Teachers’ role model in physical activity: Are pre-school children more active when teachers are active?

Pui Yee CHEUNG

Research output: Other contributionOther contributions

Abstract

Introduction: In early childhood, children spend a large amount of time in pre-school. Teachers, with the opportunity to interact with children in every school day, are in a unique position to influence childrens behavior. The purposes of this study are: 1) to compare the activity level of pre-school children in a structured PE class led by an active or a less active teacher, and 2) to examine the interaction effect of school size, gender, and teacher activity level on the activity level of children.
Methods: Participants were 248 pre-school children (134 boys, 114 girls; mean age = 5.5) and teachers from twelve pre-schools. A 30-minutes structured PE class was conducted by trained teachers and the participants’ physical activity level was measured by pedometers. Teachers’ recorded steps counts were derived to classify if the children were led by active or less active teacher. Factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine if there was a significant difference in the pedometer-determined activity on gender and school size between the different classes.
Results: In the 30-minute PE class, significant difference between groups was observed as determined by ANOVA [F(1,246) = 149.81, p = .00], which revealed that the activity level of children was higher in the active teacher class (1,712 ± 501 steps) than that of the less active teacher class (951 ± 437steps). The main effects of gender on the PA level of children [F(1,247) = 6.20, p = .01] and of the teacher group [F(1,247) = 148.35, p = .00] were significant. The main effect of school size on children PA level was insignificant [F(1,247) = 3.44, p = .07].
Conclusion: The findings of this study confirmed that pre-school children were more physically active when the class was led by an active teacher. The understanding of this association would provide implication for pre-school teacher education training. Future study can explore different pedagogical approach for teachers to involve pre-school children to be more active during school hours. Copyright © 2018 23rd annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science ECSS Dublin.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

Citation

Cheung, P. (2018, July). Teachers’ role model in physical activity: Are pre-school children more active when teachers are active? Poster presented at the 23rd Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, The Convention Centre Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.

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