Health-related professional competence of physical education teachers: Narrative review and heuristic model

Keywords: Physical education; health; professional knowledge; teacher competence; conceptual framework


Physical education (PE) is one setting in which pupils may acquire knowledge and skills to lead physically active lives. PE teachers play a key role in fostering respective health-related competences in pupils. For this, they themselves need appropriate professional competences. The purpose of this article is to highlight research trends on, and to propose a heuristic model for PE teachers’ health-related professional competence. Research trends and gaps are identified by a narrative literature review. The heuristic model describes several knowledge domains, beliefs, motivational orientations, and self-regulation as subdimensions of health-related professional competence. It is intended to provide an overview of important competence aspects and to serve as an orientation for further work.

Author Biographies

Julia Lohmann, Universität Augsburg

Julia Lohmann, Dr., is a research associate in Sport Pedagogy at the Institute of Sport Science, University of Augsburg. Her research areas are professional competence of educators in the context of physical education with a focus on health and sustainability topics.
Universität Augsburg, Universitätsstraße 3, D-86159 Augsburg

Julia Hapke, Universität Koblenz

Julia Hapke, Dr., is a professor for Sport Pedagogy and Health Education at the Institute of Sport Science, University of Koblenz. Her research areas are PE teachers’ professional competences, (digitisation-sensitive) health education and cognitive activation in PE.
Universität Koblenz, Universitätsstraße 1, D-56070 Koblenz

Clemens Töpfer, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

Clemens Töpfer is an academic counselor at the Institute of Sport Science, Friedrich Schiller University of Jena. His research areas are health education and competence-based teaching didactics in physical education focusing on health and physical literacy.
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Seidelstraße 20, D-07749 Jena

How to Cite
Lohmann, J., Hapke, J. and Töpfer, C. (2023) “Health-related professional competence of physical education teachers: Narrative review and heuristic model”, Swiss Journal of Educational Research, 45(2), pp. 164–177. doi: 10.24452/sjer.45.2.7.