Purpose: Physical educators may be the responsible people for implementing comprehensive school physical activity programs (CSPAPs) in schools. However, it is unclear whether physical education teacher education (PETE) programs provide the relevant learning opportunities to preservice teachers for CSPAP implementation. The purpose of this study was to understand preservice teachers’ perspectives and experiences of CSPAP preparation in their PETE programs. Method: Fourteen PETE students from 6 different universities participated and shared their experiences in PETE programs. Data were collected through a short survey, 1 formal interview, field images, document gathering, and an additional survey to follow up the interview. Descriptive statistics, constant comparison, and analytic induction techniques were used to analyze the data. Results: Participants’ familiarity with CSPAPs was related to positive opinions about the role of physical educators in CSPAPs. Three common themes were revealed: (a) introducing CSPAP via courses, (b) the lack of programwide hands-on experiences for CSPAP, and (c) limited preparation for social skills with stakeholders. Participants’ perceptions of the role of physical educators as physical activity leaders had been expanded during their training. Conclusion: The participating PETE programs integrated CSPAP components in the existing courses to introduce CSPAP, while there was a lack of sufficient practical opportunities to learn how to implement (aspects of) a CSPAP. Participants felt they were insufficiently prepared to promote and implement expanded physical activity programming beyond physical education classes in schools. The majority of the PETE preservice teachers wanted more practical CSPAP experiences in their programs.
- Physical activity promotion
- physical education teacher education programs
- qualitative research
- student teachers
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine