Physical Education Teachers' Lives and Careers: PE, Sport, and Educational Status

Physical Education Teachers' Lives and Careers: PE, Sport, and Educational Status

Physical Education Teachers' Lives and Careers: PE, Sport, and Educational Status

Physical Education Teachers' Lives and Careers: PE, Sport, and Educational Status

Synopsis

This is a unique research-based book which explores the lives and careers of physical education teachers from two perspectives. First, teachers' life stories illustrate how eight teachers became involved with sport, how they entered the physical education profession, why they developed particular teaching philosophies, and how they have tried to progress in their teaching careers. Secondly, a broader thematic analysis identifies issues which arise throughout the teachers' stories and locates them within the wider international research literature. Low status is identified as an enduring concern, and it is argued that this stems from a lack of empirical research into the educational outcomes which are claimed for physical education.

Excerpt

When we're talking about physical education, we're really talking about education…but sport is just doing it. (Jane)

We are teaching sport, but we're using that sport as a vehicle to open up a lot of other avenues. (Maggie)

I've never really known the difference…I can't see it because we do a load of sports in physical education. (Grant)

This book explores the complex links between sport, education and physical education, as expressed and experienced by practising physical education teachers. It is based on the assumption that, in creating and fulfilling the simultaneous roles of teacher, coach and sports participant, the physical education teacher can be viewed as the embodiment of the sport/education/ physical education relationship. However, theoretical debates over the years have pointed to tensions in that relationship, suggesting that there is a fundamental conflict between the goals of sport and those of physical education. Furthermore, there is a wealth of evidence pointing to the lowly status accorded to physical education in the education system. Meanwhile, the physical education teacher tries to manage a role where, among other requirements, knowledge and experience of all three aspects-sport, education and physical education-are essential components of the job. It is no wonder that this is, at times, a challenging task.

The broad purpose of this book is to seek to understand more about the ways in which physical education teachers accommodate conflicting role expectations from schools, the physical education profession and the sporting and wider community. More specifically, the focus is upon how teachers establish their personal philosophies and professional practices in physical education, how their personal involvement in sport has influenced that process, and how they manage to create and maintain a rewarding-or at least tolerable-role for themselves in the face of a largely unsupportive education system. In order to achieve such an understanding, the book is

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