FOR USE BY PRINCIPALS
Suggested Job Interview Questions
Prospective Physical Education
A Quality Physical Education Program
Will Keep Your School
Fit to Achieve
Prepared by the National Association for Sport & Physical Education
Make Hiring a Key Aspect of Assuring a Good Program
According to NASPE’s Physical Activity Guidelines, school children are
encouraged to be physically active at least 60 minutes, and up to several hours
per day. Assure that your students are taught the joy and reasons for being
physically active by a professional!
Hiring high quality professional staff is one of the challenges faced by principals. Another is having
a general understanding of the standards, issues and trends relative to all the content areas that make
up a comprehensive education including physical education. The National Association for Sport &
Physical Education (NASPE) has developed guidelines and interview questions to help you to hire
the best physical education faculty and contribute to the total education of your students.
NASPE, a nonprofit professional membership organization headquartered in Reston, VA, is the
only national association supporting K-12 physical education programs and physical educators.
Through its nearly 20,000 members, NASPE develops and supports programs of high quality in
sport and physical activity that promote healthy behaviors to enhance individual well-being.
Please share these suggestions with other principals in your school district as well as chairs of your
departments of physical education. We hope the following will help you better assess your program
and prospective faculty members.
Suggested Questions for Faculty in Physical Education
1. What do you believe are the characteristics of an effective “physical education teacher?”
-“A physical education teacher is someone who is able to integrate knowledge and
understanding of human movement and physical fitness, student growth and development, and
current learning theories in order to facilitate student learning so that students become physically fit,
competent movers and understand a range of movement forms..”
1a. What is an effective program?
2a. What do you want your students to learn in your program?
-*Key concepts: has comprehensive knowledge about scientific and applied aspects of human
movement and physical activity; uses developmentally appropriate activities; models sportsmanship;
shows awareness of students’ needs; applies effective teaching strategies; accommodates diversity; demonstrates professional commitment through involvement in professional organizations; serves as
a positive role model of personal fitness and skill; uses appropriate assessment and evaluation;
applies current technology. Students should learn health-related fitness, motor skills, how to be and
stay active out of class, sport opportunities, various movement forms.
* (Key Concepts - the applicant may or may not answer the question in exactly this way,
however, the interviewer can focus on the key words related to the concepts involved in the
2. The accepted definition of a “Physically Educated Person” from NASPE is the following:
-“Has learned skills necessary to perform a variety of physical activities.”
-“Is physically fit.”
-“Participates regularly in physical activity.”
-“Knows the implications of and the benefits from the involvement in physical activities.”
-“Values physical activity and its contribution to a healthful lifestyle.”
2a. How would you help your children to become physically educated?
*Key Concepts: Competence in manipulative locomotor and non-locomotor skills, involvement in life activities and various movement forms (sport, dance, gymnastics, aquatics), assesses, achieves
and maintains personal physical fitness; understands how to be safe in physical activity; health-
enhancing regular physical activity; variety of physical activity options; motor development; healthy
lifestyle decisions; enjoyment.
3. What are the “Appropriate Practices” in physical education?
“Those practices which recognize children’s developmental status and changing capacities to
execute motor skills.” Teachers plan and implement instruction that maximizes each student’s
potential to develop in all domains in a safe, motivating environment.
*Key Concepts: selection of movement concepts and motor skills; cognitive development; affective development; fitness; fitness assessment; maximum participation; variety of movement forms;
management of competition.
4. How do you assess students in physical education?
“Learning should be systemically assessed based on predetermined goals.” Assessments
should include a variety of forms that assess understanding and application of concepts and
development of skills. Assessment should be ongoing part of learning and reflect authentic
application of meaningful skills and knowledge.
*Key Concepts: evaluation of students within psychomotor, cognitive, and effective domains; valid, reliable, and objective; formative evaluation in relation to individualized criteria; guide to
instructional planning; criteria-based; focus on individual performance; should assist in grading;
indicator of quality instruction.
5. How do you ensure the “safety and well-being” of all students?
“The teacher should plan and direct all class activities in an environment that promotes the
safety of all students.”
*Key Concepts: Physical maturation and skill development levels (size and strength); pertinent student medical information; continuous supervision in all activity areas and in the locker room;
appropriate clothing and shoes; safety aspects of physical activities is an integral part of instruction:
emergency first-aid procedures; maintenance of all equipment and facilities.
5a. How would you accommodate students with a variety of special needs?
*Key Concepts: All students are not doing the same thing at the same time but a variety of levels,
stations, equipment and activities. It is important to extend and adapt tasks to student needs.
6. What is your understanding of the National Standards for Physical Education that were
developed by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education or of our state’s
standards for physical education?
“The purpose of the National Standards was to clearly identify what a student should know
and be able to perform as a result of a quality physical education program and to establish teacher-
friendly guidelines for assessment.” There are seven broad standards with benchmarks for grades K,
2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12.
*Key Concepts: the standards address: motor skill competency; varied movement forms; understanding of movement & fitness; physically active lifestyle; health-enhancing level of physical
fitness; responsible personal and social behavior in physical activity settings; respect for differences;
opportunities for enjoyment, challenge, self-expression, and social interaction.
7. What are your plans for professional involvement and self-improvement?
7a. Would you be willing to attend inservice trainings on your own time?
8. Give an example of how you have been cooperative and flexible in a professional work
*Key concepts: compromise, respect, for the good of the school
8a. Give an example of how you have been a part of a decision making process.
9. How do you think physical education contributes to the total curriculum?
10. Do you have any additional information you would like to share with us?
*Key Concepts: interests, hobbies, certification, professional contributions and involvements, etc.
Resources for You When was the last time you visited a physical education class in your school? Is your program
making the contribution it should to the overall education of your students? Are your students
becoming physically competent and fit so that they can learn better now and become active and
productive adults in the future? Is your physical education teacher a certified specialist who is
keeping abreast of the latest standards, issues and trends?
NASPE encourages you to learn more about and develop a greater understanding of the role
physical education plays in the overall education of your students. Young people who discover and
develop motor competence and adequate health related physical fitness can improve their self-
esteem, overall health and well-being. Active, healthy kids learn better!
To help you review your school’s physical education program, NASPE has developed cutting edge
materials. Here are several you will want to consider:
Professional Standards: National Standards for Physical Education define what students should
know and be able to do to become physically educated. The standards, which place physical
education clearly in the mainstream of educational reform, make a strong call for rigorous
achievement of challenging subject matter both cognitively and physically. Stock #304-10083, $17
for members, $22 for non-members
New Opportunity to Learn Standards for Elementary Physical Education: All elementary
physical educators and administrators should be aware of the program elements essential to provide
students with full “opportunity to learn” physical education. This new NASPE publication outlines
the standards that ensure that no student is deprived of the opportunity to meet the content and
performance standards for physical education because the school failed to provide an adequate
learning environment or adequate resources. Stock #304-10242, $4 for members, $7 for non-
New Assessment Series: The NASPE Assessment Series for K-12 physical education and teacher
preparation programs are books with current assessment ideas to tell you what your students are
learning. Each booklet in the series focuses on a different assessment topic. To order a copy of
Creating Rubrics for Physical Education, call 1-800-321-0789. Stock #304-10209. $10 for
members, $13 for non-members.
Other titles in the Assessment Series are:
? Standards-Based Assessment of Student Learning ( by Leslie Lambert) ? Assessing Motor Skills in Elementary Physical Education (by Shirley Holt/Hale) ? Assessing and Improving Fitness in Elementary Physical Education (by Shirley Holt/Hale) ? Assessing Social Responsibility and Teamwork (by Mary O’Sullivan and Mary Henninger)
? Assessment in Games Teaching (by Stephen Mitchell and Judith Oslin)
? Portfolio Assessment for K-12 Physical Education (by Vincent Melograno) ? Assessing Student Learning: New Rules, New Realities (by Ron Brandt) ? Assessment Strategies for Elementary Physical Education (by Suzann Schemer) ? Assessment Learning in Physical Education: Motor Skills (video Stephen Jefferies) ? Cardiovascular Fitness for Fun (by Donna Baker)
Guidelines and Program Appraisal Checklists for K-12 Physical Education Programs address
the expected outcomes of instruction; the curriculum, qualifications of the teacher; student safety
and physical conditioning, scheduling of adequate opportunities for instruction; and class size;
facilities, equipment and supplies; and measurement and evaluation techniques.
Skate in School Program: NASPE and Rollerblade, Inc. created the Skate in School Program to
promote in-line skating safety, and to turn kids onto a lifetime of fun and cardiovascular fitness that
they otherwise might miss. To learn more about the exciting Skate in School Program, contact
Rollerblade at 1-888-758-4386. NASPE members benefited from receiving over 200 $10,000
Skate in School grants from Rollerblade, Inc.
Web Site: Visit NASPE at http://www.aahperd.org/naspe/naspe.html or call 1-800-321-0789 to
order the standards, assessment series, guidelines and checklists. NASPE members benefit from
th Annual Convention of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation &
Dance (AAHPERD), April 1-5, 2003, Philadelphia, PA. For more information, see
www.aahperd.org or call 1-800-213-7193.
Professional Improvement in Physical Education (PIPE-line) is the theme of the one day workshops
developed by NASPE to meet the growing demand of school systems nationwide to provide quality
clinics and inservice programs to physical educators. These workshops concentrate on current issues
in our profession and provide the most up-to-date information on focused topics. The first three
workshop topics are 1) Appropriate Instructional Practices, 2) Teaching to Content Standards in
Physical Education, and 3) Assessment of Student Learning. A faculty of experienced, dynamic
PIPE-line clinicians will present information these topics using a curriculum outline to guide the
presentation and a variety of NASPE materials while enhancing the workshop by adding their own
expertise and hands-on activities. PIPE-line Workshops will be available beginning Fall, 2002.
Anyone interested in this program can contact NASPE at 703-476-3414 for additional information.
Those are just a few of the exciting new programs NASPE has to offer your physical education staff.
By encouraging your teachers to access all of NASPE’s resources, you will be contributing to your
students’ overall health and well-being. Membership is only $125 for individuals. Urge your physical educators to enhance their professionalism!