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The Relationship Between Urban Middle School Physical Education Teachers’ Attitudes Toward Fitness Testing and Student Performance on Fitness Tests

Fredrick, Ray Noble

Quality physical education is important to adolescent health and physical well-being. For urban schools, contextual and environmental constraints often make school-based physical education challenging. A good fitness testing program has the potential to promote physical activity and fitness. Attitude theory posits that attitude influences how teachers do their work. The purpose of this study was to investigate the attitudes of urban middle school physical education teachers toward physical fitness tests and their relationship with student performance on fitness tests.
Middle school teachers (N = 124) were recruited from urban school districts on the east and west coasts of the United States. They completed the Physical Education Teacher Attitudes toward Fitness Tests instrument (Keating & Silverman, 2004) whose scores have been validated and also provided demographic information. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics for overall teacher attitude and teacher attitude subdomains and correlational statistics to examine the relationship between each component of teacher attitude (overall, affective, and cognitive) and the percentage of students in the Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ) on various components of the FITNESSGRAM. Correlations also were examined by various teacher demographic variables and for boys and girls. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to examine the differences in fitness tests performance variables by demographic and profession-related variables.
Teachers’ overall attitudes toward fitness testing were just higher than neutral, signaling positive attitudes. Among the findings, the affective subdomain of teachers’ attitude on the enjoyment of using fitness tests results was found to have a significant positive relationship with the percentage of students in the HFZ for the push-up test. Additional significant positive relationships between the percentage of students in the HFZ on the tests and various components of attitude were also found for girls.
The findings suggest that teachers’ affective attitude may have a relationship with students’ performance on fitness tests and that relationships may be different for boys and girls. The relationships for teachers’ attitude toward enjoyment of using fitness tests results suggests teachers may use them to design activities and lessons that lead students to engage in more physical activity and thus improve their levels of fitness.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Biobehavioral Sciences
Thesis Advisors
Silverman, Stephen J.
Degree
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
March 1, 2019
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