This paper reports data from the third phase of a 2-year investigation into continuing professional development (CPD) for physical education teachers in England. The purpose of this phase was to examine the ways in which 10 case study teachers engaged in professional learning over the course of 1 academic year. Data were collected from a series of individual interviews with the teachers, learning diaries, field notes, and a final focus group interview. The findings suggest that these teachers identified CPD as “going on a course,” but, in reality, they learned in a variety of ways. The most striking finding was the high value they placed on learning informally (yet strategically) with and from each other. We argue, therefore, that the traditional relationship between teachers and CPD provision needs to be altered such that teachers in their professional learning communities or networks play a leading role.
Kathleen M. Armour and Martin Yelling
Michael Hodges, Pamela Hodges Kulinna, Chong Lee and Ja Youn Kwon
Students of all ages have documented a deficiency in health-related fitness knowledge (HRFK). However, improving students HRFK may require a change in teacher practices and professional development (PD).
This study, framed by Guskey’s Model of Teacher Change (GMTC; Guskey, 2002), sought to assist teachers’ HRFK instruction as part of their physical education curriculum and practices. Initially, researchers examined: (a) teachers’ perceptions of health-related fitness knowledge instruction, followed by, (b) selected teachers’ perceptions of the professional development (PD) methods and the approach to teaching HRFK.
Semistructured interviews were conducted among elementary physical education teachers’ (N = 9) in one suburban school district. A randomly selected smaller group of teachers (n = 5), had PD on Knowledge in Action Lesson Segments (KIALS), an approach to teaching HRFK. Teachers were asked to implement KIALS into their fifth grade physical education classes and interviewed two additional times.
Three themes emerged from the data: (a) HRFK is critical but I can’t get to it; (b) If you show it, they will implement it; and (c) Knowledge in Action gets the job done.
PD procedures in this study and KIALS were seen as favorable. Results paralleled GMTC principles, as researchers confirmed quality PD, and observations of positive student outcomes further reinforced teachers’ beliefs. Teachers also expressed a willingness to continue using KIALS after the completion of this study, concluding achievement of the final fourth principal of the change process. Findings suggested that KIALS, if presented with similar PD will be well-received by teachers supporting their efforts to improve student HRFK outcomes.
R. Glenn Weaver, Michael W. Beets, Ruth P. Saunders and Aaron Beighle
The YMCA of USA recently adopted Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) Standards for their summerday- camps (SDCs). Standards call for staff to exhibit HEPA promoting behaviors while eliminating HEPA discouraging behaviors. No studies have evaluated training programs to influence policy specified staff behaviors and related changes in child activity in SDCs.
Four YMCA SDCs serving approximately 800 children/week participated in this no control group pre/post pilot study. Professional development training founded in the 5 Ms (Mission, Model, Manage, Monitor, Maximize) and LET US Play principles (lines; elimination; team size; uninvolved staff/kids; and space, equipment, and rules) was delivered to staff. Outcomes were staff promotion behaviors and child activity assessed via systematic observation instruments.
Twelve of 17 HEPA staff behaviors changed in the appropriate direction from baseline to postassessment with 5 behaviors reaching statistically significant changes. The percentage of girls and boys observed in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity increased from 15.3% to 18.3% (P > .05) and 17.9% to 21.2%, whereas sedentary behavior decreased from 66.8% to 59.8% and 62.3% to 53.6%, respectively.
Evidence suggests that the professional development training designed to assist SDCs to meet the HEPA Standards can lead to important changes in staff behaviors and children’s physical activity.
Jeffrey J. Martin, Nate McCaughtry, Pamela Kulinna, Donetta Cothran and Roberta Faust
The purpose of our study was to examine the impact of mentoring-based professional development on physical education teachers’ efficacy. Experienced mentor teachers were paired (n = 15) with inexperienced protégé teachers (n = 15) at the beginning of a yearlong intervention study. It was hypothesized that teachers would increase their efficacy to use pedometers and computers to enhance instruction, and reduce their computer anxiety. Repeated-measures ANOVAs for mentors and protégés revealed a variety of significant main effects. We found increases in computer and pedometer efficacy. A second set of repeated-measures ANOVAs based on mentors’, protégés’, and control groups’ scores revealed a significant interaction for computer efficacy, indicating that both mentors and protégés significantly increased their computer efficacy compared with the control group. Finally, a significant interaction effect was also found for pedometer efficacy, again indicating that both groups significantly increased their efficacy compared with control teachers.
Pamela Hodges Kulinna, Nate McCaughtry, Jeffrey J. Martin, Donetta Cothran and Roberta Faust
The impact of a yearlong professional development intervention on physical education teachers’ psychosocial perceptions was investigated. Experienced mentor teachers (n = 15) were paired with inexperienced protégé teachers (n = 15) who helped them learn how to teach a health-related physical education curriculum (i.e., the Exemplary Physical Education Curriculum). Using the theory of planned behavior as the guiding theory, it was hypothesized that teachers would experience favorable increases in various psychological constructs (e.g., attitude) and variables reflecting the social culture of their schools (e.g., administrator’s perceptions) as compared with control teachers (n = 17). A variety of statistically significant main and interaction effects with mean scores in expected directions were found. In general, mentors and protégés developed a more positive view of their own psychological state (e.g., perceived behavioral control) and of the immediate school social environment (i.e., support from administrators and fellow teachers). The significant results, combined with meaningful effect sizes, supported the effectiveness of this intervention.
Sima Zach, Hanan Stein, Tamar Sivan, Israel Harari and Noa Nabel-Heller
This article explored how 45 novice physical education teachers perceived success, and how success affected their motivation to continue teaching. Self-determination theory (SDT) was used to interpret the teachers’ written reports, and focus group discussions were held concerning their success. Satisfaction with the competence, relatedness, and autonomy of the teachers’ needs were related to the teachers’ perception of success. Based on the findings, we contend that SDT can have strong implications for both school life and professional development facilitators. We suggest that strengthening certain aspects of success from the very beginning of the teaching experience may lead to a better adjustment to teaching.
Tina J. Hall, Lori K. Hicklin and Karen E. French
To examine the relationship between the South Carolina middle school physical education assessment results and the school characteristics. In addition, the relationship between teacher training attendance and student achievement were determined.
Student performance on four physical education indicators in 63 middle schools (and 116 teachers) were reported to the South Carolina Physical Education Assessment Program. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine the relationships between school characteristics as predictors of the performance indicator. ANOVAs were conducted to determine the relationship to teacher training and the performance indicators.
Statewide averages of student performance indicated that slightly over 50% of middle school students were rated as competent in all physical education indicators except health-related fitness (31.2%). The variability was high among all indicators. The correlations between the poverty index and the physical education indicators were significant and low. Teachers who attended data collection training sessions scored higher on all performance indicators, particularly health-related fitness knowledge. Teachers who attended professional development had significantly higher scores on motor skills, health-related fitness knowledge, and the overall weighted scores and approached significance on the health-related fitness performance.
This study suggests that teachers and the programs they deliver have a greater impact on student learning than do school characteristics. Teacher training and professional development is warranted. Most compelling is that the results of this study provide a strong argument against the practice of using student scores from other academic content areas to evaluate teacher effectiveness in physical education.
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.
This study investigated the current levels of teachers’ knowledge about and views of the National Standards for Physical Education (NASPE, 1995) and factors that influenced the teachers’ understandings of and interpretations of the standards. Twenty-five elementary and secondary physical education teachers voluntarily participated in this study. Data were collected primarily through 25 formal interviews and observing 78 lessons taught by the teachers. Data were analyzed using constant comparison techniques. Findings indicated that: a) personal commitment is a key factor contributing to teachers’ growing knowledge about the standards, b) active participation in professional development activities helps teachers stay current, and c) understanding of the standards is an influential determinant of the teachers’ attitude toward the standards.
Pamela A. Bechtel and Mary O’Sullivan
The purpose of this study was to explore enhancers and inhibitors that impacted 4 secondary physical education teachers to make changes in their programs. An interpretivist approach was used to understand the physical educators’ change process. Data were collected from document analyses, participant information sheets, interviews, discussion groups, and observing classes. Data were analyzed as 4 case studies using inductive analysis that examined emergent themes for each participant. A cross-case analysis highlighted the common enhancers and inhibitors for the teachers’ change process. The enhancers to change were the teachers’ visions and beliefs of physical education and support from principals, colleagues, and students. The inhibitors to change were district practices and policies and educational priorities. Gaining a better understanding of the teacher change process will help to design more effective professional development programs for secondary physical education teachers.