Adopting a new model for health-based physical education: the impact of a professional development programme on teachers’ pedagogical practice

2019-06-26T07:37:14Z (GMT) by Paul Sammon
This study explored the use of a collaborative and sustained programme of continuing professional development (CPD) to support the adoption of a new pedagogical model within secondary school physical education. Specifically, the research examined the developmental journey of presenting a new conceptual Health-Based Physical Education (HBPE) pedagogical model to teachers and supporting them to implement it in practice. The aim of the research was to examine teachers’ experiences during the HBPE-CPD programme and the subsequent impact on their practice. Participants were nine physical educators from two secondary schools in England who worked with the programme for one year. The HBPE-CPD programme involved school-based meetings, reflective activities and on-going support during the model’s implementation. Participatory action research was employed as the methodology and the data gathering methods used included teacher reflections, interviews, lesson observations and field notes. Analysis followed an inductive, iterative process involving constant comparison between the different data sources to generate and subsequently code themes. The creation of sustained CPD programmes, with teachers and researchers working collaboratively, encouraged the adoption of the HBPE pedagogical model over time, although competing organisational pressures presented some challenges. Whilst the teachers demonstrated mixed success with their adoption of the HBPE model, there was a sustained shift away from a ‘fitness for performance’ philosophy with greater emphasis placed on explicitly promoting out-of-class physical activity for all students. These findings illustrate that collaborative and sustained CPD programmes involving external support can support teachers to adopt new ideas and change their practice over time. They also suggest the HBPE model has real promise, particularly in guiding teachers to promote healthy active lifestyles with their students. It is recommended that the model is further refined and new forms of CPD are developed to support teachers’ sustained adoption of pedagogical models, such as HBPE. However, a concerted effort needs to be made by all stakeholders in education to ensure that teachers have sufficient time allocated for CPD and are encouraged to engage in pedagogical change.