Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Physical Activity Levels in Primary School Physical Education Taught by Classroom Teachers: Comparisons to National Health Standards

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Physical Activity Levels in Primary School Physical Education Taught by Classroom Teachers: Comparisons to National Health Standards

Article excerpt

Kathryn LaMaster, Thomas McKenzie, and Paul Rosengard, San Diego State University

Despite numerous professional recommendations that physical education (PE) be taught by specialists, classroom teachers remain responsible for much of the PE in elementary schools. Meanwhile, because of importance of PE in providing health-related physical activity, Healthy People 2010: National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives includes goals for both the frequency and intensity of PE. Studies assessing these health goals in PE taught by primary grade classroom teachers have not been reported. We assessed 66 classes in 10 schools in two districts where PE was provided solely by classroom teachers. Over two semesters, certified assessors used SOFIT (System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time) to record student activity, lesson context, and teacher behavior in 37 first- and 26 second-grade lessons. Reliabilities by the observers exceeded 80% on all categories. Actual lesson length was 23.0 mm (76% of the scheduled length). Overall, children's activity levels (proportions of lesson) were: Ly ing Down, 5%; Sitting, 12%; Standing, 46%; Walking, 26%; Very Active, 16%. Lesson contexts were: Management (24%), Knowledge (14%), Fitness (14%), Skill Development (25%), Game Play (21%), and Free Play (2%). Teacher behavior was coded as Manages (26%), Promotes Fit ness (12%), Instructs Generally (48%), Observes (13%), and Other (1%). …

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