Physical education teacher education (PETE) pre-service teachers' attitudes, values, and beliefs surrounding teaching physical education
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Teachers’ beliefs influence their perceptions and judgments about teaching and learning. Pre-service teachers (PSTs) often enter teacher preparation programs with preconceptions or beliefs that often affect their receptivity to teacher education. While there is widespread acceptance as to the importance of examining teacher belief structures, relatively few current studies have focused on the value orientations and self-efficacy beliefs of pre-service physical education teacher education (PETE) students. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine PSTs’ beliefs regarding teaching physical education on entry into to a PETE program and throughout various phases of the pedagogical sequence. Methods: The current study employed mixed-methodologies in an attempt to capture information from three different cohorts of PSTs at multiple time points within their PETE program. Data were collected during the semester using a demographic survey, the Value Orientation Inventory-2, the Physical Education Teaching Efficacy Scale (PETES), and semi-structured interviews. Data were analyzed inductively by data source and deductively when comparing all data sources. Profiles were created for each class cohort in an attempt to identify the value orientations, level of self-efficacy, change in value orientations and attitudes over a semester, and the change in self-efficacy over a semester. Results: Descriptive analysis of the VOI-2 survey showed cohort one and two were unsure of their value orientations while cohort three PSTs who were enrolled in the student teaching practicum exhibited a high priority for the Discipline Mastery value orientation. Repeated measures ANOVA of the PETES scale revealed significant differences over time for all cohorts but not between cohorts. Qualitative results revealed all three cohorts exhibited defined attitudes and perceptions of physical education and gained efficacy in teaching over the course of the semester. Discussion: This case study of PETE within a single program suggested that there are specific attractors and repellers for those who elect to major in physical education and these ideas affect their beliefs. Accordingly, targeted recruitment strategies should be employed to entice the most qualified individuals into this profession. Findings suggested that PSTs perceived secondary physical education as non-academic and therefore teacher educators need to question their effectiveness of altering PSTs’ apprenticeship of observation and associated subjective warrants, despite evidence of some evolution. Teacher educators also need to address the tensions between focusing on sport-oriented content or health-oriented content, as the teacher and coaching role conflict continues to plague future teachers.