Exploring capacity and professional development needs of teachers: moving towards inclusive and engaging physical education for girls
Bates, Danielle B.
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Physical education (PE) is an important opportunity for girls to accrue physical activity (PA), health benefits, and healthy PA behavioural patterns that track into adulthood. Girls often have negative experiences within PE, leading them to become disengaged. Teachers are influential on girls' experiences in PE. Professional development (PD) for teachers may help address girls’ disengagement and exclusion in PE. Through grounded theory qualitative research, we explored teachers’ capacity and PD needs for including and engaging girls in PE. Semi-structured focus groups and interviews were used to collect data with 10 Ontario teachers (N=10). Results showed that teachers’ capacity to teach girl-friendly PE is multifaceted and is influenced by numerous intrapersonal and institutional factors. Teacher participants were using many evidence-based teaching practices; however, there were gaps to be addressed. This research provides insight and recommendations for future PD that aims to support teachers in girl-friendly teaching practices.