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Title:National curriculum for physical education in the United States
Author(s):Oh, Junghwan
Director of Research:Graber, Kim C.; Woods, Amelia Mays
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Graber, Kim C.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Chodzko-Zajko, Wojtek; Templin, Thomas J.
Department / Program:Kinesiology & Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):national curriculum
core curriculum
curriculum reform
educational policy
common core state standards
national standards
physical education
local control of education
cultural differences
Abstract:In response to the global pressure that has led to an increased emphasis on international comparisons of student achievement since the 1990s, multiple federal reforms aimed at producing greater consistency in curricula have been initiated in the United States (US). Establishing a national curriculum is, by nature, a complex and often debatable topic. The purpose of this study was to investigate physical education teacher education (PETE) leaders’ perceptions of the acceptability and achievability of a unified, national physical education curriculum in the US where the longstanding tradition of local and state control is deeply embedded, and where disparate interests and needs deriving from sociocultural and contextual diversity, traditions, and social classes coexist. After obtaining IRB approval, 28 PETE faculty leaders were interviewed using formal and informal techniques. Interviews took place in person during the annual meeting of SHAPE America and through telephone interviews thereafter. Interview transcripts were analyzed using open and axial techniques (Corbin & Strauss, 2008) and triangulated by comparing the perspectives of individual participants employed at different types of colleges/universities. The results indicated that nationalizing the physical education curriculum has the potential to provide explicit learning goals, substantive instructional guidelines, and valid assessment measures consistent with designated program outcomes. The majority of participants, however, suggested that a national curriculum would not be acceptable or achievable due to current polyphonic federalism and anti-federal sentiments, sociocultural and geographical diversity and disparities, and strong beliefs of an idiosyncratic curricular implementation. The present study concluded that the term, national curriculum, is variously construed in different spaces and times; and its relevance depends primarily on what a national curriculum might look like and how it is operationalized in practice.
Issue Date:2018-04-04
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Junghwan Oh
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-09-04
Date Deposited:2018-05

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