UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Behaviours that prompt primary school teachers to adopt and implement physically active learning: a meta synthesis of qualitative evidence Daly-Smith, Andrew; Morris, Jade L.; Norris, Emma; Williams, Toni L.; Archbold, Victoria; Kallio, Jouni; Tammelin, Tuija H.; Singh, Amika; Mota, Jorge; von Seelen, Jesper; Pesce, Caterina; Salmon, Jo; McKay, Heather Anne, 1954-; Bartholomew, John; Resaland, Geir K.

Abstract

Background Physically active learning (PAL) - integration of movement within delivery of academic content - is a core component of many whole-of-school physical activity approaches. Yet, PAL intervention methods and strategies vary and frequently are not sustained beyond formal programmes. To improve PAL training, a more comprehensive understanding of the behavioural and psychological processes that influence teachers’ adoption and implementation of PAL is required. To address this, we conducted a meta-synthesis to synthesise key stakeholders’ knowledge of facilitators and barriers to teachers’ implementing PAL in schools to improve teacher-focussed PAL interventions in primary (elementary) schools. Methodology We conducted a meta-synthesis using a five-stage thematic synthesis approach to; develop a research purpose and aim, identify relevant articles, appraise studies for quality, develop descriptive themes and interpret and synthesise the literature. In the final stage, 14 domains from the Theoretical Domain Framework (TDF) were then aligned to the final analytical themes and subthemes. Results We identified seven themes and 31 sub-themes from 25 eligible papers. Four themes summarised teacher-level factors: PAL benefits, teachers’ beliefs about own capabilities, PAL teacher training, PAL delivery. One theme encompassed teacher and school-level factors: resources. Two themes reflected school and external factors that influence teachers’ PAL behaviour: whole-school approach, external factors. Ten (of 14) TDF domains aligned with main themes and sub-themes: Knowledge, Skills, Social/Professional Role and Identity, Beliefs about Capabilities, Beliefs about Consequences, Reinforcement, Goals, Environmental Context and Resources, Social influences and Emotion. Conclusions Our synthesis illustrates the inherent complexity required to change and sustain teachers’ PAL behaviours. Initially, teachers must receive the training, resources and support to develop the capability to implement and adapt PAL. The PAL training programme should progress as teachers’ build their experience and capability; content should be ‘refreshed’ and become more challenging over time. Subsequently, it is imperative to engage all levels of the school community for PAL to be fully integrated into a broader school system. Adequate resources, strong leadership and governance, an engaged activated community and political will are necessary to achieve this, and may not currently exist in most schools.

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