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Behaviours that prompt primary school teachers to adopt and implement physically active learning: a meta synthesis of qualitative evidence

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journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2021, 00:00 authored by A Daly-Smith, J L Morris, E Norris, T L Williams, V Archbold, J Kallio, T H Tammelin, A Singh, J Mota, J von Seelen, C Pesce, Jo SalmonJo Salmon, H McKay, J Bartholomew, G K Resaland
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.

History

Journal

International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity

Volume

18

Issue

1

Article number

151

Pagination

1 - 20

Publisher

BMC

Location

London, Eng.

ISSN

1479-5868

eISSN

1479-5868

Language

English

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal