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Title:Group dynamics among physical educators and principals in Blue Ribbon Schools
Author(s):Gentry, Christopher
Director of Research:Woods, Amy
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Woods, Amy
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Graber, Kim C.; Carlson, Kristin; Hood, Denice W.
Department / Program:Kinesiology & Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):physical education
group dynamics
Abstract:Although there is extensive literature on group dynamics in K-12 schools, only a few studies have examined group dynamics that occur in physical education departments (Castelli & Rink, 2003; Keay, 2005). Guided by Giddens’ Structuration Theory (1984) this investigation sought to explore group dynamics that occur within and around middle school physical education departments. The purposes of this study were (a) to understand the role of group dynamics in schools that have achieved and sustained departmental recognition, and (b) to understand how the role of leadership and the structure surrounding the department impacts group dynamics. Participants in this study were 14 physical educators and 4 principals representing three different Blue Ribbon recognized physical education departments. Each physical education teacher and principal participated in formal and informal interviews designed to explore their perceptions of group dynamics and leadership within and around their respective department. In addition, 80 hours (10 full school days) of observation were conducted around each department to monitor group dynamics that occur on a daily basis. Miles and Huberman’s four stage process (1994) guided data analysis. Results of this study indicate that teachers valued communication within and around the department, a team atmosphere, and distributed leadership. Both teachers and principals shared a desire to place the needs of students first and projected the same philosophy regarding the purpose of physical education. This study provided an initial glimpse as to what constitutes a quality middle school physical education program, however additional research is warranted.
Issue Date:2014-09-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Christopher Gentry
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-09-16
Date Deposited:2014-08

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