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Can continuing professional development utilizing a game-centered approach improve the quality of physical education teaching delivered by generalist primary school teachers?

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    Rights statement: The final version of this paper has been published in European Physical Education Review , 23/2, April/2016 by SAGE Publications Ltd, All rights reserved. © Andrew Miller, Narelle Eather, Shirley Gray, John Sproule, Cheryl Williams, Jennifer Gore, David Lubans, 2016. It is available at: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1356336X16642716

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-195
JournalEuropean Physical Education Review
Issue number2
Early online date8 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a continuing professional development (CPD) intervention in producing changes in physical education (PE) teaching practice and PE teaching quality by generalist primary school teachers when the CPD addressed the use of a game-centered approach. A cluster-randomized controlled trial was conducted in seven primary schools in the Hunter Region, New South Wales (NSW), Australia. One year six teacher from each school was randomized into the Professional Learning for Understanding Games Education (PLUNGE) intervention (n = 4 teachers) or the 7-week wait-list control (n = 3) condition. The PLUNGE intervention (weeks 1 – 5) used an instructional framework to improve teachers’ knowledge, understanding and delivery of a game-centered curriculum, and included an information session and weekly in-class mentoring. The intervention was designed to enhance content and pedagogical knowledge for the provision of pedagogy focused on a broad range of learning outcomes. Teaching quality was assessed at baseline and follow-up (weeks 6 & 7) via observation of two consecutive PE lessons using the Quality Teaching Lesson Observation Scales (NSWDET, 2006). Linear mixed models revealed significant group-by-time intervention effects (p<0.05) for the quality of teaching (effect size: d=1.7). CPD using an information session and mentoring, and a focus on the development of the quality of teaching using a game-centered pedagogical approach was efficacious in improving the quality of PE teaching among generalist primary school teachers.

    Research areas

  • teacher effectiveness, teaching quality, physical education, CPD , professional development, professional learning, Game centered

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