Sports Studies and Physical Education - Journal Articles

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    Physical education student teachers' wellbeing during Covid-19: Resilience resources and challenges from school placement
    (SAGE Publications, 2022-04-04) O'Brien, Niamh; O'Brien, Wesley; Costa, João; Adamakis, Manolis
    The coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic has given rise to significant global challenges across education, and specifically in the physical education teacher education (PETE) community. Students attending teacher education programmes during the Covid-19 pandemic have experienced an abrupt and unprecedented pedagogical transition from a face-to-face capacity to remote teaching, learning, and assessment environments. Crucially, student teachersâ school placement experiences faced increased challenges and practical implications from additional environmental and social changes. In the context of continued global and national challenges for initial teacher education (ITE) programmes, the present qualitative study, using a representative sample of 24 student physical education (PE) teachers from a PETE programme, investigates the perceived implications of the Covid-19 pandemic on student teachersâ practice and wellbeing during their final 2020/2021 academic year. Results indicate that student teachers maintain that exercise, connections with the university and school placement communities, alongside personal and professional organisation skills serve as resilience resources protecting their wellbeing. Conversely, student teachers express that school placement isolation, restricted PE delivery, increased workload, low teacher efficacy, and the responsibility to implement Covid-19 behaviour regulations presented as challenges that negatively affect their wellbeing. The paper concludes with practices that may further support PETE and ITE programmes and their student teachers to maintain a stable level of wellbeing throughout their careers.
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    The acute effects of multiple components in a whole-school physical activity policy on executive functions of primary level students
    (Revista de Psicologia del Deporte, 2020) Kingston, Úna; Adamakis, Manolis; Costa, Joao
    A growing body of literature examines the relationship between physical activity (PA) with executive functions (EF) and academic achievement in children and adolescents. The present study aimed at examining how multiple components in a whole-school PA policy intervention in a primary school setting affected the EF (i.e. working memory and inhibition) of students. The PA policy had three components, Physical Education (PE), Structured Play (SP) and Unstructured Play (UP). Testing of EF for working memory and inhibition was carried out with a sample of 43 students from the 4th and 6th class before and after each component of the PA policy, once a week for four weeks, after a one-week pilot. Children's working memory was measured with a verbal visual memory test using curriculum-based vocabulary, while their inhibition was assessed through the Animal Stroop-like test. The effect of each component of the PA intervention on working memory and inhibition was analysed with two separate repeated measures MANOVA, controlling gender and class as between-subject factors. For both working memory and inhibition, PE was more beneficial for all students comparing to SP and UP (p<.001). Regarding inhibition, no gender and class differences were observed. However, for working memory there were higher improvements for 4th class comparing to 6th class students (p<.05). PE appeared to be more beneficial for improving students' EF and is suggested to be prioritised when developing PA policy in schools. Further research is warranted with longitudinal studies.