PEPAYS Ireland was delighted to host Dr. Jaimie M. McMullen (above), University of Northern Colorado, recently as part of the Guest Lecture Series.
The title of Jaimie's presentation was: International Best Practices for Whole-of-School Physical Activity Program Implementation.
The Institute of Medicine (2013) recently encouraged schools to engage with a multi-component, whole-of-school approach to physical activity promotion as a means of increasing activity levels of school-aged children. However, little evidence exists, especially at the secondary school level, that describes what schools are doing to promote this whole-of-school approach. The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the best practices of “active” secondary schools in an effort to encourage more schools to adopt an active school culture. Secondary schools in countries were identified as sites for investigation based on the presence of nationally established whole-of-school physical activity initiatives: the United States (Let’s Move Active Schools), Finland (Finnish Schools on the Move) and Ireland (Active School Flag). Data were collected in one secondary school in each country and were generated from several sources including semi-structured focus group interviews with stakeholders, field notes, three days of on-site observation, and artifact collection. The comprehensive school physical activity program (CSPAP) conceptual framework (Carson, Castelli, Beighle & Erwin, 2014) provides context for the nature of the data collected. Inductive analysis was conducted using open and axial coding (Corbin & Strauss, 2008) in order to determine best practices that support successful whole-of-school PA program implementation in each school/country. Three common themes related to best practices were evident at each site: an established school-based leader, strong (moral) support from the school community, and many available physical activity opportunities. Conclusions support the assertion that successful school-based physical activity promotion in secondary schools is possible if there is a motivated physical activity champion and they are supported in their promotion efforts. Leaders in the secondary schools from this study created several physical activity opportunities for ALL students and have developed strong physical activity culture within the school and the surrounding community.
To watch the full presentation click the link below: