Perceptions and Behaviors of Classroom Teachers Concerning Elementary Physical Education

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Human Performance and Recreation

First Advisor

Craig Buschner

Advisor Department

Human Performance and Recreation


The purpose of this study was to describe the perceptions and behaviors of elementary classroom teachers concerning their role as physical education instructors. All nine classroom teachers, grades K through 5, from one elementary school served as subjects. The data were collected by depth interviews with audiotapes, observations with concurrent and subsequent field notes, teacher questionnaire, supportive videotaping, and informal conversations and interviews. The cyclical process of observation, analysis, and confirmation was repeated to analyze the data. The results suggest that the perceptions and behaviors demonstrated by the elementary classroom teachers included: (1) leaders and managers of a games and activities program, (2) a strongly perceived deficiency in qualifications to instruct physical education precipitating sporadic and immediate planning strategies, (3) becoming resigned doers of the physical education instruction period, (4) the teachers did not view physical education as a priority and there was an inconsistency between their perceived program focus and the essential content of physical education producing an "atheoretical program" with little progression, continuity, or articulation. The role of teacher was abandoned for that of referee, turnkeeper, scorekeeper, and starter. The classroom teachers valued physical education, especially if the program was instructed by a physical education specialist. Based on the sample, it does not appear that one pre-service class can prepare the generalist for teaching physical education at the elementary level.