School and classroom effects on Daily Physical Activity (DPA) policy implementation fidelity in Ontario classrooms: a multi-level analysis

Jun 27, 2018 | K. R. Allison, A. N. Philipneri, K. Vu-Nguyen, H. E. Manson, J. J. M. Dwyer, E. Hobin, B. Ng and Y. Li

BACKGROUND: This paper examines school and classroom effects on Daily Physical Activity (DPA) policy implementation in classrooms in Ontario, Canada. In 2005 the Ontario Ministry of Education mandated a policy requiring school boards to “ensure that all elementary students, including students with special needs, have a minimum of twenty minutes of sustained MVPA each school day during instructional time”. Based on an adaptation of Chaudoir’s conceptual framework, this paper contributes to understanding the extent to which school factors (as reported by administrators) and classroom factors (as reported by teachers) are associated with policy implementation fidelity at the classroom level.

METHODS: Cross-sectional online surveys were conducted in 2014 with elementary school administrators and teachers, based on representative random samples of schools and classrooms. A measure assessing implementation fidelity was developed from the six required components of the policy and for this paper fidelity at the classroom level is treated as the outcome variable. Several school- and classroom-level measures were also included in the surveys and a number of these were selected for inclusion here. Data from the two surveys were merged and selected variables were included in the multi-level analysis. Two-level logistic regression models were conducted to account for nesting of classrooms within schools and a series of models were conducted to identify factors associated with implementation fidelity.

RESULTS: The analytic sample for this study included 170 school administrators and 307 classroom teachers from corresponding schools. Findings from the multi-level logistic regression analyses indicated that only classroom/teacher-level factors were significantly associated with implementation fidelity at the classroom level. None of the school/administrator predictors were significantly related to fidelity. The most parsimonious model included five significant classroom/teacher predictors: teachers’ perception of DPA as realistic and achievable; confidence (self-efficacy); scheduling DPA in timetables; lack of space; and lack of time.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings from the study indicate the theoretical and practical importance of addressing classroom and teacher factors since they are most proximal to implementation fidelity to the policy. Several of these factors also reflect complex structural and organizational contexts, indicating that a systems approach to understanding and supporting DPA implementation fidelity is warranted.

PubMed Abstract

Allison, K. R., Philipneri, A. N., Vu-Nguyen, K., Manson, H. E., Dwyer, J. J. M., Hobin, E., . . . Li, Y. (2018). School and classroom effects on Daily Physical Activity (DPA) policy implementation fidelity in Ontario classrooms: a multi-level analysis. BMC Public Health, 18(1), 802. doi:10.1186/s12889-018-5720-2