The Impact of a Physical Education Methods Class on Preservice Elementary Teachers' Attitudes toward Physical Education Instruction

Article excerpt

William T Weinberg, University of Louisville, Jane A. Petrillo, Kennesaw State University, and Natalie Doering, Jacalyn Lund, and P Joanne Rowe, University of Louisville

Most elementary education preservice teachers are required to complete a class in the methods of teaching elementary physical education. The impact of this class would appear to be critically important for implementing sound elementary physical education programs for two reasons. First, physical education is taught to a significant percentage of children by their elementary classroom teachers (NASPE, 1998). Second, classroom teachers are increasingly being asked to collaborate with elementary physical education specialists to create interdisciplinary units of instruction (cf., Gone, Werner, Gone, and Woods, 1998). Thus, it is important that a physical education methods class intended for elementary education majors not only communicate the importance of the subject matter but also increase students' "comfort levels" for teaching physical education. Curiously, there have been no studies that have ascertained whether such classes actually do influence either elementary education preservice teachers' views about the importance of physical education or their preferences for teaching physical education, Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine whether an elementary physical education methods class for elementary education preservice teachers influenced students' attitudes about the importance of physical education and their preferences for teaching physical education compared with eight other commonly taught subjects. …