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Sport – and preferably a little more sport: PE student teachers' encounter with their education
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health, Social Work and Behavioural Sciences, School of Education, Psychology and Sport Science.
2010 (English)Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper is based on a study within PE teacher program inSweden. The starting point and the motive for the study are a number of issues concerning PE teacher education programme. Research shows that the PE teacher education programme has inadequate links to science, that it finds it difficult to challenge traditional gender patterns, and that the students' experiences of their own sporting activities are more important than the education programme for what knowledge is considered valuable (MacDonald et. al 2002; Brown, 2005; Tsangaridou 2008). The aim of the study is to investigate what happens when the experiences and conceptions of physical education (PE) student teachers encounter the value structures of a PE teacher education programme. Special interest is also paid to what conceptions of masculinity and femininity are expressed. The study has a cultural-sociological and gender theoretical perspective. I have found inspiration in Pierre Bourdieu's theories. Bourdieu was not particularly interested in what knowledge is as such, but rather how it originates and is reproduced in a social context, where having the interpretative prerogative means having the power to define knowledge. Bourdieu’s work remains an important springboard in investigating how knowledge, norms and values are originated and reproduced in a social context, where having the interpretative prerogative means having the power to define knowledge (Bourdieu, 1990). Analyses from such a perspective make it possible to understand reproduction and change within education in relation to those who are involved in it. Data has been collected using essays written by 52 PE student teachers during their physical education specialisation and in-depth interviews with 8 teacher educators. The data were analysed using Bourdieu's conceptual tools of habitus, taste, capital and doxa. The findings paint a picture of a PE teacher education programme where the orthodox is seldom challenged. PE teacher education is characterised by many of the traditions, norms and values which historically have been its distinguishing features. The ”rules of the game” are generally taken for granted and this is based on a shared belief in the value of the education. The structural conditions for the PE teacher education programme seem to be in harmony with the students' habitus. The students expected it to be about sport and although they feel their expectations were fulfilled, they would have liked even more. They are less interested in pedagogical issues and they would have preferred the whole course to provided a guide which they could follow and would result in lessons which worked well and were problem-free. The way they see the subject is largely the same as it was before the course, but what appeared to them to be a ”pure” sports subject before the course started has afterwards become more a way of “attaining health through sport”. Even if gender and social issues have been part of the education (a much too great a part, according to some students), the gender habitus which students have incorporated and embodied while they were growing up has changed very little during the programme. There seems to be a lack of pedagogical tools for how these issues should be dealt with ”in practice”. In the eyes of the students, the symbolic capital of PE teacher is to be good at many different sports and have in-depth knowledge of human biology. Both students and teacher educators have problems to put into words what a PE teacher must know and be able to do, and until this can be articulated it is not possible to reflect about, challenge, argue for, or fight over what this knowledge is, and its place in the education programme. The paradox is that practical aspects of the course which are seen as central by both the students and the educators are the losers within the framework of a college of higher education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010.
Keyword [en]
PE tecaher education, habitus, doxa, gender, Bourdieu
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Sport Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-16606OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-16606DiVA: diva2:473196
Conference
AARE 2010 INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION RESEARCH CONFERENCE - MELBOURNE, November 29–December 2, 2010
Projects
AARE Australian Assiciation for Research in Education
Available from: 2012-01-05 Created: 2012-01-05 Last updated: 2013-01-14Bibliographically approved

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Other links

http://ocs.sfu.ca/aare/index.php/AARE/AARE_2010/paper/view/1989

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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