Curriculum Innovation in Elementary Physical Education

Article excerpt

Connie S. Collier, Judith L. Oslin, and Stephen Mitchell, Kent State University

Summons for changing and improving the quality of physical education have been served both in our professional journals and at our professional meetings. However, much about changing school physical education programs is still unclear (Housner, 1996). Sport Education (Siedentop, 1994) has been touted as a curriculum model which research suggests can play a role in the reform of physical education (Alexander, Taggart and Thorpe, 1996; Siedentop, 1996). The purpose of this study was to describe to what degree inservice teachers would adopt an innovative curriculum and what aspects of their own biography or contextual factors of their programs inhibited or facilitated this process. Fifteen physical education specialists, five elementary, five middle, and five high schools, volunteered to participate and attend a full-day workshop at a local midwestern university. Four of the participants chose not to complete the study due to lack of support from their school systems. The workshop provided participants hands-on experience with Siedentop's Sport Education Model (1994) as well as an opportunity to work with colleagues to develop 20-day units of instruction. Following the workshop, one member of the threemember workshop/research team was assigned to 3-4 of the specialists to mentor, advise and observe (a minimum of three on-site visits) implementation of the innovation. …