Jerry W. Loflin


New school-based curricular interventions are fundamental in meeting the diverse needs of today’s students and improving student outcomes. In terms of curricular interventions, teachers are the primary implementation agents; therefore, the fidelity of such interventions depends on teacher adoption and delivery. To understand and meet such fidelity challenges, this qualitative research study examined the contextual components and implementation mechanisms contributing to the variation in teachers’ perspectives and methods of implementing the Science of Healthful Living curriculum; a research-based intervention designed to increase middle school students’ fitness-based knowledge through physically active lessons. The results of this study suggested a multitude of preexisting contextual factors, such as lack of instructional time, space, and equipment, influence teachers’ fidelity to the intended curriculum. These factors, however, may or may not negatively influence the intended scope of the curriculum and should be considered when making judgments about teacher fidelity. In conclusion, intervention researchers should consider the nature of the contextual factors and whether they negatively impact the intervention when designing and revising school-based interventions.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter


fidelity, school-based physical education interventions, contextual factors, teacher interviews

Full Text:



Beets, M. W., Flay, B. R., Vuchinich, S., Acock, A. C., Li, K., & Allred, C. (2008). School climate and teachers’ beliefs and attitudes associated with implementation of the positive action program: A diffusion of innovations model. Prevention Science, 9, 264-275. doi:10.1007/s11121-008-0100-2

Berman, P., & McLaughlin, M. (1976). Implementation of educational innovation. The

Educational Forum, 40, 345-370. doi:10.1080/00131727609336469

Biggs, B., Vernberg, E., Twemlow, S., Fonagy, P., & Dill, E. (2008). Teacher adherence and its relation to teacher attitudes and student outcomes in an elementary school-based violence prevention program. School Psychology Review, 37, 533-549. Retrieved from

Bybee, R. W., Buchwald, C. E., Crissman, S., Heil, D. R., Kuerbis, P. J., Matsumoto, C., & McInerney, J. D. (1989). Science and technology education for the elementary years: Frameworks for curriculum and instruction. Washington, DC: The National Center for Improving Science Education. Retrieved from ERIC database. (ED314237)

Carter, E., & Pesko, M. (2008). Social validity of peer interaction intervention strategies in high school classrooms: Effectiveness, feasibility, and actual use. Exceptionality, 16(3), 156-173. doi:10.1080/09362830802198427

Corbin, J., & Strauss, A. (2008). Basics of qualitative research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Creswell, J. W. (2011). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative approaches to research (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Dariotis, J. K., Bumbarger, B. K., Duncan, L. G., & Greenberg, M. T. (2008). How do implementation efforts relate to program adherence? Examining the role of organizational, implementer, and program factors. Journal of Community Psychology, 36, 744-760. doi:10.1002/jcop.20255

Davis, B., & Sumara, D. J. (2005). Challenging images of knowing: Complexity science and educational research. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 18, 305-321. doi:10.1080/09518390500082293

Durlak, J., & DuPre, E. (2008). Implementation matters: A review of research on the influence of implementation on program outcomes and the factors affecting implementation. American Journal of Community Psychology, 41, 327-350. doi:10.1007/s10464-008-9165-0

Education First NC School Report Cards. (2011, October). NC school report cards – 2010-2011 school year. Retrieved from

Elias, M. J., Zins, J. E., Graczyk, P. A., & Weissberg, R. P. (2003). Implementation, sustainability, and scaling up of social-emotional and academic innovations in public schools. School Psychology Review, 32, 303-319. Retrieved from

Evans, R. (1996). The human side of school change: Reform, resistance, and the real-life problems of innovation. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Garmston, R., & Wellman, B. (1995, April). Adaptive schools in a quantum universe.

Educational Leadership, 52(7), 6-12. Retrieved from

Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. New York, NY: Aldine.

Hodge, S. R., Ammah, J. O. A., Casebolt, K., Lamaster, K., & O’Sullivan, M. (2004). High school general physical education teachers’ behaviors and beliefs associated with inclusion. Sport, Education and Society, 9(3), 395-419. doi:10.1080/13573320412331302458

Kam, C., Greenberg, M. T., & Walls, C. T. (2003). Examining the role of implementation quality in school-based prevention using PATHS curriculum. Prevention Science, 4, 55-63. doi:10.1023/A:1021786811186

Katz, L. G. (1972). Developmental stages of preschool teachers. Elementary School Journal, 73(1), 50-54. doi:10.1086/460731

Kent, A. M. (2004). Improving teacher quality through professional development. Education, 124, 427-435. Retrieved from

Kramer, L., Laumann, G., & Brunson, L. (2000). Implementation and diffusion of the Rainbows program in rural communities: Implications for school-based prevention programming. Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation, 11, 37-64. doi:10.1207/s1532768Xjepc1101_04

Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Martens, B., & McIntyre, L. (2009). The importance of treatment integrity in school-based behavioral intervention. In A. Akin-Little (Ed.), Behavioral interventions in schools: Evidence-based positive strategies (pp. 59-71). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

McLeod, B. D., & Southam-Gerow, M. A. (2009). Conceptual and methodological issues in treatment integrity measurement. School Psychology Review, 28, 541-546. Retrieved from

Mowbray, C. T., Holter, M. C., Teague, G. B., & Bybee, D. (2003). Fidelity criteria: Development, measurement, and validation. American Journal of Evaluation, 24, 315-340. doi:10.1177/109821400302400303

National Center for Education Statistics (2012). 120 Years of Literacy. Washington, DC: Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved from

National Institutes of Health. (2011). Dissemination and implementation. Retrieved from

National Research Council Committee for a Review of the Evaluation Data on the Effectiveness of NSF-Supported and Commercially Generated Mathematics Curriculum Materials, Mathematical Sciences, Education Board, Center for Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. (2004). On evaluating curricular effectiveness: Judging the quality of K-12 mathematics evaluations. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, 20 U.S.C.A. § 6301 et seq. (West 2003)

O’Hare, T. (2005). Evidence-based practices for social workers: An interdisciplinary approach. Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books.

Parcel, G. S., Ross, J. G., Lavin, A. T., Portnoy, B., Nelson, G. D., & Winters, F. (1991). Enhancing implementation of the teenage health teaching modules. Journal of School Health, 61, 35-38. doi:10.1111/j.1746-1561.1991.tb07857.x

Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Ringwalt, C. L., Ennett, S., Johnson, R., Rohrbach, L. A., Simons-Rudolph, A., Vincus, A., & Thorne, J. (2003). Factors associated with fidelity to substance use prevention curriculum guides in the nation’s middle schools. Health Education & Behavior, 30, 375-391. doi:10.1177/1090198103030003010

Rohrbach, L. A., Graham, J. W., & Hansen, W. B. (1993). Diffusion of a school-based substance abuse prevention program: Predictors of program implementation. Preventive Medicine, 22, 237-260. doi:10.1006/pmed.1993.1020

Sallis, J. F., McKenzie, T. L., Beets, M. W., Beighle, A., Erwin, H., & Lee, S. (2012). Physical education’s role in public health: Steps forward and backward over 20 years and HOPE for the future. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 83, 125-135. doi:10.1080/02701367.2012.10599842

Sato, T., Hodge, S. R., Murata, N. M., & Maeda, J. K. (2007). Japanese physical education teachers’ beliefs about teaching students with disabilities. Sport, Education and Society, 12(2), 211-230. doi:10.1080/13573320701287536

Seltz, J. (2008, May). Looking back, looking forward: A focus on high school reform. Educational Leadership, 65(8), 96. Retrieved from,-Looking-Forward@-A-Focus-on-High-School-Reform.aspx

Slavin, R. (2003). A reader’s guide to scientifically based research: Learning how to assess the validity of education research is vital for creating effective, sustained reform. Educational Leadership, 60(5), 12-16. Retrieved from

Smith, S. W., Daunic, A. P., & Taylor, G. G. (2007). Treatment fidelity in applied educational research: Expanding the adoption and application of measures to ensure evidence-based practice. Education and Treatment of Children, 30(4), 121-134. doi:10.1353/etc.2007.0033

Smylie, M. A. (1988). The enhancement function of staff development: Organizational and psychological antecedents to individual teacher change. American Educational Research Journal, 25, 1-30. doi:10.3102/00028312025001001

Sobeck, J. L. (2006). Lessons learned from implementing school-based substance abuse prevention curriculums. Children & Schools, 28(2), 77-85. doi:10.1093/cs/28.2.77

Stead, M., Stradling, R., Macneil, M., Mackintosh, A., & Minty, S. (2007). Implementation evaluation of the blueprint multi-component drug prevention programme: Fidelity of school component delivery. Drug and Alcohol Review, 26, 653-664. doi:10.1080/0959230701613809

Stein, M. L., Berends, M., Fuchs, D., McMaster, K., Sáenz, L., Yen, L., . . . Compton, D. L. (2008). Scaling up an early reading program: Relationships among teacher support, fidelity of implementation, and student performance across different sites and years. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 30, 368-388. doi:10.3102/0162373708322738

Stevenson, K. R. (2010). Educational trends shaping school planning, design, construction, funding and operation. National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities. Washington, DC: National Institute of Building Sciences. Retrieved from

Stroot, S. A. (1996). Organizational socialization: factors impacting beginning teachers. In S. J. Silverman & C. D. Ennis (Eds.), Student learning in physical education: Applying research to enhance instruction (pp. 339-365). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Tucker, A. R., & Blythe, B. (2008). Attention to treatment fidelity in social work outcomes: A review of the literature from the 1990s. Social Work Research, 32(3), 185-190. doi:10.1093/swr/32.3.185

Wanless, S. B., Patton, C. L., Rimm-Kaufman, S. E., & Deutsch, N. L. (2013). Setting-level influences on implementation of the Responsive Classroom approach. Prevention Science, 14, 40-51. doi:10.1007/s11121-012-0294-1

Wayne, A., & Youngs, P. (2003). Teacher characteristics and student achievement gains: A review. Review of Educational Research, 73, 89-122. doi:10.3102/00346543073001089

Wolf, M. M. (1978). Social validity: The case for subjective measurement or how applied behavior analysis is finding its heart. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 11(2), 203-214. doi:10.1901/jaba.1978.11-203



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2023 Jerry W. Loflin

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright © 2015 - 2023. European Journal of Physical Education and Sport Science (ISSN 2501 - 1235) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All authors who send their manuscripts to this journal and whose articles are published on this journal retain full copyright of their articles. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).