An investigation of pre-service teachers’ learning in physical education teacher education: schools and university in partnership

2016-01-15T14:22:25Z (GMT) by Frank Herold Michael Waring
This study explores the role of school and university partnership teams in the professional development of physical education (PE) pre-service teachers (PSTs) during their one year Postgraduate Certificate in Education course in England. The paper focuses on the key influences and processes that impacted on PST subject knowledge development. An interpretive methodology informed by constructivist grounded theory [Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory: A practical guide through qualitative analysis. London: Sage.] was adopted. This research highlights that the process of knowledge development in physical education teacher education (PETE) is socially constructed and complex. Much of the PSTs’ development was influenced by various communities of practice, particularly their school placements’ PE departments, but also their university-based learning community. Of these, the legitimised practices within the PE departments were found to be especially important to PSTs’ development. University-based learning was credited by PSTs with enhancing their holistic understanding of the learning process, developing those aspects of critical pedagogy that were under-developed in schools. This study identifies the capability of school/university partnerships to facilitate enhanced knowledge development in PETE. Taking into consideration the evolving nature of PETE within a political context that is progressively moving towards an entirely school-based model, an evidence-based debate over the manner and nature of the subject knowledge to be developed is needed.