A Study of the Influence of Kenneth Cooper's Work on the Teaching of Wellness and Fitness in Physical Education Programs in 2-Year Community Colleges in the United States
Description: Kenneth H. Cooper is considered to be a noted scholar in the field of wellness and fitness. This study explored his contributions to the preventive medicine and wellness movement in community college physical education programs in the United States. It examined Cooper's influence on the development of preventive medicine and wellness from its inception and growth to its impact on changes and factors affecting curriculum in community college programs. A random sample of436 physical education division directors from the nation's 1,400 community colleges yielded a 62% survey response. For purposes of comparison, the sample was stratified into two regions taken fromeast and west of the Mississippi River. Chi-square analysis at the .01 level of significance found no difference between variables due to geographic region. The findings of this study indicate that Kenneth Cooper's contributions to preventive medicine and wellness in community college physical education curriculum are overshadowed by state and local governing bodies that are the force behind curricular development in the nation's 2-year community colleges. However, as an individual contributor, Cooper ranks highly in influencing the wellness and physical education curriculum primarily in the areas of aerobic exercise, physical fitness, and cardiovascular disease. The extent of Cooper's impact on community college physical education programs is recognized by the wide utilization of the 1.5 mile run test and 12-minute run test developed by Cooper. Two areas of Cooper's research—antioxidants and spiritual fitness—are not priorities in physical education programming. Changes in physical education programs in the past 10 years show an increased emphasis and popularity in aerobic fitness courses. It was also found that 40% of the community colleges responding to the present study indicated no physical education programming and that credit hours for physical education are decreasing.
Date: May 1997
Creator: Coan, Barbara A. (Barbara Ann)
Partner: UNT Libraries