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Nicole J. Smith, Monica A.F. Lounsbery and Thomas L. McKenzie

Background:

Physical education (PE) is recommended as a source for physical activity (PA) and learning generalizable PA skills. Few studies have objectively examined high school PE, specifically its delivery, including PA, lesson contexts, and class gender composition.

Methods:

We used the System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT) to assess PA during 6 lesson contexts in 47 boys-only, 54 girls-only, and 63 coed lessons from 7 high schools. MANOVA assessed differences based on class gender composition.

Results:

Actual lesson length was 27.7 min, only 65% of the scheduled length of class periods. Students engaged in moderate-vigorous PA (MVPA) 54% of the time, with boys being more active than girls. Game play was the most dominant context (47%), and little time was allocated to knowledge and skill development. Class size, lesson length, PA, and lesson contexts all differed by class gender composition (P < .001).

Conclusions:

Many differences in the conduct of high school PE are related to class gender composition. Boys accumulated more MVPA than girls. When held, PE lessons contributed about 25% of recommended daily PA minutes; improvements could be made by increasing allocations to fitness and skill practice and reducing transition and management time. Teacher professional development is warranted.

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Bik C. Chow, Thomas L. McKenzie and Lobo Louie

Physical activity engagement during physical education is important for many reasons, including developing physical fitness and movement skills and promoting health. Much more is known about physical activity in elementary than secondary schools. We examined physical activity and how it was influenced by instructor-related and environmental characteristics during 238 lessons taught by 65 physical education specialists in 30 randomly selected secondary schools in Hong Kong. Trained observers used SOFIT (System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time) in randomly selected grade 7–12 classes over a 6-month period. Results showed students engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) about 35% of lesson time, a level similar to that found in U.S. elementary schools and short of the U.S. Healthy People 2010 objective of 50% engagement time. Multiple regression analyses found that six potentially modifiable variables contributed to 35% of the variability in lesson MVPA percent.

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Michalis Stylianou, Tiffany Kloeppel, Pamela Kulinna and Han van der Mars

Background:

This study was informed by the bodies of literature emphasizing the role of physical education in promoting physical activity (PA) and addressing teacher fidelity to curricular models.

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to compare student PA levels, lesson context, and teacher PA promotion behavior among classes where teachers were using the Dynamic Physical Education (DPE) curricular model with low, moderate, and high fidelity.

Methods:

Participants were 20 physical education teachers, and their 4th and 5th grade students. Each teacher was observed teaching three times during the study. Fidelity data were collected using a validated observation instrument. PA, lesson context, and teacher behavior data were collected using the System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT). Data analysis included descriptive statistics and group difference tests.

Results:

Significant differences among the three fidelity groups were identified in several items of the observation instrument. No significant moderate-to-vigorous PA or lesson context differences were found among the three groups. Students taught by teachers in the high fidelity group spent a significantly higher proportion of lesson time (7.5%) in vigorous PA than students taught by teachers in the low fidelity group. Teachers in the moderate and high fidelity groups spent a significantly higher proportion of lesson time promoting in-class PA than teachers in the low fidelity group.

Discussion:

Fidelity of implementation to the DPE model had little impact on student PA. The findings of this study can inform future researchers about the methodological importance of examining teacher fidelity to curricular models and associated outcomes.

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Katherine A. Skala, Andrew E. Springer, Shreela V. Sharma, Deanna M. Hoelscher and Steven H. Kelder

Background:

Physical education (PE) classes provide opportunities for children to be active. This study examined the associations between specific environmental characteristics (teacher characteristics; class size, duration and location; and lesson context) and elementary school-aged children’s moderate-to-vigorous activity (MVPA) during PE.

Methods:

Environmental characteristics and student activity levels were measured in 211 third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade PE classes in 74 Texas public schools using SOFIT direct observation.

Results:

Students engaged in less than half their PE class time in MVPA (38%), while approximately 25% of class time was spent in classroom management. Percent time in MVPA was significantly higher in outdoor classes compared with indoors (41.4% vs. 36.1%, P = .037). Larger (P = .044) and longer (P = .001) classes were negatively associated with percentage of MVPA and positively correlated with time spent in management (P < .001).

Conclusions:

Findings suggest that children’s activity may be influenced by environmental factors such as class size, location, and lesson contexts. These findings hold important policy implications for PE class organization and the need for strategies that maximize children’s MVPA. Further research is needed to test the causal association of these factors with student MVPA.

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Cindy H.P. Sit, Thomas L. McKenzie, John M.G. Lian and Alison McManus

This study compared physical education (PE) and recess in two markedly different special schools for children with mild intellectual disabilities; one school had a reputation for focusing on sports (High Sport Focus-HSF) and the other did not (Low Sport Focus-LSF). Data were collected in 24 PE classes and 48 recess periods using a validated observation system. During both PE and recess, HSF students engaged in physical activity (PA) at greater intensity levels, but LSF students accrued more total activity min. Differences in PA during PE between the schools were associated with both lesson context and teacher behavior. The results suggest written (e.g., scheduling) and unwritten policies within schools affect children’s activity levels.

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Gabriella M. McLoughlin, Kim C. Graber, Amelia M. Woods, Tom Templin, Mike Metzler and Naiman A. Khan

measure categorizes student activity, lesson context, and teacher interaction. Over the course of the study, 37 observations of lessons for grades K-8 were conducted. Physical education lessons were observed at random, with the consent of the physical education teachers, to ensure a naturalistic

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Jeffery Kurt Ward, Peter A. Hastie and Kamden Strunk

 al. ( 1995 ) and McKenzie, Marshall, Sallis, and Conway ( 2000 ), MVPA can vary based on gender, lesson context, lesson location (indoors or outside), teacher gender, and numerous other factors. However, a common finding from the aforementioned studies was MVPA typically under the recommended 50% of class

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Robert G. Weaver, Aaron Beighle, Heather Erwin, Michelle Whitfield, Michael W. Beets and James W. Hardin

for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT) is a widely used DO tool that employs a focal child protocol to assess student activity levels, lesson context, and teacher behaviors during physical education lessons or exercise lessons. 15 This instrument was selected for use in this study to

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Leigh Ann Ganzar, Nalini Ranjit, Debra Saxton and Deanna M. Hoelscher

education . J Sport Exerc Psychol . 2012 ; 34 ( 4 ): 457 – 480 . PubMed ID: 22889689 doi:10.1123/jsep.34.4457 22889689 10.1123/jsep.34.4.457 46. McKenzie TL , Feldman H , Woods SE , et al . Children’s activity levels and lesson context during third-grade physical education . Res Q Exerc Sport

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Thomas L. McKenzie

education schedule (e.g., adherence to schedule, duration of scheduled and actual lesson length, and number of students participating), lesson context (i.e., minutes and percentage of lesson time spent in management, instruction, fitness, skill drills, game play, and free play), and instructor behavior (e