Fun games and health: evaluating physical education related CPD provision in primary schools: the case of the Buntus programme

Flanagan, Declan
Thesis Summary: Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is essential for teachers to change practices. The teaching and context methodologies for teaching and facilitating effective PE-CPD programmes is a challenging endeavour. This study set out to evaluate PE related CPD provision in primary schools using the Buntus (Play & Multi-Sport) programme as a test case. Qualitative methods are useful in process evaluation for identifying user involvement and organisational pitfalls with the implementation. This study set out to investigate the extent to which this was implemented according to plan. Three stakeholders participated in this study, 14 Local Sports Partnership (LSP) tutors provided data through semi structured interviews. 17 group interviews (teachers) 15 group interviews (pupils) provided data from two counties. A general inductive approach was most appropriate for this study. Data were analysed inductively from units of information to submitting categories and themes in order to define questions that could be further explored. The findings state that PE was pupils' favourite subject with evidence supporting the early influence of PE experiences on pupils' PA behaviours; however adverse shortcomings left this subject relegated. Teachers believe PA was beneficial as a vehicle for PA; however, its inclusion reflected little educational value. The PE-CPD programme was considered to have positively affected teacher's perceptions of PE (confidence in, knowledge of and enthusiasm for PE, and in turn, improved their practice (content ideas and inclusion). Key limitations included insufficient attention to specific pedagogical issues, the absence of follow-up support and a one-size-fits-all programme design. In conclusion, The perceptions of PE by teachers and pupils pertain this subject to be of little educational value. This programme positively contributed to teachers perceptions of PE; however, beyond this, its impact was limited by a range of factors highlighting the challenges of providing effective PE-CPD provision in schools.
Publisher DOI
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland