Physical Education Teacher Education and the Trend to Proletarianization: A Case Study

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education

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Doune MacdonaldThe University of Queensland

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Richard TinningDeakin University

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Drawing on evidence from an Australian physical education teacher education (PETE) program, this paper argues that the preparation of physical education teachers implicates PETE in the trend to proletarianize teachers’ work at the same time that national claims for increased professionalization are being made. The core physical education program and its PETE component was characterized by narrow utilitarian, sexist, scientistic, and technicist approaches to the field of physical education. More specifically, the PETE program represented teaching as technical and unproblematic rather than as a critical and intellectual endeavor, and its faculty and students were accorded a subordinate status within the department.

Doune Macdonald is with the Department of Human Movement Studies at The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia. Richard Tinning is with the Faculty of Education at Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria 3217, Australia.

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