Principals' perceptions and experiences of physical education teacher evaluation: A case study

Sookhenlall Padaruth, Purdue University


Following recent policy initiatives such as the Race to The Top (RTT) (2009), the state of Indiana initiated a new teacher evaluation system in 2010. Legislative amendments led to new mandates for schools, directly influencing teacher reward, retention, and training. In the new system, administrators are required to evaluate all teachers, including physical education (PE) teachers. The aim of this study was to investigate principals’ experiences and perceptions of the new system relative to PE teacher evaluations. Using a qualitative case study method, nine principals were interviewed from three school corporations. Five elementary, two middle and two high school principals participated in the study. Inductive analysis and constant comparison were used for data analysis, within a social constructivist paradigm. Results indicated a variety in the way principals evaluated PE teachers in their building. Most principals observed and evaluated the general characteristics of PE teachers, leaving content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge out of the equation. Physical activity, safety, management of behavior, and relationship with students were the most looked for characteristics by principals. Professional development was not an outcome of PE teacher evaluation.




Templin, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Pedagogy|Education Policy|Physical education

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