Date of Award

January 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Brenda Kallio


This study used a conceptual framework of professional development theory to identify characteristics of effective learning activities specific to 259 Minnesota K-12 public school physical education and developmental adapted physical education (PE/DAPE) teachers during 2012-2013. Study results confirmed that as PE/DAPE teacher participation in professional development increased, so too did perceived subsequent change in teaching practice. Both reform and traditional structures of professional development were found effective in teacher learning. Teachers who taught solo were less likely to participate in professional development than those who worked alongside PE/DAPE colleagues in the same school. Moreover, teachers who taught solo were less likely to perceive change in teaching practice following participation in professional development. Study results may provide direction to Minnesota school leaders and university faculty in future planning and development of learning opportunities specific to PE/DAPE teachers with particular consideration for implementing national physical education standards into existing K-12 programs.