The implications of teachers attitudes on student performance of mandated fitness tests
Williams, Shannon Leigh
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The state of Georgia is mandating annual fitness tests of all students enrolled in physical education courses in public schools in the 2011-2012 school year. If teachers are completing the test as a compliance measure, instead of an instructional component of their program, students may not be performing (or encouraged to perform) at their optimal level. Since the implementation of fitness testing is controlled by the teacher, it is imperative to determine which of the groups (based on professional development) of teachers had the best fitness results to determine the future direction of the professional development for physical education teachers. Mean scores and correlations for the survey questions (by professional development group) were determined for the 90 participating teachers. Once all means were determined, correlations were determined to identify any significance between the professional development groups. Although it was hypothesized that differences would not be found between the three different professional development groups, differences were found. Overall, the teachers in the Instructor professional development group had the best attitude score toward fitness testing. The relationship between professional development groups and student PACER test performance was also studied. Although it was hypothesized that differences would not be found between the three different professional development groups, differences were found. While not significant, the teachers in the Specialist professional development group had the highest performing students on the PACER test. The goal of physical education is to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to lead healthy and physically active lifestyles. Fitness testing is one aspect of many physical education programs that can be used toward achieving this goal. Although physical education teachers might not enjoy fitness tests or find them particularly useful (Keating, 2003; Keating et al., 2002), this investigation showed promise by examining specific professional development is provided to the practicing physical education teachers.