Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription Access

I Need Help! Physical Educators Transition to Distance Learning During COVID-19

Josiah Johnson, David Daum, Jason Norris


During the spring of 2020, school districts across the United States were required to shift to distance learning modalities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic forced schools to close their doors to face-to-face instruction and quickly shift to an online format. While online education is prevalent in the United States, it only serves about 2% to 4% of the total K–12 population. Literature related to K–12 online physical education is sparse and there are concerns regarding accountability. This study used a grounded theory approach and collected data through open-ended questions as part of an online survey. Data clearly indicate that physical educators need assistance in the transition to distance learning, especially in developing plans for teaching motor skills and online pedagogies. Many of the teachers in this study expressed frustration with how their school leadership handled the shift to distance learning, partially due to the marginalization of the subject matter. Physical educators need the tools to expand their pedagogical technological knowledge as well as resources to advocate for themselves and their subject during adverse situations in schools. The shift to distance learning has the potential to have positive outcomes, as teachers were forced out of their comfort zones to learn new technology skills that may translate to enhanced learning in the faceto- face environment. Future studies should focus on development of distance learning pedagogies and seek to understand how to support teachers during crisis learning situations. 

Subscribe to TPE


Distance Learning; Professional Development; Pandemic

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 The Physical Educator