• Behaviours that prompt primary school teachers to adopt and implement physically active learning: a meta synthesis of qualitative evidence.

      Daly-Smith, Andrew; Morris, J.L.; Norris, E.; Williams, T.L.; Archbold, V.; Kallio, J.; Tammelin, T.H.; Singh, A.; Mota, J.; von Seelen, J.; et al. (2021-11-20)
      Physically active learning (PAL) - integration of movement within delivery of academic content - is a core component of many whole-of-school physical activity approaches. Yet, PAL intervention methods and strategies vary and frequently are not sustained beyond formal programmes. To improve PAL training, a more comprehensive understanding of the behavioural and psychological processes that influence teachers' adoption and implementation of PAL is required. To address this, we conducted a meta-synthesis to synthesise key stakeholders' knowledge of facilitators and barriers to teachers' implementing PAL in schools to improve teacher-focussed PAL interventions in primary (elementary) schools. We conducted a meta-synthesis using a five-stage thematic synthesis approach to; develop a research purpose and aim, identify relevant articles, appraise studies for quality, develop descriptive themes and interpret and synthesise the literature. In the final stage, 14 domains from the Theoretical Domain Framework (TDF) were then aligned to the final analytical themes and subthemes. We identified seven themes and 31 sub-themes from 25 eligible papers. Four themes summarised teacher-level factors: PAL benefits, teachers' beliefs about own capabilities, PAL teacher training, PAL delivery. One theme encompassed teacher and school-level factors: resources. Two themes reflected school and external factors that influence teachers' PAL behaviour: whole-school approach, external factors. Ten (of 14) TDF domains aligned with main themes and sub-themes: Knowledge, Skills, Social/Professional Role and Identity, Beliefs about Capabilities, Beliefs about Consequences, Reinforcement, Goals, Environmental Context and Resources, Social influences and Emotion. Our synthesis illustrates the inherent complexity required to change and sustain teachers' PAL behaviours. Initially, teachers must receive the training, resources and support to develop the capability to implement and adapt PAL. The PAL training programme should progress as teachers' build their experience and capability; content should be 'refreshed' and become more challenging over time. Subsequently, it is imperative to engage all levels of the school community for PAL to be fully integrated into a broader school system. Adequate resources, strong leadership and governance, an engaged activated community and political will are necessary to achieve this, and may not currently exist in most schools.
    • Introducing physically active lessons in UK secondary schools: feasibility study and pilot cluster-randomised controlled trial

      Gammon, C.; Morton, K.; Atkin, A.; Corder, K.; Daly-Smith, Andrew; Quarmby, T.; Suhrcke, M.; Turner, D.; van Sluijs, E. (2019-05)
      Assess feasibility, acceptability and costs of delivering a physically active lessons (PAL) training programme to secondary school teachers and explore preliminary effectiveness for reducing pupils' sedentary time. Secondary schools in East England; one school participated in a pre-post feasibility study, two in a pilot cluster-randomised controlled trial. In the pilot trial, blinding to group assignment was not possible. Across studies, 321 randomly selected students (51% male; mean age: 12.9 years), 78 teachers (35% male) and 2 assistant head teachers enrolled; 296 (92%) students, 69 (88%) teachers and 2 assistant head teachers completed the studies. PAL training was delivered to teachers over two after-school sessions. Teachers were made aware of how to integrate movement into lessons; strategies included students collecting data from the environment for class activities and completing activities posted on classroom walls, instead of sitting at desks. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected to assess feasibility and acceptability of PAL training and delivery. Outcomes were assessed at baseline and ~8 weeks post-training; measures included accelerometer-assessed activity, self-reported well-being and observations of time-on-task. Process evaluation was conducted at follow-up. In the feasibility study, teachers reported good acceptability of PAL training and mixed experiences of delivering PAL. In the pilot study, teachers' acceptability of training was lower and teachers identified aspects of the training in need of review, including the outdoor PAL training and learning challenge of PAL strategies. In both studies, students and assistant head teachers reported good acceptability of the intervention. Preliminary effectiveness for reducing students' sedentary time was not demonstrated in either study. No evidence of preliminary effectiveness on the primary outcome and mixed reports of teachers' acceptability of PAL training suggest the need to review the training. The results do not support continuation of research with the current intervention. ISRCTN38409550.