Physical education preservice teachers’ physical activity habits and perceptions of the profession and subject: development during teacher education

Magnus Ferry*, Jan-Erik Romar

*Corresponding author for this work

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Teachers’ perceptions of the subject and the teacher profession are embodied during the socialization process of becoming a physical education (PE) teacher and through participation in different social fields. The initial acculturation phase of the socialization has been shown to be of utmost importance for the development of these perceptions; however, research on the impact of PE teacher education (PETE) on preservice teachers’ (PSTs’) perceptions and beliefs has yielded mixed results. The purpose of this study was to explore if PSTs’ physical activity habits and perceptions related to the subject and profession develop between enrolment in and graduation from PETE. The study used web-based questionnaires with closed- and open-ended questions completed by 60 students in a Swedish PETE programme. The open-ended questions were subject to content analysis in three steps before comparisons, and we performed statistical analysis with an independent t-test, chisquare tests, and Fischer’s exact test. The results show that PE PSTs are a homogenous group of students, with vast experience of sports and physical activities both during enrolmentand at graduation. Furthermore, although PSTs’ perceptions of a good PE teacher were unchanged during PETE, their perceptions of a good PE lesson did develop. The lack of development of PSTs’ perceptions of a good PE teacher could be explained by their initial
perceptions of this question being suitable at enrolment and simultaneously well-grounded in their habitus; the development of their perceptions of a good PE lesson could be understood in relation to the elements during PETE that offer PSTs opportunities to apply learned skills and knowledge in real-life situations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3108
Number of pages3119
JournalJournal of Physical Education and Sport
Issue numberSupplement issue 6
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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