THE EVALUATION OF ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PHYSICAL EDUCATION PROGRAM

A teacher and students in a school setting have different perceptions concerning the effectiveness of programs relating to physical education as current structured insofar as the curriculum affect the learning processes. The literature sources demonstrate the extent to which physical education affects other academic disciplines as the subject area serves to break the boredom arising from the cognitive engagement of learners. For instance, physical education helps in the physical and health development of learners through the exposure to movement and various exercise activities. This study investigated the general perceptions of the participants, including teachers and students, concerning physical education and the implications of the programs created under the subject area on the entire learning process for learners and the lesson instruction delivery for the teachers. In terms of its methodology, the study adopted a mixed approach to research by using semi-structured interviews, a review of relevant sources of literature and questionnaire administration for the participants. The data analysis process revealed results which show that both students and teachers perceive physical education as important in the improvement of physical and health fitness among other related benefits associated with the programs in the subject area. It emerged that the participants perceived the social aspects of physical education as vital towards the bonding process among learners and with the teachers during programs relating to physical education in the selected institution of learning for the study. Moreover, the study also highlights the inherent difficulties associated with the present scope of curriculum on physical education in schools. Lastly, the study renders recommendations for implementation to improve the level of efficacy of traditional physical education for students thereby leading to the creation of robust health and physical fitness avenue in schools to avert obesity and other illnesses.

Keywords: physical education, health, physical fitness, curriculum, students, teachers, perception

 

 

Table of Contents

Abstract 2

 

Chapter I. Introduction. 6

Statement of the Problem.. 6

Hypothesis. 13

Research Questions. 13

Definition of Terms. 13

Scope of the Study. 16

Delimitations. 17

Limitations. 18

Assumptions. 18

Significance of the Study. 19

 

Chapter II. Review of Literature. 23

Introduction. 23

Physical Education and the Problem of Obesity. 23

Characteristics of Physical Education Programs. 26

Role of Teaching and Professional Development in Traditional Physical Education. 31

Applicable Curriculum for Physical Education. 36

Physical Education Assessment 39

Learner and Teacher Perception of Physical Education. 43

The Motivation of Physical Education Teachers. 47

Research Gap. 49

Chapter Summary. 50

 

Chapter III. Methodology. 52

Statement of the Problem.. 52

Selection of Subjects. 55

Instrumentation. 60

Procedures. 61

Screening. 65

Included. 65

Eligibility. 65

Identification. 65

Design and Preparation for Data Analysis. 66

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter I

Introduction

Statement of the Problem

There is a common phraseology used by a majority of the general population to suggest the importance of deliberate efforts towards the fitness of the body and mind as shown by “a healthy body leads to a healthy mind”. The American Heart Association (AHA) (2010) notes that at the present moment, most individuals experience health challenges relating to obesity, including both children and adults across different parts of the US. People should make efforts towards adopting healthy living which serves as an avenue for eradicating chronic diseases arising from lack of useful initiatives which include physical activities (AHA, 2010). There are many advantages which are associated with the provision of physical education to students and the rests of the members of the society. For instance, in a school environment, physical education forms the basis for fitness which is crucial in the eradication of lifestyle ailments such as obesity (Bailey & DiPerna, 2015). Besides, engagement in physical activities helps in the overall improvement of the motor-skills of learners, including better reaction time, agility in the learners, balance and coordination and speed during locomotion. Accordingly, AHA (2010) recommends the use of physical activities to improve mental and physical health among learners, thereby increasing life expectancies of the population. Therefore, using the various avenues of physical exercise enables children at the elementary grade in schools to fight diseases such as obesity and related problems of health which necessitates the question: why is there laxity on physical education by stakeholders in institutions of learning today?

Physical activities form one of the most fundamental performance and development courses among human beings with major advantages contributing toward overall health. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies numerous health problems associated with lack of physical education, which affect the heart, brain, and various parts of the body (CDC, 2011). Recently, obesity has increased in prevalence among children and adolescents. This increase can be attributed mostly to physical activities being substituted by sedentary activities. Some examples of sedentary activities that are common include sedentary screen time, in-class physical exercise, and playing online games (Janssen & LeBlanc, 2010). All these activities, according to Janssen and LeBlanc (2010), limit the physical activity of children thus increasing their chances of developing health conditions associated with sedentary lifestyles. According to the World Health Organization, there were over 300 million obese children and adolescents in 2016(WHO, 2016a).

Notably, the population of obese children and adolescents in 2016 represented 4.3% of the total number of the human population at 7.4 billion(WHO, 2016). The statistic of the obese is an exceptionally large number in the context of the diseases arising from inactivity in physical education among children, as obesity is a leading cause of deaths across the globe. The evidence is an alarming statistic for children and adolescents who are expected to develop positively with healthy lifestyles. Although dietary changes largely contribute to overweight concerns and obesity; physical inactivity plays an essential role in the commencement of these problems. The human body needs to receive constant daily workout in the form of the recommended sixty minutes a day to perform well in its functions and capabilities as children of the current generation show a higher body mass index (BMI) than their counterparts who lived twenty years ago (Ogden et al., 2012). Diverse studies, such as those conducted by Ogden et al. (2012) and Halfon et al. (2012) have nonetheless related the importance of physical activities in reducing the risk of heart-associated diseases. Physical activities are henceforth fundamental to the overall well-being of human beings in addition to the promotion of lifelong health.

Metzler (2017) recognizes physical fitness as one of the advantages of physical activities where an individual gain muscular strength, body composition, the achievement of flexibility, and endurance of the cardiovascular system. Subsequent advantages include reduced risk of diseases which affect the heart. The heart muscle gains strength from physical activities, which increases its pumping potential, as well as the oxygen levels within the body (Kenney et al., 2015; Hawley et al., 2014). A survey conducted in China in 2010 concluded that the physical health of the Chinese has reduced by over 0.30% since 2005 (Liang et al., 2012). Some of the parameters that were used to measure the physical health included back strength, physical strength, balance when standing on one foot, and jumping vertically.

In comparison to previous years, these tasks could be accomplished easily, but the physical capability of the nationals has reduced because of physical inactivity. Based on a biological perspective, physical activities aid in lowering triglycerides main constituents of natural fat found in the blood. Physical activity burns fat that could otherwise clog the heart and cause heart disease (Hawley et al., 2014). This same type of activity also assists in controlling hypertension as well as strengthening bones and muscular systems. Given the numerous benefits related to physical activities, it forms an integral part of education despite differing philosophies and curriculums.

Physical education is incorporated into academic curriculums not only for physical benefits but also improved mental functions that affect the performance and development of school-going children (Staiano & Calvert, 2011). In this regard, physical education has been proven to increase discipline, reduce stress, strengthen relationships, and develop the skills of learners (Metzler, 2017). The integration of the subject in the curriculum is based on the value that education policymakers perceive to come from the respective physical activities. The major goals of the curriculum from physical education involve the attainment of fitness that is health-related and the achievement of movement with skills (Jewett, 1989). These outcomes have, for some duration, fulfilled the curriculum expectations of the educative subject. Physical education has progressed to include diverse activities studied over time as well as technology to improve the range and type of activities. As with the concept of change, there is often conflict that arises from parties resistant to change and those receptive of it. Physical education has henceforth long been identified with its respective physical attributes, which is why, in part; the introduction of technological, physical activities has been met with relative resistance.

The comparison of the level of effectiveness of the traditional physical education places the practice at a disadvantage due to the enhanced benefits that accompany other alternative forms of physical education as introduced in recent time. Traditional physical education formed the foundation for current improvements in the learning form. The conflict and controversy surrounding the efficacy of the traditional physical education systems are unfavorable for learning as diverse opinions will ultimately negate the true value of physical education. While physical education has been subject for debate and controversy, the philosophy of physical education still struggles for legitimacy to date (Stolz, 2014). Physical education is given less importance in comparison to other subjects such as languages, sciences, and mathematics.

The history of physical education from different geographies, values, and beliefs attests to the current opinions held by different individuals and groups. The Germans, for example, have a nationalist philosophy that has driven the thought of sports to become a unifying factor (Hoberman, 1984). This nationalist philosophy provides a sense of principle to the nation and as such, makes it important to the individuals of the region. Further to the nationalist philosophy, physical education in the historical time was affected by the wars which compelled young people to be physically active to be fit and prepared for war (Riordan, 1980). In subsequent regions like the US, Mechikoff and Estes (1993) suggest that the philosophy of education was grounded on the development of religious, moral, and mental qualities. This respective philosophy was instrumental in the progression of sports programs and physical education in the US.

Progression in the philosophy and practice is evident from Woods et al. (2008) who developed an approach where physical education is tailored towards the child and delivered naturally. Given the social reforms that were evident in this era, the proposition by Woods et al. (2008) was accepted as a way for children to successfully adapt to society with commendable social goals and perspectives. The philosophy gradually evolved to include recreation that extends beyond schools into park areas and designated spots for physical activity. The development of skills from physical education is moreover an advantage as skilled individuals form careers and depend exclusively on a particular physical activity they have learned (Kirk, 2005).

While these philosophies relay the significance of physical education, it is important to note that the value accorded to physical education is low. Stolz (2014) discusses the lack of seriousness that accompanies physical education in the curriculum on the basis of deceased rationality and little provision for thinking. The argument that physical education is sport and entertainment is opposed by Stolz (2014),who believes that physical activity is an important part of learning that involves the whole embodiment of the learner. Criticism of the importance of physical education in the curriculum fuels the conflict on traditional physical education as this progress contradicts its increasing importance. One instance of learning that is evident from physical education is that of experiential learning and reflection (Gilbert & Trudel, 2001). These are significant forms of learning that build on the understanding of the learner. There is in-depth understanding improved by the process of thought that is placed upon the experience which enables analysis and rational conclusions from the learning platform.

Among the theoretical underpinnings of physical education that this research focuses on the curriculum theory. Jewett (1989) identifies the curriculum theory within physical education and relates the functions of values and curriculum goals to the content of physical education. Therefore, the traditional perception of a curriculum is based on the content found in the subject matter, the characteristics of the learner and the objectives that the society has set to meet the educative purpose (Jewett, 1989). Regarding the factors identified, curricula tend to differ based on their association with the respective factors. The definitions of the term curriculum are diverse as they encompass disciplinary perspective, social redefinition, learning processes, and ecological validity. Based on the curriculum of physical education, the goals that are met include fitness and motor skills. These goals meet the criteria identified in the definitions for curriculum including mastery of a discipline and the actualization of the self. In the traditional physical education structure, the goals of the curriculum focus on motor skills and fitness. These goals are therefore equated into the learning process with objectives for the physical program and standards that denote the achievement of academic purposes.

The curriculum theory further highlights the aspect of curriculum change where theorists explain the need to seek new dimensions to address challenges and excel in physical education. Despite the agreement that curriculum change is often necessary, there is no singular model for curriculum change that has been accepted by scholars (Jewett, 1989). In the context of physical education, changes have been made concerning the need for development, personal progress, physical education with a humanistic approach and the study of physiological mechanisms. These structures can be developed further or changed to accommodate new ideas and practices into the physical education curriculum. About changes affecting curricula, the introduction of traditional physical education has positively addressed the changing structure that aims at development and progress of learners in elementary schools. The curriculum theory, therefore, investigates the traditional approach to physical education and their value, content, and processes. The curriculum theory is further advantageous in assigning meaning to the traditional form of physical education for analysis and interpretation by the society.

The US government’s efforts to recommend more physical activities in the school curriculum has a direct correlation with the centrality of exercise in promotion of good health, which excludes ailments such as obesity among children and adolescents. Justifiably, the stakeholders in the education sector have recommended various approaches towards upholding physical activities among learners at the elementary level of schools, including the adoption of physical education as the basis for fitness opportunities for learners across the country (IOM, 2012). In particular, different state departments and organizations including that of health, sports and nutrition have combined their efforts to increase physical activities for children for health outcomes based on the respective education (Dishman et al., 2018). Objectively, the traditional form of physical education has their merits and demerits, and to this consequence, a problem emerges thereby necessitating the need to bolster the perceptions which hinder effective delivery and reception of physical education by teachers and learners.

As identified by Metzler (2017),the existing form of traditional physical education has beneficial and limiting aspects. The conflict arising from the philosophy of physical education as well as the comparison of the aspects of forms under the education has, however, created confusion that affects the learners, teachers, and guardians as well as policy-making bodies. This conflict has a potentially negative impact on learning. Tappe et al. (1989) emphasise the limitations of traditional physical activities, which include time constraints, weather limitations, cost of resources, and lack of interest in physical education. Most learners undoubtedly have an aversion to physical education, especially since it involves more effort than simply sitting and listening in class.

Hypothesis

 

Research Questions

  1. In what way has traditional physical education impacted the education curriculum?
  2. In what way has traditional physical education impacted society?
  3. How have the benefits of traditional physical education affected the subject in schools across the country?
  4. How have the limitations of traditional physical education affected the level of effectiveness of the subject in ensuring physical fitness of learners in schools?

Definition of Terms

Curriculum. Smith (1957) defines curriculum as an arrangement of potential encounters set up in the school to discipline youngsters and youth in gathering mindsets and actions. This arrangement of encounters is alluded to as the curriculum of education. Additionally, the curriculum is identified as the offering of socially esteemed learning, aptitudes, and dispositions made accessible to understudies through an assortment of courses of action amid the time they are at school or college (Bell, 1971). Bobbitt (1922), on the other hand, states that curriculum is that arrangement of things which youngsters and youth must do and encounter by method for creating capacities to do the things well that make up the undertakings of grown-up life; and to be in all regards what grown-ups ought to be. Caswell and Campbell (1937) simplified the definition by stating that the curriculum is made from the majority of the encounters kids have under the direction of the educator. Throughout these definitions, it is evident that the curriculum has the basics of order, sequence, and presence of learners and the availability of instruction set to discipline or guide them. Scholars, such as Bestor (1953), nonetheless place the curriculum in actual segments of five major subjects. The definition by Bestor undermines physical education as it fails to mention it as one of the great areas of education. In another explanation, however, Oliver (1977) systematically uses elements of education to divide the curriculum into studies, experiences, hidden curriculum, and service. This definition is, therefore, inclusive of physical education, which forms one of the elements of experience. Contemporary definitions of curriculum have undergone reforms to include diverse functional categories that make the curriculum relevant. This study uses Toombs and Tierney’s (1993) view of curriculum as an entire educational program that focuses on the element of people, functions, and structures; material and patterns meant to meet diverse educational objectives.

Physical education. Naul (2003) discusses the lack of an absolute meaning that covers physical education. The definitions are not grounded on culture but are particular to the concept and functional structure of physical education as a subject in the school’s curriculum. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines physical education as a type of education that is associated with the care and development of the human body through simple exercises as well as hygiene practices that are meant to sustain the individual(Merriam-Webster, 2013). Moreover, education provides learning about the management of gymnastics and athletics as well as performance-related development. Bucher (1975) emphasizes that physical education forms a significant part in the learning process with the aim of development of the learner physically, mentally, emotionally and making of citizens that are socially fit. Therefore, physical activities are chosen with the aim of achieving all the outcomes for the learner.

According to Barrow (1983), physical education is a learning process encompassing games, exercises, and sports through which the objectives of education are achieved. Sharman (1936) reiterates the meanings implied by defining the education process as an activity that involves mechanisms that influence the motor skills of the individual. Sharman adds that these respective physical education programs contribute to the formation of behavior from regular physical activity patterns. The National Physical Activity Plan (2010) renders a definition of physical education as comprising a series of physical activities which are implemented by way of educational initiatives and which produce positive results on the development of the personality of children and adolescents holistically. According to the report, this aspect of holistic development embodies the mind, body and the spirit of a person (National Physical Activity Plan, 2010).

Traditional physical education. In the traditional context, Crum (1992) identifies five major notions that surround physical education. The first concept involves training in the physical from a biological perspective. This kind of physical training is related to functions of the anatomy and physiological processes which form the basis of the instruction. The subsequent concept is based on a pedagogical approach that is meant to improve the whole of an individual by emphasizing movement. In the third concept, there is the realization of self through movement to include identity and competence. The fourth and fifth concepts include sports and socialization. In a simpler context, traditional physical education can be termed as a biological-related instruction that improves the physical aspects of the learner as well as their personality. Naul (2003) highlights that traditional physical education stemmed from political, economic, and cultural reforms. These reforms made physical education a significant subject in school systems. Therefore, the traditional concept of physical education involves outdoor physical activities that improve motor abilities, moral values, technical skills, and social attitudes.

Scope of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to make a case for the determination of the level of effectiveness of traditional physical education, along with its impact on learning. In light of this purpose, different criteria will be used to compare the efficacy of learning. The benefits and limitations of learning based on the traditional physical education will be addressed. This comparison will prove which method better provides physical education as well as counterarguments that have been made concerning limitations and advantages. In addition to the benefits and the challenges, this respective study purposes comparing curriculum differences between the two forms of providing physical education. The curriculum is an important aspect of learning pedagogy, and the delivery of the subject has a diverse impact on learning outcomes. On the basis of learning outcomes, the comparison will be made on the types of learning applied to achieve traditional physical learning. This aspect will cover experimental and reinforcement types of learning methods.

The study will identify the features and characteristics of learning in-depth to determine their processes and activities and history as well as the philosophies underpinning both methods of learning. While the comparisons of the usefulness of concepts under the traditional physical education type identify the extents of the concepts, the study will aim to assign significant analysis and examination of the educative platforms to make an impact on the curriculum surrounding physical education. With this purpose explained, the following section highlights the main research framework that will be used to meet the objectives of the study. Ultimately, the study will provide potential backing to improve physical activities for the improvement of children and adolescents’ quality of life.

One of the factors that create research trustworthiness in mixed studies is the credibility of the research. In this regard, the research will uphold credibility through triangulation to defend the study findings. The use of a variety of primary sources will be instrumental in triangulating the data as well as subsequent secondary sources. The researcher will seek to ensure that the study findings are applicable in other related contexts to improve on the trustworthiness of the research. About confirmability, triangulation, and feedback from respondents will be valuable in averting any remote possibility of biasness of the researcher in the construal of the findings. The study ultimately aims to be a dependable source that can be used in the context of traditional physical education with actual impact and positive significance.

Delimitations

The delimitations of the study are:

  • The inclusion of learners at the elementary grade of studies in schools while excluding the other levels of studies as the basis for a narrower focus in the research.
  • The adoption of closed-ended responses from the survey process, which were based on the Likert scale for purposes of gathering data.
  • The choice of the closed-ended structure was perceived as a barrier to the use of open-ended responses which might have encouraged some additional people to undertake and complete the survey process.
  • Furthermore, the study used the self-actualization theory as the basis for curriculum theorists’ idea to guide the focus on the research, especially concerning the role of physical activities towards motor skills development and physical fitness of learners in elementary grade within institution of learning.

Limitations

The limitations of the study are:

  • The access to participants who are exclusively on traditional physical education. Although schools may have the list of students under the traditional education program, the provision of consent is solely dependent on the learner. The potential participants under the physical education system may find it inconvenient to participate. This aspect of physical education largely limits the comparative need established in the study focus.
  • The time given to the content, diversity, and involvement of traditional physical education. As such, there may be limited time to investigate all aspects for comparison of traditional physical education.

Assumptions

The assumptions of the study are:

  • The study included an underlying assumption that programs dealing with physical education in elementary levels of schools continue to occupy an important part in the district curricula of schools across the US.
  • The study assumed that the participants for the interview and survey processes, including students and teachers, offered truthful responses to uphold the validity and reliability of the outcome of the study.
  • Lastly, it was assumed that the chosen sample population of students and teachers at the Phyllis Ruth Elementary School in Miami Florida represented the desired population thereby justifying the inferences on perception about the current state of physical education across schools.

Significance of the Study

The primary aim of this dissertation is to render a critical analysis on the changing scope of physical activities based on changes in the traditional physical education among children and adolescents in institutions of learning while evaluating the effectiveness of the mode of learning and exercise. Specifically, the study narrows down on the role of traditional physical education on healthy living among learners while evaluating the role of the education of the curriculum in schools across the US while focusing on 4th and 5th-grade students from an elementary school in in Miami Florida. Also, the study intends to assess how traditional physical education has impacted the broader society as the basis for rendering a comparison of the efficacy level of physical education among learners at the elementary level in schools. Secondly, the study will explore the implications of the adoption of traditional physical education to show how relevant the model upholds the objective of physical fitness among learners.

The study intends to establish how traditional physical education affects children and adolescents in schools across the US; to trace the long-term implications of traditional physical education on the physical activities and related fitness initiatives of children and adolescents in schools; and, to determine the way forward for overcoming the danger of physical fitness and quality decline as a result of the slow pace of adoption of new measures of physical activities due to the existing practices of traditional physical education in schools. Physical education is an integral part of the academic curriculum and the overall well-being of the learner. Given its inclusion in the school system, changes and conflict in the subject influence the learner, the school and the public. Traditional physical education highlights the concept of fitness, use of sports equipment, and the development of physical skills for the long-term. Traditional physical education denotes progress in the field as well as solutions to problems of weather, time, and convenience. One of the significant aspects of this study is to increase awareness of traditional physical education systems and its role in the curriculum. This aspect of the subject area will influence the decisions of society regarding physical education as a subject that affects the whole nation.

Moreover, there are few studies that have compared the level of effectiveness of traditional physical education in depth. This study will increase knowledge in the respective field. Though the differences in the degree of effectiveness of traditional physical education are highlighted mostly, the studies have been focused on the experience of teachers in transitioning towards the practices of traditional physical education. Specific attention paid to these respective attributes of traditional physical education increases the knowledge base on the respective concept.

The analysis of the traditional form of the provision of physical education will be imperative for scholars in the examination of the systems. Based on research, scholars can provide a balance on the efficacy of the education systems that meet the requirements of learners. The study is also significant to policymakers in the formation and examination of improved traditional physical education curriculums for learners. Given the government’s increased insistence of physical activities among children, the study will provide perspective into the policies that can be applied to enhance and implement physical education. The effectiveness of the approaches of both forms of activities bears significance in this study due to the importance of comparison and creating a rational balance. Ultimately, the study intends to increase preference for physical education by highlighting information on the same with an improved context. This context, therefore, adds meaning to physical education for developmental analysis.

Physical education addresses the overweight and diabetic concerns that plague the government in a bid to promote the well-being of children and their continuity into adulthood. The importance of physical activities in preventing the risk of several diseases means that the study warrants importance in helping to address various challenges that affect the forms of physical education. The examples of China and the USA illustrate that there is reduced physical health not only among young children and adolescents but also the elderly. The need for a physically active nation, as emphasized by different governments can only be achieved through the appreciation of the activities from a tender age to adulthood. The existence of two forms of physical education is an opportunity to highlight needs and tailor them to respective learners in the curriculum while advocating for development that meets both forms. The findings, analysis, and discussion of this study can henceforth be used to provide recommendations for future studies as well as set a framework for further research into physical education. This study will also be utilized as a reference for future scholars who intend to gain valuable information about traditional physical education.

This study will analyze, challenge, and improve the theoretical foundations of physical education. Theories on concepts are important scholarly frameworks for learning and research as they attempt to explain more about different phenomena. Given the conflicts that surround physical education on aspects, such as significance to learning and the correct way of delivery, this study will provide a comprehensive analysis of the same.

This chapter introduces physical education in the traditional form and presents the background in traditional physical education curriculum that has led to reforms and innovations in the same context. The importance of physical activities is first identified to ascertain the relevance of the educational element in the curriculum. The problems associated with physical inactivity are additionally pointed out to emphasize the significance of physical education. The presence of traditional type of education is emphasized as the study seeks to compare the attributes of the teaching against different parameters. The problem statement addresses the conflict and impacts of the existence of traditional physical education. The effect upon learners is important as the curriculum undergoes reforms to attempt to tailor learner needs with the resources of either form of instruction.

The study will entail five different chapters. Chapter one contains the introduction which covers the background, problem statement, aims and objectives, significance of the study, research questions, definition of terms, study methodology, and summary of the study. The second chapter is a review of the literature materials to reveal the gap in the studies, which serves as the justification for instant research. Chapter three contains details of the methodology based on a mixed research design. The fourth chapter has the findings and discussion on the topical area, while chapter five offers summary and recommendations based on the findings of the previous chapters.

 

 

Chapter II

Review of Literature

Introduction

This second chapter on review of literature offers a comprehensive review of the previous findings by authors about the subject of physical education and the problems inherent in the delivery of existing curricula for learners in the elementary level of schools. The chapter is divided into thematic areas which address the perspectives rendered by the various studies to demonstrate the gap in the literature sources as discussed below.

Physical Education and the Problem of Obesity

According to Abi Nader et al. (2018), obesity has emerged as a major problem facing most children at the level of elementary schools, adolescents and other adults in equal measure across different parts of the US. Specifically, a study undertaken by the authors revealed that over ninety percent of the study participants attributed the growing number of people living with obesity to several factors, including the sedentary nature of lifestyle, unhealthy eating trends and the consumption of unjustified amount of calories in the body (Abi Nader et al., 2018). Also, the participants in the study explained that obesity among youth is a notable problem as it continually creates avenues for peer rejection within society (Abi Nader et al., 2018). A similar claim to that of Abi Nader et al. (2018) has been made by the Institute of Medicine (2013), which uses a longitudinal approach to show that eight percent of the study participants confirmed that the efforts of most schools in facilitating physical activities among learners are inadequate. To the Institute of Medicine (2013),the insufficiency of the efforts by institutions of learning in facilitating physical education is an indication of the problem in the fight against obesity which requires more attention from the mandated stakeholders in the education niche.

Furthermore, schools have the opportunity to deal with issues of weight among children and adolescents as the basis for physical activities in different parts of the country (Institute of Medicine, 2013). Under discussion on the correlation between physical education and obesity among learners, the study notes that schools should adopt appropriate measures in the promotion of healthier living for learners at the elementary level by way of suitable curriculum dealing in the area of traditional physical education (Institute of Medicine, 2013). However, the study by Blom et al. (2011) notes that although most institutions are currently alert on the inherent need for promoting physical education for children and adolescents, there is a notable gap on the implementation aspects of the existing education curriculum. For example, the study by Blom et al. (2011) contradicts the findings of the study by Abi Nader et al. (2018) through the assertion that the mandated stakeholders in the school setting should formulate collaborative approaches to physical education to enhance fitness among learners at the elementary level of education. Under this argument, the authors recommend the centrality of adoption of ideas which reflect collaborative measures of teachers and administrators to promote healthier living and body fitness for learners (Blom et al., 2011). Besides, the use of proactive approaches to physical activities will also confer credibility and legitimacy of the subject of physical education thereby categorizing the niche at the same level with other traditional subject areas such as mathematics or linguistic studies (Blom et al., 2011).

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2011) explained the role of physical education in addressing instances of obesity in children, adults and adolescents. In the study context, the report used a hundred and five different participants to reveal the correlation between the study variables, and it emerged that the participants considered the efforts towards addressing obesity in learners as inadequate (CDC, 2011). For example, the study by CDC (2011) noted that the various personnel in a school setting who actively engage in the treatment and management of instances of obesity are not fully involved in the initiative. The study further observed that the person who includes teachers, counsellors in a school setting, and nurses in institutions of learning and classroom teachers do not collaborate effectively in dealing with physical education and obesity challenges which continually face learners at the elementary level of education (CDC, 2011). Similarly, Must and Tybor (2005) explain the centrality of physical education through the explanation that it is vital to conduct an investigation on the general perception of the school community, which comprises of learners, teachers, parents, other fitness professionals and administrators, towards the current curriculum governing processes in traditional physical education. Specifically, the authors highlight the existing system of belief which suggests that the perceptions of children and other stakeholders concerning the efficacy of traditional physical education in the US are shaped by the institutions and related experiences in sports within schools (Must & Tybor, 2005).

On the other hand, the Arkansas Department of Education (2016) disputes the claim by this author through the explanation that the core problem hindering the realization of excellent performance in physical education and body fitness for learners is not the issues of beliefs and perception by stakeholders and learners. According to the Arkansas Department of Education (2016), the major barrier to physical fitness in schools is the problem of curriculum development and absence of priority towards the traditional form of physical education. Therefore, there is need to review the existing curriculum dealing with traditional physical education to expose children to the usefulness of the subject, thereby averting more instances of obesity for learners at the elementary levels in institutions of learning.

Characteristics of Physical Education Programs

The Society of Health and Physical Educators and Voices for Healthy Kids (2016) argues that physical education is important since it serves as an avenue through which significant numbers of learners bolster their standards of living and adopt a healthier lifestyle thereby averting any dangers associated with unhealthy living. Specifically, the study by the Society of Health and Physical Educators and Voices for Healthy Kids (2016) explains the relevance of physical education through the assertion that the subject area is pivotal in the overall improvement of physical fitness of learners, the process of development and holistic healthy living both at school and in society. The study by the authors adopted a longitudinal appraisal of the efficacy of the traditional form of physical education as embraced in the present learning curriculum within the country (Society of Health and Physical Educators &Voices for Healthy Kids, 2016). A similar study by Hickson et al. (2012)renders support to this author insofar as the benefits of effective programs in the domain of physical education are concerned. Primarily, the findings of the study reveal that continuous participation of learners in exercise or related physical activities leads to other benefits such as healthier and better living in terms of the quality of life (Hickson et al., 2012). Also, Hickson et al. (2012) explain that physical educations programs are designed effectively to alleviate the inherent risk of illnesses related to obesity and other emotional or psychological challenges among people. However, another study by Kirk (2010) refutes the claim that programs dealing with physical education are only meant to facilitate the health aspects of physical activities. Notably, physical education is critical to learners at the elementary level since the lessons aid in the acquisition of movement skills which are vital for different sports and related recreational activities both at home and school settings (Kirk, 2010). According to Kirk (2010), physical educations programs which are effectively designed are crucial to the progress of child in the sense that the lessons enable to develop both social and cognitive aspects.

The State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (2016) highlights the usefulness of excellent programs for physical education by arguing that the curriculum niche is critical to learners at the elementary level as the basis for intervention approaches towards learners. The study claims that intervention studies have shown favorable findings insofar as the role of physical education in the development of responsible individual, sportsmanship and measured reasoning based on morality are concerned (State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, 2016). Similarly, the results of the study by Story et al. (2009) reflect the role of teachers and instructors in the implementation of programs on physical education. For instance, the authors argue that physical activities aid in the development of social skills and related values among learners using the guidance of instructors and coaches (Story et al., 2009). According to Story et al. (2009), an example of modeling of learners in the physical education context is evident in the various questions which are posed to students by the coaches and teachers which enable for guidance on the relevant responses as seen in the behavioral attributes of learners at the elementary levels in school settings. A postulate by Gill et al. (2017) renders a different perspective from Story et al. (2009) on the role of effective programs of physical education which fundamentally differs from the position adopted by the author. In particular, the study justifies the fact that using programs which are well-structured towards a series of activities which promote the overall development of the learners, including cognitive and social aspects, helps in overcoming learning difficulties in schools (Gill et al., 2017).Under this argument, the study explores the imperative nature of the various methods of teaching or dissemination of information relating to physical education by coaches and instructors in school environments (Gill et al., 2017). Also, the ideas presented by Gill et al. (2017) have received further supports from another study by Tremblay et al. (2011),which explains the characteristic features of effective programs of physical education in schools across the country. For example, the authors allude to the essential features of such programs which are considered as effective, including adaptation of physical activities towards the desired form of behavior, effective methods of instruction or teaching, and the creation of a suitable learning environment in the physical education program (Tremblay et al., 2011).

A study by Webster et al. (2015) explains the need for various stakeholders who deal with the traditional physical education in schools to undertake an effective evaluation of the learning environment to determine the suitability to the emerging physical education needs of learners. Specifically, the research offers a comprehensive description of the essential characteristics of functional programs for physical education (Webster et al., 2015). Under the postulate, the authors further suggest the attributes to include those that facilitate the realization of clarity in the objectives of the processes of learning involved in physical education and organized expectations for all those involved in the procedures (Webster et al., 2015).Furthermore, Webster et al. (2015) assert that other characteristics include the appropriate tasks which are designed for implementation by the learners and stakeholders such as coaches and teachers as well as the expected rate of success from the programs following its active implementation in the school setting. The perspectives of Webster et al. (2015) have found similar support from the sentiments of Watson et al. (2017) who explain additional characteristic foundations of programs for traditional physical education for learners at the elementary level of schools which would be considered as vital to the effectiveness of the training process. In particular, the notable characteristics under this study include the availability of program provisions which seek to explain the aspects of transition and the details relating to the management of the functions of the stakeholders in the arrangement (Watson et al., 2017).

Additionally, the program is expected to contain comprehensive details on the necessary guidance for the learners at the elementary level of learning and the necessity for accurate supervisory structures which promptly enable for the realization of the objectives created under it (Watson et al., 2017). However, Castelli et al. (2013) argue that the attainment of accuracy of the supervision issues is still a notable challenge which continually prevents the attainment of the objectives of the traditional physical education in schools. Justifiably, the authors argue that the findings of the study reveal the fact that both teachers and other stakeholders who are mandated to manage physical education initiatives in schools should formulate appropriate measures towards careful planning and implementation of the programs (Castelli et al., 2013).

According to the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (2008), the findings of most studies render support to the centrality of teachers in the planning and careful implantation of guidelines relating to physical education programs in schools. Principally, the study asserts that the role of teachers in physical activities of learners is vital since it enables for the acquisition of responses and feedbacks which enable for quality assessment as a way of ensuring excellent delivery of traditional physical education to learners at the elementary levels in schools (National Association for Sport and Physical Education, 2008). A similar finding by Norris et al. (2015) stated that most teachers and instructors who offer clear instructions by way of explanation and demonstration during physical education are likely to attain favorable results among learners in the subject area. For example, the authors suggest the centrality of clear instructions in the gradually nurture of motor skills in learners through constant practice by creating appropriate structures for practice thereby enabling the elementary learners to engage with each other free are likely to promote physical education performance in schools (Norris et al., 2015). However, another study by Schmidt et al. (2016) disagrees with the results of Norris et al. (2015) by recommending for the inclusion of diversified approaches to training of learners in the niche of physical education because of the differences among learners. In particular, the study suggests that ninth graders in schools should be evaluated based on the skill level with those who continually exhibit low level of skills included in a separate venture from others (Schmidt et al., 2016).For example, Schmidt et al. (2016) explain that students with low skills should not be exposed to physical activities which are extremely rigorous during the education class.

Another finding by Bailey (2006) discusses the perception of learners in schools with the study showing that most individuals failed to record any perceived changes in the scope of physical education within institutions of learning throughout the learning phases. Specifically, the study delves into the learners at the elementary level, and the outcome shows that students in ninth grade considered the physical education learning as majorly focused on the sport aspects and individual interests (Bailey, 2006).For example, Bailey (2006) renders a viable suggestion for the need for match learners who possess similar basic motor skills as a primary step toward making physical education more interesting to learners. A similar assertion is evident in the findings of the study by Brotherson (2009) who espouses that an effective program of physical education should demonstrate a possible characteristic of the inherent capability of the institution of learning to formulate programs which consider the differences among learners by matching those individuals with similar skills. Therefore, Brotherson (2009) recommends the adoption of assessment mechanisms in the programs to determine matching abilities of learners as the basis for determination of the various cohorts which are expected to take an active part in physical activity for elementary learners in a school setting.

On the other hand, another study by the Caribbean Community Secretariat (CARICOM) (2011) offers a different point of view on the most appropriate way to handle diversity in skill capabilities among learners. Under this analysis, CARICOM (2011) suggests the need for stakeholders to consider the concepts of character education, which is an essential characteristic of an effective program for physical education in institutions of learning. For example, the study explains the centrality of character education in the sense that the physical education of children should focus on the inherent ability of a learner by exposing the individual to different lifetime activities over a considerable duration of time (CARICOM, 2011). Also, Butera et al. (2009) support the position adopted by this author by suggesting that learners need external exposure in the form of physical activities outside the classroom setting to inspire creativity and the attainment of motor ability. Furthermore, the study by Butera et al. (2009) also illustrated that teaching staff or coaches who are tasked with content delivery and guidance of learners in physical education should promptly formulate strategies for the identification of character traits of learners. Example of strategies for identification of character traits is suggested as to include activities which are adventurous such as hiking, activities which enable learners to engage in problem solving or any related physical engagements (Butera et al., 2009). However, the study by Butera et al. (2009) suggests that the activities should occur in an environment which is not threatening to the learners as the basis for student safety in schools.

Role of Teaching and Professional Development in Traditional Physical Education

According to Martin et al. (2009), there are various methods of interventions which promote the level of effectiveness and self-efficacy of teaching staff and coaches who deal with the practical implementation of traditional physical education in schools. In particular, the study explores the effectiveness of interventions which are social and cognitive-based in the processes of enhancement of the success of a teacher in the physical activity domain (Martin et al., 2009). For instance, the study by Martin et al. (2009) investigated the form of intervention which is structured to help teachers and coaches of physical education through the adoption of lessons which are active by way of Exemplary Physical Education Curriculum (EPEC). A similar assertion is recorded in the study by Castelli et al. (2014) who explain the various domains of EPEC. In the study, the authors allude to the four different domains of EPEC which comprises of factors such as development which are both social and personal, physical fitness, knowledge on physical activity and fitness; and, motor skills (Castelli et al., 2014). Under the argument, the study by Castelli et al. (2014) suggests the exposure of physical education instructors to avenues which include lessons, workshops and development opportunities for mentorship. These avenues form part of the domains for growth and development of teachers as the basis towards the attainment of self-efficacy in elementary schools (Castelli et al., 2014). However, Yanik and Çamliyer (2015) render an entirely different perspective about self-efficacy among teachers by offering a description of the topic area. In particular, the authors describe the concept of self-efficacy as an innate ability in oneself to promptly complete a given task area in the physical education setting (Yanik & Çamliyer, 2015). According to Yanik and Çamliyer (2015), teachers who are self-efficacious tend to show a considerable degree of hard work, including the ability to render useful solution to problem situations and the development of advanced skillsets. Besides, the instructors are likely to develop a better level of competence than their counterparts based on self-efficacy (Yanik & Çamliyer, 2015).

Another study by Prskalo et al. (2007) discloses the centrality of professional development of teachers in the delivery and implementation of programs which related to traditional physical education, especially in the context of learners in the elementary level of studies in schools. Specifically, the study explains that teachers of traditional physical education who are interested in the implementation of EPEC curriculum in the furtherance of interests of learners should consider doing so based on self-efficacy (Prskalo et al., 2007). It is notable that teachers who show a good level of self-efficacy are likely to overcome the traditional barriers or obstacles associated with the delivery of lesson relating to physical education such as the resistance of learners (Prskalo et al., 2007). According to Prskalo et al. (2007), other barriers include the socio-economic status of learners and time barrier in schools. Similarly, Difiore (2010) supports the need for self-efficacy in teachers which could inspire the timely delivery of lessons on physical activities to learners. Under this argument, the author explains that the results of the study revealed the use of social cognitive-based intervention which is helpful in the improvement of self-efficacy among teachers and coaches of physical education (Difiore, 2010). For instance, Difiore (2010) argues that the intervention is considered as an effective approach towards overcoming the barriers associated with teaching physical education to learners in the elementary level of schools.

On the other hand, Martin et al. (2009) dispute the efficacy of social cognitive-based intervention in the professional development and skill enhancement of teachers by suggesting the alternative use of interventions as workshop and additional training for teachers under the continued professional development framework. Specifically, the study evaluates the approaches which may enable teachers to become efficacious through the creation of additional space, time and the approaches towards overcoming the existing barriers to success of physical education in schools (McCaughtry et al., 2009). For example, the study by McCaughtry et al.(2009) recommends the use of daily physical exercises among learners which allow for easy interaction and motivation of learners at the elementary level of studies in schools.

The study by Moreno et al. (2010) suggests the effect that implementation of psychology-based approaches to physical activities could help in the professional development of teachers. In particular, the authors discuss that using programs for professional development which are based on psychology could enable the teachers of physical education to appreciate the most appropriate way to motivate the learners through classes on physical education (Moreno et al., 2010). Furthermore, the study by the authors indicates possible ways for instructors of physical education to improve self-efficacies which is an important aspect in offering assistance to children to overcome obesity-related problem which is a major concern arising from physical inactivity (Moreno et al., 2010). Similarly, Woods et al. (2008) justify the role of teachers in offering encouragement to learners for the individual to embrace a lifestyle which is physically active during the early years of life. Under this argument, the study explains that teachers or coaches with a higher level of self-efficacy will likely create additional time for instruction of learners and the time for further feedback on the subject of physical education in schools (Woods et al., 2008). The authors further expound the most institutions of learning are under an obligation to observe changes in technology which may affect the learning of physical education for students. For example, school teachers are advised to prepare learners to acquire the necessary skillsets for management of changes which may arise in physical education (Woods et al., 2008). However, the ideas have received criticism from another research by Onofre et al. (2012) who postulate that technology may only help physical exercise coaches more than it does to the learners. In particular, the study refers to the core function of technology such as offering assistance to the teachers on timing during physical education by way of equipment for aerobic exercise, which makes the instructors more competent to deal with any obstacles to effective physical education for learners at the elementary levels of schools (Onofre et al., 2012).Additionaly, Onofre et al. (2012) allude to the growth of teachers through professional development as the instructors use active monitoring devices, which include pedometers, to evaluate their progress milestones during physical education in school settings.

Burns et al. (2016) suggest that teachers who instruct learners in physical education asserted that most of them were not proficient in the use of technologically-empowered databases or software devices. It is noteworthy that the devices help in the analysis of body composition for learners hence necessitating the debate on need for additional training. It emerged that most coaches were not well-equipped with the necessary knowledge or skill sets to handle technology as explained by Burns et al. (2016). Technology for physical activities is essential to the programs in physical education thereby justifying the use of professional development avenues as practicum and seminars to impart the necessary knowledge (Burns et al., 2016). Another study by Lubans et al. (2010) explain that PCs which are available for monitoring of actions of learners by teacher during traditional physical exercise enable instructors to note the assessments and the corresponding level of performance of learners. For instance, the authors explain how technology facilitates the assessment of behavioral attributes of learners and the skill sets which show the level of development during physical education engagement in schools (Lubans et al., 2010).Another useful technological device which shows the need for further training and professional development for teachers is the heart rate monitor which is a tool with a high degree of accuracy in offering viable feedback to the learners (Lubans et al., 2010).Under this aspect of the heart rate monitor, another study by Fedewa and Ahn (2011) renders an entirely different point of view by explaining that teachers and learning institutions should be cautious in the adoption and implementation of technology-based devices for traditional physical education. According to the authors, although technology facilitates the process of prompt delivery of physical education to the learners at the elementary level in schools, the evaluation does not accurately reflect the corresponding level of intensity of a learner during physical education as technology may be prone to malfunctioning (Fedewa & Ahn, 2011). Furthermore, Fedewa and Ahn (2011) justify the use of traditional assessment methods in physical education which have been applauded as sufficient in recording and assessing the efforts of learner in the course of physical activity.

Applicable Curriculum for Physical Education

CDC (2013) explains that the niche of physical education is a topical area which is need of immediate review to determine the level of effectiveness of the existing curricula which is applicable across the district by institutions of learning. According to the report, the existing curriculum is predominantly based on sports education which is a notable problem on the implementation of physical education which embodies aspects of holistic development of a learner, as opposed to focusing on the sporting mentality (CDC, 2013). For instance, the CDC (2013) asserts that most teachers of physical education perceive the subject as a sports model thereby informing the opinion of learners which prevents the attainment of the goals and objectives of physical education in schools. The ideas presented by this study have been supported by another study by Dinkel et al. (2016) whose findings communicate the necessity for physical education curriculum to embody aspects of both the fitness of the body of learners and the health dimension which is essential for eradicating lifestyle ailment such as obesity. The study explains that a majority of physical education curricula in the present context do not sufficiently offer attention to physical activities and fitness dimensions which are related to the promotion of health among children at the elementary level of studies in schools (Dinkel et al., 2016). Furthermore, Dinkel et al. (2016) explain that physical education is an important tool in the attainment of crucial public goals especially on the health front which prompts the inevitable discussion on the inherent need to overhaul the existing curricula in districts which largely promote the sport model of physical education.

On the other hand, Gately et al. (2013) give an entirely different perspective on the most appropriate model for adoption in the formulation of curricula for physical education in schools. Under this argument, the authors refer the educational stakeholders to drive the focus on teachers towards gender issues and the overall attitude of the learners concerning the field of physical education (Gately et al., 2013). For example, the findings of the study by Gately et al. (2013) revealed that most learners show a particular attitude towards physical education as a subject area while doing the same to teachers and classes as well. Furthermore, it emerged that students in middle school tended to have favorite activities and showed a positive attitude towards teachers which improved the effectiveness level of physical education among such learners (Gately et al. 2013).

According to the finding of the study by Howie et al. (2014), most learners in middle school preferred longer class hours during physical education lessons as opposed to brief periods of class. Also, the students expressed their preference towards teachers of physical education based on excellent skill sets of the teachers and the ability to communicate effectively with the learners (Howie et al., 2014). Equally, Howie et al. (2014) explain that most learners disliked teachers of physical education whose showed inability to engage with the learners effectively thereby creating a foundation for ineffective delivery of physical education. A similar position has been reflected in the study by Goh et al. (2014) who explain the negative implications of partiality of teachers towards learners in the context of physical education. For instance, the study discloses the need for teachers of physical education to consider adopting a model of learning which embraces more than one activity as the basis for curricula formulation for learners (Goh et al., 2014). Additionally, the proposed model under the curricula should consider differences in gender and the various preferences of learners to ensure that the objectives of the learning processes during physical education are attained as required (Goh et al., 2014). Therefore, Goh et al. (2014) suggest that formulation of curricula on physical education should consider the various models and approaches towards teaching which enhance the level of motivation and attitudes of learners in schools for the future.

However, Gibson et al. (2008) disagree with the ideas of Goh et al. (2014) through the claim that the most important thing is for teachers at the level of high school to adopt an entirely new design of curricula towards physical education by developing a hybrid curriculum which links past practices to the future development based on technology. Under this argument, it emerged that the current curricula for elementary learners do not effectively address the needs of the learners hence the need for prompt changes (Gibson et al., 2008). Besides, Gibson et al. (2008) revealed that students at the high school level showed a greater level of enthusiasm towards gaming as opposed to taking an active involvement in physical education and related activities in a school setting. Additionally, the findings of Hardman (2013) show that a greater majority of students offered responses which indicated a preference for physical education, especially where fun is involved. According to the results of the study by this author, eight percent of the student expressed dissatisfaction for physical education because of the dull nature and boring attributes of the subject area, especially because of the methods used in delivery of the subject by various teachers (Hardman, 2013).

Another study by Bartholomew and Jowers (2011) discloses the parity in perception of physical education based on the programs which are found in the curricula. For instance, the author suggests the need for teachers or coaches of physical education to consider the differences among learners on the physical skill sets as well as the gender parities to develop curricula which uniquely address the need of specific cohort of learners (Bartholomew & Jowers, 2011).Furthermore, Bartholomew and Jowers (2011) highlight that the stakeholders in education should consider giving priority to females as the basis for creation of effective programs and curricula for physical activities. This perspective by Bartholomew and Jowers (2011) is further supported by another study conducted by Bailey and DiPerna (2015), where the author a majority of girls who were chosen as participants for the study expressed their interests in physical activities such as fitness programs more than their male counterparts. However, the study by Dishman et al. (2018) disagrees with this position by Bailey and DiPerna (2015) advocating that the process of formulation of curricula requires focusing on the preferences of both boys and girls in equal measures during the planning and implementation.

Physical Education Assessment

A study by Chomitz et al. (2009) suggests that traditional physical education is a notable area which requires the investigation by major stakeholders to assess the extent to which classes in the subject niche affects learners. In particular, the authors explain the need to include effective assessment methods for performance of learners in physical education and physical activities as the basis for the formulation of the curriculum for education across different parts of the country (Chomitz et al., 2009). For instance, Chomitz et al. (2009) justify that the subject area of traditional physical education should be perceived as a vital area in the context of report cards from schools to promote the issue of accountability of teachers and the level of credibility of the discipline to the learners. According to the assertion by Garson (2009),there is inherent need for the teachers and learners to perceived physical education with the desired level of credibility for the subject area. Under this argument, the grade offered for the area should conform to the laid down objectives and goals of the system of education which is tailored for the learners at the elementary level of learning (Garson, 2009).

Moreover, Garson (2009) claims that the process of grade determination in physical education could be tailored to uphold the objectives of fairness in the learning system among learners of both male and female gender. The study further stated the importance of adoption of practices which are suitable to the evaluation of the level of physical fitness of learners in schools to improve performances in physical education (Garson, 2009). However, the ideas offered by Keith (2009) disagree with the assessment mechanisms suggested by the author in the sense that the study recommends the adoption of avenues such as the motivation of learners to inspire a favorable attitude during the assessment. Under its observation, the study by Keith (2009) inferred that in instances where the assessment of physical fitness among learners is conducted in an inappropriate manner, most learners as likely to abscond from physical activities and physical education classes which are offered to them. The primary justification for the argument by the author is that inappropriate testing of the level of physical fitness in a learner lowers the self-esteem of the individual, hence affecting the rate of responsiveness of physical education (Keith, 2009).

According to the study by NASPE (2009), the instructors and coaches of traditional physical education currently undertake an assessment of learners based on the Presidential Physical Fitness Program and Fitness Gram Program. Specifically, the report reveals that the assessment avenues under the program capture the physical activities among learners in the high schools, elementary levels and middle schools to demonstrate the respective levels of fitness of the individuals (NASPE, 2009). The study by NASPE (2009) further notes the different aspects of testing which are carried out under the assessment, including the flexibility of the learners, the strength of the muscles and the level of endurance. Another study by Norton (2009) observes the centrality of physical testing among learners by arguing that fitness testing is an avenue for obtaining crucial information or details which enable for the determination of the health-related concerns among learners. The study reveals the centrality of physical fitness among learners, especially where such a procedure is conducted correctly by the relevant stakeholders (Norton, 2009).

On the other hand, Hills et al. (2015) dispute the relevance of assessment of the level of fitness among learners based on the Presidential Physical Fitness Program and Fitness Gram Program. According to the counter ideas offered by the study, the assessment methods based on the program as insufficient in the overall determination of the level of physical fitness of learners as such measures are rarely included in the grading system for the subject area (Hills et al., 2015). Additionally, Hills et al. (2015) explain that it is not clear how the assessors based on the program determine the fitness of a person since the applicable parameters for the testing seem to be less comprehensive.

The study by Brusseau and Honnon (2015) contextualizes the current state of assessment of physical fitness through the claim that the evaluation pays more attention to the outcomes as projected, rather than focusing on the behavioral attributes of a learner during physical education. Specifically, the study suggests the approach towards formulation of plans for lessons for physical education assessment as avenues through which teachers can render viable instructions to learners (Brusseau & Honnon, 2015).Moreover, Brusseau and Honnon (2015) justify that the use of lesson plans for the assessment procedures of the level of physical fitness of a learner is likely to help students in the adaptation of behavioral skills which are required for success in life. The main objective for the revised assessment based on lesson plan would include assisting the learners in creating patterns of behavioral tendencies thereby ensuring a level of consistency on physical activities or fitness initiatives (Brusseau & Honnon, 2015). A similar claim to the postulates offered by Brusseau and Honnon (2015) is evident in the discourse by CDC (2015) who explains the crucial nature of authentic assessment procedures for physical fitness among learners at different stages of education. Under this discussion, the report alludes to the fact that the use of authentic testing of physical fitness among learners is beneficial in the sense that it occurs is a reality-based setting (CDC, 2015). For instance, the observation of a particular physical fitness skill occurs in a game rather than using the perception of a game context to understand the entire assessment process (CDC, 2015).Additionally, the CDC (2015) evaluation relies on instruments such as videotaping as basic skills to convey the message on the use of a game context.

However, another study by Brusseau et al. (2013) refutes the claim by the author that the assessment or evaluation of physical fitness among learners should involve physical activities. According to this study, aspects such as physical fitness are incapable of accurate measurement during the assessment procedure thereby affecting the accuracy and validity of the outcomes of such an evaluation process (Brusseau et al., 2013). For instance, the study by Brusseau et al. (2013) alludes to the formulation of different metrics of measurements to satisfy the abstract nature of an assessment process for physical activities. Some of the notable intervention metrics which the author discusses include the calculation of variables of physical fitness based on pedometer (Brusseau et al., 2013). For example, Brusseau et al. (2013) observe that the pedometer focuses on the total steps adopted by a learner during physical education. Another study by Kim (2012) renders support to the position taken by Brusseau et al. (2013) through the explanation that the testing of effectiveness of physical education should primarily focus on obtaining the most accurate outcomes for the skills of children. Under this argument, the author relates the aspect of accuracy of assessment outcomes to the improvement of health aspects of learners such as the necessity to eradicate obesity in schools (Kim, 2012). Therefore, the study by Kim (2012) reveals the dissatisfaction of both the learners and their teachers towards assessment methods which used grading as the basis for tests for physical fitness in physical education.

Learner and Teacher Perception of Physical Education

The study by Fisette (2013) discloses how administrators in most institutions of learning understand physical activities as a core issue for the interests of teachers and coaches who deal with physical education. Additionally, the author expounds on the interests of teachers which are often driven by the programs which govern physical education (Fisette, 2013). At the core of the argument by Fisette (2013) is the attempt to unveil the actual feeling of teachers towards physical education, especially concerning whether such instructors believe in the suitability of physical education to the learners. In the study, it emerged that a total of thirty-six percent of the school heads who took part in the survey process indicated their lack of enthusiasm towards physical education as the participants conceded their inability to categorize physical education as a vital academic discipline (Fisette, 2013). Also, the participants in Fisette (2013) rated physical education as the lowest subject among a total of eleven different subject areas which were presented for evaluation.

Similarly, a study by Ko (2016) concurs with the ideas presented in this study since the finding showed that most school heads perceived the classroom teachers as more important in schools than their physical education counterparts. In this study, the author explains that the physical education teacher is valued insofar as the individual has a general impact on the holistic growth and performance of learners (Ko, 2016). Therefore, it emerged that the appearance or the presence of instructors dealing in physical education affects the learner performance in other areas, although the subject area is perceived as non-consequential to the progress of learners in many instances (Ko, 2016).

On the other hand, Kohl and Cook (2013) dispute the ideas of the study through the explanation that teachers of physical education require the necessary support to facilitate the attainment of the level of fitness which is required for the learners. Specifically, instructors of physical education are vital to the success of learners since physically fit individuals are less likely to experience challenges relating to health in schools (Kohl & Cook, 2013). The findings by Kohl and Cook (2013) further show that teachers of physical education are expected to serve as a motivation and role models to learners which make the subject area very crucial in the holistic development of a learner personality in schools. For example, the authors explain that other than a close interaction in the gymnasium with the teachers, students also look up to coaches who show a greater level of physical fitness (Kohl & Cook, 2013).

The study by Smith and St. Pierre (2009) highlights the effects of the physical appearance of teachers who conduct physical activities with body fatness emerging as contributory factor to negative perception by learners. Specifically, the study conducted an interview of fifteen students from high schools within the rural district on the perception of the learners towards having fun during physical activities (Smith & St. Pierre, 2009). The study by Smith and St. Pierre (2009) was conducted among students in North Carolina, and it emerged that a total of twenty-four participants out of the possible thirty students expressed the essential role of teachers who conduct physical education in influencing the perception of learners towards the subject area. Furthermore, Smith and St. Pierre (2009) observe that every participant in the study asserted that the personality of the teacher was a major driver in influencing the perception of learners. For example, students were more likely to prefer a teacher who was caring and had a sense of humor than others which made the experience of physical education enjoyable (Smith & St. Pierre, 2009). A similar claim is evident in the study by Richardson (2009) who captures the gist of the arguments asserting that the mechanism adopted a teacher in rendering instructions relating to physical education played a major role in the overall perception of learners towards the subject area. In particular, the study discusses instances of perception among teachers and learners towards physical education by explaining the role of peer interaction and other related group interactions which take place during physical activities (Richardson, 2009). Under this aspect, the study by Richardson (2009) discloses the extent to which peer interaction enables learners to enjoy physical education as most activities focus on the performance of an individual. Also, the participants of the study explained their preference for taking an active role in activities relating to fitness and health (Richardson, 2009).According to Richardson (2009), the main justification for the high preference rate of students to engage in activities relating to health and fitness including the fact that such activities did not form part of the academic performance of the learners. Also, activities of health and physical fitness enabled the learners to record considerable improvement in other aspects of holistic growth of a person (Richardson, 2009).

On the other hand, the study by Ramos and McCullick (2015) refutes the claim of the author on the changing perception among learners based on the appearances of the physical education instructors or coaches, including the teachers in a school environment. In this study, the discussion delves into the role of situations in physical education with students showing favorable responses towards co-ed classes as opposed to classes which were based on non-coed instructions (Ramos & McCullick, 2015). Additionally, Ramos and McCullick (2015) disclose how the female learners offered responses suggesting the lack of adequate cooperation from the male learners while the latter category complained about the insufficient efforts from the females towards favorable performances in physical education. Furthermore, the research by the authors indicated that the formulation of the goals and objectives of the curriculum on physical education should consider the perception of both male and female learners as a measure of addressing the unique needs of either gender (Ramos & McCullick, 2015).The ideas by the study have been echoed by Trudeau and Shephard (2009) who explain the inherent need for more teachers in the area of physical education who are prepared to influence the perception of learners in a positive way toward the subject area. For instance, the study suggests that the teachers should familiarise with the available models in the field of physical education to prepare them to effectively guide the learners during physical activities (Trudeau & Shephard, 2009). According to Trudeau and Shephard (2009), some of the notable models which the instructors could evaluate such as sports education which forms the core teaching of learners on different activities, including leisure, lifetime adventures and physical fitness and health dimensions. Therefore, future teachers of physical education should consider addressing the contents of curriculum to include aspects which positively influence the perception of learners towards the subject area (Trudeau & Shephard, 2009).

The Motivation of Physical Education Teachers

According to Prusak et al. (2014), the aspect of the motivation of teachers connotes the processes involved in the making of decision, commitment and enthusiasm towards any work relating to physical education in the current school context. The study by the authors adopted a survey of teachers across the UK, with a total of 183 participants taking part in the survey process (Prusak et al., 2014). At the core of the research by Prusak et al. (2014) was the adoption of the motivation profile for physical education as outlined in the research instrument with the different areas of assessment in the study context, including job dissatisfaction, job satisfaction, and alternative options to career. The outcome of the study demonstrated the correlation between the level of motivation of teachers in the physical education domain and quality delivery of lessons to students across various institutions (Prusak et al., 2014). A similar explanation is offered by the report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2009) who explain that motivation of teachers of physical education derives from the intrinsic factors in a person. In particular, the study delved into the concept of satisfaction of the teachers in the work context in which it emerged that a majority of teachers obtained satisfaction from the success of learners in different areas (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2009). On the other end, another study by World Health Organization (WHO) (2016b) offers a contrary opinion that teachers’ levels of motivation are unlikely to be affected based on a poor performance by a learner. Conversely, the study explains the presence of other related factors which lead to dissatisfaction of teachers at work, including the heavy workload and related administrative duties which continually hinder the efficiency of the coaches (WHO, 2016b). According to the WHO (2016), other factors included the lower status accorded to physical education in institutions of learning which discourage teachers from becoming motivated during the process of teaching.

The National Association for Sport and Physical Education and American Heart Association (2010) discusses additional factors which adversely affect the motivation level of teachers, including poor resources, resistance from the learners and absence of effective channels for recognition which could motivate such individuals. Additionally, the report explores the role of extrinsic factors in the determination of the motivation rate of teachers who are mandated to deal with the subject of physical education (National Association for Sport and Physical Education & American Heart Association, 2010). Under this aspect of the research, it emerged that factors which were extrinsic, including the level of personal investment of the instructors, did not influence the motivation level of teachers across the country. For instance, the study reveals the limited significance attached to investments such as housing or salary situation of teachers to show the absence of correlation to motivation in schools (National Association for Sport and Physical Education & American Heart Association, 2010). Another study by Oliver (2010) discloses the role of career opportunities and related opportunities in the determination of the motivational aspects of teachers. For instance, the study reveals that a majority of physical education teachers felt motivated to work hard and obtain promotion in the workplaces (Oliver, 2010). Under this aspect of the discussion, it emerged that the absence of channels of promotion of teachers based on experience levels and performance led to dissatisfaction among members of the teaching staff (Oliver, 2010). Moreover, the finding by Oliver (2010) demonstrated that teachers of physical education recorded a high number of motivation based on the jobs which are sport-oriented in other places, and promotions to higher levels within the ranks of education. However, Lee and Kim (2013) disclose factors which hinder motivation of teachers in physical education context by focusing on research that reveals additional factors leading to dissatisfaction. For example, the authors allude to the problem of low levels of priority offered to physical education as a subject area, with a larger number of school administrators ranking the subject below other traditional academic areas such as mathematics or linguistic studies (Lee & Kim, 2013).

Research Gap

The main research question that is evident in this literature review chapter included the following: a) what are some of the core features of programs relating to physical education? b)what are some of the essential factors which offer motivation to teachers of physical education in schools? c) what are the notable perceptions of learners and teachers towards programs relating to physical education in schools? Currently, there is limited research that reveals the factors which motivate teachers in the physical education context in institutions of learning, especially concerning the instructors of learners at the elementary level of schools. The gap in literature sources discussing the subject of motivation hinders the acquisition of knowledge on how to improve the basis for instruction among teachers of physical education. Only a few studies delve into the issue of job satisfaction levels for teachers. The chapter notes that there are several studies which deal with the areas of features of programs used in physical education although the studies fail to address some of the innovative approaches to improve the efficacy of the program to the learners. Besides, this study builds on the previous literature sources by adding to the depth of knowledge through addressing the gap on the level of effectiveness of factors such as grants on the programs of physical education for learners at the elementary level of institutions of learning. Finally, the study undertakes a further comprehensive investigation of the perception of physical education to determine whether there is an imminent need for the overhaul of the existing structure of physical education to replace the model with an entirely new version.

Chapter Summary

The chapter has revealed the perspectives rendered by different authors in regards to the essential characteristic features of programs relating to physical education in schools. In particular, the literature sources explained the notable characteristics, including the level of efficacy of the instruction adopted for the delivery of physical education as stipulated in the curricula, the interaction of teachers of physical education or learners, and the features of curricula dealing with the topical niche of physical education. Other features of the program include the assessment avenues for the evaluation of learners’ performance to determine the suitability of physical education to the specific needs of a learner. Furthermore, the chapter outlined the specific details about the perception of teachers, administrators and the learner concerning physical education as a core subject area. As explained in the literature review, a larger percentage of learners consider physical education as an important subject which could lead to fun provided that the teacher shows a positive gesture, including enthusiasm and compassion towards learners. Lastly, the chapter discusses the issue of motivation of teachers by revealing the scanty nature of the detailing on the factors which motivate teachers hence the significance of this study in addressing the gap in the previous literature sources.

The purpose of this study is to provide a comparison of the parameters for teaching of traditional physical education to determine its level of efficacy. In reference to this, the study will employ the use of mixed research to meet the study’s purpose. Using a pragmatist philosophy, the focus is placed on the learner and actionable pursuits to physical education that is affected by the curriculum. The significance of the study will be proven from the evaluation of the form of traditional physical education with theoretical backing and research to justify and provide commendable conclusions for future use. Therefore, next part of the study is chapter three on methodology and which contains the descriptive information of the participants, data collection techniques and analysis of the information to address the study tenets established in this chapter as discussed below.

 

 

Chapter III

Methodology

Statement of the Problem

Traditional schools of thought and practice generally believe the main aim of physical education is to enhance the performance and development of human beings through the use of physical activities. Given that education involves a form of learning and an outcome, physical education encompasses; the acquisition of knowledge relating to physical skills, the attainment of body motor skills, and the maintenance of vigor for the ultimate well-being of the learner (Bouchard et al., 2018). Before studies on physical activity, epidemiologists had not accepted its contribution to our psychological makeup. The US Public Health Service, however, made physical activity a national objective for health promotion (Dishman et al., 2018). This objective led to increased research in the relationship between physical activity and human health; and, its inclusion in the education system bears evidence of the potential of fitness and health. Traditional physical education has therefore been heavily reliant on sports equipment and athletic activities for students (Metzler, 2017). Although this approach is important, consideration needs to be placed on the dynamic nature of today’s globe and the difficulty of achieving physical education outcomes as it was in the previous decades.

This chapter deals with the processes involved in the selection of the participants during the study, formulation of the instruments used in the study, gathering and treatment of the data from the interviewing process, and the coding processes. This study served as the highlight of the overall function of the program geared towards physical education and an assessment of the various motivating factors which determine the outcome of physical education lessons for both the learners and teachers in a given school environment. The chapter presents four different sections which embody the various aspects of procedures adopted in obtaining and analyzing the relevant data from the participants of the study. Primarily, the first section presents a detailed evaluation of the qualitative methodology that will be employed in this research. The section specifically discusses the interviewing process and how it will lead to the achievement of the research objectives. The section also presents a justification of the use of secondary sources in the acquisition of even more qualitative data in response to the research questions. Secondly, the chapter presents a description of the important aspects of the school where the study took place. This includes a description of the characteristics of the teachers who will participate in the interviews. The third section of the chapter deals with the specific details about the questions that will be presented during the interviews. Finally, the chapter discusses details of data analysis, including the procedures that will be adopted in the coding process, and handling of the data obtained from the interview.

As pointed out above, the study employs a qualitative methodology based on a case study of a school to determine the levels of efficacy of physical education among learners in the elementary grades. In particular, the use of a phenomenological case study was considered as relevant to the study since the technique were viable in obtaining comprehensive understanding about the perceptions of the participants and other motivation issues relating to the delivery and enjoyment of programs relating to physical education. The researcher will conduct a total of five interviews and transcribe the various responses obtained from the selected participants (teachers). In the interviews, the teachers are expected to provide detailed descriptions of their experiences in the context of physical education programs in schools.

Consequently, this study adopted a central phenomenon which is the role of the traditional model of physical education in facilitating the realization of the needs of the learners, including enhancement of physical fitness and healthy living to eradicate instances of obesity, while focusing on learners at the elementary grade in the school. The gathering of data in this study will investigate three major areas, including a) notable features of programs used for physical education which could be considered as effective; b) motivational aspects which affect teachers and students in physical education, thereby serving as the basis for instruction delivery and active participants of learners in physical activities; and, c) the specific perception of teachers and administrators such as school principals, in a school environment concerning the relevance of traditional physical education in learning institutions.

The process of data collection for the study will occur in two different ways. First, the researcher will obtain information from participants through face to face interviews to validate the research questions for the study. Secondly, the researcher will seek a number of previous published sources addressing the subject matter and analyzed them with regard to how they concur or disagree with responses provided by the teachers in the interview process. The questions for the interviews were formulated based on the gaps identified in the review of the literature. This will ensure that all the data collected through the interviews are specifically addressing the issues in physical education that have not been sufficiently addressed in previous research. A combination of interview data and qualitative data will derive from secondary sources which will helpe the researcher in the triangulation of the critical information acquired throughout the data collection process. According to Oliver (2010), the triangulation method is an effective technique in research since it enables for effective validation of the outcome of the study. Under this argument, the author further claims that triangulation is relevant in bolstering the validity of the study outcomes based on the acquisition of data from various sources of information, from participants and related processes (Oliver, 2010). According to another study, the basis for triangulation lies in the inherent ability of the approach to utilize information from multiple sources thereby enhancing the credibility and reliability of the results of the study (Ramos & McCullick, 2015).

The process of data collection for the study will use semi-structured interviews to ascertain the experiences of different participants in the physical education domain. In this regard, the researcher will develop a protocol for the interview based on relevant questions as the basis for guidance before the start of the actual interviewing process. According to the postulate of Ramos and McCullick (2015), the use of guiding questions which are formulated before an interviewing process does not necessarily restrict the study from probing into other relevant areas of the topical issue during the discussion. Consequently, the researcher will listen to the responses of the participants to the guiding questions before exploring other related issues to bolster the strength of data collected in the study process. The study will use standardized interviews with questions predetermined based on similar phraseology and wording to all the study participants to determine similarities, irregularities and patterns emerging from the various themes adopted for the interviewing process. The main objective in the use of predetermined questions is to enable for a systematic comparison of the response during the analysis of data obtained from the respondents in the interview.

Selection of Subjects

The researcher’s role, methods of data collection, participants, and the setting of the research is defined in this section. The research will be based on a pragmatic research philosophy. Pragmatic research philosophy in this study focuses on the relevance of the concept of physical education and the supporting foundations that make it actionable. Though physical education is an accepted subject in the school curriculum, its relevance in comparison with other subjects is lower. This lowered perspective could be based on the belief of dualism where the soul is separated from the body, and hence, the body is condemned as the house of deviance (Kudláček, 2009). With improved studies and research on education, pragmatism encourages an improved aspect in education where the focus is on the learner despite concepts and arguments surrounding the subject. In this regard, this research will compare the attributes of traditional physical education with respective attention on the impact of the child within the physical education system. Specifically, the research will be informed by paradigmatic narrative data analysis. This method sources data from several individuals experiencing a similar set of circumstances. In this case, those experiencing traditional physical education will be classed together with the teachers delivering the instruction. The data obtained will be used to compare and contrast the concepts underlying the traditional physical education in a bid to find out if the teaching method is preferred in ensuring physical fitness of learners.

Sampling procedures. In the previous section, it was established that the interview approach was used as the main method of this study. The interview questions will be administered to the study participants in the school setting to offer information for the research about different aspects of physical education. The selection of the interview participants will require a clear understanding of the specific characteristics required in each participant so as to ensure they possess the relevant knowledge to address the research questions.

Each participant is required to be a teacher in the target institution. In addition, each of the selected participants is required to be actively involved in physical education in the elementary level of the target school. More specifically, teachers of the elementary level of 2nd through 5th grade from the target school in Miami, Florida are pursued to participate in the interview. A total of 5 teachers teaching physical education in grade 7 and 8 will be selected to participate in the interview process. Since interviewing is a process that takes a significant amount of time, a number of participants that is large enough to provide comprehensive responses to the research questions but still small enough to be interviewed within the researcher’s time limits should be targeted. A study sample of 5 teachers will hopefully meet these two requirements in which to be interviewed.

With the interview sample size determined, it is important to establish the sampling approach that will be used in acquiring the appropriate interview participants. According to Taherdoost (2016), the process of selecting a study sample is carried out in a number of steps which include clearly defining the characteristics of the target participants and the selection of a sampling technique. The authors further highlight that there are two broad sampling approaches which are probability and non-probability sampling. Etikan and Bala (2017) define probability sampling as an approach in which participants are selected randomly thus giving each individual in a population an equal chance of participating. In the context of this research, the application of random sampling would imply that all teachers in the target school would stand an equal chance of being interviewed. However, since this research study is interested only in information about physical education, teachers specializing in other subjects might not provide responses that sufficiently address the research questions. For that reason, probability sampling could not be applied in the selection of participants for this research.

Non-probability sampling is the other participant selection approach that is commonly employed in research (Etikan & Bala, 2017).  Taherdoost (2016) reveal that non-probability sampling is divided into a number of other sampling techniques including convenience sampling, snowball sampling, and purposive sampling. Purposive sampling is found to be the most appropriate for this research. Taherdoost (2016), points out that purposive sampling is a technique that involves deliberately selecting a group of individuals with a predetermined set of characteristics to participate in a study. In concurrence, Morgan and Bourke (2005), indicate that purposeful sampling is an important technique which enables the research to make critical determinations on the appropriate criteria for selection of participants. From these two explanations of what purposive sampling entails, it is evident that having a predetermined set of requirements that participants need to satisfy as one of the main highlights of purposive sampling. This implies that the sampling technique is useful when the researcher is targeting a given set of characteristics in the participants. In this study, as revealed previously, the selected teachers are required to be teaching physical education in grades 2nd through 5th  . In addition, the selected teachers are required to have sufficient knowledge of physical education so as to provide meaningful responses to the interview questions. These predetermined set of requirements is an indication that purposive sampling will be the most suitable participant selection approach.

Participants of this study will include instructors who range from one year experience in the subject area of physical education to 30 years. Under this categorization, the study will narrow down to five participants who comprised of teachers from elementary level of education who are mandated to handle physical education in the school. Before the official commencement of the investigation under the study, the researcher will reevaluate the research proposal on human subjects following approval to its submission to the Human Subjects Review Board at United States Sports Academy. Moreover, the researcher will obtain informed consent of the study participants before the commencement of the interview. In this regard, each individual will be required to sign a consent form showing that each participant voluntarily chose to participate in the study without any form of force or coercion.

Identification of the study participants. This section will render crucial information concerning the teachers of physical education, including the experience levels based on the number of years of service, background information and the grade of learning handled by the instructor. Moreover, the name details of the participants will be shown using a single letter to uphold the aspect of confidentiality of the individuals. The specific details of the teacher participants selected for the study are discussed below.

Teacher 1- K. Teacher K is an aboriginal white instructor of the female gender who was handling physical education for learners at grade 5 of the elementary level of learning at the institution. The instructor had taught for thirty years in the niche of physical education, and during her starting ten years of experience, she handled grade seventh and eighth grade learners. Commencing her eleventh year, teacher K handled physical education at 2nd and 3rd  grade of the elementary level. Notably, K made the decision from becoming a major linguistic instructor to a teacher of physical education during her years in college.

Teacher 2-P. P is a white teacher of the female gender who continually handled physical education programs among learners at the elementary school level. The instructor had taught physical education lessons for 22 years and has spent ninety percent of her teaching experience at the same educational institution. Also, teacher P has twenty years of experience teaching physical education at the elementary school level and two years as a middle school physical education teacher. A majority of her teaching stint has been spent handling learners at the grades 2nd, 3rd, and 4th although she majorly concentrated on grade four in 2018.

Teacher 3- M. M is a female teacher of white origin whose career as an instructor largely involved teaching of physical education within the same institution for the ten years prior to this research. At the core of the instructive role of teacher M is handling the subject areas of physical education, health fitness, and special education niche for various learners. At the time of collecting data for this research, teacher M will offer instruction in the domain of physical education and health fitness at the elementary school of the selected study site.

Teacher 4- A. Teacher A is a Caucasian American teacher of the male gender who has handled the subject of physical education for a total duration of six years. Notably, A had taught programs relating to physical education at the elementary level of learning while focusing on the middle grades for duration of four years at the institution. The first three years of A’s career were spent offering instruction to learners at grades 2nd through 5th. However, he spent the whole of 2019 instructing physical education for grade 2nd students.

Teacher 5- N. Teacher N is an African-American instructor of the male gender who has offered physical education lesson to learners for a total duration of seven years at the elementary school level. He had previously handled the subject of physical education and health fitness at the high school level.

Instrumentation

The researcher will use interview scripts containing the interview questions. A copy of the interview script will be presented in Appendix A. During the data collection process, the researcher will use a tape recorder in recording the responses of the participants. The tape recorder will enable the researcher to focus exclusively on asking questions as it eliminated the need to manually write down the responses. The sound excerpts in the tape recorder will later be used by the researcher in the generation of comprehensive interview transcripts for each of the respondents. After the transcription process, the researcher will prepare coding tables which will be used in the organization of findings in categories depending on their similarity. The coding tables will be used in the establishment of themes that will be used in responding to the research questions.

Procedures

The study interviews will take place based on a prior developed protocol guiding the open-ended questions to the respondents who will be selected for the context of the research. In particular, the researcher will use a set of follow up questions to further probe into the issues relevant to the study which will be elicited based on the responses of the participants to questions formulated within the study protocol. The main objective of the first interviewing phase will include the assessment of background issues relating to the participants, especially about the niche of physical education programs affecting learners in the elementary grades of the institution of choice. The second interviewing phases will be based on primary responses to the protocol intended to elicit further information from the participants as the basis for acquisition of comprehensive data for the research initiative. The interviews will be conducted within the selected institution at the convenience of each of the selected respondents. The interviews with the participants will be recorded to facilitate the analysis of data in the study context. Each interview session will last for duration of between forty-five minutes to an hour.

The open-ended questions will be shown in Appendix A and the responses obtained from the interviewing sessions will be coded manually as the basis for interpretation of the outcomes of the process. The primary research questions will be subjected to manual coding under the abbreviations R1, R2, R3 and R4 as the basis for introduction of clarity during the analysis of data obtained from the participants. During the analysis of the responses obtained from the study participants, will hopefully identified consistent trends from the obtained data and codified the information from the interviewing sessions in themes. The various themes will further categorized as either generalized empirical outcomes or specific in the study context.

Article selection and extraction of data. The formulation of questions for the questionnaires will be used in the survey process to gained insights from the ideas presented by the authors concerning the implementation of programs relating to physical education in schools. Principally, the review process for the literature sources focused on materials which were published in journals which are peer reviewed to uphold the validity and credibility of the outcome of the study. The review process will focus on literature sources which will tackle at least one aspect of physical education programs, including the perception of learners and teachers, characteristics of the programs, and related challenges facing the attainment of health fitness among learners. The researcher will exclude articles which will not discuss the various aspects of physical education. This will be necessary as a means of enhancing the reliability of information gathered from the sources. The researcher will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the sources based on screening tests of the various aspects of the articles, including the abstracts and titles, to determine the most relevant materials for evaluation. The study will highlight various grounds for inclusion and exclusion of articles as discussed below.

Inclusion/exclusion criteria. The identification of literature sources will focus on studies published between 2010 and 2019. These studies were acquired from educational databases including ProQuest, EBSCOhost, Informit, Google Scholar, and JSTOR. The search process will consider the terminologies and different words from the sources to obtain the required level of syntax during data collection. For example, the study will focus on key terms from the articles, including “physical education”, “health fitness,” “physical fitness,” and “school programs” as the important phrases for identification in the search process. Besides, the study will identify the search terms and words through the adoption of the Boolean operators, including word such as “or” “and not” and “not” to discover literature sources with greatest relevance to the research process. Furthermore, the study will undertake an advanced search for the literature sources discussing aspects of physical education programs in schools, such as the different characteristics and perceptions of both learners and teachers in institutions of learning by considering the references of the materials. Under this aspect of interrogation of the references, the researcher will aim to ensure saturation of the most appropriate sources of literature which discuss the subject of physical education within the contemporary educational setting.

Inclusion criteria. The study will adopt inclusion criteria based on sources which have both qualitative and quantitative method approaches and rendered a comprehensive explanation of the patterns explaining the characteristics of programs relating to physical education and the perceptions of teachers and students regarding the subject area. Furthermore, the process of article search will consider sources with detailed descriptions of the ineffectiveness facing programs relating to physical education. This will aim at revealing the challenges facing the success of learners in the subject area. For instance, the search for sources will focus on qualitative articles which will be marked as original, articles which has secondary qualitative analysis of data and related qualitative studies forming part of studies undertaking mixed method as the basis for the study approach. For the participants, the process for inclusion of the sources will consider studies which interrogate the aspects of physical education programs in the context of middle school to reveal the perceptions of teachers, administrators and learners regarding the efficacy levels of the programs in contemporary educational setting. The outcome measures which inspire the inclusion process for the sources will include the teachers who had more than five years of experience in handling students in programs relating to physical education. Also, the outcome measures will focus on studies discussing learners at the level of elementary grades in institutions of learning.

Exclusion criteria. The process of the search for the literature sources will exclude grey literature, dissertation and theses, abstracts or memorandum and articles which were not published in journals conducting peer reviews. Additionally, the exclusion process will eliminate sources from proceedings of conferences since such material would lack the required rigor and analytical strength in evaluating the level of ineffectiveness of programs relating to physical education in schools. Specifically, the mentioned materials under the categories will be excluded because of the limited level of academic persuasion. Furthermore, the study will also eliminate literature sources which were not published within the stipulated bracket of ten years, commencing from the year 2010 and 2019, to allow for the use of more recent sources in the review of the topical area under study. Consequently, the study will adopt a randomized comparison group to identify the similarities and differences of the studies as shown in table 3.1 below.

Table 3.1: showing the details of sources obtained in the search process

Criteria Number of studies
The article or book had a theoretical framework or comprehensive review of sources 92
The researchers stated clear objectives and aims 80
There was a description of the findings 72
Information about the sample population and the recruitment process 53
There was information about the data analysis process and data collection 37
The researchers attempted to establish the reliability and validity of the data 19
There was an inclusion of original data in the findings as evidence hence included for review 9

 

The review process for this study adopted the use of PRISMA flow chart as shown in figure 1 below.

Records identified through database searching
(n =92)
Additional records identified through other sources
(n =4)
Records after duplicates removed
(n =80)
Records screened
(n =72)
Records excluded
(n =8)
Full-text articles assessed for eligibility
(n =29)
Studies included in qualitative synthesis
(n =9)
Full-text articles excluded, with reasons
(n =20)

– Older than ten years.

– Comparing two programs simultaneously.

Figure 1: PRISMA 2009 Flow Diagram

Design and Preparation for Data Analysis

The analysis of data will involve a synthesis process that utilized both inductive and deductive reasoning to ascertain data and outline specific information. Concerning these forms of logic, the researcher will evaluate all data collected during the study and placed it into categories that relate to the aim of the research. This data will then further examine the research questions and the answers provided for the questions. Thematic analysis will be used as the main form of analysis. In that regard, the data will be grouped into different themes that serve to compare and explain the context of traditional physical education. One of the assumptions made in this study is that all information that was provided will be truthful and in relevance to the study questions. Furthermore, the researcher assumes that access to information from both interviewees and secondary sources would not present any complications and so all deadlines would be met.

The data analysis will focus on the viable strategic measures for adoption in the process of improvement of modes of instruction to learners while addressing the specific needs of students to improve their appreciation of physical education as an important area of study in schools. The themes emerging from the interpretation of the gathered data will be identified from the transcriptions of the interviews and the procedures laid down for manual coding. The first stage in the coding process will involve the analysis of gathered data based on open-coding during which process the initial coding categories will be formulated by evaluating the information obtained from the participants during collection of data (Creswell & Creswell, 2017). The technique adopted for the categorization will be the listing of the themes obtained from the data which will have considerable connection to the reviewed sources of literature. In this study, different words and related phraseology will be marked from the gathered data and formulated as the basis for initial codes.

Consequently, the researcher will complete the first stage of coding through the assessment of transcripts from the interviews to choose keywords and different phrases for the categorization. Notable words which are expected to emerge repeatedly include exercise, movement, teamwork, enjoyment and fitness. All the themes will be categorized into three broader groups. Under the process, the themes obtained from the interview process will be mind-mapped for the study participants to determine the similarities or irregularities in the ideas presented as the second stage of coding (Creswell & Creswell, 2017). Therefore, the responses with similar codes will be aggregated into the three themes for the study before the actual analysis of the themes based on the information from the interviews and review literature sources as suggested by Creswell and Creswell (2017). After that, the study will adopt a triangulation process to validate the specific findings of the identified themes as both the developing and emerging themes from the information were reduced into data capable of generalization to the generic population of the study area.

Ethical/professional issues. One of the most important ethical requirements in this research is the need to obtain the consent of the study participants before the commencement of the interviewing process. For that reason, the researcher will need to obtain written informed consent of the participants before the study. Another issue will involve the confidentiality of the information obtained from the participants as the basis for upholding the right of privacy for the participants as noted by Creswell and Creswell (2017). In terms of the storage of information obtained from the participants, the researcher will store the data and recordings from the interviews in a safe cabinet in a secure room. This will prevent loss and access by unintended individuals.

Study limitations. The notable limitations of the study will include the fact that the study obtained its sources for the review from a limited number of databases. This aspect of a small number of databases is a limitation since it will inhibit the acquisition of potentially viable sources from other databases (Creswell & Creswell, 2017). Secondly, the study will be laborious and time-consuming as the researcher will need to obtain the consent of the participants and then engage in the processes of data gathering, including interviews. The use of a relatively smaller sample population for the study will present the issue of generalizability of the findings. According to Cresswell and Cresswell (2017), very small samples might not be sufficiently statistically representative of the general population thus undermining the ability to apply the results in other similar contexts. The results based on data that will be gathered and analyzed from this chapter will be presented in the next chapter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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