18 SES 08, Developing Teachers Professional Identity: The contemporary physical education teacher
“Yeah, the body matters, especially a good-looking body.”
—Steven, age 29, physical education student teacher
The above extract from the research data summarizes some of the history and meaning of the body in physical education (PE). The body is an important part of PE teacher professional identity because it is always present during teaching. The normative PE teacher body has been thin, muscular and strong; the dominant attitude towards the body in PE and PETE (PE teacher education) has been instrumental, separating the mind from the body (Tinning 2010). Several studies have been performed on PE and the body, but there is a lack of research about the body’s role in PE teacher professional identity. In this study, we aim to understand PE teachers’ conceptions of the body and their relation to professional identity.
The professional identities of PE student teachers as well as educators of PE teachers have traditionally centred on sports knowledge and skills rather than broader educational issues (Dowling 2006, 2011). Physical performance and mastery of specific sports are valued over critical thinking and reflective approaches (Capel 2007; Larsson 2009). PE teachers and their educators have a tendency to reproduce and reinforce the current professional culture, identities and attitudes towards their work (Brown & Evans 2004). Body and embodiment have been studied with respect to teacher education (Fisette 2015), PE teachers (Webb, Quennerstedt & Öhman 2008) and PE student teachers (Wrench & Garrett 2015).
In theoretical terms, professional identity refers to an individual’s conception of him or herself as a professional subject based on professional and personal history (Eteläpelto, Vähäsantanen, Hökkä & Paloniemi 2014). Professional identity defines the relationship between a person and his or her profession. For teachers, professional identity includes for example professional knowledge, beliefs, values, attitudes, emotions, interests and future aspirations (e.g. Beijaard, Meijer & Verloop 2004). In this study, body is understood as both a sociological and biological phenomenon; it is constructed through various cultural practices on the basis of biological necessity (Shilling 2012).
The applicability of the traditional performance-oriented PE teacher identity in contemporary schools has been questioned (e.g. Dowling 2011). The latest Finnish national PE curriculum (Finnish National Agency for Education 2014, to be implemented in autumn 2017) calls for joy, playfulness and enjoyment accompanied by an accepting attitude towards one’s body. In order to support this kind professional identity in PETE, it is important to better understand PE teachers’ notions about the body.
The objective of this study is to understand PE teacher professional identity and its formation during PETE by addressing the following specific research questions:
- How do PE student teachers relate to their bodies?
- In what ways does the body become a part of professional identity?
References Beijaard, D., Meijer, P.C. & Verloop, N. (2004). Reconsidering research on teachers’ professional identity. Teaching and Teacher Education, 20, pp. 107–128. Braun, V. & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), pp. 77–101. Brown, D. & Evans, J. (2004). Reproducing gender? Intergenerational links and the male PE teacher as a cultural conduit on teaching physical education. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 23, pp. 48–70. Capel, S. (2007). Moving beyond physical education subject knowledge to develop knowledgeable teachers of the subject. The Curriculum Journal, 18(4), pp. 493–507. Dowling, F. (2006). Physical education teacher educators’ professional identities, continuing professional development and the issue of gender equality. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 11(3), pp. 247–263. Dowling, F. (2011). ‘Are PE teacher identities fit for postmodern schools or are they clinging to modernist notions of professionalism?’ A case study of Norwegian PE teacher students’ emerging professional identities. Sport, Education and Society, 16 (2), pp. 201¬–222. Eteläpelto, A. Vähäsantanen, K. Hökkä, P. & Paloniemi, S. (2014). Identity and agency in professional learning. In S. Billett, C. Harteis & H. Gruber (Eds.) International handbook of research in professional and practice-based learning (pp. 645–672). London: Springer. Finnish National Agency for Education. (2014). Perusopetuksen opetussuunnitelman perusteet: Opetus vuosiluokilla 7–9. Retrieved from http://oph.fi/download/163777_perusopetuksen_opetussuunnitelman_perusteet_2014.pdf Fisette, J. (2015). The stigmatized physical educator. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 7(4), pp. 466–487. Larsson, L. (2009). Idrott – och helst lite mer idrott: Idrottslärarstudenters möte med utbildningen. Stockholms universitetet. Stockholm: Institutionen för utbildninsvetenskap med inrikting mot tekniska, estetiska och praktiska kunskapstraditioner. Patton, M.Q. (2002). Qualitative research & Evaluation methods. (3rd ed.). London: SAGE. Shilling, C. (2012). The Body and Social Theory. (3rd ed.). London: SAGE. Tinning, R. (2010). Pedagogy and Human Movement. Theory, practice, research. London: Routledge. Webb, L., Quennerstedt, M. & Öhman, M. (2008). Healthy bodies: construction of the body and health in physical education. Sport, Education and Society, 13(4), pp. 353–372. Wrench, A. & Garrett, R. (2015). PE: it’s just me: physically active and healthy teacher bodies. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 28(1), pp. 72–91.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.