Exploring the Relationship Between Self-Determination Theory and Physical Education Teachers Meeting Recommended Weekly Physical Education Minutes


  • James W. Ball Northeastern Illinois University
  • Kimberly A. Maljak Northeastern Illinois University
  • Matthew R. Bice University of Nebraska Kearney
  • Julia Valley Northeastern Illinois University
  • Thomas Parry College of Charleston




Physical Activity, Resources, Competence,


Physical activity (PA) continues to decrease and obesity rates continue to rise among children and adolescents. Researchers, along with other organizations, have recommended schools to be ideal venues to help increase overall childhood PA. However, research reports K–12 physical education (PE) is not required in the majority of states and most students do not achieve the recommended amount of weekly PE minutes. This can have a devastating effect on not only the students but also the teachers. PE teachers need to have competence, autonomy, relatedness, support, and resources available to teach an effective PE curriculum. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate if schools are meeting recommended total weekly PE minutes and the effect of meeting recommended total weekly PE minutes on PE teachers’ autonomy, competence, and relatedness. In this study, the majority of PE teachers worked in schools that met the recommended weekly PE minutes, but teachers who worked in schools that did not meet the recommended weekly PE minutes felt that there was a lack of resources at their schools and felt they were less competent in their abilities to implement effective PE courses. If teachers are not given the proper amount of time or resources to teach the necessary content, then they will not believe they are competent to teach a course that is effective.

Subscribe to TPE