Written by Mary Henninger

The past year has been busy for physical education teacher education (PETE) faculty and students. We are happy to report that the newly established exchange program between the School of Kinesiology and Recreation and the University of Limerick (UL) will send four PETE students from Illinois State and will receive four PETE students from UL. PETE faculty and students also spent the year working to incorporate new, state-of-the-art software used to assess teaching. Superior Observation Software is now used to evaluate PETE students’ teaching progress during KNR 158 Instructional Strategies in PE, KNR 242 Secondary Methods and Practices in PE, and student teaching. Also, after many years of work, the PETE graduate program has been revived! Finally, faculty and students were actively engaged in scholarship this year by presenting at the Illinois Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, & Dance and the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, & Dance.

[alert style=”red”]KNR Point of pride: KNR faculty wrote 26 refereed journal articles in the last year. [/alert]

PETE Club activities this fall included the World Wide Day of Play, a city-wide event coordinated by the Children’s Discovery Museum. Thirty club members organized activities at the local YWCA in support of this event. Members also helped construct the KNR homecoming float and represented Illinois State at the IAHPERD Convention where the Jeopardy team (Sebastian Coates, Paul Husch, and Marissa Cohen) snagged first place, and the Superstars team placed second. In January, club officers attended the IAHPERD Leadership conference at Starved Rock. Brian Van Mersbergen from New Trier High School spoke to members about job hunting tips and student teachers shared their experiences as well. PETE Club also hosted local elementary students at a College Mentors for Kids event at McCormick Hall. A giant obstacle course was set up and everyone had a great time.

In the year ahead we will host students from the University of Limerick and look forward to fostering the relationship between KNR and UL. We plan to explore the ways assessment of student learning is taught throughout the PETE program in an effort to help teacher candidates become more adept at assessing their impact on student learning. In addition, the PETE faculty will be working to begin implementation of the new federally mandated Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA) with all student teachers. Beginning fall 2015, all teacher candidates in the state of Illinois will have to successfully complete the TPA process to graduate and earn teacher certification. Faculty will continue their scholarly pursuits through the initiation of independent studies with undergraduate and graduate PETE majors and presentations at IAHPERD and the National Association of Sport and Physical Education PETE Conference this coming year.