Measured Effectiveness and Decision-Making Processes of National Board and Non-Board Certified Physical Education Teachers


  • Jennifer E. Houston Arizona State University
  • Pamela Kulinna Arizona State University, Professor
  • Hans van der Mars
  • Kent Lorenz



teaching effectiveness, national board certification, Experimental Teaching Unit


The conceptual framework for this study was the Five Core Propositions of the National Board Certification (NBC) for teachers. This study evaluated teaching effectiveness and the decision-making processes employed by NBC and non-NBC physical education teachers. Process measures of teaching effectiveness were used (e.g., Academic Learning Time–Physical Education and the System of Observing Fitness Instruction Time), along with stimulated recall interviews. Four teachers (2 with/without certification) were given an experimental teaching unit and explicit student learning outcome objective that they implemented over three lessons. All analyses suggested NBC physical education teachers were not more effective than their non-NBC counterparts, and teacher decisions were similar. Three themes emerged across groups: (a) previous lessons painted the future, (b) mind on the physical, and (c) goal-directed instruction. The NBC organization claims that the process of certification is designed to develop/retain/ recognize accomplished teachers; however, these outcomes need more study in this setting.Subscribe to TPE

Author Biographies

Jennifer E. Houston, Arizona State University

After becoming a National Board Certified Teacher in 2006, received PhD in Curriculum and Instruction, Physical Education from Arizona State University in 2014. Taught at Texas A&M University-San Antonio and Northern Arizona University in the Physical Education Teacher Education programs, landing back at Arizona State University as in instructor for the PETE program, Division of Education Innovation and Leadership in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College

Pamela Kulinna, Arizona State University, Professor

Dr. Pamela Hodges Kulinna holds bachelors and master’s degrees from the University of Oregon, and a doctoral degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. Dr. Kulinna worked as an Assistant and Associate Professor at Wayne State University for six years prior to joining the faculty at Arizona State University in the fall of 2003.