Classroom teachers’ and administrators’ views of teaching health and physical education

Dominique Banville, Ben Dyson, Pamela H. Kulinna, Michalis Stylianou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Teacher efficacy influences what and how they teach. This may be particularly important to consider in Aotearoa New Zealand contexts where primary classroom teachers teach health and physical education and use physical activity breaks with little training. It remains unclear how classroom teachers perceive this role and how to better support them. The purpose of this study was to investigate classroom teachers’ and administrators’ views of teaching health and physical education, including physical activity behaviours, in primary schools in Aotearoa New Zealand. Participants were 10 teachers and three administrators from two schools selected as a purposive sample. Data were collected through formal interviews, field notes, and photographs, and were analysed using inductive analysis and constant comparison. The findings are shared using four themes: (a) support for physical activity breaks; (b) support for curriculum content in health and physical education and ‘Kiwi’ sport culture; (c) teachers’ influence level; and (d) school environment. Overall, teachers and administrators felt very efficacious in their roles of creating healthy and active schools. These teachers also appeared to be confused regarding the difference between physical education, sport, and physical activity. They did feel, however, that instructional self-efficacy could be improved through enhanced content and pedagogy taught in teacher education programmes, and increased opportunities for professional learning and development. Potentially, this could lead to more time spent teaching the health and physical education content as well as a greater focus on the national curriculum for health and physical education being taught in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)448-464
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Physical Education Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • Primary
  • health
  • physical education
  • schools

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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