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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Thomas Nelson

First Committee Member

Marilyn Draheim

Second Committee Member

Harriett Arnold

Third Committee Member

Michael Wright


The purpose of this case study was to explore the influence of mandatory fitness testing on curriculum decision-making processes of elementary physical education teachers. The research investigated how mandatory testing influenced the teachers' planning, implementation and assessment of their lesson plans. Eight respondents currently teaching elementary physical education in northern California since the inception of the testing mandate in 1996 participated in the study. Data were collected through the use of interviews, observations, and document analysis. The teachers indicated fitness testing does not influence how they plan for lessons except for the days directly involving fitness testing. In addition, the teachers mentioned they valued fitness in their curriculum but that it was a secondary concern. Skill development and creating a more positive social environment were identified as primary learning outcomes. Furthermore, the teachers do not enjoy administering the fitness tests and suggest students feel dissatisfied as well. Reoccurring themes emerged from the results of the study: (a) planning for a lifetime, (b) allocated time to physical education, and (c) the influence of fitness testing. In essence, this study revealed a disconnect between what the teachers value versus the amount of time fitness testing takes away from other content. Contrary to what the teachers stated, the data strongly suggests that the testing does influence curricular decision-making processes.





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