Physical education in primary school and impact on educational leadership


  • Tiziana D'Isanto university of Salerno


perceptions; specialist teacher; generalist teacher; children wellbeing; headmasters.


Purpose. In Italy, the 2022 Budget Law, established the compulsory curricular teaching of physical education (PE) by the specialist teacher, with a master's degree in exercise and sport sciences, in classes IV and V of primary school to achieve the objectives of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, inherent in the assumption of behaviors and lifestyles appropriate to the harmonious development of the children. Since the impact studies of many internal stakeholders in primary schools have already been done, it remained to extend the impact study among school headmasters. Therefore, the aim of the study was to investigate the perceptions of school headmasters on PE teaching and to verify the variables that could influence their opinions, to complete the study on the impact the reform has produced.

Methods. The sample consisted of 32 primary school headmasters from Naples and province, who filled out a questionnaire to investigate their perceptions on PE teaching. Chi Square (X2) was performed to test the associations between variables.

Results. About 96.9% of headmasters favoured the introduction of the specialist teacher in PE and the compulsory teaching of PE, as it was considered essential. The perceptions of the need of a specific education to teach PE influenced both the importance of PE and the way it should be included in the school curriculum.

Conclusion. Most of headmasters were aware that teaching PE required a specific education, possessed by the specialist teacher, wishing for its introduction in all primary school classes.  Knowing the perceptions of school headmasters is crucial because, they can influence how PE is taught in the school, essential to ensure proper mental and physical development of the children and to counteract problems related to the need for movement.



04-09-2023 — Updated on 10-01-2024


How to Cite

D’Isanto, T. (2024). Physical education in primary school and impact on educational leadership. Acta Kinesiologica, 17(1.), 26–32. Retrieved from (Original work published September 4, 2023)



Original Scientific Article