Research Overview

There are five objectives for the current phase of the Meaningful Physical Education research project:

1. Introduce a blueprint/prototype of the MPE approach for implementation with a sample of approximately 20-30 primary/elementary teachers.

2. Examine teachers’ experiences of implementing the MPE model in their PE classes.

3. Examine students’ experiences of the MPE model in their PE classes.

4. Based on the outcomes of the first three objectives we will refine the MPE approach.

5. Share the MPE approach (including key characteristics, suggested teaching and learning strategies, pedagogical case studies, exemplar videos and other user-friendly resources) with a global audience at http://www.meaningfulpe.wordpress.com.

Our research team believes that programs tailored to personal meaning-making in physical activity offer the type of radical shift that is required to address the main problems in contemporary PE programs (Armour & Harris, 2013). The attention we pay to personally and intrinsically meaningful experiences is supported by evidence that individuals are more likely to commit to a physically active lifestyle because of the personal meaning found in physical activity experiences that are satisfying, challenging, social, and/or fun rather than extrinsic motivational factors (Ryan, et al., 1997; Teixeira, et al., 2012).

What distinguishes our conceptualization of pedagogies geared toward meaningful experiences from general descriptions of “good” PE teaching and teacher education practice is that we position personally meaningful physical activity participation as the main priority or filter for pedagogical decision-making. The MPE approach facilitates how young people set goals and take action in physical activity settings to align with meanings that are both personal and intrinsic. We will develop a set of evidence-based pedagogies that support how PE teachers foster physical activity experiences that are personally meaningful for children and youth.

We would like to acknowledge the following sources of support for the LAMPE research project:

2017-2018 Teaching Council of Ireland; Pedagogies of meaningful participation in primary PE; Déirdre Ní Chróinín, Ciara Griffin, Tim Fletcher, & Stephanie Beni; €3300

2015-2017 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada; Insight and Development Grant; Learning to Teach and Coach for Meaning; Tim Fletcher, Déirdre Ní Chróinín, & Mary O’Sullivan; $58653 (CDN)

2015 Irish Research Council New Foundations Award; Pedagogies of Meaning-Making in PE; Déirdre Ní Chróinín; €4730

2018 Match of Minds Grant; Brock University; Meaningful Physical Education; Adam Carter; $5000 (CDN)

2018 Brock SSHRC Institutional Grant; Brock University; Developing a pedagogical approach for meaningful physical education; Tim Fletcher & Déirdre Ní Chróinín; $2283 (CDN)

2014-2016 Departmental Assistantship; Department of Arts Education and Physical Education, Mary Immaculate College; Pedagogical Approaches to Meaning-Making in Primary Physical Education; Ciara Griffin; €13800 + fee waiver for two years

2015 Match of Minds Grant; Brock University; Meaning-Making Pedagogies in Physical Education and Youth Sport; Stephanie Beni; $3852 (CDN)

2014 Institutional Research Networking Grant; Mary Immaculate College; M2-PETE Approach, Development and Dissemination Activities; Déirdre Ní Chróinín; €1990

2014 Brock SSHRC Institutional Grant; Brock University; Meaning-Making Pedagogies for Physical Education and Youth Sport; Tim Fletcher; $2580 (CDN)

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