What effect on learning does increasing the proportion of curriculum time allocated to physical education have? A systematic review and meta-analysis

Dean Dudley*, Raewyn Burden

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    An increased focus on standardized testing of students has had the unintended effect of eroding curriculum time allocated to physical education (PE). The empirical literature on increasing the proportion of total curriculum time allocated to PE was reviewed and a series of meta-analyses conducted to estimate the mean effect of doing so on student learning. After combining results across six studies that were absent of additional intervention, we found pooled effect sizes of 0.41 standard deviations on student learning across cognitive, affective and psychomotor learning outcomes. The evidence for the meta-analyses came from PE programmes implemented in primary and secondary schools from four Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development countries. Although findings affirmed that increasing the proportion of curriculum allocation to PE had no detrimental effect on student learning, further analyses illustrated the disparity of learning effects across the three learning domains.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)85-100
    Number of pages16
    JournalEuropean Physical Education Review
    Volume26
    Issue number1
    Early online date17 Feb 2019
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020

    Keywords

    • learning domains
    • physical education frequency
    • academic achievement
    • improved learning outcomes

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