Views on Knowledge in Football Education in Physical Education in Brazzaville, Congo


The aim of this study was to find the reasons why football isn’t taught in the general and technical schools of Brazzaville, Congo. A cross-sectional survey, conducted throughout Brazzaville (Congo), targeted at a representative sample of 50 teachers aged 35 to 49 years. These subjects were teaching physical education in high schools. Our investigation, undertaken from February 2018 to April 2018, was based on of a questionnaire administered to the teachers of physical education evolving in the high schools of Brazzaville that was articulated around their representation on it put on football in physical education. The results indicate that the reason that football isn’t taught is attributable to the lack of initiative and creativity shown by the teaching of the physical education in high schools in Brazzaville. Our data show the importance of problems associated to football learning among Congolese teachers of physical education.

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Lembe, G. , Bantsotsa, H. and Massamba, A. (2019) Views on Knowledge in Football Education in Physical Education in Brazzaville, Congo. Advances in Physical Education, 9, 103-116. doi: 10.4236/ape.2019.92008.

1. Introduction

The question of teaching football in Physical Education is nowadays very much explored around the world (Bernard, Savard, & Beaucher, 2014; Piard, 2007; Fitts, 2004) whether it is in the field of the assessment of prior learning (Tira et al., 2017; Beckers, 2002) , in the evaluation of the teaching of this activity at school (Dejean, 2002) or in the evaluation of teachers’ skills (Rayou & Van Zanten, 2004) .

Research in physical education in Brazzaville, Congo, deals with the relationship to teachers’ knowledge and the spillovers in terms of knowledge and skills (Jean et al., 2016) . It is as if the value judgment on the teaching practices of football is a minor subject insofar as the quality approach is not exempt from a set of didactic and ideological considerations which consolidate the validity of the teaching of football in Physical Education (Le Poultier, 2007) . However, it can be seen, in high schools of Brazzaville, Congo, the inefficiency of football cycle to maximize performance and skills of schoolboys. However, his teaching should allow students to appropriate pedestrian manipulation skills and a mastery of the body (Official Instructions, 2005) , and to identify skills that can be used to steer the schoolboy endowments towards the training of footballers. This lack of teaching of football is doubted associated to the didactic material according to the study of Mandoumou (2005) . However, little is known about the process by which physical education teachers in Congo go through not to teach this discipline. We thus make the assumption: the absence of football education is linked to the lack of creativity or adaptation of physical education teachers to circumstances. In other words, football in Congo can be taught with the material the simplest possible.

This article explores the different facets of the relationship to the knowledge of physical education teachers in the programming and teaching of this sport activity in high schools in Brazzaville, Congo.

2. Methods

The study was conducted undertaken from February 2018 to April 2018 in eight secondary schools of general and technical education in Brazzaville, belonging to five out of nine districts in the city of Brazzaville. These are: District 2 Bacongo (Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza High School, May 1 Industrial Technical High School, May 1st Commercial Technical High School); Poto-Poto district 3 (Chaminade high school, Leclerc military school); District 4 Moungali (Lumumba High School); district 6 Talangaï (high school Thomas SANKARA) and district 7 Mfilou (high school of reconciliation). After simple random selection, the selection of these districts was based on the existence of football fields meeting teaching standards.

2.1. Topics

The target population for this research was all physical education and sports teachers in Brazzaville high schools. The sampling was done after determination for the inventing population on physical education teachers in the three districts. The sample consisted of 50 teachers [30 middle high school teachers (MHST) and 20 high school teachers (HST)] out of 75 in the city of Brazzaville, according to a 2/3 random draw. The criteria for inclusion of subjects were: to have seniority of at least three years; be diligent in your teaching job. Table 1 shows the distribution of teachers by grade, sex and duration in the profession.

Table 1. Distribution of teachers by grade, sex and duration in the profession.

Abbreviations: MHST, middle high school teachers; HST, high school teachers.

2.2. Experimental Protocol

The analysis of the relationship with the knowledge of teachers of Physical Education during the teaching of football in Congolese high schools has called for a quantitative and qualitative approach, as well as an interpretative epistemology, in order to better to grasp the meaning they attributed to their personal and subjective experience in their practices in this discipline (Savoie-Zajc, 2011) . It aimed to understand and interpret the meanings given by teachers with regard to didactic, ecological, identity and epistemic dimensions.

The questionnaire and the individual interview were the data collection instruments. The questionnaire was inspired by the Discipline-Focused Epistemological Beliefs Items Questionnaire, constructed and validated by Hofer (2000) . The questionnaire consisted of four parts. The first part consisted of 5 closed items considering the dimension “the place of football in the teaching of the physical education”. The second part of the questionnaire included 3 closed items related to the “Programming of football activity according to ecological conditions”. The third part, composed of 3 closed items, addressed the theme associated with the “programming reasons and conditions of football teaching”. Finally, the fourth part included 9 closed items related to “Teaching Motives for Football”. These types of questions allowed us to obtain precise answers. The questionnaire was distributed during the meetings to all 50 teachers surveyed in the workplaces. Each respondent had to answer his questionnaire without influence or external constraint; no special instructions were addressed to them.

Subsequently, a smaller number of volunteer teachers (n = 26) took part in an individual interview. The subjects spoke about what they wanted to teach and for whom they were trained.

2.3. Variables Studied

They were summarized at characteristics related to knowledge of physical and sporting activities in physical education, football during training, difficulties in designing teaching (cycle programming, cycle teaching content), use of material made available to teachers.

2.4. Statistical Analysis

Statistical indices were calculated: number, percentage, mean accompanied by the standard deviation. For the quantitative variables, three tests of statistics were used: Student test to compare two percentages, Sokal and Rolf (1995) test to compare three percentages, and Chi-square test (χ2) to determine the influence of a variable on the type of answer given. Statistical analyzes were carried out with the SPSSTM, version 23.0 (IBM), in the Laboratory of Numerical Analysis and Applied Computer Science (LANIA) of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Marien NGOUABI University. Regarding the qualitative data collected, they were the subject of a thematic analysis (Paillé & Mucchielli, 2012) , using a grid comprising both emerging and predetermined categories. For that, NVivo qualitative analysis software was used. Statistical significance of all tests was accepted as p < 0.05.

3. Results

On the whole, several representations of teachers were identified. Table 2 reports responses related to teachers’ opinions of football’s place.

From these data, it appears that football was predominantly retained (98% of the cases, p = 0.001) by the teachers. This fact is underlined by 68% of them (p = 0.05) according to the annual programming. Teaching was dispensed further in the third quarter. However, 62% of teachers (n = 31) didn’t perform this activity in the field, the reason given being of a material nature in 77.4% of cases.

With regard to the programming of the football activity according to the ecological conditions (Table 3), the answers obtained show that the school had a space (88% of the citations, p = 0.001). In addition, the existence of sports facilities was emphasized by 92% of teachers (p = 0.001); it was a football field, on sandy bottoms (99.1% of citations, p = 0.001) of surface exceeding 20 m2 in 86.9% of cases.

As for the programming reasons and conditions of football instruction (Table 4),

Table 2. Quoting rates of teachers’ responses to football’s place.

Table 3. Programming of football activity according to ecological conditions.

Table 4. Programming reasons and conditions of football teaching.

the data analysis indicates that 64% of teachers (n = 32) had already completed a football cycle during their professional career. The difficulties encountered concerned the choice of content (62.5% of cases, p = 0.07), large numbers (68.7% of cases, p = 0.05), difficulties in teaching and learning materials (87.5% of citations, p = 0.001) and the short duration of the lesson (71.9% of citations, p = 0.05). Finally, according to 84% of teachers football cannot be taught in these conditions.

Table 5 reports the different reasons for teaching football in high school.

According to 90% of respondents (p = 0.001), teaching football to physical education cannot be adapted. In fact, 38 out of 50 teachers (76%) do not provide it. However, for 64% of the teachers the pupils can be interested in the practice of this activity, because this discipline participates in the development of the child. However, the limited space available to the institutions does not allow this

Table 5. Reasons for teaching football.

activity to be carried out (84% of citations, p = 0.001). Even in the form of an educational game, its realization is difficult according to 96% of teachers (n = 48). In addition, the large numbers of classes do not allow it (36 out of 50 teachers). Moreover, according to 88% of teachers, there are no other teaching methods to teach football in physical education.

Regarding the individual interviews conducted on 26 teachers, it appears that 7 of them stress that the appropriation of technico-tactical gestures by the learners is essential for their good mastery and execution. On another level, 12 teachers argued that the acquisition of techniques by the students is active. These encourage the latter to reflect and question the pedagogical strategies adopted. For these teachers, acquisition and mastery of gestures go through an interactive method, giving a social dimension to learning. In addition, students must be critical. Nevertheless, 5 teachers mentioned that didactic approaches advocated by official texts sometimes broke with those they preferred.

Lastly, five other teachers gave themselves a model role in relation to their specialization in football. According to them, the student had to act as a faithful reproducer of the gestures and techniques learned in order to forge a technical knowledge and a specific know-how to share them with his peers. However, the requirements of the football programs and the small amount of time allocated to physical education (2 hours per week, one hour per lesson).

4. Discussion

Our subjects to the question of whether football is part of the physical and sports activities selected by the program book of the National Institute for Research and Educational Action (INRAP); for the majority of physical education teachers, football is included in the INRAP program book with a high rate of 98%. These results show that our subjects recognize and use the program book, so follow the institutional recommendations. Indeed, the program book is the guide and reference document in the teaching profession.

The results also show a significant difference between the yes and the no to the question of whether “Football is retained as a physical activity and sport in your annual program?” (Table 2). These results may be justified by the fact that the institution represented by the coordinator also applies the program book. Indeed the coordinator is the one who ensures the application of the program book. Programming must match the requirements listed in the program book. The teaching of physical education is a function of level, cycle and content.

In wanting to understand in which period of the year football is scheduled, the trend shows that this activity is more programmed in the third quarter than in the first two quarters with a rate of 73.5% (Table 2). These results may suggest that football is placed in this quarter which is a quarter of state examinations in the Republic of Congo. Generally in this period, there are many obligations sometimes leading to the non-realization of all programmed activities.

The results of the answer to the question: “Do you perform physical activity and sports football?” show that the difference is not statistically significant between teachers who perform football in their physical and sporting activities taught in physical education course and those who do not realize it. This insignificant difference inclines the trend towards those who do not perform this activity (62% vs. 38%) (Table 2). This confirms that football is not taught at all. This leads us to understand the reasons why football is not taught.

In addition, the results show that the lack of infrastructure doesn’t present a lot of problems for the practice of football at school with a rate of 61.3% (Table 3). This can be justified by the complexity of teaching a collective sport for the use of the feet. Indeed, the literary choice of the objectives can approve an adequacy with the realization of the course with the choice of the situations of learning which does not denote the good choice and the knowledge, the know-how and to know how to teach (Amade-Escot, 2005) .

However, the lack of didactic materials among our respondents justifies the lack of football education. The results obtained show statistically a very significant difference explaining that the majority of the teachers of physical education who do not realize this activity for lack of material with a respective rate of 77.4% (Table 3). Like the book, the chalk and many others, the ball, the various goals and other didactic materials, should be the object of a concern of the school hierarchy for a complete development of the child (Merieu, 1995) which requires quality education. Indeed, the material can be one of the motivating elements in the realization of an activity.

The results of the question: “Do you have space in your school?” show that the vast majority of teachers confirmed that their schools have open spaces with a rate of 88% (Table 4). This answer certainly shows that physical education teachers who have space use it for other APS, certainly less restrictive than the lesson of physical education with a football cycle.

Answers to the question: “Do you have facilities in your school?” show that the majority of high schools have infrastructures with a rate of 92% (Table 4), a highly significant statistical difference (p = 0.001). These results can be justified by the fact that all the high schools of Brazzaville especially those where we conducted our study present facilities, but, the problem of the absence of the teaching of the football can be justified without seeking by the maintenance of these facilities. Indeed, in the preparation of the physical education lesson, the teacher must also think about the environment in which he will conduct his pedagogical action, so it is imperative to think about the safety of educational action places. In this regard, Parlebas (1994) indicated that the educational environment has an influence on the teaching act.

In pursuit of this intention, we wanted to understand if there existed: the football, volleyball, basketball courts and the free space of at least 20 m2. The responses listed show highly significant differences, which indicates that the most of high schools have a football field, volleyball, basketball and free space of at least 20 m2, 90% (Table 5). These results can, by taking into account the educational institution, reflect the value of the educational contribution of physical education in the education system. In this connection, it is stated that every human being has the fundamental right to access physical education and sport, which are essential for the development of his personality. The right to develop physical, intellectual and moral skills through physical education must be guaranteed both within the educational system and in other aspects of social life.

The achievements of the training are of paramount importance in the professional life of the teacher, so the answers to the question: During your professional career, have you ever had a football cycle? The answers obtained show that 64% (Table 5) of physical education teachers had football as physical activity in their individual programming. The high school physical education teacher acts as a versatile teacher in the programmed sports disciplines and must intervene in all physical and sporting activities for pedagogical purposes. For this reason, he must have knowledge in all areas of physical and sporting activities in order to transmit from them. It is known that the method used for teaching physical education in Congo is the sporting method (Official Instructions, 2005) .

The question of the possible difficulties that teachers may encounter during the realization of the football activity has been separated into five items, namely those related to the choice of content, the large number of students, space, material and the duration of the lesson.

Our respondents indicated that the difficulties in the realization of the lesson of football are related to the overcrowding of the students, the insufficiency of the space, the lack or insufficiency of the didactic material and to the duration allotted to the lesson of physical education.

These results are justified by the fact that the presence of a single football field does not presuppose the presence of sports facilities. It happens that the same is the scene of many activities, for lack of creativity, linked to the good use of space makes football take a hit in its realization.

However, our teachers do not actually have problems with the choice of content for the teaching of football in high school. These results reflect the fact that the physical education is taught by qualified personnel, which confirms the remarks made in the Decree 2000-11 of 31 July 2000 on the institution and organization of the development of the physical education and Sports: This text indicates that the physical education must be taught by agents who must acquire specific training in this discipline. This translates into the following wording: “In schools of Republic of Congo, no one can teach the physical education against remuneration, nor take the title of teacher, coach, monitor, sports coach or any other similar title, if he does not hold a certificate in the field. Because teaching is an art, a science and a technique”.

The status of the physical and sporting activities or the difficulties of practice, the internal logic ... can also induce a consideration dependent on the appreciation of the teacher, so the question: According to you, the practice of football with the physical education is considered a sports, physical activity and sports, some people think that football is not considered a sport with a 78% rate (Table 5). This can be justified by the fact that physical education teachers are aware that at physical education they do not play “sport for sport” but keep the basic rules so as not to distort activity but can transform it for educational purposes.

The reduced space should not be an obstacle to the completion of the physical education course during the football cycle, according to our results, with a rate of 84% (Table 5). These results confirm the instructions of Grassroots (2012) . These teach that football should be practiced everywhere even on spaces of around 20 m2 to allow the extension and also to allow everyone to enjoy the educational contribution of football.

Our responses show that our subjects say that football with physical education can be taught in the form of educational games with a rate of 96% (Table 5). This once again joins the current instruction of football teaching as well, it is stated that lessons given in the form of games, songs and dances are very noticeable for learners.

In addition, the answers obtained also indicate that for overcrowded classes educational resources can be created for teaching football at the physical education with a rate of 72% (Table 5). Indeed, the sports method advises the structuring of the class in class group to allow the good management of the class and also the maximization of chance of learning.

Each physical and sporting activity should be taught according to a particularity. All disciplines of the physical education have points and require a solicitation of particular organs, which implies even at the start of the differences for this or that other cycle.

However, the results of this study must take into account certain limitations. The first is that the teachers interviewed only worked in high schools. Thus, middle in high school teachers were excluded. As a result, the data obtained cannot be extrapolated to all secondary school teachers. The second limit concerns the restriction of the study to the city of Brazzaville which contains only 25% of the public institutions of the Republic of Congo. Finally, the lack of sports facilities and permanent physical education teachers in private schools was another limitation. Nevertheless, these limits do not erase the power of our observations. The questions used in this study followed standard protocols in opinion surveys.

5. Conclusion

This study has explored the relationship to the knowledge of physical education teachers in the teaching of football in high schools in Brazzaville. At the end of this work, the results obtained show that football isn’t taught because of multisectoral causes of didactic, ecological, identity and epistemic order. Indeed, our results make it possible to understand that the teachers are in a gear of usual activities known and taught to program the others only figuratively. This is the case of football. This dysfunction prevents the acquisition of a quality physical education and sports. In the light of the foregoing, current curricula need to be enriched by certain elements in relation to teachers’ knowledge, in addition to the improvement of teaching infrastructures. This is primarily a challenge for those involved in the construction of sports equipment and those involved in the practical training of teachers.





-coordinator: ☐

-assistant coordinator: ☐

-Teacher: ☐

Grade :

Duration in the profession:


-Male: ☐

-Female: ☐


1-Is football part of the physical and sports activities selected by official program book?

Yes ☐ No ☐

2-Is football accepted as physical activity and sport in your annual program?

Yes ☐ No ☐

2-1-If so, in what period?

a) In the first trimester

b) In the second trimester

c) In the third trimester

3-Do you do this physical activity?

Yes ☐ No ☐

3-1-If not why?

a) For lack of infrastructure

Yes ☐ No ☐

b) For lack of material

Yes ☐ No ☐

4-Do you have space in your school?

Yes ☐ No ☐

5-Do you have infrastructure in your institution?

Yes ☐ No ☐

5-1-If so why?

a) Football field

Yes ☐ No ☐

b) Handball field

Yes ☐ No ☐

c) Volleyball field

Yes ☐ No ☐

d) Basketball field

Yes ☐ No ☐

e) Free space of at least 20 m2

Yes ☐ No ☐

6-During your professional career, have you ever had a football cycle?

Yes ☐ No ☐

6-1-If so, did you realize

Yes ☐ No ☐

6-1-1-What are the difficulties that you encountered during the realization of this activity?

- Choice of contents

Yes ☐ No ☐

- Plethoric number

Yes ☐ No ☐

- Space

Yes ☐ No ☐

- Equipment

Yes ☐ No ☐

- Duration (duration of the lesson)

Yes ☐ No ☐

6-2-1-Other difficulties, which ones?

7-Do you think that football at school can only be taught on a large pitch?

Yes ☐ No ☐

8-In your opinion, can the teaching of football to physical education be adapted?

Yes ☐ No ☐

9-In your current school, have you ever taught football to physical education?

Yes ☐ No ☐

10-Do you think that all students will be interested in the practice of this activity?

Yes ☐ No ☐

11-According to you, the practice of football at the physical education is considered as:

- Asport

Yes ☐ No ☐

- Physical and sporting activity

Yes ☐ No ☐

12-Does this activity contribute to the child's development?

Yes ☐ No ☐

12-1-If yes, on which shots?

- Intellectual and physical

Yes ☐ No ☐

- Socio-emotional

Yes ☐ No ☐

13-Do you think that in a small space you can teach football?

Yes ☐ No ☐

14-Do you think that football can be taught in the form of educational games?

Yes ☐ No ☐

15-In your opinion, for bloated classes, cannot you create teaching aids to teach football?

Yes ☐ No ☐

16-Are there other pedagogical ways to teach football to physical education?

Yes ☐ No ☐

17-What are the factors that influence the teaching of football in high schools?

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this paper.


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