A systematic review of public health-aligned recommendations for preparing physical education teacher candidates

Collin A. Webster, Liana Webster, Laura Russ, Sergio Molina, Heesu Lee, Jason Cribbs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Purpose: Since Sallis and McKenzie's seminal article in 1991 outlining physical education's role in public health, increased attention has been given to promoting youth physical activity in schools. The present study systematically reviewed the literature from 1991 to 2013 to identify recommendations for the preparation of physical education teacher candidates (PETCs) from a public health perspective. Method: Eight online databases (e.g., Educational Resources Information Center, Google Scholar) served as data sources for the study. Multiple combinations of key terms (e.g., physical education teacher education [PETE], public health, health-oriented) were used to identify relevant literature meeting search criteria. A content analysis was used to identify 47 distinct recommendations from 25 included articles and to synthesize these recommendations into major areas of focus. Results: Three major areas of focus were identified: (a) candidate profile (e.g., PETCs should be physically active and fit role models), (b) candidate knowledge (e.g., PETCs should know about behavior change theories), and (c) candidate skills (e.g., PETCs should be able to advocate for school-based physical activity). Conclusion: This review can serve as a blueprint for PETE programs seeking to align professional preparation with public health goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-39
Number of pages10
JournalResearch Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015


  • physical activity promotion
  • physical education teacher education
  • preservice teachers
  • professional preparation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Nephrology


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