Teachers matter: Examining the feasibility and acceptability of a multimedia transformational teaching intervention


Physical Education has been highlighted as an important setting for promoting children’s physical activity engagement beyond the school context (Trudeau & Shephard, 2008). Previous research has, however, found that elementary school teachers report difficulty in effectively implementing physical education, with feelings of low competence in the subject (Faulkner & Reeves, 2000) and competition with other subjects (Morgan & Hansen, 2008) as barriers. Drawing from the tenets of transformational leadership theory (Bass & Riggio, 2006), a 30-minute film (entitled ‘Teachers Matter: Engaging Youth through Transformational Teaching’) and resource materials were developed as part of a multimedia intervention. In order to test the feasibility and acceptability of the program, semi-structured interviews were conducted with elementary school teachers (N = 9), who had watched the film and utilized the  accompanying resource materials. The results revealed that teachers responded positively, with many teachers reporting feeling “inspired” and “motivated” by the multimedia intervention. The teachers were able to identify and describe the theoretical components of transformational teaching after making use of the resources, and many teachers conveyed that they reflected on means to improve their teaching practice following exposure to the program. All 9 teachers reported moderate to high ability to implement the program in their own day-to-day teaching practices, satisfaction with the film, and relevance of the material. Overall, the feedback garnered from the teachers indicated that the program is feasible and a valuable resource. This multimedia intervention represents a simple and cost-effective means of intervention, and has the potential to support elementary teachers’ interactions with students. In turn, such interactions have the possibility to positively impact students’ cognitions toward, and engagement in, physical activity.

Acknowledgments: We would like to acknowledge the Social Sciences and Humanities and Research Council (SSHRC) and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research for their support of this project.