Physical Education Teacher Education Leaders’ Perceptions on a National Curriculum in Physical Education

Junghwan Oh, Kim C. Graber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Given criticism of P-12 physical education and wide variability in instructional quality and subject matter outcomes in the United States (US), a national curriculum has been debated by some scholars as a mechanism for improving the status of the subject matter. Grounded in the systemic reform (SR) model, the purpose of this study was to explore physical education teacher education (PETE) leaders’ perceptions regarding the implementation of a national curriculum. Method: In total, 28 individuals participated in in-depth interviews that were inductively/deductively coded and triangulated. Results: Themes indicated that nationalizing the curriculum has the potential to offer explicit educational goals, substantial pedagogical guidelines, and valid assessments. Despite recognizing the potential benefits of national curriculum, however, the majority of participants were opposed because of the inflexibility of such a system in the culturally and geographically diverse school contexts across the US. Conclusions: The concept of national curriculum can be differently interpreted in different countries based on sociocultural, historical, and contextual factors, and its relevance depends primarily on one’s perceptions and previous experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-376
Number of pages15
JournalResearch Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Curriculum alignment
  • national standards
  • standardized curriculum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Nephrology

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