Type of Document Dissertation Author Hagood, Susan Yvonne Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-06282007-091416 Title The Effect of a Physical Education Professional Development Intervention on Physical Activity and Fitness on 4th and 5th Grade Students Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Sport Management, Recreation Management, and Physical Education, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Susan Lynn Committee Chair Charles Imwold Committee Member Elizabeth Jakubowski Committee Member Thomas Ratliffe Committee Member Keywords
- Staff Development
- Activity Gap
- Professional Development
- Physical Education
- Physical Activity
Date of Defense 2007-06-26 Availability unrestricted AbstractPhysical education teachers have been encouraged to do their part to increase students’ moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) while participating in physical education classes to help fight the obesity epidemic. Research involving the Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids Physical Education (SPARK PE) curriculum has shown an increase in student participation patterns in classes [i.e. participation in MVPA for greater than 50% of class time] and increased fitness performance (i.e. walk/run and sit-ups) (Stone, McKenzie, Welk, & Booth, 1998). There is a need for students to adopt and maintain a physically active lifestyle to receive health benefits including the maintenance of a normal body weight. Schools must begin to examine ways to increase student physical activity levels both during and beyond the school day to help students create and maintain healthier lives.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a physical education professional development intervention on the physical activity levels and fitness performance of 4th and 5th grade students in one school district. Research questions that guided this study were (a) What was the state of student physical activity levels during physical education class and teachers’ promotion of student physical activity opportunities beyond physical education class in Lowe County Schools? (b) How does a professional development intervention affect student levels of physical activity and physical fitness in Lowe County Schools? (c) What were the barriers teachers faced in Lowe County Schools when trying to increase student physical activity during and beyond physical education class? and (d) What were the strengths of the professional development program provided to physical education teachers in Lowe County Schools?
Twenty-one physical education teachers and two fourth and fifth grade classes at fourteen elementary schools (6 Non-Title I and 8 Title I) participated in the study. Throughout the 2006-2007 school year the physical education teachers where involved in professional development opportunities that included full day group staff development workshops, individual on-site visits, individual feedback on effective teaching skills from videotaped lessons, individual time analysis results from videotaped lessons, and individual goal setting challenges. Data collection on students in this study consisted of height and weight measurements to assess body mass index (BMI) and health-related fitness tests (FITNESSGRAM) to assess cardio-respiratory endurance (mile run/walk), muscular strength and endurance (push-ups, trunk lift, and curl-ups), and flexibility (sit-and-reach). Data on physical education teachers included observations with field notes, teacher interviews, teacher lesson plans, SPARK activity logs, SPARK PE assessments, School Health Index (SHI) surveys, weekly progress reports (WPR), website frequencies, Promote Physical Activity (PPA) surveys, and professional development surveys to describe teachers’ responses and behaviors to the intervention. The Time Analysis (TA) and System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT) observation data were collected from four videotaped lessons to measure teacher effectiveness in relation to student activity levels. All data collection was conducted and coded by a team of trained personnel from the university.
Quantitative analysis for this study included descriptive statistics, comparing means, graphing trends, and non-parametric statistics. Qualitative analysis included document analysis and line-by-line coding within case and cross case analysis to establish themes. Trustworthiness in analyzing qualitative data was achieved through triangulation of multiple data sources and member checking.
Results in this study revealed that the professional development (PD) intervention had a positive impact on the amount of student motor activity and MVPA time students received in physical education. The PD staff development and on-site visits were helpful in closing the student “activity gap” between Title I and Non-Title I physical education classes. As a result of the intervention, teachers became more aware of the importance of promoting student physical activity during and beyond their classes. Weekly progress reports, sharing Time Analysis and SOFIT data with teachers, individual goal setting, collaboration with other colleagues, PD on-site support and follow-up were found to be reasons why teachers were able to make a positive change in increasing students physical activity levels. Teachers’ reported that they enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate with other physical education professionals, they liked how the PD program challenged them to think about their teaching, and they liked the activities in the SPARK PE curriculum and how it helped them improve health and fitness levels of their students. Results from FITNESSGRAM show that the PD intervention did have a positive effect on improving student fitness scores from pre-to-post on three of the seven student fitness scores (mile run, push-ups, trunk lift). Teachers listed lack of time, space and facilities, and support as barriers they faced when trying to increase student physical activity during and beyond physical education class.
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