Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Kinesiology and Health

First Advisor

Dr. Michael Metzler

Second Advisor

Dr. Shannon Barrett-Williams

Third Advisor

Dr. Jacalyn Lund

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Rachel Gurvitch

Fifth Advisor

Dr. Betty Block


Dance as a content area has received little attention within physical education teacher education (PETE) research. To date, there has been only one study, conducted in 1992, that examined dance courses within PETE programs. In order for PETE faculty to make informed programmatic decisions about the role of dance education within PETE and P-12 physical education, the findings of this study must be updated. The primary purpose of this mixed methods study is to gather current descriptive information about dance courses in PETE programs. A secondary purpose of this study is to uncover both personnel and institutional elements that act as either facilitators or inhibitors of dance instruction within PETE programs. Data collected via an online questionnaire (n = 580, 17.9% return rate) revealed that a quarter of respondents (25.8%, n = 23) neither offered nor required dance courses in their PETE program and 67.4% (n = 60) of institutions required at least one course that contained dance content in their program. The top five dance content areas taught are rhythmic activities (88.9%), line dance (70.4%), folk/world dance (61.1%), creative dance (61.1%), and square dance (48.1%). Data also revealed that PE major students gained pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) from writing lesson plans (89.5%), student learning outcomes and assessments (71.1%), learning the history of dance and/or dance appreciation (39.5%) as well as theories of dance education (29.0%). Over half of dance courses (51.1%) are taught by a member of the Professoriate or the Department Chair and the mean tenure of dance course instructors is 9.2 years. Last, the questionnaire revealed that the strongest facilitator of dance instruction was instructor expertise (27.9%) and the strongest inhibitor of dance instruction was lack of curricular space (15.1%) which was corroborated by the interview data. Furthermore the interview data, which was coded using Descriptive Coding coupled with Phenomenological and Thematic Analysis, found that interviewee’s highly valued dance as both a lifelong physical activity and as an essential component to a P-12 PE program.