Using communities of practice in developing health-related fitness knowledge of physical education teachers : impact on student learning

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2012
Hünük, Deniz
The purpose of this study was to examine 1) the ways physical education teachers’ interact in a community of practice (CoP) 2) the effects of participation in CoP on the physical educators’ and their students’ health-related fitness (HRF) content knowledge (CK) and 3) the effects of physical education teachers’ CoP experience on their HRF pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) construction process. Twelve experienced physical education teachers (six in treatment, six in control group) and 278 of their students voluntarily participated in this study. Mixed method research with experimental pre–post design was used. Teachers in treatment group participated in a CoP for six weeks. For the first research question, results of the Interaction Process Analysis indicated that the types and patterns of the interactions changed over the six weeks. Teachers were more open to giving suggestions and opinions, expressing their feelings to each other and collectively offering solutions to each others problems as the weeks progressed. For the second research question, both quantitative and qualitative analysis indicated that teachers’ participation in a CoP increased both their and their students’ HRF CK. Two themes emerged to reveal these teachers’ increased CK: (1) how teachers became aware of their needs about HRF CK through support of the CoP and (2) the types of resources that helped them improve their CK through the CoP. For the third research question, results of the qualitative data demonstrated that for teachers, seeing their students respond positively and enjoying learning encouraged them to change their classroom practices. These changes typically resulted from increased HRF CK and made a change in teachers’ classroom practice, implementing new instructional methods, developing instructional tools, giving responsibility for learning to their students.
Citation Formats
D. Hünük, “ Using communities of practice in developing health-related fitness knowledge of physical education teachers : impact on student learning,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2012.