Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Kinesiology

Document Type



Physical education (PE) teachers must adapt educational opportunities to meet the needs of the increasingly diverse students in K-12 schools. Culturally relevant physical education (CRPE) is believed to support all students in achieving success regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, language, or social class. The purposes of this dissertation study are: (a) to explore differences in PE teachers’ cultural pluralistic attitudes across sociodemographic factors; and (b) to test the feasibility (with preliminary impact) of a culturally tailored pedagogical workshop. To address the first purpose, I distributed the adapted Pluralism and Diversity Attitude Assessment (PADAA) to a diverse sample of K-12 PE teachers (n = 88) in a southeastern U.S. state to measure their cultural pluralistic attitudes. To address the second purpose, I employed a mixed-methods design where I implemented a four-session culturally tailored teacher’s workshop with two PE teachers’ (n = 2; Coach Ryan and Coach Cindy) as participants at one convenience school. I also examined their students’ (n = 175) responses to culturally responsive pedagogy and their physical activity (PA) levels. To measure students’ responses and PA levels, I administered the adapted Student Measure of Culturally Responsive Teaching (SMCRT) and the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children (PAQ -C), respectively, pre- and post-workshop. For the qualitative methods, I conducted regular field observations (once per week per class), individual interviews with the teachers (pre- and post-workshop), and collected in-workshop reflective writings from the teachers, to capture changes in CRPE practices. For the first research purpose, I conducted descriptive and inferential statistical analyses to examine the potential differences in teachers’ cultural pluralistic attitudes by sociodemographic variables (e.g., gender, race, age, teaching experience, educational attainment, school level taught, school locale, SES level, and diversity). The results showed no statistically significant differences in teachers’ culturally pluralistic attitudes across sociodemographic groups (p > 0.05) with the exception for the subscale of value cultural pluralism by school level (F1, 86 = 4.31, p = 0.04, ηp2 = 0.05), favoring secondary school level. Overall, the PE teachers generally valued and appreciated cultural diversity, yet they struggled to show cultural responsiveness in their instruction. For the second research purpose, I used descriptive and inferential statistics to quantify changes in students’ responses to the revised PE instruction; and then conducted open-, axial-, and selective coding to analyze the qualitative data to capture the changes with regard to CRPE practices. My qualitative results, upon triangulation, substantiated that the PE teachers’ full participations in the workshop were associated with some favorable changes in their CRPE practices and their intentions to continue culturally tailored professional development, while quantitative results in students’ responses and PA levels did not detect statistically significant pre-to-post changes (ps > 0.05). The findings from this study may inform future research in PE and physical education teacher education (PETE) to foster equitable CRPE for diverse student populations in K-12 schools.



Committee Chair

Senlin Chen

Available for download on Monday, June 24, 2030

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Kinesiology Commons