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Phillip Ward

Professor, Department of Human Sciences

Program Area: Kinesiology

(614) 688-8435

Personal Website


Phillip Ward is a professor of physical education/kinesiology in the Department of Human Sciences. He teaches classes in physical education teacher education. Ward is passionate about physical education and teacher education. He spends part of each week in formal and informal contexts working with teachers on professional development to improve instruction in physical education.

His current research on teaching effectiveness has focused on content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge in physical education. He is the lead investigator of the Learning to Teach Physical Education Research Program that has as its central focus the development of content knowledge for teaching physical education. Collectively his projects in the Learning to Teach Physical Education Research Program are multi-methodological involving multi-institutional teams across the United States and internationally in Asia and in Europe.

Ward also was part of an eight-member research team that published a review of doctoral education in physical education teacher education published as a monograph in 2011. He has authored or co-authored more than 80 research papers and book chapters, and has presented more than 100 papers at international, national and state conferences. He has served as an invited lecturer at 12 universities worldwide; and has delivered invited talks/keynotes in Belgium, Israel, Korea, Japan, Turkey, and the United States. He is an associate editor for Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport and a board member of the Journal of Teaching in Physical Education. 


  • PhD, Physical Education Teacher Education, The Ohio State University, 1993
  • MEd, Physical Education Teacher Education, Victoria College, Australia, 1991
  • BEd, Deakin University, Australia, 1989

Research Interests


  • More than 100 workshops provided to teachers in the USA and in China
  • Consultant to Columbus City Schools
  • Associate Editor Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
  • Editorial Board member Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
  • Ad hoc reviewer for Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, International Journal of Sports Medicine, Perceptual and Motor Skills, Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Journal of Sports Sciences, Science and Motricité, European Physical Education Review, Quest, Science of Gymnastics



  • Secondary Methods in Physical Education
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Introduction to Teaching Physical Education


  • Research on Teaching
  • Doctoral seminar


  • SHAPE 2014 Physical Education Teacher Education Honor Award (awarded to entire PETE faculty)
  • OSU College of Education and Human Ecology Distinguished Collaboration Award, 2005
  • OSU College of Education and Human Ecology Distinguished Scholarship Award, 2002
  • Fellow of the Research Consortium of the Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance.
  • Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) Curriculum and Instruction Honor Award

Selected Grants

  • Co-Principal Investigator: National Heart Lung Blood Institute (NHLBI) grant 2008-2011. A $3,086,605 multi-site research grant designed to validate systematic observation of physical activity of park users in five sites in the USA. Validation of Systematic observations of play and recreation in communities (SOPARC) NIH R01 PAR-06-104 Improving Diet and Physical Activity Assessment
  • Co-author on Department of Education Carol M. White Physical Education for Progress Grant $350,000 contracted to Columbus City Schools.
  • $100,000 in internal instructional enhancement grants
  • $60,000 in research grants

Selected Publications


  • Li, W., Ward, P., Wang, X., & Sutherland, S. (in press) Curricular Models for Secondary Physical Education: Theory, Research, and Practical Applications.
  • Ward, P. (1997). Teaching Tumbling. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  • Ward, P., & Doutis, P. (Eds.). (2001). Physical Education in the 21st Century. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Printing Service.


  • Ward, P. (2014, Invited paper). A Response to the Conversations on Effective Teaching in Physical Education Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 85, 293-296.
  • Kim, I., Lee, Y. S. Ward, P., & Li, W. (in press). A critical examination of content knowledge courses in physical education teacher education programs. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education.
  • Ward, P. van der Mars, H., Graber, K. (in press, Invited paper). Reviewing for publication Journal of Teaching in Physical Education.
  • Ward, P. Kim, I., Ko, B., & Li, W. (in press). Effects of improving teachers’ content knowledge on teaching and student learning in physical education. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport,
  • Ward, P., Ayvazo, S., & Lehwald, H. (2014). Using knowledge packets in teacher education to develop pedagogical content knowledge.  Journal of Physical Education, Health, Recreation and Dance. 85(6), 38-43, DOI: 10.1080/07303084.2014.926843.
  • Ward P. (2013, Invited Paper). The Role of Content Knowledge in Conceptions of Teaching Effectiveness in Physical Education. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport. 84, 431-440.
  • Ward P, McKenzie TL, Cohen D, Evenson KR, Golinelli D, Hillier A, et al.  (2013). Physical activity surveillance in parks using direct observation. Preventing Chronic Disease. 10, 130-147. DOI:
  • Cohen, D., Lapham, S., Evenson, K., Williamson, S., Golinelli, D., Ward, P., Hillier, A., McKenzie, T. (2013). Use of Neighborhood Parks: Does Socioeconomic Status Matter? A Four City Study. Public Health. 127, 325-332.
  • Shephard, K., Parker, M ., Ward, P., van der Mars, H. (2013). Strengthening PETE Doctoral Programs: An intellectual commons and forum for faculty and students. Journal of Physical Education, Health, Recreation and Dance.84(1), 3-4
  • Ward, P., Li, W., Kim, I & Lee Y-S. (2012). Content Knowledge Courses in Physical Education Programs in South Korea and Ohio.  International Journal of Human Movement Science, 6, 107-120.
  • Zhang, P, Ward, P., Li, W., Sutherland, S., & Goodway, J. (2012). Effects of play practice on teaching table tennis skills. Journal of Teaching Physical Education, 31, 71-85.
  • Stuhr, P.,Sutherland, S., & Ward, P. (2012). Lived-positive emotionality in elementary physical education. Pedagogies: An International Journal. 7, 165-181
  • Ayvazo, S., & Ward, P.  (2011). Pedagogical content knowledge of experienced teachers in physical education: Functional Analysis of Adaptations. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport. 82, 675-684.
  • Cohen, D. Setodji C., Evenson K., Ward P., Lapham S., Hillier A., & McKenzie T.  (2011). How much observation is enough? Refining the Administration of SOPARC. Journal of Physical Activity and Health. 8, 117-1123.
  • Stuhr, P., Sutherland, S., Ward, P. (2011). Care enacted by two elementary physical education teachers and their students.International Journal of Human Movement Science, 5(1), 5-28.
  • Ward, P., Sutherland, S., Woods. M., Boyce, A., Gop-Karp, G., Judd, M., Parker, M., Rikard, L., Sinclair. C. (2011). The Doctorate in physical education teacher education in the 21st Century: Context and Challenges Journal of Teaching Physical Education. 30, 178-188.
  • Parker, M., Sutherland, S., & Sinclair C., & Ward, P. (2011).Not Surprised, But Concerned: The Professoriate’s Reaction to PETE Doctoral Education in the U.S. Journal of Teaching Physical Education. 30, 157-177.
  • Ward, P., Parker, M., Sutherland, S., & Sinclair. C. (2011). A Critical Examination of the Curriculum of Physical Education Teacher Education Doctoral Programs. Journal of Teaching Physical Education. 30, 145-156.
  • Rikard, L., Boyce, A., Ward., P. M., Parker, Gop-Karp, G., & Sutherland, S. (2011). Introduction and Overview: A Multifaceted Examination of the Status of PETE Doctoral Education in the U.S. Journal of Teaching Physical Education, 30, 99-102.
  • Ward, P. (2011).  The future direction of physical education teacher education: It’s all in the details.  Japanese Journal of Sport Education Studies, 30(2), 63-72.
  • Ayvazo, S., & Ward, P. (2010). Assessment of classwide peer tutoring for students with Autism as an inclusion strategy in physical education. Palaestra, 25 (1), 5-7.