Teaching has been reported as a stressful occupation (Kyriacou, 2001). Research has also indicated that preservice teachers might experience high stress during practice teaching (Chan, 2003). Although there has been a proliferation of literature on stress among teachers, few studies have been conducted regarding preservice physical education teachers, and the studies that do exist have mainly investigated the sources of stress among physical education teachers. Moreover, no studies have been found that examine the relationship between stress and teaching effectiveness among preservice physical education teachers. This study examined if stress negatively or positively impacted preservice physical education teachers’ teaching effectiveness, thus providing numerous implications for Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) programs.
A demographic questionnaire, the Teacher Stress Scale (TSS), interview questions, and the West Virginia Teaching Evaluation System (WVUTES) were utilized. A demographic questionnaire was distributed to preservice physical educators prior to their clinical teaching experience. The preservice physical educators were asked to complete the TSS before videotaping one lesson that preservice physical educators taught during the first two-weeks of their practice teaching. Then, 10 preservice teachers who experienced the highest stress levels would be interviewed. Last, the correlation between stress and preservice physical educators’ instructional effectiveness was analyzed.
A Pearson product-moment correlation analysis was used to determine the relationship between preservice physical educators’ stress (the total score of TTS) and their instructional effectiveness (students’ total learning time). Results indicated that there was a strong, negative correlation between stress and their teaching effectiveness (r = -0.512, p < 0.01). In addition, the curriculum model and noise were reported as factors that affected preservice physical educators’ stress and instructional effectiveness.
In order to improve preservice physical educators’ teaching effectiveness, following aspects should be addressed in PETE programs: 1) promote pedagogy content knowledge, 2) continually develop classroom management skills, 3) assist preservice teachers in understanding the curriculum model used, and 4) introduce stress relieving techniques before teaching.