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Mixed-Methods Approach to Evaluating Coach Education Workshops in Physical Literacy: An Honest Account of Method Design during a Pilot Study

*Kirsten Wing, @kirst.wing
Mixed-Methods Approach to Evaluating Coach Education Workshops
in Physical Literacy: An Honest Account of Method Design during a
Pilot Study
Kirsten Wing a & William M. Roberts a
a School of Sport and Exercise, University of Gloucestershire, Gloucester, UK
Background: Current approaches to operationalising Physical Literacy (PL) and it’s delivery are
commonly oversimplified; a product of a highly reductionist research perspective. PL is a highly
complex, multifaceted conceptualisation of the skills required to develop the motivation, confidence,
physical competence, understanding and knowledge in order to autonomously maintain an appropriate
level of Physical Activity throughout a lifetime (Whitehead, 2010; Giblin et al., 2014). However,
decreasing levels of PA in youth has led to an increase in international political and academic attention.
With no widely accepted framework for the facilitation of PL, many practitioners are investigating
multifaceted, complex and appropriate approaches that might allow practitioners to integrate PL in PE.
One such approach, adopted from Sports Pedagogy disciplines, is the Constraint-Led Approach (CLA).
The Boing research project, a recently designed PE curriculum for primary schools, utilises this
approach. The project in collaboration with Sport England and Oxford-Brooks is tasked to investigate
the development of coaches/teachers and wider practitioners who impact on a learner’s development.
The ‘facilitators’ or ‘architects’, impact directly on the PL journey, however, little has been published
on their development to deliver in education/sport/community settings.
Purpose: To effectively evaluate the industry based project which delivers a complex notion; it is
proposed that equally complex methodological approach and design is required to authentically and
effectively investigate the study. The project, educating circa 1600 master coaches nationwide, through
a workshop intervention utilises a pre, post and 6-month follow quantitative questionnaires designed
to assess knowledge, attitude confidence in delivering PL and subsequently Boing principles (based on
the RE-AIM framework). Follow-up practitioner interviews along with thematic drawing interviews
with learners address the remaining objectives through qualitative measures. With the impact of CV19.
significant adjustments to the preliminary validation of methods is evident with courses and methods
transferred online.
Findings: From master-coaches, to grassroot volunteers and parents, the scope of attendees is larger
than predicted leading to modifications. Overall, the most common age group currently taught is the
u10-u12 sector with only 12% (n=11) delivering to +17 year olds, hence the emphasis on the novel
thematic drawing interview strategy. Significant changes (p<0.05) are already evident between pre/post
knowledge (d = 5.2) and confidence (d =2.7), while change in attitude towards PL showed the smallest
significant effect size (d = 1.2). All participants stated they would either incorporate materials into
teaching or be able to modify them to suit their needs; a key topic to follow-up 6 months post workshop.
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