This phenomenological qualitative study explored the meaning of practicum experiences for physical education teacher education (PETE) students. Participants were 10 PETE students majoring in teaching and enrolled in an introductory adapted physical education course with an inclusion-based practicum requirement. Data were collected from participants’ self-reflective journals and analyzed using thematic analysis procedures (Giorgi, 1985). Eleven themes emerged that reflected the meaning of practicum experiences for these students. Our findings suggest that journaling provides a medium for PETE students to identify issues, address problems, and think critically about best practices.
Samuel R. Hodge, Deborah Tannehill and Mary Ann Kluge
Barbara Tyree Smith and Grace Goc Karp
This qualitative study explored how students adapt to marginalization in a seventh-grade middle school physical education class in the Pacific North-west. The study’s focus included how marginalized students were excluded within the class and how students, identified as marginalized, adapted to exclusion or temporary acceptance. Marginalized students were those who were unable to be accepted into or remain in a group for a period of time (approximately one week). Data were collected through 60 field observations, over a 14-week time period. Informal and formal interviews were conducted with teachers and students. Three boys and 2 girls were identified as marginalized within the physical education class. Formation of groups and strategies used to exclude marginalized students were found to greatly influence how students became initially marginalized. Once marginalized, students rarely changed their status, although a few were able to use strategies that reduced their status temporarily.
Kathleen Benjamin, Nancy Edwards and Wenda Caswell
In 2006, the authors conducted a multisite qualitative study in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada to examine organizational and environmental factors that influence physical activity for long-term-care (LTC) residents. The article describes the results of interviews with 9 administrators from nonprofit and for-profit LTC facilities. A content analysis revealed that despite having positive views about the value of physical activity, the administrators encountered challenges related to funding, human resources, and the built (physical) environment. The intersection of staffing issues and challenges in the built environment created less than optimal conditions for physical activity programs. Findings suggest that until there are adequate human and financial resources, it will be difficult to implement evidence-informed physical activity programs for residents in LTC settings in Ontario. A review of provincial LTC standards for physical activity program requirements and the built environment is warranted.
Elizabeth D. Gilbert
This qualitative study was an examination of organized sport experiences of girls eight to thirteen years of age. The purpose was to determine, through the perceptions of the girls in this study, the factors which led to more satisfying sport experiences. In-depth interviews were conducted to probe for information concerning the girls’ current and past experiences with sport participation. The interviews addressed issues related to the girls’ initial involvement, such as who or what influenced them to participate in sports. In addition, questions were asked which addressed issues related to the influences which positively and negatively affected the nature and quality of the girls’ sport experiences. By presenting the direct quotes of the girls, the reader is allowed a first-hand examination of the components girls described as positively and negatively influential in their organized sport experiences.
Most of the existing ecological studies have been conducted during class instructional time. The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe (a) how students (N = 102; grade 2–4) engaged in a strategy named Health Passport taking place mainly outside of school time and (b) how four physical education teachers held students accountable for their involvement in physical activity during a long period of time (3–7 months). An inductive approach guided the data analysis, based on observational notes, interviews, and the content of the students’ Health Passport. The results indicated that children displayed five different profiles of involvement in the completion of the tasks related to their passport. Physical education teachers chose to trust students’ self-management capacity instead of using a formal evaluation to hold them accountable. The experiment of the Health Passport showed that physical education teachers can put together and implement accountability strategies to support students’ regular practice of physical activity at home.
Melissa Parker, Sue Sutherland, Christina Sinclair and Phillip Ward
The purpose of this qualitative study was to initiate a discussion and explore reactions to PETE doctoral education in the United States. A purposeful sample of 27 representatives from doctoral and non doctoral granting programs in the U.S. was interviewed. Analysis resulted in four themes: (a) Is the dog wagging its tail or the tail wagging the dog? (b) Frame of reference = Self, (c) There is a core, but different roads lead to Rome, and (d) Regulating deregulation. It was concluded that a shared view of expectations for the PETE doctorate is existent, but inconsistent; future faculty may not be well-prepared; most of what faculty would like to change is tied to political and economic demands; and PETE faculty believe that we should hold ourselves accountable for introducing, but not institutionalizing change. Overall this study suggests PETE-D education in the United States may be at a critical crossroad.
Fung Kuen Koo
This qualitative study explores how older Hong Kong Chinese Australians perceive aging and to what extent this perception affects their participation in physical activities. The main methods used were in-depth interviews with 22 participants ranging in age from 60 to 91 years. Interviews were translated from Chinese (Cantonese) and transcribed into English. Content analysis was used to find recurring themes from the interview data. The main findings indicate that the perception of aging is to some extent influenced by culture. Some participants defined aging as being measured in years, and others defined it by the state of one’s physical health, appearance, and capacity to continue fulfilling one’s social roles. These perceptions strongly influenced their preferences for and participation in physical activities. Acknowledging the fact that Chinese-speaking people are not culturally homogeneous, this article makes some recommendations to health service providers with regard to the development of appropriate physical activity programs.
Sharon R. Guthrie
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore internalized lesbophobia and eating disorder symptomatology among lesbian current and former athletes and the possible link between the two phenomena. In-depth interviews were conducted with 15 physically active adult lesbians who had at least 10 years of athletic experience. Lesbophobia was defined as the internalization of society’s negative attitudes and assumptions regarding lesbianism. Eating disorder symptomatology was defined as attitudes and behaviors associated with eating pathology (e.g., body dissatisfaction, weight preoccupation, fat phobia, frequent dieting, fasting, bingeing/purging, and other weight control measures). Findings suggested a connection between internalized lesbophobia and eating disorder symptomatology, that is, individuals who expressed greater negativity associated with being a lesbian, particularly concerns about being perceived as lesbian, reported more body dissatisfaction, weight preoccupation, fat phobia, and other eating disordered attitudes and behaviors. The social implications of these findings are discussed.
Theresa L. Grant, Nancy Edwards, Heidi Sveistrup, Caroline Andrew and Mary Egan
This qualitative study examined older people’s walking experiences in 4 Ottawa neighborhoods. Seventy-five adults age 65 years and older who had lived in their neighborhoods for at least 2 yr participated in focus groups and individual interviews. Four themes were identified through data analysis: multidimensional personal meanings, navigating hostile walking environments, experiencing ambiguity, and getting around. Neighborhood walking was experienced within the continuum of personal and environmental change. Findings indicated that the concept of pedestrian connectivity must incorporate aspects of both intersection regulation and design to ensure relevance for an aging population. Participants called for more clarity about policies that affect pedestrian safety for older people. The overarching theme of getting around indicated that walkability assessments must consider how walking fits within an integrated transportation system and how accessible this system is for older people.
Fiona Moola, Caroline Fusco and Joel A. Kirsh
Despite the benefits of physical activity for youth with congenital heart disease (CHD), most patients are inactive. Although literature has addressed medical and psychological barriers to participation, little is known about the social barriers that youth encounter. This qualitative study explored sociocultural barriers to physical activity from the perspective of 17 youth with CHD. The main theme, “what I wish you knew,” was related to all other themes-youths’ efforts to resolve “disclosure dilemmas,” the barriers they encounter during physical education, and their struggle to understand themselves as normal. The participants’ narratives illuminate the centrality of their sociocultural world to physical activity. The findings call on researchers and educators to attend to the social and cultural environments where these youth live and play.