A qualitative evaluation of the mechanisms underpinning learning through EduMove maths and literacy interventions within Southampton primary schools: A teachers’ perspective

The EduMove concept (education through movement) is built on three pillars of move, enjoy and learn. It is considered the complementary nature of the pillars has contributed to the sustainability and growth of the social enterprise that now works with pupils across 25 local Southampton primary schools to support learning needs. Despite undergraduate and postgraduate research addressing health implications (move) and the engagement (enjoy) pillars, no rigorous evaluation has been conducted to date to critically examine the learning pillar of the EduMove methodology. Due to recent demand from schools to continue their partnership with EduMove into the 2015/ 16 academic year, this research is well timed to gain a teachers’ perspective of how and why pupils learn through EduMove interventions underpinned by practical evidence. The research supports a qualitative approach to collecting data through semi structured interviews with 8 Southampton primary school teachers that were purposively sampled in line with their deep understanding of the EduMove methodology. The teachers’ role in the research process was to identify the learning mechanisms that facilitate learning outcomes through EduMove interventions. Furthermore, due to mechanisms ability to be hidden, context specific and to generate outcomes, it is considered that teachers were a key stakeholder to provide critical insight. Results tended to show that mechanisms addressed through key areas were consistent across the primary schools, but context determined how such mechanisms would generate intended outcomes. There were some key difference between KS1 teachers’ perspective of how EduMove interventions should be utilised to support learning and KS2 teachers’ perspectives. Overall, teachers viewed EduMove’s adaptable nature, group interventions, ability to engage pupils, and child led activities as the main reasons that underpinned learning through EduMove interventions. It is hoped the research will facilitate further studies to capture more statistical evidence that EduMove as a learning intervention is effective.
Keywords: learning, education policy, teachers’ perspective, mechanisms, outcomes, child led activities, active learning, summative assessment, formative assessment, physical activity, maths, literacy, phonics