Dr. J. Scott Townsend is the program director for Appalachian’s Health and Physical Education, K-12 (BS) degree. He has taught at Appalachian since 2001. His recent research interest is the curriculum and instructional model called Sport Education.
What excites you or otherwise inspires you about the field of health and PE?
We are a field that considers itself the ultimate in preventative medicine. We are the school-based component of health and physical education and as such have access to a diverse and attentive population. We literally have the ability to impact almost every child in the nation! This responsibility is exciting and inspiring as we think about the exponential impact of our field.
Why did you choose to come to Appalachian to teach?
Appalachian State University has a national reputation for quality physical education instruction. It houses a decades-long home school physical education internship and nationally renowned faculty with expertise in curriculum and instruction and self-determination theory research. It offers the best of knowledgeable faculty who understand and can translate theory to practice, using engaging and exciting methods.
What is your research specialty and how does it fit into and/or strengthen your teaching?
My specialty in research is focused on the curriculum and instructional model Sport Education. This is the predominant model we teach for secondary physical education in our HPE program. I am able to marry my research and apply it directly to my instruction. I am also interested in program effectiveness, so in my role as program director I am afforded the opportunity to be involved intimately with program accreditation and evaluation.
What do you hope students take away from the classes you teach?
I desire for my students to take away an enthusiasm for teaching and the knowledge to back-up that disposition. I also teach a neo-revolutionary approach to physical education which focuses teacher candidates on teaching for emersion instead of mere exposure.
Why should a student interested in this profession choose Appalachian?
Our HPE program is a leader in the state in producing qualified health and physical education teachers. Our program employs a cohort-based structure which allows for greater relationships to be built between students and professors alike. In addition, we have several unique internships that provide authentic teaching experiences at both the elementary and secondary levels. These internships separate Appalachian’s HPE program from most other institutions in the region. With the support of the excellent faculty and administration in the Reich College of Education and Beaver College of Health Sciences, we simply have one of the best HPE programs around.