The success and struggles of physical education teachers while teaching online during the COVID-19 pandemic

Erin Centeio, Kevin Mercier, Alex Garn, Heather Erwin, Risto Marttinen, John Foley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to investigate physical education teachers' perceptions of implementing online physical education during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as to explore their needs with regard to support for future teaching experiences. A total of 4,302 teachers completed four open-ended questions as part of a larger survey. Deductive and inductive qualitative analysis led to three themes: (a) Teachers' Proud Moments, (b) Help! So Many Obstacles, and (c) Future Challenges. Teachers stated many successes and challenges that they experienced through the COVID-19 pandemic. Many items specifically focused on use and access to technology, student participation, and meeting students' needs in various ways. Results can provide guidance for how to address the essential components of physical education in the online environment. In addition, results may provide insight to those who educate, train, and prepare teachers to teach in a virtual and/or physically distanced environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-673
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Teaching in Physical Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank for sharing their data to help tell the story of what happened during the COVID-19 pandemic. We express our deepest sympathies to all of those who were impacted by the pandemic. We are stronger together.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Human Kinetics, Inc.


  • Barriers
  • PE teachers experiences
  • Qualitative
  • Quality remote PE instruction
  • School

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Education
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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