A Comparison of National Board Certified Teachers with Non-National Board Certified Teachers on Student Competency in High School Physical Education
Phillips, Amber, Physical Educator
The purpose of this study was to describe the differences of teachers with and without National Board Certification in relation to their percentages of student competency in high school physical education. Data from the South Carolina Physical Education Assessment Program (SCPEAP) were used as the measure of student competency. Student competency was measured on motor skill performance, cognitive fitness knowledge, outside-of-class participation, and health-related fitness levels. A total weighted student competency score was calculated by a linear combination of scores. The results were analyzed descriptively. Mean differences were identified in student competence between National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) and non-NBCTs. NBCTs were stronger on all four-performance indicators and on the overall measure of student competency.
Over the past two decades, a movement targeting higher standards for acceptable student achievement has been the basis of educational reform (Goldhaber, Perry, & Anthony, 2003). Higher quality teachers are necessary in order to achieve higher levels of student achievement (Goldhaber et al., 2003). As a means for improving the teaching profession by acknowledging high quality teachers, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), a nonprofit organization, was founded in 1987.
The mission of NBPTS was three-part and served to: (a) establish high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do; (b) develop and operate a national, voluntary system to assess and certify teachers who meet these standards, and; (c) advance related education reforms for the purpose of improving student learning in American schools (NBPTS, 2004). The first 86 candidates were able to provide evidence that students were learning as a result of their teaching and were awarded a National Board certificate in January of 1995 (NBPTS, 2004). Approximately half of the teachers that have applied for National Board certification have been successful (NBPTS, 2004).
The NBPTS did not publish standards for physical education until 1999 (NBPTS, 2001). As of November 2004, only 576 physical education teachers were National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs). Physical educators who are candidates for National Board certification endure a rigorous and time-consuming application process. Applicants must provide evidence of teaching effectiveness in the following four areas: (1) instruction to facilitate student learning, (2) assessment for student learning, (3) creating a productive learning environment, and (4) contributions to student learning (NBPTS, 2004). Candidates are also required to participate in Assessment Center Exercises.
Assessment Center Exercises are the second phase of the application process. Applicants are assessed to determine the extent of their content knowledge and their ability to apply their content knowledge when teaching the physical education content to students. The areas assessed in physical education include (a) exercise science, (b) biomechanics and motor learning, (c) safety, equity and fairness issues, (d) students with disabilities, (e) movement forms, and (f) integration of technology and interdisciplinary approaches (NBPTS, 2004).
Advocates of the NBPTS believe that the certification process will develop teachers who are more aware of their own practices (Buday & Kelly, 1996; NBPTS, 1989; Serafini, 2002). NBCTs agree that, as a result of participating in the National Board process, they have become more reflective about their own teaching (Education Research Group, 2001). Teachers become more reflective because the NBPTS process gives them an opportunity to examine their teaching (Russell & Sayers, 2002). When teachers reflect, they have an array of opportunities to strengthen their practices (Belden, 2002). For example, when teachers reflect on their practice, they become more capable of making appropriate decisions for their students (Serafini, 2002). …