Physical Education Pre-service Teachers' Understanding, Application, and Development of Critical Thinking
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2018 National Association for Kinesiology in Higher Education (NAKHE). To better prepare physical education (PE) teachers, this study explored a group of pre-service teachers understanding, application, and development of critical thinking (CT) in a capstone methods course. Participants were 12 pre-service teachers from a PE teacher education (PETE) program at a large university in the southwestern United States. Data were collected through focus group interviews and post-lab assignments and were analyzed via content analysis. Findings showed that the PE pre-service teachers could define CT and recognize its importance to teaching and learning. Together with field-based teaching practices, course written assignments such as the encyclopedia article, curriculum project, lesson plans, and post assignments were identified as contributors to CT development. At the end of the semester, the PE pre-service teachers demonstrated an improvement in CT across three levels. Based on our findings, we recommend the integration of CT instruction into PETE programs.