Professional Development and Changes in Teachers’ Teaching Practices: A Pilot Study

Xiaoping Fan (State University of New York at Cortland)
Luciana Zuest (Towson University)

Article ID: 5539



Current efforts to improve physical education programs involve providing teachers with quality preparation professional development opportunities, especially for elementary classroom teachers (ECTs) who deliver physical education without adequate preparation (DeCorby et al., 2005).[5] However, little is known about the role of continuous professional development (CPD) in changes in ECTs’ practices regarding teaching physical education (Parker et al., 2022).[23] This study utilized visual methods to explore changes in ECTs’ practices regarding physical education teaching throughout their participation in a state-funded, five-month-long CPD initiative. The participants were four elementary classroom teachers in rural California. The CPD initiative consisted of a three-day summer institute and two follow-up sessions. Participant-generated visual diaries and focus group interviews were used to capture teacher practice changes. Findings revealed three themes: a) A focus on standards-based instruction facilitated teacher’s change; b) Involvement in a community of learners can be a powerful source of change; and c) Teacher change is a time-consuming process. This study highlights that ECTs who receive inadequate training in physical education teacher education are more likely to have a lack of competence and confidence in teaching physical education. The CPD activities can potentially enhance ECTs’ skills in planning and teaching practice, thereby boosting their confidence.


Continuous professional development; Teacher change; Elementary classroom teachers; Physical education; Visual methods

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