High school physical education teachers and their world of work: scope and direction of the project
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There is a paucity of literature on the specific issues of high school physical education and how those who do the job manage to create quality programs. Since a recent issue of Quest (Siedentop & O'SulIivan, 1992) featured secondary school physical education, one might wonder whether a monograph so soon afterwards would be overkill. I would like to address this concem up front by suggesting that the intent of this project was significantly different from, though complementary to, the Quest effort. The Quest feature presented a critique of societal factors within which contemporary physical education programs and practices might be designed, critiqued, and challenged. This project presents an intensive study of the issues and concems about high school physical education teaching and programming at a micro level with 11 high school teachers and their world of physical education and teaching in today's high schools. The monograph attempts to describe, discuss, and understand perceptions and practices of these teachers of physical education, their students, and parents in light of a contemporary analysis of physical education. The specific objectives of this study were as follows: 1. To describe these physical educators' sense of their work as high school teachers and coaches, that is, the outcomes they have for their programs and the degree to which they feel they accomplish these goals. 2. To describe both the context of the workplace where these high school physical education teachers carry out their responsibilities as teachers and coaches and the implications of such conditions for creating and sustaining challenging and vibrant physical education experiences for young adults. 3. To describe the rules, routines, and expectations these teachers communicated to their students during the first days of school and the degree to which these rules were adhered to and enforced during the year. 4. To describe and analyze the official and functional curricula implemented by these high school physical education teachers and the instructional ecology through which these curricula are made manifest. 5. To investigate the accountability task structures related to systematic evaluation, formal assessment, and objective grading used in these settings. 6. To determine the attitudes of these teachers, their students, and the parents toward the goals, objectives, and content of high school physical education and how these programs contribute to the students' overall education.