Questions 9/15

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Questions 9/15

Post by Kelly_Simonton on Tue Sep 15, 2015 6:39 pm

Dr. Gaudreault & Dr. Richards,

Hope all is well so far this semester. (I am sure life isn't easy in Tuscaloosa Wink). I wanted to add a few questions and answer whenever you have time. Neither of the questions has anything to do with your study or directly with my experiences. The first question has to do with curriculum. Based on your background and experiences how would you describe your ideal secondary physical education program. Including facilities, curriculum, required semesters, & philosophy. No restraint on funds or equipment. How much time, how many days a week how many semesters, and why? I would just like a brief but specific description. Kind of what your model program would be.

The second question relates to what your thoughts are on "disappearing PETE programs?" I would like your thoughts, feelings, and empirical evidence your are aware of for either side of the discussion. Dr. Richards, I believe Dr. Tempting gave a presentation at shape last year on this topic last year, and I was hoping you had access to the related information with that (if I am thinking correctly). What do you see now and what do you see for the future. If you feel its not disappearing or it is, what are future changes, alternatives, or any other key points you think are relevant.

Thanks,
Kelly

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Re: Questions 9/15

Post by KevinAndrewRRichards on Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:43 pm

Kelly

You have asked two really good, complex questions! I love it! Glad to see you using the forum as an opportunity for us to connect and share ideas beyond the study

1. Personally, I am more of an elementary minded person when it comes to physical education curriculum. My undergraduate program was VERY elementary focused, so I feel more comfortable and confident discussing that from a curriculum standpoint. Stated clearly, I believe that elementary curriculum should be founded in a skill themes approach (Graham, Holt-Hale, & Parker, 2013) that utilizes a movement-focused approach to learning fundamental movement patterns. I say that because those fundamental movement patterns should be learned so that students are prepared for more specific skills in secondary PE. For example, you need to learn how to throw before you can apply the skill of throwing to softball/baseball, football, etc.

Ideal circumstances in secondary PE is a little more difficult for me to define. One of the double-edged swords of PE is that there are so many viable curricular models at the secondary level that you can teach in very different ways, all of which could be considered appropriate. For example, if you believe that fitness should be the primary goal of PE, Fitness Education may be the best model for you. Alternatively, teacher who want to teach sport in PE might consider sport education or TGfU, whereas teachers who want to teach personal and social responsibility skills may shade toward TPSR. I believe that teachers need to first understand who they are and what they stand for in physical education. Once you know what you stand for, you need to find the best way to do that, which I believe is rooted in models-based instruction. For that reason, I am not a huge fan of the multiactivity approach to PE. Philosophy is tied directly to what one stands for. For example, if you stand for personal and social responsibility than you probably believe that the purpose of PE is to use movement as a tool to help students develop into good people. With that said, however, I also believe that, regardless of what you stand for, we should all have the common goal of helping students to enjoy physical activity so that they develop skills and knowledge to participate in physical activity outside of class and into adulthood. With regards to number of days, I believe that PE should meet as often as other classes in the secondary curriculum, and that it should be required in all grade levels year round. Just like we would not expect students to develop math and literacy skills when only taking those courses a few days a week, we should not expect them to develop PE related skills if they only have PE a few times a week for a few semesters.

2. The PETE programs question is a good one and one that I have given a lot of thought to. Dr. Templin and I co-wrote an article that is archived on the pelinks4u website that discusses this in greater detail. In short, I think that PETE programs will have a place in universities as long as PE has a place in K-12 schools. Unless something drastically changes, so long as there are PE teachers, there will need to be programs to prepare them to do their work. While PE seems to be losing its footing in many school settings, it remains an institution and an important component of K-12 education in most settings. It is not "going away" completely any time soon. Similarly, while many PETE programs are witnessing declines in enrollments, they are not, generally, going away any time soon. As evidence, last year there were about 40 PhDs conferred in PETE, but 60 job openings nationally. There are, therefore, more jobs in PETE than there are graduates to fill the positions.

While I do believe that PETE programs nationally are stable, the exception is in research focused environments. Several large research institutions - Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State, Texas - have discontinued their PETE programs. This is important for two reasons: first, if the research programs go away there will not be an abundance of research being done to move the discipline forward. Second, doctoral training usually occurs at these large research institutions, so if they are gone who will prepare PETE faculty? This is what scares me about the current state of things. While I do not think that PETE in general is going away any time soon, I do worry about large research universities that have shifted from a focus on physical education to kinesiology or exercise science and what place PE holds in those departments now. Sometimes I feel like we get pushed out by faculty in other subdisciplines who do not understand the contributions that PE makes to the larger kinesiology discipline.

With that said, I do believe that there will continue to be a diversification in the traditional PETE programs. For example, sport-based youth development offers an alternative track for students who are interested in working with children outside of traditional school hours. With the rise of after school and out-of-school time programming, I could see this develop into a career that could be filled by students prepared as PE teachers of those who who major specifically for it.

I hope that does a decent job of answering your questions. I am happy to continue the dialogue here or on the phone if you would like to know how I feel about anything else Smile

KARR

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