Summary of the Needs Analysis
Aim: The overall objective of the SPEACH project needs analysis (work package 2, WP2) was to gather input on the needs and wishes of selected target groups within the field of physical education (PE) and Sport Coaching. Both individual and organisational perspectives were represented. Focus has been on how to build Health Enhancing Physical Activity (HEPA) related modules and/or other substantial study activities into existing educational structures of sport coaching and physical education teacher education (PETE) programs.
Methods: The WP2 needs analysis was divided into a three-step strategy: Firstly, data was collected on the knowledge, interest and attitudes of future sport coach and physical educators, the students, in relation to HEPA as part of their education and/or (further) training. This was done via a digital survey distributed among selected groups of students covering seven European countries. Secondly, input on current organisational perspectives, as to the integration of HEPA related modules into existing educational structures, was collected through interviews with representatives of key national organisations from the sport coaching and/or PE sector. Lastly, input was collected via a focus group with key experts conducted in Rome during the ENSSEE Forum 2015.
Based on the results from the needs analysis a set of recommendations and themes are put forward focusing on: study content; students’ knowledge, skills and competences; type of learning method. All in relation to the overall project aim of integrating newly-developed HEPA modules/activities into existing educational structures in the areas of Coaching and PE.
Results: Looking across the stated needs, wishes and opinions of the 660 survey respondents, the 14 interviewees and the focus group, the following HEPA content areas are deemed most important and relevant: Changing behaviour, personal leadership, physical activity for special target groups, health policy, testing & prescription and nutrition. Concerning learning approaches and/or methods, respondents state that these should be a combination of: Practice oriented learning, training-, group- and classroom based learning, internship and involving/reflective learning. Importantly, both content areas and learning methods must be defined in accordance with the knowledge, skills and competences students need to build – especially in relation to core sports science and health issues. Furthermore, the students should be given opportunities to develop solid professional communication skills and pedagogic competences enabling them to support and coach athletes and pupils to acquire life balance – including healthful eating behaviors and regular physical activity, among other things in order to achieve sound and normal growth and development. A strong recommendation from the focus group meeting was that the developed modules should be flexible and differentiated at master, bachelor and vocational level.
Conclusion: The developed HEPA modules should be thematic and integrated in nature meaning that several content themes need to be included. Regarding the didactics, a mixed method should be conducted including forms like: training, internship, group- and classroom based teaching. Finally, the modules should be flexible and offer differentiated levels so they can be implemented at vocational, bachelor as well as master level.
Download this summary in PDF here: SPEACH Project – Summary of the Needs Analysis