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Suzan F. Ayers and Lynn D. Housner

The current study describes the nature of physical education teacher education (PETE) programs in the United States. Of the 200 institutions of higher education invited to participate, 116 PETE programs completed a comprehensive questionnaire regarding their undergraduate programs (58% response rate). Respondents reported employing an average of 3.84 (SD = 2.80) full-time and 3.07 (SD = 3.52) part-time faculty members, nearly equal in gender (females = 48%), and overly representative of Caucasians (92% of respondents reported employing a faculty of at least 60% Caucasian). First- and second-year field-based teaching experiences were provided by 77% of respondents. A majority (65.8%) of institutions provided student teaching experiences at the elementary and either middle or high school settings. These experiences typically lasted 9 weeks and were supervised by university personnel three times per setting, and 76.3% were conducted exclusively by PETE faculty. Emphasis on specific curricular models was reported by 83% of respondents, 45.3% reported electronic portfolio development as a primary technology experience, and 62% reported coursework as the primary means by which candidates received multicultural experiences.

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Michael W. Metzler and Bonnie L. Tjeerdsma

This paper describes a development, research, and improvement (DRI) framework for conducting comprehensive program assessment in physical education teacher education (PETE) programs. The DRI model has three main stages: development, research, and decision-making for improvement. Each stage is comprised of a series of questions that allow a PETE faculty to proceed through program assessment to arrive at a “custom made” plan. The framework functions mainly on the collection of valid and reliable data gathered by using existing systematic observation instruments, qualitative techniques, and psychometric instruments from the current sport pedagogy literature. The resulting data are then used to monitor students’ acquisition of the program’s intended pedagogical skills, content knowledge, performance knowledge, beliefs-attitudes, and professional dispositions. Having become a “learning organization,” the PETE faculty is then able to make more systematic decisions about improving selected program components.

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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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Ann MacPhail and Therese Hartley

The purpose of this study is to explore the extent to which beginning and experienced teachers differed in their perceptions of shaping school forces and their being shaped by school forces. The findings allow the authors to examine the link between teacher socialization research and practice in a physical education teacher education (PETE) program and to consider the practical (and institutional) changes that may improve the quality of teacher education. Six beginning physical education teachers (BTs) (in their first year of teaching) and six experienced physical education teachers (ETs) (who had been teaching for six years) took part in interviews and completed prompt sheets throughout the duration of a school year. The paper discusses ways in which one PETE program has attempted to use, and plans for future use of, BTs’ and ETs’ accounts of socialization to inform how best to prepare PSTs for the reality of teaching in schools.

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Bryan McCullick, Mike Metzler, Seref Cicek, Josephine Jackson and Brad Vickers

An ever-increasing focus on accountability in teacher education has augmented the importance of physical education teacher education (PETE) programs to develop procedures for assessing their candidates and completers—the student teachers (STs). Finding out what students think, know, and feel about STs’ teaching ability is yet another valuable source of data that can assist in the assessment process. The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to examine students’ perspectives of STs’ effectiveness as a window into the effectiveness of a PETE program, and (b) to identify students’ ability to provide valuable feedback to PETE programs on how well STs meet the NASPE National Standards for Beginning Physical Education Teachers (NSBPET). Using the NASPE/NCATE standards as a framework, a set of interview questions was developed to elicit students’ perspectives of the STs’ performance. Findings were inductively analyzed and indicated that STs were able to meet some of the NASPE/NCATE standards and that students can be valuable data sources regarding STs’ competence in Content Knowledge, Diverse Learners, Communication, Management and Motivation, Planning and Instruction, Student Assessment, and Reflection. Students were less able to provide insight into STs’ performance in Growth and Development, Technology, and Collaboration. Overall, these findings suggest that students can be counted on as a source of evidence to complement a thorough and fruitful program assessment.

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Terry A. Senne and G. Linda Rikard

Nine teacher candidates from each of two PETE programs, University A and University B, developed teaching portfolios over three consecutive semesters of comparable courses. University A teacher candidates underwent a deliberate, developmental portfolio intervention based on the Teaching/Learning Framework (Sprinthall & Thies-Sprinthall 1983), while University B candidates employed a series of portfolio categories based on reflective practice theory (Wallace, 1991) to guide their developmental growth. All teacher candidates completed Rest’s (1986) Defining Issues Test (DIT) to determine one dimension of teacher developmental growth, moral/ethical judgment. They shared perceptions of the portfolio process through focus group interviews and portfolio questionnaires as qualitative data sources. Findings indicated a significant within-group difference for University A teacher candidates, while both university groups demonstrated similarities in perceptions of the portfolio process. A crucial programmatic difference between institutions was University A’s use of the Teaching/Learning Framework, which likely led to statistically significant, positive growth on DIT gain scores. This is the first study of its kind in PETE, indicating positive teacher development from a specific and deliberate intervention designed to guide the portfolio process.

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Michael W. Metzler, Bonnie L. Tjeerdsma and Theresa M. Walker

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Michael W. Metzler and Bonnie L. Tjeerdsma