Chapter 1: Researching the Adoption of Model-Based Instruction Context and Chapter Summaries

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1 Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 2008, 27, Human Kinetics, Inc. Chapter 1: Researching the Adoption of Model-Based Instruction Context and Chapter Summaries Rachel Gurvitch, Jacalyn L. Lund, and Michael W. Metzler Georgia State University In 2000, the JTPE monograph described an evaluation system for a physical education teacher education (PETE) program (Metzler & Tjeerdsma, 2000). In that monograph, faculty members from Georgia State University (GSU) and other institutions described how various components of the GSU PETE program were assessed to determine the impact of programmatic decisions and changes on the quality of teacher candidates. The database generated for those assessments allowed program faculty members to make informed decisions about short- and long-term changes to the program. In that monograph, Mitchell (2000) reviewed program coherence using the 14 indicators from Howey and Zimpher s (1989) framework. Program coherence means that graduates of the program are getting a consistent message, regardless of who is teaching the class. In addition, a program that demonstrates good coherence identifies reasonable goals that are clearly articulated, has a plan for systematic evaluation, and has direct linkage between research and the development of teacher education. Indicator 5 from Howey and Zimpher s model reads as follows: Themes run throughout the curriculum, like threads, in which key concepts, like buttons, are tied together throughout a variety of courses, practica, and school experiences (Mitchell, 2000, p. 531). In his findings, Mitchell noted that one of the most prominent themes in the PETE program at GSU was the use of different instructional models. In 2004 a decision was made to integrate model-based instruction (MBI) throughout the PETE program as the basis of pedagogical content knowledge and to require PETE candidates to use instructional models (IMs) whenever they participated in field-based teaching experiences. Pedagogical content knowledge blends the knowledge of subject matter, pedagogical knowledge, and knowledge of how pupils learn subject matter (Shulman, 1986). Models-based instruction provides teachers with a variety of IMs that can be used for instruction. The selection of the actual model used is done by considering several aspects of the instructional context along with the instructional goals for pupil learning. Although the The authors are with the Department of Kinesiology and Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA. 449

2 450 program had taught the principles of MBI for several years, this decision elevated the adoption of MBI into a much higher programmatic outcome. This current monograph is not a program evaluation. Rather, it is about the adoption of an instructional innovation by a physical education program. This monograph examines the role that the various change agencies and agents (Rogers, 1995) have in making changes that lead to the adoption of MBI, explores the successes, and identifies the work still to be done. Change is a popular theme in education today. Every year, many teacher education programs put forth curricular changes and start doing things differently in an attempt to strengthen the program and better prepare teachers for a changing world and society. This monograph presents the results of a study about making systematic change in a PETE program and the impact this change has had on the various stakeholders and participants. The Current Climate of Change There are few, if any, things in today s society that have not experienced enormous changes in the past decade. In fact, if there is one constant in the world, it is that things will change. As society embraces change, schools are scrambling to keep up with the demands that change has placed on the institution of education. The assembly line educational system developed a century ago, where students increase their knowledge year after year worked well for a relatively immobile society where children spent their entire school career with the same classmates and where graduation from high school was not required for factory or farm employment. Today s educators search for a solution that will enable all children to learn and become productive members of society. In some instances, this change is systematic, where all P 12 teachers are expected to adopt the latest educational innovation that school administrators have decided to implement. In other instances, educational innovations are done less holistically when individual schools and/or teachers implement new ideas as they seek to solve problems or to improve instruction. Like other subject area counterparts in education, physical education has also changed over the years. A century ago, Dewey and his followers considered physical education to be an integral part of the educational system (Buck, Lund, Harrison, & Cook, 2006). To meet the needs of today s children, many physical educators have embraced change. In 1992, the National Association of Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) published the Outcomes of Quality Physical Education Programs (NASPE, 1992) that defined what it meant to be physically educated using five verbs: has, is, does, knows, and values. Three years later, NASPE published national standards for physical education (NASPE, 1995) that in many ways still reflect the four main purposes for the New Physical Education outlined by Clark Hetherington in 1910: organic, psychomotor, character, and intellectual education (Metzler, 2005). Over the years, physical education has evolved from a philosophy that espoused strong bodies and an of the physical approach toward physical education during the Battle of the Systems era, to one that promoted character development through physical activity. Today s obesity epidemic has led many teachers

3 451 to again embrace a fitness approach to physical education, while others value the teaching of sports and activities that students can enjoy for a lifetime of physical activity. Activities such as ultimate, yoga, and in-line skating are now part of physical education curriculums. Some programs have decreased their emphasis on team sports and placed more emphasis on individual sports and lifespan activities such as tennis, golf, and dance. Adventure education challenges students to work together in cooperative activities, and outdoor pursuits are used to teach students how to play in natural settings. A 1992 issue of Quest examined the status of physical education in secondary schools. In the preface to that issue, Daryl Siedentop noted that physical education was a marginalized subject matter in secondary schools (Siedentop, 1992). He posited that along with many others, we have become convinced that the time is at hand for a radical re-conceptualization of high school physical education and the preparation of teachers. We have come to believe that the program configuration in many schools is dysfunctional for students and too often for their teachers too. (p. 285) Instructional Models In an effort to deliver physical education content differently, Siedentop developed the innovation of the sport education IM, publishing a book in 1994 that explained how to implement a sport education curriculum (Siedentop, 1994). Focusing on the importance of developing respect and responsibility while participating in physical education, Hellison (1985) advocated teaching social and personal responsibility in physical education and identified hierarchical levels that encouraged students to self-manage their behavior. Griffin, Mitchell, and Oslin (1997) developed a tactical approach to teaching physical education that built on the earlier work of Thorpe, Bunker, and Almond in England (Almond, 1986; Bunker & Thorpe, 1982; Thorpe & Bunker, 1982). These curricular models required different instructional strategies. In 2000, Metzler published a book that described a variety of instructional models appropriate for these and other physical education curriculum models as he introduced the concept of model-based instruction. Metzler (2005) describes instructional models as blueprints used to plan instruction, noting that blueprints provide a detailed set of written instructions that help builders (and in this case teachers) understand what the structure will look like when completed and provide a framework for making decisions that will help with the construction (instruction). Whereas many teacher education programs have adopted a single instructional model, the program at Georgia State University has embraced the concept of MBI so that preservice teachers are taught to use a variety of IMs during their final 2 years of the PETE program. Before 2004, teacher candidates in the PETE program had been encouraged to use various IMs but often reverted back to direct instruction when allowed to choose an instructional delivery system. Most PETE students were familiar with direct instruction, having observed and participated in it during their own P 12 school experience and felt comfortable teaching that way. Immersion in MBI maximized teacher candidates opportunity to experience

4 452 and learn this new approach to teaching and provided the greatest opportunity for them to learn the new framework. PETE programs that have adopted a single IM rationalize that if teacher candidates learn a single model and learn it well, they will be more likely to implement it in the future. This is a research question for another day and will not be addressed in this current study. The effectiveness of the various IMs is often dependent on the instructional context, the skills of the teacher, and the content of the unit being taught. The GSU PETE faculty believes that since the various IMs offer a variety of benefits for teachers and pupils, selection of the appropriate IM can improve teacher effectiveness. Teaching preservice teachers a variety of IMs is like giving them a large toolbox for many applications rather than one box containing only a few specialized tools with limited application. The Institutional Setting PETE Contextual Analysis The PETE program under study in this series of research reports is housed in the College of Education at an urban research university located in the central business district of downtown Atlanta. There are numerous public school sites with physical education programs at all grade levels within a relatively short distance from the university. The proximity to these school sites fosters collaboration among the PETE faculty and the P 12 schools physical education teachers. A formal partnership agreement between GSU and several Professional Development School sites was established in 2004 and continues to expand each year. GSU Faculty Members The GSU program faculty who deliver the Health and Physical Education Teacher Education (HPETE) program consists of two tenured associate professors, one tenure track assistant professor, two clinical instructors (one health and one physical education), and one full professor with a faculty appointment in the department who primarily has administrative job-related duties. Two of the faculty members had extensive public school experience (>15 years) and all but one faculty member had at least 10 years of experience in higher education. Physical Education Teacher Education Program The undergraduate PETE program offers a bachelor of science in education in Health and Physical Education for P 12, leading to initial teacher certification in the state of Georgia. Students take 127 semester credit hours across four areas: (a) the university core curriculum, including courses appropriate for the major; (b) the College of Education professional core; (c) major courses, including subdisciplinary and movement content; and (d) field-based method courses and student teaching. Most students complete the university core curriculum by the time they formally begin the teacher education section of their program of study, typically

5 453 near the end of their sophomore year, leaving approximately 2 years of full-time enrollment for completion of the content and pedagogical courses. MBI Focus Integrated Into the PETE Program Students enrolled in the PETE program learn and experience MBI instruction at different levels throughout the course of study. Students first become aware of the concept of IMs while participating in activity courses that use the sport education and tactical game models. Learning activities and assignments in these courses include tasks appropriate for students as learners in MBI units (i.e., duty role, fitness leader, tutor, independent learner). After experiencing these IMs as learners, students study the background and theory of various IMs in the initial pedagogical skill and planning course. Course assignments include reading about MBI, presenting and discussing MBI concepts, and designing and implementing an IM unit in a field-based practicum. After the initial pedagogy class, a four-course sequence provides teacher candidates with additional opportunities to expand their theoretical understanding of MBI, and to acquire pedagogical content knowledge by implementing several IMs in authentic field-based settings. During these courses, students have the opportunity to implement various IMs in four different settings (elementary and secondary physical education, health, and adapted physical education) as members of an instructional team/group. In their last semester, student teachers plan and implement different MBI units by themselves in elementary and secondary physical education settings. Student teachers are required to complete an IM project at each level (elementary and secondary) designed to measure pupil learning. Over the course of 2 years, preservice teachers are introduced to the concept of MBI and have an opportunity to implement MBI units with increasing levels of responsibility. Pedagogical content knowledge is introduced within the MBI framework so that teacher candidates develop a sense of how all the components work together to enhance pupil learning. The Research Project The GSU program has a long history of self-study (Metzler & Tjeerdsma, 2000), but that study was confined to PETE students as they progressed through the program. The current study examines the impact and adoption of MBI. To measure these factors, it was necessary to examine data from a wide variety of sources and participants. The next section identifies all of the participants who would potentially be affected and the relevant data sources. Participants With an emphasis on the examination of the adoption of MBI, the program faculty and research team represented in this monograph designed a comprehensive research project to include four populations of participants: (a) student teachers, (b) P 12 pupils instructed by those student teachers, (c) induction teachers who

6 454 had completed the PETE program within the most recent 5-year time span, and (d) cooperating teachers. Data Sources In 1993, GSU began collecting data for the purpose of programmatic assessment. A variety of data sources from this database were used for this study: questionnaires completed by cooperating teachers, induction teachers, and student teachers; questionnaires administered by student teachers that asked P 12 pupils about their perceptions of being taught using an IM; interview data from P 12 pupils about their perceptions of being taught using MBI; semistructured interviews of induction teachers and cooperating teachers; a semistructured group interview with student teachers completed at the conclusion of their student teaching experience; and videotapes of the student teachers using an IM. A final data source was an extensive models project completed by student teachers that required them to select, plan for, and implement a unit of instruction using an IM. Student teachers were required to complete one of these projects for each level of student teaching. Purpose of the Monograph Rogers (1995) presents a complex set of dynamics that are involved in the progression from an initial knowledge about a potential innovation to a sustained adoption of the innovation that is resistant to subsequent discontinuance. The innovation itself, the agents and agencies of change, experiences within the innovations-to-adoption sequence, and the locus of control in making decisions all play key roles in an individual teacher s rejection, adoption, or eventual discontinuance of an innovation in this case, model-based instruction. The research reported in this monograph superimposes another set of dynamics on this complex process those embedded in each stage of teacher development. The purpose of this monograph is to study how physical education teachers learn about and make decisions to adopt model-based instruction in three stages of development: preservice, induction, and veteran teachers who supervised student teachers using MBI under their tutelage. The monograph also provides findings about the degree to which preservice teachers anticipate adopting MBI once out in the field, and the actual degree to which recent program graduates and veteran teachers report using MBI in their daily instructional practices. Chapter Summaries Following this introduction, Chapter 2 provides a review of Rogers s framework for the adoption of an innovation and sets the stage for studying the adoption of MBI. In Chapter 3, researchers examine how well student teachers planned and implemented model-based units of instruction, as well as factors that worked to either facilitate or inhibit their use of MBI in that key field experience. A semistructured group interview allowed student teachers to provide insights about MBI as they reflected on their experiences of learning MBI in the PETE program, and provided projections for using MBI as induction teachers. Chapter 4 presents data

7 455 from studying the planning and implementation of assessment activities within MBI units taught by this cohort of student teachers. The perceptions of P 12 pupils from their initial participation in MBI as learners are presented in Chapter 5. Data were taken from questionnaires and semistructured interviews following the completion of model-based units instructed by student teachers. From a combination of questionnaire and interview data, Chapter 6 describes the use of MBI by induction teachers who have completed the PETE program within the previous 5 years. In Chapter 7, researchers examine the influence that student teachers have on their cooperating teachers learning, use of, and potential adoption of MBI in their own teaching. Chapter 8 brings together all the relevant data from this series of studies to discuss these results within Rogers s (1995) stages of adoption theory, focusing on the degree to which teachers in each career stage have moved from knowledge of MBI to adoption or anticipated adoption of MBI as their own personal definition of pedagogical content practice in physical education. As program faculty and researchers, we learned an enormous amount as this series of studies went from our early planning to this final stage of dissemination in the Journal of Teaching in Physical Education. Chapter 9 shares with readers some of what we learned about teaching and learning using MBI. The monograph concludes with the researchers reflections about new understandings of MBI and future directions that are necessary to ensure that student teachers, cooperating teachers, and induction teachers have the confidence and the ability to successfully implement MBI framed in the context of pedagogical content knowing (Cochran, Deruiter, & King, 1993) a dynamic way of viewing pedagogical content knowledge. References Almond, L. (1986). Reflecting on themes: A games classification. In R. Thorpe, D. Bunker, & L. Almond (Eds.), Rethinking games teaching. (pp ). Loughborough: University of Technology. Buck, M., Lund, J., Harrison, J., & Cook, C. (2006). Instructional strategies for secondary school physical education (6th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw Hill. Bunker, D., & Thorpe, R. (1982). A model for the teaching of games in secondary schools. Bulletin of Physical Education, 18(1), 5 8. Cochran, K.F., Deruiter, J.A., & King, R.A. (1993). Pedagogical content knowing: An integrative model for teacher preparation. Journal of Teacher Education, 44, Griffin, L., Mitchell, S., & Oslin, J. (1997). Teaching sport concepts and skills: A tactical games approach. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. Hellison, D. (1985). Goals and strategies for teaching physical education. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. Howey, K., & Zimpher, N. (1989). Profiles of preservice teacher education: Inquiry into the nature of programs. Albany, NY: State University of New York. Metzler, M. (2000). Instructional Models for Physical Education. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon. Metzler, M. (2005). Instructional Models for Physical Education. Scottsdale, AZ: Holcomb Hathaway. Metzler, M., & Tjeerdsma, B. (2000). The Physical Education Teacher Education Assessment Project. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 19,

8 456 Mitchell, M. (2000). Chapter 9: An approach to program assessment: Locating indicators of a coherent program. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 19, NASPE. (1992). Outcomes of quality physical education programs. Reston, VA: Author. NASPE. (1995). Moving into the future: National standards for physical education. National Association for Sport and Physical Education. Reston, VA: Author. Rogers, E.M. (1995). Diffusion of innovations (4th ed.). New York: Free Press. Shulman, L. (1986). Those who understand: Knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher, 15(2), Siedentop, D. (1992). Preface. Quest, 44, Siedentop, D. (1994). Sport education: Quality PE through positive sport experiences. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. Thorpe, R., & Bunker, D. (1982). From theory to practice: Two examples of an understanding approach to the teaching of games. Bulletin of Physical Education, 18(1), 9 15.

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