Studying principals' resource allocation and affecting resource factors for physical education in Finland
The aims of the present study were to investigate principals’ opinions of PE resourcing in schools. Resourcing was divided for different resourcing factors in schools: principals’ money allocation, qualified PE teachers, PE teachers’ in-service education, extracurricular PE and optional PE courses. These resource factors were investigated by associations between school size and different resourcing factors and between school’s regional location and different resourcing factors. Other aims were to study if principals’ and PE teachers’ opinions of PE resourcing diverge and to compare results of PE resourcing to previous PE evaluations study (Huisman 2004) in 2003. A follow-up evaluation 2010 of physical education learning outcomes, commissioned by the National Board of Education, was conducted by the Department of Sports Sciences at the University of Jyväskylä in spring 2010. Data, questionnaires, were collected from 51 comprehensive schools, of which four are Swedish speaking. Questionnaires were answered by 1619 ninth grade students, PE teachers and principals. The evaluation study sample represented extensively different provinces, municipal groups and European Union support schools. (Palomäki & Heikinaro-Johansson 2011, 5-17.) According to the results, large-sized schools allocated more money for PE in last two academic years, had more qualified PE teachers and arranged more optional PE courses than medium-sized schools. All other resourcing factors were somewhat equal between large-sized and medium-sized schools. From the regional point of view, schools from Southern and Western Finland had more qualified PE teachers than Eastern and Northern Finland. PE teachers from Southern Finland did not take part in in-service education as much as PE teachers in other provinces. Compared to the previous PE evaluation study (Huisman 2004) both, PE teachers’ participation in in-service education and arranged extracurricular PE in schools, had decreased. Interesting finding was that arranged extracurricular PE in schools had decreased although government had given subsidies for arranging them. Most principals thought PE is not expensive compared to other subjects. Principals for the most part wanted more money for arranging optional PE and thought extracurricular sports are necessary in schools. Most principals thought all PE facilities are at least in satisfying condition but 21 % of PE teachers thought they were poor. This study confirms also that, in Finland, the need for enhancing in-service education and PE teacher training is remarkable. Interesting would be to know also where the money is used in schools. ...
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