Implementation of school-based quality physical education (QPE) has been suggested to have positive impacts on students’ health to combat the worldwide obesity epidemic. A supportive school
environment is important to maintain such impacts, demanding non-PE teachers to embrace the value of PE and commit to facilitate PE-related initiatives. Teachers who identified themselves as PE
supportive teachers are more likely to reinforce a physically active environment in school settings. Empirical studies indicated that teachers’ professional identity is the driving force for teaching
commitment and self-development. Moreover, it has been assumed that physical education teacher education (PETE) programs as the first stage to form and refine positive physical educator identity
(PEI), could alter preservice teachers’ existing identity and the effects from previous life experience. The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of a kinesiology course on non-PE
preservice elementary teachers’ PEI.
Students in a kinesiology class (Children’s Movement) designed to prepare these preservice teachers to be ready to lead PE class or school physical activity participated in this study. A pre-validated
survey with using a 7-level Likert scale was used to measure 3 domains of PEI. The domains included: 1) sense of becoming a PE supportive elementary teacher referring to the extent to which
individuals view themselves as supporting P.E in future career; 2) negative affectivity referring to the extent to which an individual experiences negative affect in response to undesirable outcomes
in PE teaching; and 3) professional growth as a PE supportive teacher. Demographic information including gender, ethnicity, major, year in college, and PA level. The survey was distributed to all
students at the beginning of the course and at the end of the course. Data analyses were performed using SPSS 21.0. Descriptive analyses and repeated measure MANOVA were employed to examine preservice
elementary teachers’ PEI.
Twenty-four students participated in the study (Mage=22.08). Overall, there were 21 females (87.5%) and 3 males (12.5%). The mean scores of each of the PEI domains at the pre-test were: 5.61 ± 0.78,
5.52 ± 0.81, 4.96 ± 0.89, respectively; at the post-test the mean scores were 5.72 ± 0.78, 5.64 ± 0.64, 4.96 ± 0.93, respectively. In general, the overall PEI did not change significantly between the
pre- and post- tests, however, PEI differed among ethnicity groups (Wilks’ Lambda=0.361, F(3,18)=2.536, p=0.019). Domain 1 and domain 2 of the PEI scale increased significantly overtime (p=0.038,
p=0.044 respectively), while the increase in domain 3 was marginal. Moreover, domain 3 was significantly different across ethnicity groups (p=0.002). In addition, African American and Asian preservice
teachers were more likely to increase their PEI overtime. Specifically, the Asian and Hispanic groups demonstrated increased PEI in all the 3 domains, while African American group had lower PEI from
pre- to post- tests in domain 2 only. It was surprising to find that the Caucasian group had decreased PEI in all the 3 domains.