An investigation of physical education teachers' health related fitness knowledge, self-efficacy, and students' physical fitness levels

Ooksang Cho, Purdue University


The purpose of this study was to investigate physical education teachers‘ Health Related Fitness (HRF) knowledge and self-efficacy beliefs for teaching physically active physical education classes during the implementation of a HRF curricular model. Examining students‘ fitness conditions after applying the HRF model was another objective of this study. Physical education teachers (n=7) and their students (n=1,113; 50.6% boys, 49.4% girls) at one middle school and one junior high school located in the Midwest of the United States were subjects. The Carole M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) grant provided the necessary financial support to build fitness rooms and to hold a workshop that introduced the HRF curricular model to the teachers, and all physical education teachers at both schools participated in the HRF workshop. In addition, the university research team provided resources for HRF instruction, such as HRF curriculum binders, lesson scripts, and posters, in order to help teachers prepare for HRF instruction and to improve their HRF knowledge and self-efficacy levels. In order to collect data related to the teachers‘ HRF knowledge levels, a HRF knowledge test (the South Carolina Physical Education Assessment Program [SCPEAP], 2007) was used. The Physical Education Teachers‘ Physical Activity Self-efficacy Scale ([PETPAS], Martin & Hodges-Kulinna, 2003) was employed to measure the teachers‘ self-efficacy levels for teaching physically active physical education lessons. The students‘ fitness conditions were examined by Fitnessgram tests (The Cooper Institute, 2004). Both at the beginning and at the end of the HRF instruction, the teachers‘ HRF knowledge and self-efficacy for teaching physically active physical education lessons as well as the students‘ fitness conditions were measured. In addition, in-depth interviews with the teachers and class observations were conducted to help analyze how the teachers‘ HRF knowledge and self-efficacy as well as the students‘ fitness conditions had changed. Qualitative data, including interviews and class observations, were analyzed by grounded theory (Strauss & Corbin, 1990). For triangulation, multiple data collection techniques were used. The Fitnessgram test results were analyzed by ANOVA with repeated measures. In addition, the results of the SCPEAP HRF knowledge test and PETPAS were analyzed by descriptive statistics. According to the findings of this study, although teachers had positive or negative perspectives of the changes in their knowledge and self-efficacy for HRF instruction, the results of the SCPEAP HRF knowledge test and PETPAS suggested no clear differences between the pre- and post-test scores. The students‘ fitness conditions, including their muscular strength and muscular endurance, significantly improved during the implementation of the HRF model. In general, teachers‘ perspectives on the changes of students‘ fitness conditions did correspond with the results of Fitnessgram tests. In conclusion, implementing a HRF model did not clearly influence the participating teachers‘ knowledge and self-efficacy levels for teaching HRF; however, the students‘ fitness conditions, including muscular strength and endurance, significantly improved after the model was applied.




Blankenship, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Physical education

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