Tan Leng Goh
Exercise and Sport Science/College of Health
Physical Education and Science Come Together
Faculty Mentor: James Hannon - Exercise and Sport Science/College of Health
Adult and childhood obesity has become an epidemic in the United States and many developed countries. Lack of physical activity and poor dietary behaviors are the main causes of obesity, which may lead to heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and weight-related health problems (Carandente, Roveda, Montaruli, & Pizzini, 2009). Teachers often provide opportunities for physical activity and serve as healthy role models for children and adolescents (Cardinal & Cardinal, 2002). Therefore, it is important for teachers to acquire a foundational knowledge of and embrace the importance of physical education and health.
At the University of Utah, undergraduate and graduate education majors who want to obtain a teacher licensure to teach in K-12 schools do so through the Urban Institute for Teacher Education (College of Education). In the past, education majors were required to take a 3-credit unit class (ESS 3500 - Physical Education for the Elementary School) from the Exercise and Sport Science department (College of Health). However this requirement was removed in summer 2007, due to a curriculum change in the College of Education. The purpose of ESS 3500 was to provide future classroom teachers with the information necessary to develop a quality physical education (PE) program based upon the National Physical Education Standards (National Association for Sport and Physical Education, n.d.). Recognizing the importance for education majors to acquire knowledge in PE, the two departments collaborated with the objective to integrate PE with the Science Methods Course during the academic year, 2010-2011. Integrative learning will be the theoretical framework for this study. Integrative learning is a higher education concept that helps students make connections between fields, and curricula, or between academic knowledge and practice. The purpose of this study is to examine education majors’ responses towards the collaboration program. In addition, challenges in learning through this integrative approach will be explored through the study.