Models and Practices of Curriculum Evaluation

Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, March 2000 | Go to article overview
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Models and Practices of Curriculum Evaluation


It is generally accepted that there is a need for curricular change in K-12 physical education programs. As part of the curricular reform process, it is necessary to study the implementation and evaluation of curriculum programs. This symposium will address models for curriculum evaluation and current practices in evaluating physical education curricular programs. The following topics related to curriculum evaluation in physical education will be discussed: (a) evaluating curriculum models in Physical Education, (b) curriculum evaluation of Saber-Tooth Project, (c) Hierarchical Linear Model: A new approach for curriculum evaluation, and (d) evaluation of the effectiveness of a statewide curriculum using the Hierarchical Linear Model. Each presenter is currently involved or has previous experience in curriculum evaluation research. Time will be provided at the end of the session for questions and general discussion.

Evaluating Curriculum Models in Physical Education

Catherine D. Ennis, University of Maryland

There are a number of curricular reform initiatives in physical education that promise to enhance the quality of instruction and the value that students' hold for physical activity. An evaluation plan to document the quality of students' experiences and the level of student achievement is an important phase of any comprehensive school reform. Each curricular initiative or model is guided by a unique set of assumptions and curricular frameworks that can create valuable learning opportunities for students. Model implementation and evaluation is further complicated by pronounced variations in school context (e.g., resources, characteristics of students, and teacher and community belief systems). Thus, effective program evaluation requires the use of flexible tools and plans, consideration of the context in which the program is implemented, and sensitivity to the needs of diverse stakeholders. This presentation will provide an overview of factors that should be considered when launching a program evaluation. Spec ific evaluation models will be discussed with an emphasis on adapting the evaluation model or plan to address the challenges inherent in the context and the needs of local stakeholders.

Curriculum Evaluation of Saber-Tooth Project

Panayiotis Doutis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Despite significant progress in the field of sport pedagogy, there are few studies that have reported on the implementation and evaluation of curriculum in physical education. The Saber-Tooth Project is an ongoing reform effort that focuses on the improvement of middle school physical education curriculum through professional development. Quantitative and qualitative curriculum process and product measures were used to describe the enacted curricula in three schools one of which, the Saber-Tooth school, was engaged in a curriculum change process. The basic strategy was to observe and compare the enacted curricula using as unit of analysis the same instructional units occurring at the same grade level. Data for four classes in pickleball and four classes in lacrosse were collected live, and from videotape. Additional data sources were curriculum documents, field notes and teacher descriptions of their work which were compared to the enacted curriculum to determine the degree of congruence between the planned a nd enacted curriculum within a site. The context level of the Academic Learning Time in Physical Education (Siedentop, Tousignant, and Parker, 1982) instrument, and instructional tasks were used to describe the enacted curriculum. To measure the effects of the curriculum on individual student performance, two different students were observed each lesson using the learner involvement level of the ALT-PE instrument. Each student wore a Polar Vantage XL heart rate monitor to measure the degree to which students were physically active in lessons. Interobserver agreement (IOA) was conducted for ALT-PE and task data with a range of 81.

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