and II both provide similar information about students’ opportunities to learn physical education skills, yet each system has some advantages over the other. Either version can be a useful and appropriate research tool depending on the research question(s) being asked.

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Viviene A. Temple and Jeff W. Walkley

The purpose was to describe the engagement of students with mild intellectual disabilities (MID) and their nondisabled peers (NDP) in regular physical education lessons and to determine whether this varied with gender, grade, or disability. Participants were 24 students with MID and 48 NDP Data on student behavior were gathered using an Academic Learning Time—Physical Education (ALT-PE) systematic observation instrument. Each lesson, including one student with MID and two same-gender NDP, was observed on five occasions (120 total). Data from primary and secondary levels were pooled. A MANOVA with PE Time, PE Engaged, Motor Engaged (ME), and Motor Appropriate (MA) as dependent measures revealed significant main effects for disability and gender. Follow-up analyses disclosed that the only difference between boys and girls was PE Time and that engagement level showed no difference. Students with MID spent significantly less time (p ≤ .01) than NDPs at each level.

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Katherine A. Skala, Andrew E. Springer, Shreela V. Sharma, Deanna M. Hoelscher and Steven H. Kelder


Physical education (PE) classes provide opportunities for children to be active. This study examined the associations between specific environmental characteristics (teacher characteristics; class size, duration and location; and lesson context) and elementary school-aged children’s moderate-to-vigorous activity (MVPA) during PE.


Environmental characteristics and student activity levels were measured in 211 third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade PE classes in 74 Texas public schools using SOFIT direct observation.


Students engaged in less than half their PE class time in MVPA (38%), while approximately 25% of class time was spent in classroom management. Percent time in MVPA was significantly higher in outdoor classes compared with indoors (41.4% vs. 36.1%, P = .037). Larger (P = .044) and longer (P = .001) classes were negatively associated with percentage of MVPA and positively correlated with time spent in management (P < .001).


Findings suggest that children’s activity may be influenced by environmental factors such as class size, location, and lesson contexts. These findings hold important policy implications for PE class organization and the need for strategies that maximize children’s MVPA. Further research is needed to test the causal association of these factors with student MVPA.

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Mara Simon and Laura Azzarito

Ethnic minority female physical education (PE) teachers who work in predominantly White schools may face multiple, intersecting forms of oppression due to inherent underlying notions of whiteness, which position the embodiment of a racialized identity as “other” ( Burden, Harrison, & Hodge, 2005