Background: Increasing the capacity of teachers to deliver physical education (PE) lessons that are high in moderate to vigorous physical activity (PA) is one strategy to increase the amount of exercise students receive during school. However, traditional research approaches have not directly engaged the school community as equitable partners in the intervention design process. The purpose of this article is to describe the process, outputs, and lessons learned from a school-engaged research study, which incorporates the unique needs of schools—in terms of structure, accountability measures, and array of stakeholders into the research process and design.

Methods: This article describes lessons learned from Project SHAPE, a PA intervention that used principles of school-engaged research to guide program planning, recruitment, implementation, and data dissemination.

Results: The study team successfully partnered with 16 schools and enrolled 55 teachers and surveyed 4,773 students.

Conclusions: Efforts to improve PE programs can benefit from a school-engaged research approach that directly involves teachers, fosters mutually beneficial relationships, and integrates the schools’ perspective in the research process.


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pp. 337-345
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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