Understanding and scaffolding Danish schoolteachers' motivation for using classroom-based physical activity: study protocol for a mixed methods study

BMJ Open. 2018 Mar 14;8(3):e019857. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019857.


Introduction: The benefits of physical activity for children's health, both mental and physical, and its positive effects on academic achievement are well established. Research also emphasises that schools could provide a natural setting for regular physical activity. There is, however, a limited amount of knowledge about teachers' views when it comes to integrating physical activity as part of teaching. The aim of this study is to understand teachers' motivation for integrating physical activity as part of teaching and to assess their need for guidance and support.

Methods and analysis: The study uses an explanatory sequential mixed-methods design. Schools from across Denmark are included in the sample. The design comprises two separated phases-a quantitative and qualitative phase. The quantitative phase is guided by the self-determination theory where teachers' motivation will be measured using the Work Task Motivation Scale for Teachers. The theory of scaffolding guides the qualitative phase, which consists of in-depth interviews with participants selected from the quantitative phase based on levels of motivation and on demographic information. In accordance with the study aims, the analysis of data will identify teachers' internal and external levels of motivation. The purpose of the qualitative phase is to enhance understanding of teachers' motivation and of their need for support in the use of physical activity in teaching.

Ethics and dissemination: All relevant ethics approvals have been acquired. All participants in this study will provide written informed consent prior to data collection. All data emerging from the quantitative and qualitative phase will be anonymised for analysis. Ethics approval was requested from the Regional Committee on Health Research Ethics for Southern Denmark approval ID S-20162000-40 and the Danish Data Protection Agency approval ID 16/15491). The study was deemed not notifiable by both authorities.

Trial registration number: NCT02894346; Pre-results.

Keywords: Physical activity; motivation; scaffolding; school; school reform; teachers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child Health
  • Denmark
  • Exercise*
  • Humans
  • Motivation*
  • Physical Education and Training / organization & administration*
  • Qualitative Research
  • School Teachers / psychology*
  • Students
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02894346