A Cultural Approach to Promoting Physical Activity in Secondary Schools
Keywords:Cultural, Social, Pedagogical
This case study examined the influence of physical education teacher beliefs on school-based physical activity opportunities. Seven teachers from one secondary school in southwestern Ontario were asked about their beliefs concerning school practices and policies that influenced student enrolment in physical education classes, and student and teacher participation in leisure time intramurals and inter-murals. Collectively, participants discussed the importance of supportive guidance counselors that promoted physical education courses to students beyond the mandatory grade nine; hiring new teachers with a sport background and/or genuine interest in promoting physical activity; and matching intramural and inter-mural sport opportunities to student interests when attempting to maximize school-based opportunities for physical activity. In turn, these teachers believed their efforts to advance physical activity at the school were negligible when the aforementioned practices were not engrained into the school’s cultural system.
Overall, this inquiry found that if physical education teachers’ beliefs about the policies and practices perceived to accentuate the physical activity culture of the studied school were not acknowledged and/or accepted by school leaders (i.e. principal, vice-principals, guidance counselors, department heads), motivation to promote and participate in school-based physical activity opportunities waned, and the number and quality of physical activity opportunities diminished.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) after publication, while providing bibliographic details that credit PHENex (See The Effect of Open Access).