In-service training and support programme based on SDT-principles on perceptions of Physical Education

  • Stephan J. Van Der Westhuizen
  • Dorita Du Toit
  • Niekie Van Der Merwe
  • Peter R. Whipp
Keywords: Physical Education; In-service teacher training; Self-determination Theory (SDT); Learner perceptions


Although Physical Education (PE) is valued for its educational outcomes and the potential to enhance learners’ physical health, the professional implementation is often lacking, leading to a decline in learners’ intrinsic motivation levels and negative perceptions of PE. PE teachers can enhance learners’ motivation and perceptions of PE by meeting their basic psychological needs, according to the Self-Determination Theory (SDT), first developed by Deci and Ryan in 1985. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of an in-service PE teacher training and support programme, based on the principles of the SDT, on the perceptions of PE participating learners. Four months after the five-day teacher training programme including teaching strategies to support the needs of learners, data were collected through focus group interview, from Grade 7, 12- to 13-year-old learners (n=28). The participating learners generally perceived PE more positively after their teachers attended the training programme. It is recommended that PE teacher training programmes include needs-support strategies to enhance learners’ perceptions and motivation levels in the PE class.


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0379-9069