The influence of alternative field based experiences on preservice teachers’ perceptions of assessment in physical education : an occupational socialization inquiry




Stephenson, Rachyl Jane

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There have been recent developments of new approaches to assessment in physical education (PE), but due to an extensive history of assessment in PE as being an area of concern, there is still a high demand for research on the topic. The profession of PE needs to gain insight on how to better prepare assessment literate preservice teachers. This study employed Occupational Socialization Theory as a conceptual framework to explore three preservice PE teachers’ perceptions of assessment during an alternative based field experience. The aims of the study were to investigate how the alternative based field experiences, along with how their socialization experiences, influenced their assessment perceptions. A qualitative, phenomenological research design was utilized to gain an understanding of the participants lived experience of an alternative field based setting within a methods course. The participants were recruited through their course as a convenience sample. All data were qualitative and collected through autobiographies, lesson plans, video recordings of teaches, and 3 rounds of interviews per participant. The data were examined with a collaborative qualitative analysis approach. The findings from the study were described thematically. Results were categorized into three major themes: (a) out of sight out of mind: assessment disappears in actual teaching practices, (b) preservice teachers cognitively valued assessment, and (c) professional socialization impact PPETs assessment implementation in alternative field experiences. Within the first main theme there was one subtheme – disconnect from planning to implementation with four sub-subthemes. The second main was comprised of two subthemes: (a) value assessment to promote learning (two sub-subthemes), and (b) recognized the potential impact of assessment on student learning as a motivator or demotivator (one sub-subtheme). The third main theme had three subthemes that emerged: (a) recognition of assessment importance throughout PETE programming, (b) faculty and staff had negative and positive influences on PPETs’ assessment perceptions, and (c) absence of assessment exposure and modeling. The results suggest that preservice PE teachers value assessment, and there are socialization factors that influence their perceptions. However, even with supports that existed at the alternative field based setting, there was still a lack of implementation of assessment


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