Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice


Shery Bennett

Committee Member

Mary Vogel


Physical education, PE curriculum standards, barriers to physical education


Barriers to implementing a full physical education curriculum presented challenges to teaching students about healthy lifestyles and supporting them through effective lessons. This mixed-methods study aimed to explore and compare primary school teachers’ experiences in rural Ghana and the United States in implementing the physical education curriculum. The present study addresses gaps in the literature by connecting teacher concerns when implementing a curriculum with fidelity. The mixed-methods study helped explore and compare primary school teachers’ experiences in rural (town populations of less than 5,000) Ghana and rural towns of the southern United States in implementing the physical education curriculum.

This study utilized the theoretical perspective of Fullan’s educational change theory as a foundational framework. Fullan’s theory emphasized the complexities involved in educational change and delineated three key stages: initiation, implementation, and institutionalization or continuation. It included 10 participants from rural Ghana and five from the United States to collect demographic information and quantitative data to expand upon the difficulties in both countries with implementing the new curriculum.

An online questionnaire allowed participants the opportunity to participate remotely. Questions focused on identifying any barriers to the implementation of new physical education curriculum standards and exploring the experiences of physical education educators. Support was identified as crucial for promoting and implementing the new curriculum, encompassing administrative support, parental involvement, and community engagement. In addition, the new curriculum brought about changes and challenges, with a shift towards focusing on the health and wellbeing of the whole child, including physical and mental aspects. However, challenges such as a lack of administrative support and resources were noted, indicating the need for adequate support to enable successful implementation. While the new focus on the whole child’s health and wellbeing was evident in both contexts, the study also revealed context-specific challenges and differences between the two countries, emphasizing the need for tailored approaches to address resource limitations and training needs.

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