The Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) is a concentration within the Kinesiology PhD program. Within the PETE Ph.D. concentration students can specialize in adapted physical education and general physical education pedagogy. Students gain critical research experience and develop independent research skills in many different areas such as, but not limited to adapted physical education, disability sport, sport or exercise psychology, school staff wellness, and online teaching and pedagogy; extensive teaching experience and professional service to successfully assume positions as an assistant professor or clinical instructor teaching at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels in health and physical education programs in institutions of higher education.
The Ph.D. program in Kinesiology, with a concentration in physical education teacher education, prepares students with the research skills and teaching experiences required to excel as a faculty member in higher education. The foundation of our strong pedagogical curriculum is instructional models.
Research Opportunities. Course work is paired with leadership opportunities to help students develop an independent line of expertise and research in areas related to the use of digital technology in physical education, school health and wellness, or adapted physical education and disability sport. Each experience is carefully designed to ensure graduates are well prepared to be highly competitive on the job market.
Community Partnerships. We pride ourselves on the diversity of opportunities available to our students through the many connections we established with local schools and non-profit disability sport organizations in Atlanta. The city and surrounding metro region is ripe with enriching field experiences and research opportunities.
Graduate Assistantship Opportunities. Our program is full-time and funding is available to offset tuition and cover living expenses for four years. Qualified students may receive a research assistantship through direct involvement with HPE faculty research initiatives, and there are teaching assistantship opportunities available to support those who teach undergraduate and graduate courses in health and physical education. Additional funding is available for students interested in adapted physical education as a focus within the PETE Ph.D. degree. For more information download the Graduate Assistantship Opportunities in PETE document.
Time to Degree Completion. Our program is designed to take four years. Students are engaged in research and/or teaching starting their first semester in the program. While research expectations are ongoing, the first two years are primarily spent completing coursework within HPE, statistics and measurement, and a cognate area of the student’s interest. Upon completion of the coursework, students will present and submit for peer review two original student-initiated research papers for their qualifying exams. The dissertation concludes the program.
Graduate Student Success. Our graduates work as faculty in Universities across the country, and as researchers with non-profit health promotion organizations.
Deborah Shapiro, Ph.D.
Dr. Shapiro is a Professor and undergraduate program coordinator of the health and physical education program. Her primary research focus has been in the area of psychosocial factors of sport participation among youth athletes with disabilities. Dr. Shapiro has also written on issues related to professional preparation. She has published in leading peer-review journals in adapted physical education, recreation, and sport management. Dr. Shapiro has received several awards for her scholarship and leadership in the field of adapted physical activity including: the Hollis Fait Scholarly Contribution award, the William A. Hillman Distinguished Service award, and the ASPIRE award for advocacy. Dr. Shapiro serves on several board of directors of disability sport organizations and on advisory and academic councils related to disability sport.
Rachel Gurvitch, PH.D.
The Health and Physical Education program in the Department of Kinesiology and Health offers five different programs, two at the undergraduate level (teacher certification and sport coaching), two at the masters level (master of arts in teaching and master’s of education) and a Ph.D. in kinesiology with a concentration in physical education teacher education (PETE).
Within the Ph.D. concentration, students can specialize in adapted physical education and general physical education pedagogy. Within the Ph.D. in PETE concentration, students can develop research expertise in many different areas such as, but not limited to, adapted physical education, disability sport, sport or exercise psychology, school staff health and wellness and online teaching and pedagogy (see ongoing research below).