Journal of Social Sciences

An Examination of Teaching Behaviors and Learning Activities in Physical Education Class Settings Taught by Three Different Levels of Teachers

Howard Z. Zeng, Raymond W. Leung and Michael Hipscher

DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2010.18.28

Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 6, Issue 1

Pages 18-28


Problem statement: To be an accredited teacher education program, physical education teacher education (PETE) programs must fulfill the national standards established by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE). In order to meet the standards, a PETE program needs to have the cooperation of the following three levels of instructors: Specialist Teachers (STs), Inservice Teachers (ITs) and Preservice Teachers (PTs). The STs are those who teach at colleges or universities, possess advanced degrees with full/associate/assistant professor titles and teach theoretical and skill courses. They participate in the academic activities of the PETE program; for instance, they serve as academic advisors and instructors of the PTs. The ITs are those who possess teacher certificates, bachelor or higher degrees and currently teach physical education/activity classes at middle/high schools. They also participate in the academic activities; for example, they serve as cooperating teachers providing guidelines and supports for the PTs. The PTs were college students who were studying in a PETE program. They intended to become PE teachers at K-12 school levels. They must complete the student teaching requirements at primary and secondary school class settings in order to graduate from colleges or universities. Approach: The purpose of this study was to examine the differences and similarities of Teaching Behaviors (TB) and Learning Activities (LA) in Physical Education (PE) class settings taught by the three different levels of teachers. Participants were 45 PE teachers from the three levels and their students from a university and three high schools in an urban city of the United States. A total of 90 lessons taught by the three levels of teachers were videotaped and coded using the Direct Instruction Behavior Analysis (DIBA) system. Results: Findings of the one-way independent group ANOVA revealed that eight out of 13 variables were significantly different (p<0.05) among the three levels of teachers with respect to the TB and LA exhibited by the participants as: Informing, F = 3.541, Preservice Teachers (PTs) > Inservice Teachers (ITs) > Specialist Teachers (STs); Praise/Encouragement, F = 14.422, PTs > STs > ITs; Feedback, F = 15.036, STs > ITs > PTs; Controlling, F = 8.997, PTs > ITs > STs; None of the Above, F = 17.313, ITs > STs > PTs; Motor-Engaged, F = 5.043, ITs > PTs > STs; Cognitive-Engaged, F = 6.049, STs > PTs > ITs; and Waiting for a Turn, F = 4.890, ITs > PTs > STs. No significant (p>0.05) differences were found on the following five variables among the three levels of teachers: Observing, structuring, questioning, preparing and get equipment/relocation. Conclusion: In conclusion, the STs appear to use more Feedback TB than the ITs and PTs and the students taught by the STs tend to engage more cognitive activities. The PTs appear to utilize more informing, praise/encouragement and controlling TB than the ITs and STs. Students taught by the ITs tend to have more Motor-Engaged and Waiting for a Turn activities than students taught by the STs and PTs. The ITs appear to utilize more None of the Above behaviors than the STs and PTs. The teachers of the three levels tend to use the behaviors of observing, structuring and questioning in a similar manner. The results of the present study facilitate the establishment of a new set of data in TB and LA for collegiate, high school and preservice teachers to modify and improve their instructions in PE class settings.


© 2010 Howard Z. Zeng, Raymond W. Leung and Michael Hipscher. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.