The teaching performance of first-year physical educators

Julene Ensign, Amelia Mays Woods, Pamela Hodges Kulinna, Gabriella McLoughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: For beginning physical educators, navigating entry into the school environment can often be a capricious process. Lawson’s (1983) theory of socialization illustrates the diverse variables that affect the highly volatile process of assimilation. The interplay of these variables in the socialization process directly influences the teaching environment and in turn, has the capacity to generate either positive or negative impacts on teaching performance (Rink, 2002). Purpose: This study examined the factors influencing the teaching performance of 13 physical educators during their influential entry-level year. Method: Using Rink’s (2002) essential teaching tasks for effective instruction as a framework, data were collected through a series of systematic observations, questionnaires, surveys, and interviews. Constant comparative methods identified emergent themes, and paired with systematic observations of teaching provided a unique mixed-methods approach. Findings and conclusions: Academic Learning Time-Physical Education revealed a mean score of 36% motor-appropriate activity with significant differences among teacher genders, school setting, and observation point. Mean scores for Qualitative Measures of Teacher Performance Scale were 67.25 out of 100.00 with significant differences among school setting and school level. Scores on the Self-Evaluation of Teacher Effectiveness in Physical Education questionnaire indicated that participants believed they were ‘usually’ employing effective teaching methodologies. Themes included the prominence of management and discipline policies, the importance of developing a strong rapport with students, and the professional benefits of projecting a positive individual disposition. Implications signify the need for increasing the diversity of Physical Education Teacher Education experiences and developing additional support structures for beginning teachers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)592-608
Number of pages17
JournalPhysical Education and Sport Pedagogy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2 2018


  • Induction
  • effectiveness
  • quality teaching
  • self-assessment
  • systematic observation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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