Background/Purpose Professional development has a potential to deepen teachers' content knowledge and enhance students' achievement; however, effective teaching cannot be improved without adequate guidance from professional support and coherent practice (Armour & Evans, 2006; Birman et al., 2000). The purpose of this study was to examine how an advanced beginner teacher in Taiwan implemented Sport Education in his teaching following a long-distance, web-based professional development program. The program was based on principles of effective professional development (WestEd, 2002) and followed the recommended three-phase approach (Sinelnikov, 2009).
Method The participant was a male teacher with three years of teaching experience who taught a 26-lesson volleyball Sport Education season to 11th-grade coed students in the Northwestern Taiwan. Model congruency and its fidelity were verified using the modified Sport Education benchmark observational instrument (Ko et al., 2006). The data sources included formal interviews, informal discussions, email correspondence, online briefing/debriefing sessions, critical incident reports, relevant documentation, and researcher's log.
Analysis/Results The data were analyzed using the standard interpretive methods (Goetz & LeCompte, 1984) and guided by the model of teacher change (Guskey, 2002). Four major themes were identified during this particular Sport Education season: (a) increased student autonomy, (b) new vision about teaching and learning, (c) situational constraints and model deviations, and (d) difficulties of keeping students motivated.
Conclusions These findings suggest that, although the teacher and his students physically and socially benefited from this novel curriculum model, more strategies are needed to improve the quality of a long-distance, web-based professional development program.