Teacher Perceptions of the Tennessee Student Growth Measures in Physical Education


  • Todd Estel Layne University of Memphis
  • Carol Irwin University of Memphis
  • Kelly Simonton University of Wyoming




teacher evaluation, student growth, physical education


Few states have implemented an evaluation system to measure teacher efficiency through the use of student growth measures within physical education. Evaluation procedures can be extensive and have the potential for reduced active student learning time in addition to reduced teacher discernment. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to analyze teacher perceptions of a current state evaluation system that measures teacher efficiency within physical education. The overarching goal of this research was to help improve overall physical education instruction through high-quality evaluation systems. This study employed a mixed-methods design due to the collection of survey data, which included quantitative results and responses to open-ended questions during the focus group (qualitative). Forty-five (26 male, 19 female) teacher participants completed the online survey questionnaire (Phase 1), and 17 (6 male, 11 female) teachers volunteered to participate in follow-up focus group interviews (Phase 2). An electronic survey designed to obtain feedback regarding the student growth measures system was sent to all participants. Once surveys were collected, two focus group sessions occurred during an in-service for all physical education teachers. Survey data and interviews were analyzed. Results show that teachers believe the intent of the Tennessee Student Growth Measures portfolio is good and can provide potential benefits to teachers. However, adjustments that better support teachers, students, and the physical education program should occur. It is the duty of state leaders to improve the portfolio system to help maintain high-quality PE teachers.

Author Biographies

Todd Estel Layne, University of Memphis

College of Health Sciences

Associate Professor of Physical Education

Carol Irwin, University of Memphis

College of Health Sciences

Professor of Physical Education

Kelly Simonton, University of Wyoming

College of Health Sciences