Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Primary School Physical Education at the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Could Online Teaching Undermine Teachers’ Self-Efficacy and Work Engagement?

Version 1 : Received: 22 July 2021 / Approved: 26 July 2021 / Online: 26 July 2021 (15:41:22 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Gobbi, E.; Bertollo, M.; Colangelo, A.; Carraro, A.; di Fronso, S. Primary School Physical Education at the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Could Online Teaching Undermine Teachers’ Self-Efficacy and Work Engagement? Sustainability 2021, 13, 9830. Gobbi, E.; Bertollo, M.; Colangelo, A.; Carraro, A.; di Fronso, S. Primary School Physical Education at the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Could Online Teaching Undermine Teachers’ Self-Efficacy and Work Engagement? Sustainability 2021, 13, 9830.

Journal reference: Sustainability 2021, 13, 9830
DOI: 10.3390/su13179830

Abstract

This study aimed to evaluate whether primary school classroom teachers reported changes in physical education teaching self-efficacy (SE-PE) and work engagement (WE) during the first COVID-19 wave. Six-hundred-twenty-two classroom teachers filled in an online questionnaire on SE-PE and WE, referring to before and during the lockdown, and on perceived digital competence. While controlling for perceived digital competence, a mixed between-within Repeated Measures Multivariate Analysis of Covariance (RM-MANCOVA) was performed, with a two-time (before vs. during the lockdown) and three age-categories (≤40 vs. 41-50 vs. ≥51 years) factorial design. The RM-MANCOVA revealed that perceived digital competence significantly adjusted teachers’ SE-PE and WE values (p<0.001). The analysis yielded a significant multivariate main effect by time (p< 0.001) and by time × age-categories (p=0.001). Follow-up univariate ANCOVA showed significant differences by time in teachers’ SE-PE (p<0.001) and WE (p < 0.001), with a reduction of both values from before to during the lockdown. A Bonferroni post hoc pairwise comparisons showed teachers’ SE-PE significantly decreased in all age categories (p<0.001). The present findings confirm the importance of promoting SE-PE among primary school teachers, regardless of the crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Teachers’ self-efficacy and WE are essential to master the challenges of PE teaching.

Keywords

Physical education; COVID-19; primary school; self-efficacy; work engagement; school closure; classroom teachers; digital competence; online teaching; lockdown

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