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Title:Barriers to and facilitators of physical education teacher change
Author(s):Kern, Benjamin David
Director of Research:Graber, Kim C.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Graber, Kim C.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Woods, Amelia M.; Chodzko-Zajko, Wojciech; Templin, Thomas J.
Department / Program:Kinesiology & Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:Physical education programs have been regarded as ineffective at addressing rising obesity rates due to inadequate curriculum and instruction. Experts have called for physical education teachers to change their traditional practices and adopt strategies that promote lifetime participation in physical activity. Little, however, is known about the process of teacher change in physical education, including the internal and external factors that promote or inhibit change. The purpose of this study was to investigate change among current physical education teachers and identify barriers to and facilitators of the change process. Data were collected using a quantitative survey followed by in-depth interviews with selected surveyed participants. The survey was distributed to 5,287 physical education teachers, nationally, of which 2,423 responded (46% response rate). The survey consisted of 15 items related to teacher dispositions toward change that assessed program satisfaction (PS), self-efficacy to change (SEtC), and willingness to change (WtC); five items that assessed likelihood to change (LtC); and six items that assessed initiation of past change. In addition, six demographic questions were included. Complete survey data (N = 2,233) were analyzed using factor analysis and structural equation modeling (SEM) to determine the validity and reliability of a Teacher Change Questionnaire-Physical Education (TCQ-PE), which included teacher disposition items (PS, SEtC, and WtC) relative to LtC. Further analysis of the survey included descriptive analysis, cross-tabulation, Chi-square test for independence, and repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA). Based on preliminary results of the TCQ-PE, participants were categorized as change-disposed (CD), not change-disposed (NCD), or neutral (neither CD or NCD). In-depth interviews were conducted with a randomly selected subsample of CD teachers (n = 18) and NCD teachers (n = 14) to qualitatively explore internal and external factors that promote or inhibit change. Factor analytics and SEM showed the TCQ-PE to be a valid and reliable instrument that accurately predicts teachers’ likelihood to make future pedagogical change (LtC). Survey results indicated that teachers made changes to specific aspects of their programs, including curriculum, instruction, class management, assessments, and learning environment. Most change (83%) is self-initiated and little change (17%) is related to external factors such as administrators, professional development, or state mandates. Results of cross-tabulation and Chi-square analysis showed proportionate differences between CD, NCD, and Neutral teachers. A greater proportion of CD teachers were female (χ^2[2, N = 2233] = 19.64, p = .000), had fewer years of teaching experience (F[2, 2232] = 39.83, p < .001), and more often taught at least one other subject in addition to physical education (χ^2[2, N = 2233] = 12.89, p = .002) than NCD and Neutral teachers. Results of ANOVA revealed that CD teachers made significantly (p < .01, η2 = .046 to .119) more changes than Neutral and NCD teachers in curriculum (F[2, 2232] = 52.2, p = .001), instruction (F[2, 2232] = 76.8, p =.001), management (F[2, 2232] = 89.4, p = .001), assessment (F[2, 2232] = 116.7, p = .001), and learning environment (F[2, 2232] = 147.8, p = .001). Qualitative analysis revealed that CD and NCD teachers are strongly influenced by students, teaching colleagues, and administration, and their individual change-dispositions affect their perception of barriers to and facilitators of change. Internal factors such as teacher dispositions toward change predict teachers’ likelihood to make future change, and reflect patterns of past change. Individual change-disposition is also influential in how teachers perceive external initiators of change, and is indicative of what teachers prioritize in their programs.
Issue Date:2017-04-10
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Benjamin Kern
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-08-10
Date Deposited:2017-05

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