Lifestyle sports and physical education teachers' professional development in the United Kingdom: A qualitative survey analysis

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Lifestyle sports can contribute to national sport and physical activity agendas. However, schools in the United Kingdom (UK) have generally resisted the implementation of such activities within the physical education (PE) curriculum. This may stem from PE teachers’ limited knowledge and restricted engagement with lifestyle sports continuing professional development (CPD), coupled with the dominance of traditional team sports within the PE curriculum. Consequently, the aim of this research was to explore the opportunities and challenges PE teachers in the UK encounter when delivering lifestyle sports, in addition to understanding their current professional development needs to enhance their practice. Data were collected via an online qualitative survey involving 53 UK-based PE teachers. Following a reflexive thematic analysis process, three themes were developed: (1) PE teachers’ understanding, conceptualisation, and delivery of lifestyle sports; (2) challenges to delivering lifestyle sports within the PE curriculum; and (3) the learning needs and CPD preferences of PE teachers. Findings indicated that the participants possessed diverse conceptualisations of lifestyle sports, while faced with logistical, contextual, and personal factors which impacted their practice. Furthermore, the participants outlined their preferences towards lifestyle sports CPD and the challenges restricting their engagement with learning opportunities. Recommendations for future research are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number642
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalEducation Sciences
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2021

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