The purposes of this study were to (a) examine the beliefs and interactive thoughts of preservice physical education teachers regarding pupil misbehavior and (b) identify the extent to which these teachers’ beliefs and interactive thoughts affect their own actions in such instances. Student teachers (N=15) from two universities participated in the study. Interviews and stimulated recall with the aid of videotapes were used to gather data and analyze their beliefs and thoughts in 311 misbehavior instances. The results indicated that despite personal differences in their own conceptions as teachers, these student teachers agreed that there was nothing they could do to prevent misbehaviors from happening and blamed students, not themselves, for the majority (92%) of the misbehaviors analyzed. Moreover, they reported having interactive thoughts 6 of 10 times when handling misbehaviors. Of those thoughts, four of six were negative. Finally, these student teachers’ high school experience, as pupils themselves, influenced both their expectations of pupils’ conduct and their own actions. They expected their pupils to act as they themselves did back in high school, and, as a result, they modeled their own actions after those of their former teachers and coaches. These actions proved to be ineffective and created feelings of frustration, anger, and inadequacy in the student teachers.
J.M. Fernández-Balboa is with the School of Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO 80639.