Curriculum decisions made by secondary physical education teachers and comparison with students’ preferences

Dominique Banville, Risto Marttinen, Pamela Hodges Kulinna, Matthew Ferry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The purpose of the study was to gain an understanding of what impacts physical education teachers in their curriculum decision-making and how the activities chosen relate to what their students are interested in. Teachers (N = 76) and students (N = 258) from 12 purposely selected secondary schools located in a large school district in the United States participated by completing a questionnaire. Teachers indicated that curriculum decisions are made at the department level and that their teaching conditions are different from their colleagues in other subject areas. Activities favoured were primarily team sports, with some fitness activities and individual sports incorporated in the yearly plan. Students reported most engagement with jogging/running, walking, basketball, and cycling during their time away from school. The dominance of a team-sports driven curriculum persists against a wealth of evidence it may be misguided. If we want to change attitudes toward physical activity and physical education we must address the reliance on this type of curriculum in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-216
Number of pages18
JournalCurriculum Studies in Health and Physical Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • physical activity
  • physical education
  • Student attitude
  • teenagers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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