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Toby Woolway and Chris Harwood

Understanding the practitioner attributes that influence consumers’ preferences is of vital importance to licensing organizations and individual practitioners in the field of sport psychology (Hamberger & Iso-Ahola, 2006; Van Raalte, Brewer, Matheson & Brewer, 1996). This study examined consumer preferences toward three professional titles (sport psychologist, life coach, and neuro-linguistic programming practitioner) and a range of other practitioner characteristics, as well as the extent to which a brief intervention impacted these preferences. Following an assessment of current preferences among athletes (N = 229), researchers presented brief, educational vignettes formed of enhanced information regarding the three professions. Conjoint analysis was used to determine the relative importance of practitioner attributes pre- and postintervention. Interpersonal skills emerged as the most important attribute before intervention. Several significant, postintervention changes emerged in consumer preferences for practitioners, including an increased salience of professional title. The findings are discussed with an emphasis on implications for the training, professional development, and marketing of practitioners to potential clients.

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Elizabeth A. Wanless, Ryan M. Brewer, James E. Johnson and Lawrence W. Judge

To prepare students for employment in sport, many sport management programs involve students in revenue generation activities, such as ticket or sponsorship sales. Literature evaluating student perceptions of this specific type of experiential learning remains sparse. This constructivist qualitative study evaluated student perceptions of learning from two courses containing experiential revenue generation projects. Data were gathered via structured-question electronic survey. Fifty-one of 60 students participated. Results generally supported previous research conclusions; conducting experiential learning projects increases skill and professional development and offers a realistic career preview but demands significant time commitment. Important contradictions, however, were present in comparison with past literature. The unique nature of sales-based projects involving students in ticket sales and sponsorship sales served as a platform for students to develop critically important interpersonal skills. This benefit was not identified in studies evaluating experiential learning opportunities that did not contain a sales-based component.

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Melinda A. Solmon, Terry Worthy and Jo A. Carter

The interactive model views the teacher as a powerful socializing agent and establishes links between biographical characteristics and the demands of different contexts. This study describes the dynamic interaction of factors related to teacher role identity and school context. Specifically the goal was to employ case studies to examine the biographies of three first-year teachers to determine how individual perception of the teaching role impacts professional development during the first year of teaching. Using subject interviews, field notes, lesson plans, student performance data, and informal interviews with administrators and coworkers, a comparison was made between the cases to learn how the teaching perspectives of first-year teachers interact with school contexts. Results support the notion that the beginning teacher can be an active agent in controlling the direction of biography and social structures in the socialization process.

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Natalie J. Lander, Lisa Hanna, Helen Brown, Amanda Telford, Philip J. Morgan, Jo Salmon and Lisa M. Barnett

Purpose:

Competence in fundamental movement skills (FMSs) is positively associated with physical activity, fitness, and healthy weight status. However, adolescent girls exhibit very low levels of fundamental movement skill (FMS) proficiency.

Method:

In the current study, interviews were carried out with physical education teachers to investigate their perspectives of: (i) the importance and relevance of teaching FMSs to Year 7 girls, and (ii) the factors influencing effective FMS instruction.

Results:

There were two major findings in the data: Year 7 was perceived to be a critical period to instruct girls in FMSs; and current teaching practices were perceived to be suboptimal for effective FMS instruction.

Conclusion:

Apparent deficits in current FMS teaching practice may be improved with more comprehensive teacher training (both during physical education teacher education (PETE) and in in-service professional development) in pedagogical strategies, curriculum interpretation, and meaningful assessment.

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Amanda Martindale and Dave Collins

The field of applied sport psychology has recognized the growing consensus that professional autonomy and discretion brings with it the need to train, regulate, and evaluate practice (Evetts, 2001). However, research into how practitioners’ professional judgment is formed and the decision-making processes involved has not received concurrent attention. This paper illustrates some of the possible outcomes and implications for applied sport psychologists from consideration of Professional Judgment and Decision Making (PJDM) research in other fields such as medicine and teaching and in parallel disciplines such as clinical and counseling psychology. Investigation into the nature of decision content and how the crucial “intention for impact” (Hill, 1992) is formulated carries implications for the assessment, reflective practice, and professional development and training of applied sport psychologists. Future directions in PJDM research are suggested and a call is made for practitioners to be open to involvement in research of this nature.

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Louis Harrison, Russell L. Carson and Joe Burden

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the common assumption that teachers of color (TOC) are more culturally competent than White teachers by assessing physical education teachers’ cultural competency. A secondary purpose was to ascertain the possible differences in cultural competence levels of White teachers in diverse school settings versus those in more racially homogenous schools. One hundred and ninety physical education teachers from two states in the southeastern U.S. completed a demographic questionnaire and the Multicultural Teaching Competency Scale (MTCS) (Spanierman et al., 2006). The MTCS consists of two subscales; multicultural teaching knowledge (MTK), and multicultural teaching skills (MTS). MANCOVA analyses indicated significant differences with TOC scoring higher in both MTK and MTS than White teachers. Results also indicated that White teachers in city school settings scored significantly higher in MTK than those from more rural school. Results and implications for teacher preparation and professional development are discussed.

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Becky W. Pissanos and Pamela C. Allison

The purpose of this topical life history was to gain insight into the individual and socializing conditions that influenced an experienced elementary school physical education teacher’s perceptions and actions regarding continued professional learning. The teacher was interviewed in a series of five interviews over a 3-year period. The audiotaped transcriptions were subjected to the constant comparison data analysis technique, with the emergent patterns reported as results. Continued professional learning was valued as an essential concept associated with being a professional because it ultimately increased the teacher’s potential for helping students learn. Professional development experiences associated with the teacher’s undergraduate professional preparation institution and participation in a national curriculum project contributed most significantly to the teacher’s continued professional learning. The teacher’s continued professional learning was influenced by (a) students, (b) status, (c) administrative support, (d) community perceptions of sport, and (e) personal/professional interactions.

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Stephen Harvey and Shane Pill

Research commentary suggests the utilization of Tactical Games Models (TGMs) only exists in isolated instances, particularly where teachers demonstrate true fidelity to these models. In contrast, many academics have adopted TGMs into their courses. Consequently, the purpose of this study was to investigate reasons for this disparity. Participants were 44 academics and 80 physical education teachers. Results showed that academics provided a myriad of reasons why teachers may not use TGMs, although all agreed on the need for increased teacher professional development in TGMs. Physical education teachers’ outlined that numerous competing versions of TGMs was confusing and they required more hands-on examples of TGMs. Results further highlighted disparities between academics and teachers’ conceptual understanding and pedagogical applications of TGMs. There is a critical need to create improved connections between academics and physical education teachers, which could be achieved through the extended examination of the micropedagogies of teachers practice in TGMs.

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Thomas L. McKenzie, John E. Alcaraz, James F. Sallis and F. Nell Faucette

We assessed effects of a physical education professional development program on 3 manipulative skills of 4th- and 5th-graders. Seven schools were randomly assigned to 3 treatment conditions: PES (Physical Education Specialists), TT (Trained Classroom Teachers), and CO (Controls). Students (358 boys, 351 girls) were randomly selected from 56 classes and tested on throwing, catching, and kicking. In the fall baseline, boys scored higher than girls; 5th-graders scored higher than 4th-graders. In the spring, children in PES schools had improvements of 21%; those in TT and CO schools gained 19% and 13%, respectively. Gain scores were significant for catching (p = .005) and throwing (p = .008). Intervention effects did not differ by gender or grade. Adjusting for condition, boys made significantly greater gains than girls. The results indicate that children’s manipulative skills can be improved by quality physical education programs delivered by PE specialists and classroom teachers with substantial training.

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Mary L. Henninger

The purpose of this study was to understand factors that influenced the career trajectories of veteran urban secondary physical education teachers. The careers of these teachers were studied from the theoretical perspectives of teacher efficacy and teacher career development. Participants included 9 secondary urban physical education teachers (4 females and 5 males). Data were collected using 7 qualitative methods. Data analysis involved constant comparison through the processes of open and axial coding followed by a cross-case comparison (Strauss & Corbin, 1998). Findings indicated that organizational contexts of these veteran urban physical education teachers played the most salient role in shaping their beliefs and behaviors. Although the organizational contextual factors reported were similar across this group of teachers, individual responses differed greatly. These differences delineated teachers into two groups of stayers: lifers and troupers. Knowledge of workplace conditions’ specific effects on teachers’ career trajectories provides valuable information for initial preparation of novice teachers and for further professional development.