Date of Graduation
Background/Purpose: In response to concerns with increasing rates of childhood obesity, many states have enacted policies that affect physical education. A commonly used approach is state mandated fitness test administration in school-based settings. While this approach is widely debated throughout the literature, one area that lacks research is teachers attitudes toward this fitness testing and the application of results in their professional practice. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of West Virginia physical education teachers toward the mandated use of the FITNESSGRAMÂ® and to gain a better understanding of how the resultant data are employed to enhance physical education programs within the schools. Method: The participants were West Virginia physical education teachers (n=174). Two previously validated instruments (Keating, Guan, Ferguson, Chen, & Bridges, 2008; Keating & Silverman, 2004) were used to collect data regarding teachersâ€™ perception and use of fitness tests. Mean and standard deviations were calculated for all scale scores while t-tests and ANOVAs to test the differences in attitude and use by selected demographic variables. Analysis/Results: Teachers overall attitudes toward FITNESSGRAMÂ® were slightly positive (M = 4.52, SD = 1.06) on a 7-point Likert scale. The demographic variable gender (p = 0.017) was found to be statistically significant. In regards to the application of FITNESSGRAMÂ® results, teachers more than frequently used the results (M = 5.51, SD = 1.12) on a 7-point Likert Scale. However, results indicated that parents rarely received FITNESSGRAMÂ® reports. Class size (p = 0.015) was found to influence the level of use of FITNESSGRAMÂ® results. Conclusions: West Virginia physical education teachers reported a slightly positive attitude toward FITNESSGRAM and indicated that the administration process was mostly an enjoyable experience. Gender and years of experience seemed to influence these attitudes with veteran teachers viewing the experience more favorable than novice teachers. With regards to application of FITNESSGRAM results, most of the recommendations from the literature were being adhered to except parental reporting. Class size was also found to have a significant effect on the application of results. Key Words: Physical Education, FITNESSGRAMÂ®, Fitness Testing, Teacher Attitudes.
Miller, William M., "West Virginia Physical Education Teacher Perceptions of State Mandated FITNESSGRAMÂ® Testing and Application of Results." (2013). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9422.