The development of student physical education teachers subject knowledge

Por: Sid Hayes, Susan Capel e Will Katene.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Introduction

There has been ongoing debate about what constitutes the knowledge that teachers need for teaching. The Standards in England which student teachers work towards in order to qualify to teach are essentially a product-orientated model in which technical knowledge and skills are prioritised. This concept of knowledge for teaching is, however, problematic and there are other perspectives as to what constitutes knowledge for teaching. One alternative model of knowledge for teaching is that of Shulman (1987), who identified seven knowledge bases that need to be developed as part of professional training. Other researchers have identified other models, for example, Turner-Bissett (1997) identified 11 knowledge bases, including knowledge of self - which she identified as a crucial element in the way teachers themselves understand the nature of the job, and which is an important requisite for reflection at higher levels. However, the meaning of subject knowledge and understanding in physical education has not been teased out in considerable detail. It is not clear whether student teachers understand what subject knowledge is, nor is it clear how they develop their knowledge of the different knowledge bases, nor how they integrate the knowledge from the different bases to enable them to teach effectively.
The purposes of this study are to investigate what student physical education teachers understand by subject knowledge in physical education; how they develop the different knowledge bases; and how they integrate them in their teaching.

Methods

Data is being collected by questionnaire from 102 student physical education teachers on a one-year initial teacher education course in three different Universities in England during the 2003/04 academic year. Interviews are being held with 12 of these student physical education teachers. Both questionnaire and interview data is being collected twice during the academic year, once near the beginning of the course (November/December 2003) and once near the end of the course (June 2004).

Results

Results from questionnaires and interviews with student physical education teachers will be presented in relation to the three purposes of the research.

Discussion/ Conclusions

The discussion will focus on changes/development over the course of the year in terms of what these student physical education teachers understand by subject knowledge in physical education; how they develop the different knowledge bases; and how they integrate them in their teaching. It will conclude with some initial suggestions as to the implications of these results for one year initial teacher education courses in England.

References

[1]. Shulman, L.S. (1987). Harvard Educational Review, 57, 1-22.
[2]. Turner-Bissett, R. (1999). British Educational Research Journal, 25, 39-55.

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