Faculty Publications

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2012


Purpose: Given the unique characteristics of physical education (PE) teaching in K-12 education, PE teachers' information behaviors deserve special attention. This article reports a survey study of PE teachers' information behaviors, covering information literacy skills and behaviors of information seeking and information use.Design/methodology/approach: A questionnaire survey was conducted of K-12 physical education (PE) teachers in the Tianjin municipal region of China, with a response rate of 61.9%. Findings: PE teachers lack skills with information retrieval systems in general. The Internet continues to be their primary information source, and they rely more on personal collection and colleagues than the school library for teaching materials. They rarely develop a searching strategy, employ querying tactics, or use advanced search functions, and they tend to be content with finding a few relevant articles.Research limitations/implications: The survey is limited to the Tianjin municipal region in scope. Though attempting to reach 210 participants from 40 schools, it yielded only 130 valid responses. A larger survey covering more regions and with greater responses may be useful.Practical implications: Insights from this study inform the educational and on-job training of K-12 PE teachers to improve their information literacy skills.Originality/value: Little research exists on PE teachers' behaviors of information seeking. This study bridges the gap and enriches our understanding of K-12 teachers' information behaviors.