Chapter 6: Perspectives on the future of doctoral programs

Murray F. Mitchell, Hans van der Mars, Hal A. Lawson, Phillip Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


What does the future hold for Doctoral Programs for Physical Education Teacher Education (D-PETE) programs, faculty, and doctoral students? What can D-PETE faculty prioritize and do to create a more desirable future for D-PETE, PETE, and school physical education programs? What are the main facilitators, constraints, and barriers? Framed by these three questions, this chapter offers an action-oriented analysis of doctoral programs. Alongside physical education-specific program priorities influential factors in the external environment merit attention, including regional and state accreditation, neoliberal forces for accountability, the regulatory environment, program standards and national rankings, and declining enrollments. Mindful of alternative perspectives and university- and program-specific action plans, a dual priority appears to be crosscutting. Every D-PETE program needs to reflect theoretically sound and evidence-based practices, and D-PETE graduates need to be prepared to advance these practices after graduation. Toward these ends, it is timely to work toward consensus on a core knowledge base, explore how best to share resources across university boundaries, and join forces to solidify and safeguard appropriate practices. Today’s choices have short- and long-term consequences for each program and the profession overall, recommending that national priorities gain prominence alongside local program traditions and D-PETE faculty practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-401
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Teaching in Physical Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Faculty
  • Physical education
  • Physical education doctoral preparation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Education
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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