Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences


Physical Education Teacher Education

Committee Chair

Sean Bulger

Committee Co-Chair

Paul Chapman

Committee Member

Emily Jones

Committee Member

Richard Walls

Committee Member

Robert Wiegand


Background/Purpose: Various public health and educational organizations have called for the implementation of comprehensive approaches at the state, district, and school levels to promote physical education and physical activity among children and adolescents. Proponents have argued that physical education teachers are positioned to assume the role of director of physical activity in the school setting; however many physical educators do not see directing comprehensive school physical activity programs (CSPAP) as their responsibility, nor have they been formally trained to provide this measure of leadership. Furthermore, there is limited research on CSPAPs and the associated leadership roles integral to planning, implementing, managing, and evaluating change in this area. The purpose of this exploratory study was to identify the knowledge, skills, and behavioral competencies that a school leader would need to develop in order to implement and sustain a CSPAP.;Method: Researchers used an integrated approach to concept mapping that involved brainstorming, statement analysis and synthesis, sorting and rating of ideas, multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis, and development and interpretation of multiple graphic organizers. These steps were delivered in sequential phases using a web-based communication platform: anonymous brainstorming (n=51), sorting and rating of ideas by key stakeholders ( n=18), and interpretation of maps through semi-structured interviews (n=3). The participants across all phases included K-12 physical educators, school administrators, and higher education researchers identified through systematic review of the literature and snowball sampling.;Analysis/Results: Data aggregation and analysis were completed using multi-dimensional scaling and cluster analysis to determine relationships among brainstormed statements. A variety of maps were developed to graphically display these relationships. Five primary clusters of ideas were identified: (1) Teambuilding and Facilitating, (2) Capacity Building, (3) Knowledge of Instructional Practices, (4) Content Knowledge, and (5) Program Development and Management. Data from the semi-structured interviews were analyzed inductively and used to verify results, determine final cluster names, and identify possible implications for teacher preparation.;Conclusions: The findings support the need for the development of transformational leaders in schools who are capable of empowering others through modification of the work environment, facilitating intrinsic motivation among colleagues, and supplying necessary resources. Teacher education and educational leadership programs have an opportunity to help develop transformational leaders in the area of school physical activity by modifying curricula to provide opportunities for pre-service and in-service teachers to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviors pre-requisite to the implementation and maintenance of CSPAPs within school environments.