The theory/practice gap in physical education instructional practices has been more or less assumed. Recent research employing data-based analysis has provided some insight about instructional procedures being used. There is little evidence about the existence, size, and reasons contributing to the perceived gap. Instructors N = (128) from 20 randomly selected Illinois secondary schools were interviewed via questionnaire to obtain evidence relative to the perceived gap in the use of instructional “theory.” Results indicate that an overall gap exists in the regular use of planning (40%), teaching approaches (64%), practice (31%), evaluation (40%), and teaching/learning environment procedures (18%). The reason most often given for not using recommended planning, practice, and evaluation procedures was an expressed belief that “it was not necessary” (42%). Recommended instructional practices were used significantly more often by teachers from large schools and by teachers with more inservice education. The amount of instructor teaching experience is significantly related to the use of selected instructional theory.
Deborah Johnson-Shelton, Jeanette Ricci, Erika Westling, Missy Peterson, and Julie C. Rusby
Background: Elementary school teachers are often responsible for teaching physical education to their students, with little formal training in that instruction. This study evaluates a trainer in residence professional development program designed to improve physical education instructional attitudes and practices in elementary school generalist teachers. Methods: Participants were 139 teachers and 3577 first to fifth grade students at 11 public elementary schools in Oregon. Program evaluation measures included pre- and postteacher surveys on teacher attitudes and practices toward teaching physical education for fidelity, postprogram lesson observations for sustainability, and teacher-reported program barriers to and facilitators of feasibility. A multivariate repeated-measures analysis of covariance test assessed changes in teacher attitudes and practices related to physical education instruction. Results: There were main effects of time observed for teacher encouragement and enthusiasm and physical education teaching practices (F
2,127 = 9.68, P < .001,
Sung Hyeon Cheon, Johnmarshall Reeve, Tae Ho Yu, and Hue Ryen Jang
Recognizing that students benefit when they receive autonomy-supportive teaching, the current study tested the parallel hypothesis that teachers themselves would benefit from giving autonomy support. Twenty-seven elementary, middle, and high school physical education teachers (20 males, 7 females) were randomly assigned either to participate in an autonomy-supportive intervention program (experimental group) or to teach their physical education course with their existing style (control group) within a three-wave longitudinal research design. Manipulation checks showed that the intervention was successful, as students perceived and raters scored teachers in the experimental group as displaying a more autonomy-supportive and less controlling motivating style. In the main analyses, ANCOVA-based repeated-measures analyses showed large and consistent benefits for teachers in the experimental group, including greater teaching motivation (psychological need satisfaction, autonomous motivation, and intrinsic goals), teaching skill (teaching efficacy), and teaching well-being (vitality, job satisfaction, and lesser emotional and physical exhaustion). These findings show that giving autonomy support benefits teachers in much the same way that receiving it benefits their students.
Stephanie Truelove, Andrew M. Johnson, Shauna M. Burke, and Patricia Tucker
Purpose: We aimed to explore and compare generalist and physical education (PE) specialist (males and females) elementary teachers’ self-efficacy to teach and the barriers perceived when teaching PE. Methods: Canadian elementary school teachers completed the validated online survey, Teacher Efficacy Scale in PE, with 11 additional questions examining the perceived strength of barriers related to teaching quality PE. Results: Specialist teachers’ self-efficacy (n = 296) was significantly higher (p < .05) than that of generalist teachers (n = 818). Gender was found to predict teachers’ self-efficacy, with female generalists reporting the lowest scores on the Teacher Efficacy Scale in PE. There was a statistically significant difference between the perceived strength of nine out of the 11 listed barriers, with generalist teachers reporting barriers as more inhibitory than specialists. Discussion/Conclusion: This study highlights the gap between generalists’ and specialists’ self-efficacy to teach and the perceived barriers when teaching PE. Efforts specifically targeted to supporting female generalists teaching PE are necessary.
Karen S. Meaney, L. Kent Griffin, and Melanie A. Hart
This investigation examined the effect of model similarity on girls’ acquisition, retention, transfer, and transfer strategies of a novel motor task. Forty girls (mean age = 10 years) were randomly assigned to conditions in a 2 (model skill level) ✓ 2 (model sex) factorial design using four treatment groups: (a) male skilled, (b) male learning, (c) female skilled, and (d) female learning. Quantitative data were collected throughout all phases of the investigation. ANOVA results for transfer strategies revealed a significant main effect for model skill level and model sex. Participants observing a female model or a learning model transferred significantly more learning strategies than did participants observing a male or skilled model. After quantitative data collection, qualitative data were obtained via structured interviews and assessed through content analysis. Results from the interview analyses underscored the need to include models of similar sex, as well as learning models when instructing girls in motor skills.
Ben D. Kern, Wesley J. Wilson, Paul Malinowski, and Tristan Wallhead
Effective Physical Education Instruction (20-EPEI; SHAPE America, 2016 ) to allow participants to indicate their implementation of best practices in teaching PE to their students. In addition, a six-item demographic questionnaire related to gender identification, educational attainment, and grade level
Sherry L. Folsom-Meek
The use of parents of handicapped children as support personnel to augment adapted physical education instruction is discussed. Reports in the literature support supplementary instruction by parents to enhance children’s physical and motor development gains. Possible benefits include improvement of students’ motor abilities and fitness levels, enrichment of parent-child relationships, and strengthening of adapted physical education programs.
Steve Stork and Stephen W. Sanders
A major emphasis in teacher preparation is class management. Management strategies focus primarily on student compliance with teacher directives. Therefore, discrepant student responses are often interpreted as being off-task or misbehavior. This study investigated alternative explanations for “incorrect” responses. One 2nd-grade class, one 4th-grade class, and their teacher were observed for 6 weeks. Students and the teacher were interviewed. Qualitative analysis uncovered three major themes related to student responses to teacher directives during physical education instruction: (a) Children participated in the instructional setting at their own developmental level of understanding and physical competency. (b) Comprehension did not necessarily reflect understanding. (c) Shared meaning existed primarily for management. The results suggest that future research examine the influence of different types of management emphases on the development of skills.
Xihe Zhu and Justin A. Haegele
by certified health and physical educators in their respective schools in an eastern state of the United States. The physical education instructional time varied among districts ranging from three to five physical education lessons per week, with each lesson last about 30–40 min. Many schools
Ben D. Kern, Kim C. Graber, Amelia Mays Woods, and Tom Templin
High-quality physical education instruction is paramount to ensuring K–12 students learn the knowledge and skills needed for achieving and maintaining lifelong health. Physical education teachers play an important role in instructional quality, and in most cases, they exercise almost complete