Physical Educators' Perceptions of Their Use of NASPE Standards


  • Timothy Baghurst Oklahoma State University
  • Jennifer Langley
  • Jason C. Bishop



obesity, SHAPE, physical education, teaching


The rate of childhood obesity in the United States is approximately 17%. Because physical education can be a key intervention strategy against this epidemic, this study was conducted to determine physical educators’ perceptions on their use of recommended national standards specifically focused on physical fitness and activity in their classroom. An online survey was distributed to 101 physical education teachers from nine states in which participants were asked to provide their opinion of several Likert-based questions that ascertained use of National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) Standards 1, 3, and 4. Teachers were found to incorporate the components of these standards at varying rates. More experienced physical education teachers spent less instructional time on movement fundamentals and combining skills than did less experienced teachers. Furthermore, they assessed student enjoyment significantly less in higher grades than in lower grades. Physical educators teaching higher grade levels as well as those with more contact time with students spent less instructional time teaching movement fundamentals, balancing skills, carrying and lifting techniques, and motor skills. Over 40% of participants had 2 or less hours of contact time per week. Thus, how effective a physical educator can be with limited time is uncertain, and although physical educators have a unique opportunity to address childhood obesity challenges, they must be provided the time and opportunity to do so.