Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program


Department or Program Chair

Elizabeth Truesdell PhD

First Reader

Madalienne F. Peters, EdD


Physical education has evolved from playing recreational games to an environment focused on learning through movement. In 2005 the State of California adopted California Physical Education Content Standards, creating a rigorous academic experience, including physical, cognitive, and psychological standards. Class size has an effect on differentiating instruction to meet the needs of all students. The purpose of the study is to examine the effects of class size on differentiating instruction and reaching all students. The literature reveals although small class size is recommended, it is not a reality in physical education. The study is qualitative in design involving a purposive sample of physical education teachers employed in a local suburban high school in Northern California’s San Francisco Bay Area. Their teaching experience spans from two to over twenty years. Findings show common themes of challenges physical education teachers face impacting the quality of instruction, preventing differentiated opportunities for diverse student population. Common themes include issues around teacher ability to deliver quality instruction, student engagement, providing timely, positive feedback to students, large class behavior management, assessment, and providing a variety of teaching styles.

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