Short description - Physical Education

The role of this Lab in the modernization of Greek physical education

Until the early 90s the curriculum and material for Greek physical education teachers consisted of only two guides, one for the elementary school and the second for the high school . In the last 15 years the Greek governments and the Greek Pedagogical Institute undertook a series of actions to modernize education and physical education respectively.

Researchers of our Lab had a prominent role in all reform efforts in Greek Physical Education. They developed books, curricula and teacher guides for physical education teachers, which transformed Greek physical education in grades 5-12 (students’ age 9-18). The development of this educational materials and their impact on Greek physical education was based on our extensive research and evidence-based teaching which is presented in other sections of this website. 

Based on their research, Papaioannou, Theodorakis and Goudas published their first book in Greek “For a better teaching of physical education” (1999) (Gia mia kalyteri didaskalia tis physikis agogis), which was updated in 2003 under the title “For a better physical education” (Xristodoulidi Publications: Thessaloniki ). The main focus of the book is the philosophy and practice promoting learning, motivation in physical activity and social-emotional development, within an inclusive pedagogical climate. 

From 2003 until 2006, based on successful interventions in Greek Physical Education (e.g., Digelidis,Papaioannou, Christodoulidis, & Laparidis, 2003Goudas, Dermitzaki, Leondari & Danish, 2006) researchers of our lab including Papaioannou, Theodorakis, Goudas and Digelidis were the lead authors of 6 books for physical education teachers and students in grades 5-9 . These books were developed following a call and competitive procedure by the Greek Pedagogical Institute.  These books constitute the first major effort in Greek physical education to transform a predominantly teacher-centered model to student-centered, to introduce interdisciplinary concepts in physical education and to promote knowledge and skill development aiming to promote physical activity and health through physical education.

At the same time, Theodorakis and researchers of the lab developed nation-wide programs and books for “Olympic Education” (2000-2006) and societal equality (project "Kallipateira"  2006-2008) through physical education. These researchers trained more than 1000 physical education teachers in the application of this material.  

In 2011 Papaioannou, Diggelidis  and colleagues developed new guides for physical education teachers in junior high school for the Institute of Educational Policy (former Pedagogical Institute). The novelty of these guides lies in the emphasis on teacher-initiation in the development of the appropriate curriculum and daily lessons for their students and schools.

In 2014 Papaioannou and colleagues developed the philosophy of the physical education curriculum in senior high school and Digelidis and researchers of the lab developed the new curriculum for physical education in high schools and teacher guides  concerning their implementation. This material will constitute the basis for transforming Greek physical education in senior high school.

Within the context of physical education, Theodorakis and colleagues have developed material for health education, and specifically on preventing smoking and promoting physical activity in schools.  This material is successfully applied across many schools in Thessaly and Greece.

Educational transform cannot happen without inspired and highly motivated teachers. Our most recent research focuses on the motivation of physical education teachers to implement these curricula (e.g., Gorozidis & Papaioannou, 2011) and to participate in teacher training (e.g., Gorozidis & Papaioannou, 2014). In addition to the preparation of our undergraduate students we are well-prepared to participate in the training of current teachers to modernize Greek physical education and specifically to promote physical activity, health, good citizenship and social harmony through physical education.