Physical Activity Levels, Lesson Context, and Teacher Behaviours in Elementary Physical Education Classes Taught by Paraeducators
International Journal of Elementary Education
Volume 2, Issue 3, June 2013, Pages: 23-26
Received: Oct. 4, 2013;
Published: Oct. 20, 2013
Views 2195 Downloads 130
James C. Hannon, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Fitni Destani, Keene State University, Keene, NH, USA
Brian McGladrey, Weber State University, Ogden, UT, USA
Skip M. Williams, Illinois State University, Normal, IL, USA
Grant Hill, California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA, USA
In the USA some states permit the use of paraeducators to teach elementary physical education. These paraeducators are typically poorly trained and have little experience in the subject matter. There have been few studies examining the potential effects of professional development with paraeducators. The purpose of this study was to determine the physical activity levels, lessons context, and teacher behaviors of paraeducators who had received varied amounts of professional development training. A total of 18 paraprofessionals from a potential sample of 54 were randomly selected to be observed teaching physical education using the System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT). ANOVA results indicated no significant differences by years of teacher training in each SOFIT category. Overall, children spent the majority of time in class standing (42.8%) and were only moderately-to-vigorously active for 32.1% of the class time, well below the national recommendation of 50% of class time. These results demonstrate that professional development is not enough to prepare paraeducators to teach elementary physical education. Only licensed and qualified teachers who complete professional training programs should be hired to teach in schools.
James C. Hannon,
Skip M. Williams,
Physical Activity Levels, Lesson Context, and Teacher Behaviours in Elementary Physical Education Classes Taught by Paraeducators, International Journal of Elementary Education.
Vol. 2, No. 3,
2013, pp. 23-26.
National Association for Sport and Physical Education & American Heart Association. (2012). 2012 Shape of the nation report: Status of physical education in the USA. Reston, VA: National Association for Sport and Physical Education.
Faucette, N., McKenzie, T., & Patterson, P. (1990). Descriptive analysis of nonspecialist elementary physical education teachers’ curricular choices and class organization. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 9, 284-193.
Bryan, R.R., McCubbin, J.A., & van der Mars, H. (2013). The ambiguous role of the paraeducator in the general physical education environment. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 29, 164-183.
Horton, M.L. (2001). Utlizing paraprofessionals in the general physical education setting. Teaching Elementary Physical Education, 12(6), 22-25.
Faucette, N., & Hillidge, S. (1989). Research findings: PE specialists and classroom teachers. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, 60, 51-54.
Placek, J., & Randall, L. (1986). Comparison of academic learning time in physical education: Students of specialists and nonspecialists. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 5, 157-165.
Behets, D. (1996). Comparing teaching behavior during active learning time between physical education specialist and nonspecialist teachers. Journal of Classroom Interaction, 31, 23-29.
Block, K., & Beckett, K. (1990). Verbal descriptions of skill by specialists and nonspecialists. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 10, 21-37.
Armour, K.M. & Duncombe, R. (2004). Teachers’ continuing professional development in primary physical education: lessons from present and past to inform the future. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 9(1), 3-21.
Rowe, P.J., Schuldheisz, J.M., & van der Mars, H. (1997). Validation of SOFIT for measuring physical activity of fi rst- to eight-grade students. Pediatric Exercise Science, 9, 136-149.
McKenzie, T. L. (2002) SOFIT. System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time. Overview and training manual (San Diego, CA, San Diego State University).
McKenzie, T.L., Sallis, J.F., & Nader, P.R. (1991). SOFIT: System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 11, 195-205.
United States Department of Health and Human Services. (2010). Healthy People 2020. Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office.
Faucette, N., Nugent, P., Sallis, J., & McKenzie, T. (2002). "I’d rather chew on aluminum foil." Overcoming classroom teachers’ resistance to teaching physical education. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 21, 287-308.