Preservice Physical Educators' Perspectives of Sport Education


  • Alisa James The College at Brockport- State University of New York
  • Douglas Collier The College at Brockport- State University of New York
  • Tim Brusseau University of Utah



Preservice physical education teachers, sport education, perceptions


Although many researchers have investigated sport education (SE) as a curriculum model at different educational levels (Bennett & Hastie, 1997; MacPhail, Gorely, Kirk, & Kinchin, 2008; MacPhail & Kinchin, 2004; Spittle & Byrne, 2009), there has been limited research on preservice physical education (PE) teachers’ perceptions of SE. In particular, investigations of preservice PE teachers’ perceptions of participating in activity courses in which they used the SE curriculum model are lacking. The purpose of the study was to examine preservice PE teachers’ perceptions of an advanced basketball class that was taught by a novice instructor using the SE curriculum model. Participants included 38 preservice PE teacher education students enrolled in an advanced basketball class and their instructor. Data were collected through formal interviews with 10 preservice PE teachers (seven males, three females) and the course instructor. In addition, document data in the form of lectures given by the instructor, written assessments, sample practice plans, course syllabi, course outline, and grading plan were also collected. Data were analyzed by developing categories and examining them for common elements that ran throughout and tied them together. Themes were then extracted out of these categories. Data were then selectively coded for examples that illustrated the themes. The analysis revealed three main findings. First, the results indicate that students were empowered in the class because they directed their learning and believed that using SE would benefit them when they became inservice teachers. Second, there was a great deal of formal accountability embedded in the class, and although students were informed that they would be evaluated on their performance, they believed that effort would count more toward their final grade in the class. Third, the preservice PE teachers perceived that basketball taught with the SE model was meaningful in that it was enjoyable and they learned more about the game in contrast to their lack of learning in their high school PE experiences playing basketball.

Author Biographies

Alisa James, The College at Brockport- State University of New York

Department of Kinesiology, Sports Studies and Physical Education

Rank- Preofessor

Douglas Collier, The College at Brockport- State University of New York

Department of Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education

Rank- Associate Professor

Tim Brusseau, University of Utah

Department of Exercise and Sport Science

Rank- Assistant Professor