The Quality of Physical Education in Flemish Secondary Schools

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Over the last decade, several scholars have firmly established the critical role of quality
school physical education in human development. However, despite this broad empirical
foundation and an increased political support, the subject often still finds itself in a perilous
position through many continental regions of the world. Specifically, issues of
implementation, restricted and/or diminished curricular time allocation, inadequate financial,
material and/or human resources as well as scepticism about the subjects academic value
repeatedly appear to inhibit the provision of quality school physical education. Consequently
in Flanders - as in other European countries (e.g., Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany) - a
research project to systematically analyse the subjects quality was introduced. This project
was funded by the Research Council (i.e., OZR) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and focussed
on (i) selecting a relevant framework to perform a course specific quality analysis from, (ii)
providing a preliminary picture of physical educations quality in Flemish secondary schools
and (iii) developing a tool to assist schools, P.E. departments and/or individual P.E. teachers
with the implementation of quality assurance and/or quality management principles.
The present dissertation is actually a compilation of two published (i.e., chapters 2 and 3)
and two submitted (e.g., chapters 4 and 5) research papers which are preceded by a general
introduction. This introduction emphasizes on the scientific, as well as the general importance
of the research topic and describes the theoretical frameworks that ultimately structured the
quality analysis process. The research papers themselves, deal with (i) the expectations and
perceptions of various stakeholders (e.g., pupils, P.E. teachers, school principals) regarding
the quality of physical education in Flemish secondary schools and (ii) the introduction of a
course specific quality management/evaluation tool aimed at supporting the P.E. field with
their task of internal quality assurance and/or quality improvement.
Date of AwardSep 2007
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorPaul De Knop (Promotor), Marc Theeboom (Co-promotor), Jo Van Hoecke (Co-promotor), Evert Zinzen (Jury), Kristine De Martelaer (Jury), Herlinda Van Looy (Jury), Diane Spilthoorn (Jury) & Harry Stegeman (Jury)


  • Quality
  • Physical Education
  • Flemish Schools

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