Are Physical Education and Sports Teachers in Turkey Trained Appropriately? : A Study of Basic Education Institutions

Abstract

Teaching physical education and sports activities are among the indispensable
occupations of our time. Sports, apart from being an occupation of entertainment
and free time, have also a function that develop health and contributes
joy and happiness to the participants’ daily lives. Physical education
and sports activities have become signs of contemporariness. In Turkey,
the average beginning age for children’s participation in many or
team or individual sport activities is between ages 8 and 12. This is
also the average age level that most children start to participate in
school Physical Education and Sport courses. Physical Education is not
an elective course. It therefore is a core course and Turkey has a national
physical education teaching program. Despite the fact physical education
teachers are educated in various public and private physical education
programs, the core of the curriculums are very similar. All of the Physical
Education Teacher Education programs for the eight-year mandatory elementary
schools are monitored and constituted through the ministry of education.
While entire P.E. curriculums for education teachers are administrated
centrally and monitored by the ministry of education, there are few special
programs that training and preparing quality physical education and sports
teachers to teach high level physical education and sports courses at
8-year compulsory basic education institutions. The effectiveness of the
current programs that applied at most of compulsory basic education institutions
of eight years is a significant concern of this study. The purpose of
this research is to determine to what extent the physical education teacher
training programs that are currently used by those universities are effectively
and successfully training preparing physical education teachers to teach
at compulsory eight-year elementary schools.

Introduction

Education can be described as a planned and programmed process which
is applied in order to attain the desired changes in a person’s
behavior. Two basic and indispensable elements of education are the student
and the teacher. Unlike the traditional perspectives, in addition to lecturing,
the role of a teacher should be geared mostly towards guiding and advising.
This is also true for teaching physical education and sports. Physical
education teachers should guide students according to their interest and
skills. In order to attain the desired mental, social, psychological and
psychomotor developments, teachers should be creative and develop important
student specific tasks to improve individual creativity of various age
groups. The significant importance should be given to the programs that
deal with children who are at the beginning level(s). This situation brings
into the agenda a modernization of the programs to improve both the ability
of teachers to teach effective physical education courses and the program
tools that are going to be used in this process. It is a common belief
that currently most physical education teachers are ill prepared to successfully
teach physical education courses at the eight year compulsory schools.

Historically successful physical education programs have one thing in
common: they all use history as a learning process. For instance, those
who prepared and developed the modern physical education programs in the
United States America have benefited from teaching philosophies of Europe
(Lumpkin, 1990). The first modern efforts in order to train contemporary
physical education teachers began in the 18 th Century in Europe and in
the USA (Friedman, 1983). In the Ottoman Empire, these courses entered
the Curriculum in 1846 under the name of Gymnastics which was brought
about by the Tanzimat decree declared in 1839 during the reign of Sultan
Abdulmecit (Kasap, 1992). Selim Sirri Tarcan attended the Heyet-I Ilmiye
which assembled in 1923 and succeeded in integrating one-year-long the
‘physical education teachers’ school” into the government
program (Terbiye-i Bedeniye DarUlmuallimini).

The efforts for training sports instructors continued by the assistance
of three instructors (one woman, two men; Inge Nerman, Ranger Jonson and
Sven Alezanderson) who were called from Sweden between 1926-1929 and with
the 3,5-9 months – lasting courses of physical education teachers
during the years 1929-1930. In the scholar years of 1932-1933 a –
three- year- long physical education department was started at the Gazi
Education Institution in Turkey in order to train teachers for secondary
and high school levels. This was the only institution until 1966-1967.
Since then several other institutions have been developed and have been
offering physical education teachers education programs such as Istanbul
Institute of Physical Education, and various other universities in Bursa,
Izmir and Diyarbakir. In 1992 most of these schools were transformed into
physical education and sports higher schools. In Turkey, youth and sports
academies contributed to the process for training physical education teachers
as well as education institutes. Youth and sports academies were founded
under the youth and Sports ministry and were put into service in three
cities. The basic objective of the youth and sports academies is “to
train coaches, youth leaders, managers, experts as provided for in the
Body Training law numbered 3530.” Although the primary goal of youth
and Sports Academies was not to train physical education teachers as demands
raised for more physical education teachers the Sports Academies started
to certify their graduates to also be physical educators without pedagogic
training. At the end the Youth and Sports Academies lasted for only 10
years and they were closed forever.

Methodology

In Turkey, there are 48 universities that offer teaching physical education
programs and a total of 411 instructors are teaching physical education
courses. 171 instructors from Gazi University, Hacettepe University, Middle
East Technical University (METU), Ege University, Akdeniz University,
Celall Bayar University, Marmara University and Ankara University were
surveyed. A survey questionnaire consisting of 57 questions was developed.
The reliability coefficient of the survey is r = .96. By taking this course
of method, the research was formulated and determined by those who participated
in the research, taking into consideration the order of importance of
the branches determined by the Higher Education Board (HEB). These values
were interpreted according to the arithmetic averages of the participating
instructors’ (subjects) views. In conclusion, some significant statistical
differences were observed among various programs in terms of application
of teachers education programs both at the administrative and academic
levels. The research was carried out in July, August and September 2000.

The data we got in order to fulfill the purposes of the research were
provided by the surveys created by the researchers. The survey form was
prepared by means of the programs of the 48 physical education and sports
teaching departments of universities. Within this context, firstly the
programs which are aimed at training physical education and sports teachers
were scanned and the related courses were determined for the physical
education and sports teachers who will be on duty at primary and secondary
schools. The determined courses were grouped and submitted to a group
of instructors for their opinions and as a last stage, they were revised.
Thus a survey of 57 courses was created which would be submitted to the
instructors for their views. The reliability coefficient of the survey
is a + 96. The proposal concerning 57 courses, which formed the basis
of the research, were subdivided and evaluated according to the branches
determined by HEB. These branches are:

1 – Coach and Movement Sciences

2 – Sports Management Sciences

3 – Sports Health Sciences

4 – Psycho Social Fields in Sports

5 – Sports Training

6 – General Culture

7 – Applied Sports Field

8 – Information on the Teaching profession.

The subjects were determined under 8 dimensions. The proposals for courses
forming the bases of the research were developed taking into consideration
the order of importance of these courses the fields of which have been
determined by HEB.

Statistical processes were realized according to the arithmetic averages
of the participating instructions views about the related courses. The
courses determined in the program Draft proposal were put into order according
to their importance. The arithmetic averages of each group of courses
involving their own fields were taken as basis. The courses, which were
found above the arithmetic averages of the 57 courses submitted, were
proposed as elective courses. Lastly, a program was created which was
based on these findings.

Findings and Discussion

The purpose of the research is to determine the appropriateness of the
programs at the schools that are aimed at training physical education
and sports teachers who will work at 8 – year – long compulsory
basic education institutions. Within this context the programs applied
in Turkey were investigated and an evaluation was made for each of the
common courses.

The need for training staff in the academic and professional fields of
the sports sciences that were brought about by the constant change and
development in sports has become evident. This change and development
continued with the transformation of some of these schools into higher
schools and with the acceptance of eight fields by HEB within the framework
of related domains (Acikada, 1991). Moreover, the distribution of the
eight fields within the curriculum was determined as followed:

 

1 – Applied Sports Field; this field entails the
definition of the applied sports branches and teaching techniques.

2 – Field of Information on the Teaching profession; this section
includes the courses which are compulsory for teaching profession according
to ministry of national Education and HEB. In our country as in other
parts of the world, it is not possible to be a teacher without having
the necessary information on the teaching profession.

3 – General Cultures; this is the information necessary for a
qualified teacher. These include some courses that are not compulsory
for teaching but which are about current issues.

4 – The Field of Movement and Exercise Sciences; it is to evaluate
sports within the fact of movement and to shape it according to exercise
dimension.

5 – Field of Sport Health Sciences; involves the health dimensions
of sports and the relation between sports and health.

6 – The Field of Sports management and Sciences; involves the
dimension of sports related to management sciences.

7 – Sports Education; emphasized the manner of teaching sports
and involves the introduction of sports field.

8 – Psycho-Social Fields in Sports; involves the psychological
and sociological dimension of sports.

The determined groups of courses were divided into the above-mentioned
fields and evaluated within this framework.

Related to this, the proposed courses are presented in the table of
Annex 1 according to their order of importance for training physical education
and sports teachers who will be on duty at the basic education institutions.

As understood from the table, the group arithmetic average of the courses
included in the applied group has been found as X = 3.02. In this respect,
the basic and team sports such as gymnastics, athletics, rhythmic gymnastics,
volleyball and handball have been found on the highest level, whereas
the sports branches such as bodybuilding, marksmanship, and weight lifting
have been found at the lowest values. When we investigate the education
programs of Wales and England, we could see that team sports such as football,
volleyball, basketball, handball, gymnastics and rhythmic gymnastics were
at the highest level in term of the values attributed to them (Anonymous,
1995).

The research of Acikada (1991), which was carried out of 22 physical
education teachers with the purpose of development of physical education
and sports curriculum, produced similar results. The arithmetic average
for the courses which were under the information on teaching profession
has been found as X = 4.16. Although the arithmetic averages of the views
of the instructors for courses such Education Psychology, Education Sociology,
Program Development, Introduction to Education Sciences and Education
management has remained under the group average, these courses are compulsory
for the teaching profession.

The arithmetic average of the courses under the group of general culture
has been found as X = 3.41. in this respect, Foreign Language and already
compulsory Revolution History of the Turkish Republic and Computer courses
have been attributed and it has been noted that the Courses of Physics,
Chemistry, mathematics and Statistics were not important according to
the instructors for the physical education and sports teachers who will
be on duty at primary secondary schools. The research of Acikada (1991
gives similar results (Acikada, 1991).

The group arithmetic average of the courses under the movement and Exercise
Sciences has been found as X = 3.83. in this respect, the courses of motor
Development and Exercise Information were at the highest level, while
the course of Biomechanics has remained under the group arithmetic average
(X = 3.52).

The group arithmetic average of the courses under the Sports health Sciences
has been found as X = 3.95. In this respect the courses of First Aid and
sports physiology were at the highest level, whereas the Anatomy course
has been found under the group arithmetic average (X = 3.67).

Two courses were determined under the Sports Management Sciences. The
group arithmetic average of the courses under this group has been found
over the group average (X = 4.11). We think this is significant.

The group arithmetic average of the courses under the Sports Training
Field has been found as X = 4.18. In this respect, the courses of Skill
Acquiring and Special Teaching methods have been found at the highest
level, while the course of Comparative Sports Education was at the lowest
level.

There were two courses under the Psycho-Social Field in Sports and their
group arithmetic averages has been found as X =3.73. The course of Sports
Psychology was over the group arithmetic average (X = 4.11), while the
course of Sports history has been found at the lowest level in terms of
importance attributed to it, not only in its own group, but also in comparison
with all of the proposed courses (X = 3.34). These results show similarities
with those of the study carried out by Ursprung and his colleagues. Ursprung
and his colleagues have grouped courses offered at the physical education
and sports departments as Personal and Teams Sports pedagogy, Movement
and Health Sciences, Social Sciences and Scientific method (Ursprung and
his colleagues, 1995). Moreover, the groups of courses that should be
offered are parallel to the courses determined by Harrison,
Blakemore (1992) and Nicholas (1990), (Harrison and Blakemore, 1992),
(Nicholas, 1990).

Results and Suggestions

According to the results of the research, the participating instructors proposed to include gymnastics (aerobics and rhythmic gymnastics), athletics, swimming and team sports such as basketball, volleyball, handball, football, and racket sports such as badminton in the curriculum of the eight-year-long compulsory basic education institutions, especially during the periods covering 1-5 (ages 6-11). On the other hand, courses such as First Aid and Sports Physiology under the Sports Health Sciences, Motor Development and Exercise Information under the movement and Exercise Sciences, Recreation under the Sports Management Sciences, Skills Acquiring and Special Teaching method under the Sports Training Fields, Sports Psychology under the psycho-Social Fields in Sports were also proposed by the instructors. Within this context, the compulsory and elective courses that were determined in the draft program with the purpose of training physical education and sports teachers are as follows:

1. Semester T P CH
Gymnastics
1
4
3
Athletics I
1
2
2
Foreign Language I
2
0
2
Rev. History I
2
0
2
Intr. To Teaching Prof.
3
0
2
2. Semester
Foreign Language II
2
0
2
Rev. History II
2
0
2
Turkish II
2
0
2
Basketball I
1
4
3
Handball I
1
4
3
Athletics II
1
2
2
Rhytm T. and R. Gym
1
4
3
First Aid
1
2
2
3. Semester
Foreign Language III
2
0
2
Gymnastics II
1
4
3
Athletics III
1
2
2
Volleyball I
1
4
3
Gen. Teaching Meth.
3
0
2
Motor Development
2
0
2
Football I
1
4
3
Program Dev. (Elective)
3
0
2
Edu. Sociology (Elective)
3
0
2
4. Semester
Foreign Lang. IV
2
0
2
Table Tennis
1
2
2
Aerobic Gym.
1
2
2
Swimming I
1
2
2
Scouting
1
2
2
Learning Skills
3
0
3
Basketball II
1
4
3
Edu. Psychology (Elective)
3
0
3
Edu. Management (Elective)
3
0
3
5. Semester
Foreign Language V
2
0
2
Exercise Information
3
0
3
Sports Psychology
2
0
2
Handball II
1
4
3
Football II
1
4
3
Psych. Counseling
3
0
3
Sports Management (Elective)
2
0
2
Sports history (Elective)
2
0
2
6. Semester
Foreign Language VI
2
0
2
Volleyball II
1
4
3
Swimming II
1
2
2
Test. Evaluation
3
0
3
Badminton
1
2
2
Anatomy (Elective)
3
0
3
Biomechanics (Elective)
3
0
3
Anthropometry (Elective)
3
0
3
7. Semester
Foreign Language VII
2
0
2
Recreation
2
0
2
Teaching Application
2
4
4
Natural Sports
1
2
2
Research Techniques (Elective)
2
0
2
Campa. Sports Teaching (Elective)
2
0
2
8. Semester
Foreign Language VIII
2
0
2
Sports Physiology
3
2
4
Optional Specialization
2
4
4
Teaching Application
2
4
4
Sports Sociology (Elective)
3
0
3
Sports Health (Elective)
3
0
3
Total Credit Hours: 145

T = Theoretical Courses

P = Practical Courses

CH = Number of Credit Hour Values

Table 1: The distribution of the courses that are proposed to be included in the main program, which trains physical education and sports for eight-year-long basic education institutions (according to the field and order of importance).

Fields Courses N Median SD Order of
Subjects Median Standard Importance
Deviation
Applied Sports Field Gymnastics 171 4.6056 0.64 1
Athletics 171 4.5352 0.88 2
Rhythm Training 171 4.2113 0.97 3
Volleyball 171 3.9014 0.93 4
Handball 170 3.9 0.98 5
Basketball 171 3.8592 0.96 6
Swimming 171 3.662 1.29 7
Scouting 171 3.662 1.08 7
Football 171 3.5775 1.13 8
Table Tennis 170 3.4 1.1 9
Natural Sports 170 3.1857 1.15 10
Aerobics 171 3.1127 1.29 11
Badminton 170 3.0571 1.14 12
Tennis 169 2.9275 1.12 13
Wrestling 171 2.7324 1.3 14
Cycling 170 2.7286 1.18 15
Skating 171 2.5352 1.21 16
Fencing 170 2.1714 1.06 17
Archery 171 2.1408 1.06 18
Rowing 171 2.0704 1.11 19
Underwater Sports 169 2.0435 1.04 20
Far Eastern Sports 170 1.9714 1.09 21
Weightlifting 170 1.9571 1.12 22
Marksmanship 171 1.9155 1.04 23
Bodybuilding 170 1.8286 1.15 24
Info. On Teaching Teaching Application 170 4.6286 0.76 1
Gen. Teaching Methods 171 4.4225 0.8 2
Psychological Counseling 169 4.2609 0.92 3
Testing Evaluation 171 4.2113 0.92 4
Educational Psychology 171 4.1408 0.97 5
Educational Sociology 171 4.1127 1.02 6
Program Development 171 4.0428 1.06 7
Intro. To Educ. Science 171 3.9296 1.11 8
Education Management 171 3.7465 1.04 9
General Culture Foreign Language 171 4.0141 1.13 1
History of Turkey 171 3.6479 1.32 2
Computer 170 3.5286 1.15 3
Research Techniques 171 3.4085 1.3 4
Statistics 170 3.0143 1.2 5
Basic Services 170 2.8714 1.14 6
Movement/Exercise Motor Development 170 4.4714 0.96 1
Exercise Info. 170 4.0857 1.13 2
Antropometry 170 3.5286 1.16 3
Biomechanics 170 3.2676 1.23 4
Sports Health First Aid 169 4.2609 0.83 1
Sports Physiology 170 3.9571 1.26 2
Sportive Health 117 3.8286 1.08 3
Anatomy 171 3.7606 1.2 4
Sports Management Recreation 170 4.1143 1.08 1
Sports management 170 3.4714 1.14 2
Sports Education Learning Skills 169 4.4348 0.78 1
Special Teaching Methods 169 4.3913 0.93 2
Intro to PE and Sports 170 4.0714 1.13 3
Comparative Sports Education 170 3.5857 1.2 4
Psycho- social field Sports Psychology 170 4.1143 1.15 1
Sports History 169 3.3478 1.23 2
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