Life Skills Through School Sport: A Participatory Teacher Development Program

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School sport participation can promote life skills in children and youth, but teachers could use an explicit teaching approach to fulfil the potential. Therefore, we conducted a participatory teacher development program, which should promote students’ life skills through school sport at three Danish boarding schools. The aim of this study is to present the program and the teachers’ experiences with the explicit teaching approach and the development program itself. The study design is based on participatory action research and comprised four phases in which the teachers were involved in the design, planning, implementation and evaluation of a life skills course for their students. The evaluation was based on focus group interviews with the teachers involved. The teachers found it beneficial to work explicitly with life skills in school sport and stated that the program provided an opportunity to view their practice from a different perspective. Furthermore, they emphasized that school sport could readily be structured in ways that increase the student’s development of life skills. At the same time, the teachers found the explicit teaching strategies challenging due to priority of time and difficulties connecting the sports practice to other life contexts. Finally, the teachers experienced positive and engaged students who most likely increased their understanding of life skills.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvances in Physical Education
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)293-310
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

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