Obstacles to Professional Development: Interns’ Desire to Fit in, Get Along, and Be Real Teachers

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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This study examined physical education interns’ beliefs and perceptions about their student teaching internships, thus providing indicators regarding their developmental growth as teachers. Data were acquired from 46 student teacher interns from focus group interviews and Fuller’s Teacher Concerns Questionnaire (TCQ). Developmental stage theories from the work of Hunt (1966), Kohlberg (1984), Loevinger (1976), and Fuller (1969) were used to frame the concept of developmental growth of student teachers. Data indicated interns’ primary desires were to fit into the school organization, to get along with clinical teachers, and to gain pupil cooperation. Constraints to teaching included difficulties establishing or implementing a management system, the absence of timely supervision from clinical teachers, and feeling like strangers in the school organization. The ability of interns to resolve these constraints directly contributed to their self-image as teachers. Suggestions are provided for advancing interns’ developmental growth stages beyond initial levels.

G. Linda Rikard is with the Department of Health, Fitness and Recreation Resources at George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444. Sharon M. Knight is with the Department of Health Education at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858.

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