The national standards for physical education endorse the notion that teachers should promote responsible personal and social behavior in physical activity contexts. Continuing professional development (CPD) programs are needed to assist teachers in updating their curriculum to meet those standards. The purpose of this study was to provide a novel responsibility-based CPD experience to teachers during a physical education reform project and examine its influence on an exemplary program.
The professional development protocol was informed by Hellison's Responsibility Model. Three teachers were trained to assess their program using the Tools for Assessing Responsibility-based Education (TARE), which includes a time-sampling observation instrument and a post-teaching reflection. TARE assessments were employed periodically by the researcher and the teachers. Data included TARE documents, interviews, and observations collected over a four month period.
Data analysis was conducted via inductive analysis. Trustworthiness was enhanced through data triangulation and peer debriefing. Results indicate that the protocol increased teachers awareness to responsibility-based teaching strategies, the teachers perceived the strategies to positively impact students, they were empowered to contextualize and integrate new strategies with their previously used responsibility tactics, and they collaborated in a responsibility-based community of practice.
The TARE instrument was useful tool for facilitating teachers' learning, reflection, and discussion. The teachers felt empowered to experiment with the TARE and make positive adaptations. Since the professional development was grounded in the classroom, the teachers were able to see positive impact on students, which increases the potential for sustainability.