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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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Jaimie McMullen, Hans van der Mars and Julie A. Jahn

The purpose of this study is to describe the experiences of physical education teacher education (PETE) majors enrolled in an internship course that provided them with authentic experiences promoting and facilitating a before-school physical activity (PA) program and to examine the associated implications for PETE programs within the Comprehensive School Physical Activity (CSPAP) framework. In this study, five PETE majors were recruited to participate. Data were collected from several sources including participant observation, interviews, systematic observation, and document analysis. The results show that preservice physical educators struggled with PA promotion as a consequence of perceptions of early programmatic success, feelings of nervousness and influences of their existing beliefs about the role of the physical educator. Therefore, when considering the role of the physical educator relative to a CSPAP, PETE programs should consider making adjustments to their curricula to include experiences that allow preservice teachers to practice skills associated with out-of-class PA promotion.

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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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Matthew D. Curtner-Smith

Much research on physical education preservice teachers’ (PTs) perceptions of effective teaching during early field experiences (EFEs) or student teaching has indicated a concern for keeping pupils well-behaved, busy, and happy (e.g., Placek, 1983). The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of an EFE, combined with a methods course developed from the knowledge base on effective teaching, on PT conceptions of the teaching-learning process. Data were collected using the critical incident technique (Flanagan, 1954) and a reflective questionnaire (O’Sullivan & Tsangaridou, 1992). PT responses were analyzed by employing Goetz and LeCompte’s (1984) analytic induction method. PTs were concerned with pupil learning or elements of teaching related to pupil learning, focused primarily on teaching technique, and believed that knowledge of sports and games was a vital component of teacher effectiveness, frequently mentioning that they were lacking in this area.

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

The ability of physical education teachers to observe the movement response of the learner and the environment in which the response takes place is crucial in effective instruction. This study is an initial attempt to identify what a group of 21 preservice physical education teachers reported seeing in a 15-minute games lesson with fourth-grade students. An analytic inductive strategy was employed to categorize the data at two levels of specificity. Results indicated that as a group the preservice teachers focused on a broad range of teacher and student behaviors and lesson elements, but as individuals they had a more limited focus of attention. Level 2 analysis revealed that only 10% of the recorded statements focused on the movement responses of the children and no statements related to the learning environment. If teacher educators deem it important that their majors notice teacher and student behaviors as well as lesson elements, they have to plan more carefully for this to occur, particularly with majors early in their professional education.

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Christopher Hickey

The emancipatory goal that underpins critical theories of teaching and learning is built on a theory of rational self-determination. In the context of physical education, critical educators believe that through a process of enlightenment teachers can recognize and transform elements of injustice and inequality that exist, albeit unwittingly, in their practice. However, despite the broad appeal of this orientation there are relatively few empirical accounts of how theories of enlightenment manifest themselves in the practice of emancipation. Propelled by the lacuna that clearly exists between critical theory and critical practice, this paper reports on the introduction of critical social discourses to a preservice PE program. It uses a case study methodology to report on two student-teachers’ engagement with a range of critical social discourses during a year-long PE unit. The paper discusses some of the ways these students engaged with the theory and practice of a critical orientation for teaching and learning in physical education. Aspects of their experiences are then interpreted through Fay’s (1987) critical but postmodern “limits to change” thesis. The paper concludes with tempered optimism about the potential for critical social discourses to guide preservice teachers in practical ways.

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Cynthia Carlisle and D. Allen Phillips

Teacher enthusiasm has long been considered an important part of the teaching process. However, empirical verification of enthusiasm as an indicator of teaching effectiveness is somewhat sparse. One problem is with measuring that complex variable, while another problem has been determining what to correlate it with to allow it to surface as such an indicator. Twenty-four preservice teachers participated in this study to determine the differences in teacher and student behavior between the levels of enthusiasm in trained and untrained teachers. The experimental group was given 6 hours of enthusiasm training whereas the control group received no such training. Both groups taught a 30-minute Experimental Teaching Unit (ETU) to a total of 120 middle-school students. The observation instrument in this study was the Physical Education Teaching Assessment Instrument (PETAI), while the Collins Enthusiasm Rating Scale was used to measure the teachers’ enthusiasm. The trained teachers received much higher ratings in enthusiasm during their ETU lessons and were significantly better on three of the PETAI items. The students of the trained teachers also had higher skill achievement gains over their counterparts under the untrained teachers.

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Margarite A. Arrighi and Judith C. Young

The purpose of this investigation was to examine the perceptions of preservice and inservice teachers about successful and effective teaching. Two samples of preservice and inservice teachers responded to open-ended questions concerning their perceptions of teaching effectiveness and their own success. The first sample included 224 beginning physical education majors, student teachers, and inservice physical educators who identified 2,003 effective teaching components which were categorized into 20 different instructional factors by the research team. The second sample included 379 inservice and preservice teachers who were asked about their perceptions of successful teaching. Responses were then categorized by source of success: students, self, others’ reactions, or administrative. Results indicated differences in preservice and inservice teachers’ perceptions, suggesting a pattern of socialization into the teacher role. Teacher perceptions of effective and successful teaching reflected concern for student responses. Effectiveness categories identified included teaching strategy, management and organization, content, and personal characteristics. Perception of successful teaching indicated greater concern for self among preservice than inservice teachers.

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Kate R. Barrett, Ann Sebren and Anne M. Sheehan

Teaching preservice teachers to plan, specifically the written lesson plan, is one vehicle to help transform their content knowledge into forms that are pedagogically powerful (Shulman, 1987). This article describes what changes occurred in how one teacher, BJ, transformed her knowledge of content for student learning in lesson plans written during her methods course, student teaching, and 1st-year teaching. Data sources beyond the 17 lesson plans selected for analysis were unit plans, dialogue journals, semistructured interviews, and a graduate research project. Data were analyzed using inductive analysis techniques, and emerging results were discussed continuously with BJ for participant validation of the researchers’ interpretation. Four patterns related to content development are discussed: a shift in how content was identified, shorter lesson plans, a shift from consistent use of extending tasks with minimum use of application tasks to the reverse, and the absence of preplanned refinement and simplifying tasks. Findings from both studies, BJ’s and the original inquiry, suggest that teacher educators need to reexamine the amount and type of information they ask students to include, as well as the format. The challenge will be to develop new approaches that will continually support this process but that will be better suited to the realities of teaching (Floden & Klinzing, 1990).

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Ben D. Kern, K. Andrew R. Richards, Suzan F. Ayers and Chad M. Killian

Background/Purpose: Physical education teacher education (PETE) programs have experienced enrollment decline, leading some PETE faculty to consider increasing efforts to recruit new students to their programs. This aspect of the current study sought to investigate PETE program coordinators’ perceptions of possible causes for decreased PETE enrollments as well as their role in, and barriers to, recruiting preservice teachers. Methods: Thirty-six PETE program coordinators (12 males and 24 females) participated in in-depth interviews. The data were coded using a standard interpretative approach grounded in inductive analysis and constant comparison. Results: PETE faculty members perceived declining enrollments to be related to negative public perceptions of education, low-quality K-12 physical education, academically unprepared PETE students, and restructuring programs to emphasize other kinesiology areas. Though compelled to recruit, PETE coordinators questioned their responsibility to do so and reported lacking time and training to be effective. Discussion/Conclusions: PETE coordinators favor recruiting strategies that are less time-intensive and match their academic skill set.