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Kate R. Barrett, Pamela C. Allison and Rick Bell

This study is a follow up to one conducted in 1982 (Bell, Barrett, & Allison, 1985) and examines what a group of eight preservice physical education majors reported seeing in a 15-min games lesson with fifth-grade students at the end of their professional preparation. As in the previous study, an analytic inductive strategy was employed to categorize the data at two levels of specificity. Results indicated that as individuals the preservice teachers recorded statements about the teacher, the students, and the lesson in combination, whereas in the 1982 study, they recorded statements about the students only or the students and the teacher. Level 2 analysis showed 66.1% of the reported statements were about the movement response of the children. This was in sharp contrast to the earlier study in which the preservice teachers made only 10% such statements. The percentage of statements recorded for the subcategory teaching techniques was fairly consistent across the two studies: 21.9% in the current study and 25.9% in the earlier one. Relatively few statements were made in any of the other categories. Preservice teachers at the end of their professional preparation report more observations (224 in contrast with 89), but questions remain why the observations exclude statements about the personal characteristics of students, classroom climate, and lesson elements.

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Natalie Jayne Lander, Lisa Michele Barnett, Helen Brown and Amanda Telford

The purpose of this study was to investigate instruction and assessment of fundamental movement skills (FMSs) by Physical Education (PE) teachers of Year 7 girls. Of 168 secondary school PE teachers, many had received little FMSs professional development, and although most assessed student FMSs proficiency, the quality of assessment was variable. Neither years of experience nor confidence influenced the quality of assessment tools used; however, greater FMSs training improved assessment practice regularity. Teachers more recently out of preservice were more confident in demonstrating FMSs. The results suggest that FMSs education for teachers should be a priority inclusion in both the training of preservice teachers and the ongoing professional development of in-service teachers.

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Brian R. Bolt

The purpose of this study was to investigate and describe whether cognitive growth occurred among preservice physical educators in an elementary educational games class in which case discussions were used as a teaching method. Cognitive growth was defined as the ability to identify problems and generate possible solutions while drawing on concepts and personal experiences. Assessing whether change takes place and exploring connections between cognitive growth and the case discussions is an important first step toward learning about the potential effects of case discussions in physical education. Data were case discussion transcriptions, interviews, and preservice teachers’ written reflections on lesson episodes completed before and after their participation in three case discussions. Cases were complex narratives about elementary physical education teaching and learning. Data revealed an improved general propensity to identify problems, suggest solutions, and cite concepts in written reflections. Connections between cognitive growth and the case discussions are explored.

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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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Susan Wilkinson

Qualitative skill analysis is an essential analytic tool for physical educators (Hay, 1973) and refers to a process in which a teacher identifies discrepancies between the actual response observed and the desired response (Hoffman, 1977b). Providing instruction for preservice teachers regarding how to recognize errors has been largely neglected in teacher preparation (Barrett, 1979; Hoffman, 1977a; Locke, 1972). The purpose of this study was to evaluate an alternative approach for teaching qualitative skill analysis to undergraduates. The study evaluated the effectiveness of a visual-discrimination training program. The subjects were 18 undergraduate students. The visual-discrimination training program was introduced using a multiple-baseline design across three volleyball skills: the forearm pass, the overhead pass, and the overhead serve. After the introduction of each instructional component, subjects made abrupt improvements in correctly analyzing the volleyball skill. This approach for teaching qualitative skill analysis is one alternative to the conventional techniques currently being used in professional preparation.

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Ashley Walker, Jody L. Langdon, Gavin Colquitt and Starla McCollum

There is limited research that includes democratic practices to evaluate the PETE program in its ability to prepare preservice teachers (PTs). In other areas such as community health, methodologies have been used to provide a voice to individuals living the experience. The purpose of this study was to examine PTs’ perceptions of a teacher education program during the student teaching experience using Photovoice. A group of PTs (N = 16) from a university in southeast Georgia were given 14 days to capture the strengths and weakness of their teacher preparation program through photography. The PTs then discussed their photographs during two focus groups with the researcher. The focus groups were audio recorded and transcribed. Data analysis included an evaluation of interview transcripts and photographs using content analysis to identify significant themes that emerged. An action plan to promote curricular change was created by the PTs and presented to PETE faculty.

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Nate McCaughtry and Inez Rovegno

This study used developmental theory to examine changes in four preservice physical education teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge during a 20- lesson middle school volleyball unit. Participant observation methodology was used including interviews, field observations, and document analysis. Data were analyzed using constant comparison. Three main shifts in their knowledge were identified. First, the teachers moved from poorly predicting students’ skillfulness and blaming students when those predictions caused problems, to valuing the matching of tasks to students’ skill levels. Second, they understood motor development differently as their inability to recognize skill development caused problems in helping students learn, and they were then mentored by experienced teachers to better see and facilitate learning. Third, the preservice teachers grew to respect and emphasize student emotion in teaching, realizing that overlooking emotion led to problems in teaching. The discussion focuses on common pitfalls in teacher development and the need for attention to emotion in the research on teacher knowledge.

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Stefan Ward, Heidi Henschel Pellett and Mark I. Perez

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to explore preservice teachers’ experiences of cognitive disequilibrium (CD) theory during a service-learning project in a study abroad experience.

Method:

A case study with 8 participants was used. Data sources consisted of: Formal interviews, videos of planning, videos of teaching, videos of reflection sessions, and informal interviews. Data were analyzed utilizing open and axial coding (Corbin & Strauss, 2008). Trustworthiness strategies included: prolonged engagement, multiple data source triangulation, and member checks.

Results:

Results indicated four themes: “We made it our own thing”, “Summer camp for teachers”, “Struggle and disequilibrium”, and “By the end it was a transformation”.

Discussion/Conclusions:

CD was ultimately positive for these students. The positive resolution of CD catalyzed a transformative effect on their perceptions of their teaching. This was supported by positive peer interaction.

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Sam Minner, Greg Prater and Allan Beane

Preservice teachers from a special education undergraduate training program and inservice teachers working in special education classrooms read a descriptive vignette of a hypothetical placement meeting. All subjects were asked to assume that they felt the child being discussed needed adapted physical education, but that no person in their local school district was trained to provide such services. In short, a “professional dilemma” was devised. After reading the vignette, subjects responded to several questions that assessed their willingness to recommend that the student be provided with the necessary service and the potential impact of this recommendation. Results indicated that both groups were willing to recommend the service but that the inservice group was more fearful of negative repercussions.

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Ali Brian, Adam Pennell, Ryan Sacko and Michaela Schenkelburg

Most early childhood centers charge preschool teachers with delivering gross motor skill content and providing physical activity (PA) opportunities to children. Little is known regarding preschool teachers’ background and confidence and the extent to which centers meet the Active Start Guidelines (ASGs) for PA. Preschool teachers (N = 102) completed an exploratory survey and the Self-Perception Profile for Adults Athletic Competence subscale. Eighty-eight percent possessed no formal background in physical education (PE)/PA, while most teachers (77%) were not aware of the ASGs. Most participants (92%) reported that they do not provide daily, teacher-led PE/PA programming, and less than half (47%) provided at least 60 min of daily free play. Preschool teachers were found to have below average perceived motor competence. Recommendations are provided for preservice teacher training programs, policymakers, as well as professional development of in-service teachers.