Physical education teachers’ lives and careers - 1980-2015

Thurston, Natalie (2021) Physical education teachers’ lives and careers - 1980-2015. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This thesis explores the narratives of five physical education (PE) teachers in England about their careers and professional practice. It examines the espoused pedagogical values of these physical education teachers as they implemented waves of national PE policy at a micro-level. The study aimed to understand how policy is enacted or resisted within a specific historical and organisational context.

The research design is qualitative, set within a constructivist-interpretivist framework. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews from these five purposively sampled practising physical education teachers, who taught at different secondary schools within the same local education authority. They were of similar ages and trained to be PE teachers prior to the introduction of the National Curriculum for Physical Education (1992). The data is presented in the form of narratives, with the teachers’ stories presented individually, to allow a holistic and contextualised understanding of the practices at different policy junctures throughout their careers. The portraits also offer a chance to consider the diversity and distinctiveness of physical educators, particularly in their relationship to policy.

The theoretical framework underpinning the analysis is Lawson’s occupational socialization theory (Lawson, 1983a, b). The phases of professional and organisational socialization are used to analyse how PE teachers’ perspectives and practices may be differently shaped by the two phases of their socialization. The portraits illustrate the variable and complex interactions of engagement with policy, enactment of policy, practice, beliefs and institutional ethos. Each teacher demonstrates a distinctiveness in their interpretation delivery of PE and enactment of policy. These views are seen to be shaped by their professional and organisational socialization. The institutional specifics provide insight into how the teachers negotiate policy and how they go on to enact or not enact, adapt or resist, policy in secondary schools. The stories highlight the complex interactions between teachers, their professional training, their working environment and the broader educational workplace.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2021 09:46
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2021 09:46

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