Guidelines for doctoral education in physical education teacher education

Por: Lynn Housner.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Guidelines for doctoral programs in Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) is a timely topic and in need of debate for several reasons. First, the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education has begun to develop guidelines for doctoral programs (Corbin, 2002). Second, though graduate study in PETE has been the topic of discussions during the last 25 years (Lawson, 1977, Metzler, 1999), guidelines for doctoral education in PETE have not been developed and there is no accrediting agency that holds PETE doctoral programs accountable for compliance. Finally, it has argued that physical education programs can contribute significantly to the health and wellness of children and young adults and PETE professors have been challenged to develop guidelines specifically for doctoral programs in PETE (Corbin, 2002).


In the present paper standards for K-12 physical education programs and initial and advanced teachers of physical education developed by our learned society, the National Association of Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) are used to create guidelines for doctoral education in PETE. This is viewed as an appropriate method for several reasons. First, NASPE standards represent the consensual wisdom of the profession; developed by teams of teachers and teacher educators and ultimately approved by the profession at large. Second, the standards are informed by empirical research. Prominent researchers were included on the standards teams to insure that standards reflected the most current empirical knowledge base. Third, the standards are used to hold teacher education institutions accountable through the accreditation process stipulated by NASPE and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE, 2001). Fourth, the NASPE/NCATE standards for initial and advanced teachers represent the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that must be, at least at a minimum, transmitted to prospective and inservice teachers in order to effectively implement the NASPE K-12 content standards for physical education programs. Finally, the standards for teachers represent the knowledge, skills and dispositions for entry-level and experienced teachers. Since, professors of PETE will often work with both types of teachers, this is an attractive element of the NASPE/NCATE teacher standards.

Discussion / Conclusions

This paper will provide an overview on K-12 standards developed by NASPE (1995), and the initial and advanced NASPE/NCATE teaching standards. The standards were synthesized into rational clusters and used to direct the development of guidelines for doctoral programs in PETE. Finally, two of the clusters are used to describe the types of doctoral experiences that might be needed to address the guidelines.


  1. Corbin, C.B. (2002). Physical education as an agent of change. Quest, 54, 182-195.
  2. Lawson, H. (1977). Professional studies program in graduate physical education. Quest, 29, 67-75.
  3. Metzler, M. (1999). Preparing Professors of Physical Education and the Sport Sciences for the New University: The Apprentice Scholar Model. Paper presented at the National Association of Higher Education in Physical Education Conference. San Diego, CA.




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