Physical education teacher jobs are not necessarily the first position people think of when they think of teaching careers, but for many people it is the ideal way to combine a love of physical sport and a love of teaching into one job. It is vital that students understand how their bodies function and Physical Education classes provide an opportunity for teachers to explain to children how to monitor heart rates and maximize the positive effects and benefits of aerobic and non-aerobic forms of exercise.
Parents’ or legal guardians’ perception of their provision of autonomy support towards out-of-school physical activity will be measured using a four-item scale (e.g., I encourage my child to be physically active in free-timeâ€) based on the PASSES 44 Responses will be provided on 7-point scales (1 = strongly disagree and 7 = strongly agree).
With respect to environmental variables, the autonomy support offered by parents and peers towards out-of-school physical activity, parental affection, and parental control may affect students’ performance and engagement in school 29 , 30 and will also be considered covariates in our analysis of intervention effectiveness.
The intervention will make a unique contribution to knowledge in four areas: (i) it will test the effectiveness of a theory-based in-school intervention delivered by PE teachers in promoting lower secondary school students’ physical activity participation outside of school, which has seldom been demonstrated; (ii) it will evaluate how the intervention works in promoting students’ out-of-school physical activity participation through effects of intervention on key constructs from the trans-contextual model; (iii) it will outline the development and implementation of a cost-effective, replicable theory-based teacher training program to train teachers to use autonomy-support techniques in their PE lessons and promote out-of-school physical activity; and (iv) it will evaluate the long-term effectiveness of the intervention in promoting physical activity behaviour through one, three, and six-month post-intervention follow-up of behavioural and theory-based outcomes.
The trial will adopt a cluster randomized design and implement an intervention based on psychological theory to train participating teachers in techniques that support school students’ motivation to participate in physical activity in their leisure time outside of school.