Matching the Self: The Paradoxical Case and Life History of a Late Career Teacher/Coach

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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This case study focuses on a late career, male teacher/coach and reveals the multidimensionality of his life and career. It demonstrates the influence of significant career and life events, as well as the social context in which the teacher/coach works. Overall, a life history approach describes the paradox of the employment/accommodation of a veteran elementary teacher as a physical educator at the secondary school in which he coaches. This study reveals the marginality of physical education and its teachers at the secondary school level in contrast to the importance of interscholastic athletics and those who serve in varsity coaching roles. The study shows how the teacher studied is both a good-fit and a weak-fit stayer (Yee, 1990). Equally, it demonstrates how one’s conception of self (Nias, 1985) relates to professional and personal circumstance. Finally, the research demonstrates the value of and need for biographical research in sport pedagogy.

T.J. Templin is with the Dept. of Health, Kinesiology, and Leisure Studies at Purdue University, Lambert Gymnasium, West Lafayette, IN 47907. A. Sparkes is with the School of Education at the University of Exeter, Exeter, Devonshire EX1 2LU, UK. B. Grant is with the Dept. of Liesure Studies at the University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. P. Schempp is with the Dept. of Physical Education at the University of Georgia, Physical Education Bldg., Athens, GA 30602.

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