Elementary Classroom Teachers’ Adoption of Physical Activity Promotion in the Context of a Statewide Policy: An Innovation Diffusion and Socio-Ecologic Perspective

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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Physical activity promotion in the academic classroom (PAPAC) is an effective means for increasing children’s school-based physical activity. In the context of a South Carolina policy requiring elementary schools to provide children with 90 min of physical activity beyond physical education every week, the purpose of this study was to test a theoretical model of elementary classroom teachers’ (ECT) PAPAC adoption drawing from Rogers’ (1995) diffusion of innovations theory and a social ecological perspective. ECTs (N = 201) were assessed on their policy awareness, perceived school support for PAPAC, perceived attributes of PAPAC, domain-specific innovativeness, and self-reported PAPAC. Partial least squares analysis supported most of the hypothesized relationships. Policy awareness predicted perceived school support, which in turn predicted perceived attributes and domain-specific innovativeness. Perceived compatibility, simplicity, and observability, and domain-specific innovativeness predicted self-reported PAPAC. This study identifies variables that should be considered in policy-driven efforts to promote PAPAC adoption.

Webster, Perreault, Doan, Doutis, and Weaver are with Physical Education and Athletic Training Dept., University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. Caputi is with the Psychology Dept., University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia.