Moving towards standards: how teacher attitudes and district support impacts implementation of physical education content standards

This study's purpose was to identify factors that impact implementation of the new California Physical Education Content Standards (CPECS) by finding connections between teacher attitudes, District/site support, and implementation. Subjects were seven student teachers and their cooperating physical educators in San Diego County middle and high schools. A Mixed Method was used: Likert Scale and rank order questionnaire, lesson observation notes, written reflective dialogues, and the researchers' reflections. Regarding attitude: student teachers and cooperating teachers had mostly positive attitudes, in social, problem solving, and professional settings; had positive beliefs about CPECS and were positively motivated regarding their implementation (more so to apply than understand); evaluation motivated stronger than expectation. Student teachers' beliefs equated standards-based methods and strategies in their practice. Cooperating teachers were less confident than their student teachers about teaching CPECS. Factors supporting implementation were: standards-based instructional practices, teachers' intrinsic motivation, department support/collaboration, and site/District support (including professional development). Factors impeding implementation were: large class size, lack of professional development, and lack support from site/District administrators. Teachers' strong beliefs and motivation, combined with standards-based methods and strategies, plus many forms of site/District support will be needed for full implementation of CPECS. Key Words: physical education; content standards; teachers' attitudes; factors impacting implementation.