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Effects of an Educational Gymnastics Course on the Motor Skills and Health-Related Fitness Components of PETE Students

Liana Webster


Many physical education teacher education (PETE) programs seek to develop teacher candidates’ content knowledge through various physical activity courses. However, limited empirical evidence exists linking college physical activity courses to the development of skill or fitness. The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of an educational gymnastics course on PETE students’ motor skill proficiency and health-related fitness components. Participants (N = 22) were PETE students enrolled in an educational gymnastics course. Data were collected from two primary sources: (1) four individual skills tests and the South Carolina Physical Education Assessment Program (SCPEAP) Elementary School Educational Gymnastics assessments and (2) the FitnessGram test battery. Findings suggest that an educational gymnastics course can improve PETE students’ content knowledge/motor skill proficiency. Additionally, a relationship may exist between certain fitness indicators and motor skill level in educational gymnastics. This study may guide PETE programs in making decisions regarding the inclusion of educational gymnastics as a content course in their programs, as such a course may help ensure that teacher candidates are physically educated individuals who are able to demonstrate competent movement performance. 

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Physical Education Teacher Education; Content Knowledge; Health-Related Fitness; Educational Gymnastics

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