Preservice Physical Educators’ Epistemologies of Skillfulness

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education

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Pamela C. AllisonBowling Green State University

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Becky W. PissanosBowling Green State University

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Adrian P. TurnerBowling Green State University

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Denise R. LawBurnell Campus School

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The constructivist theoretical tenet, that individuals create meaning based on the interaction of their previous knowledge and beliefs with currently experienced phenomena, served as the orientating framework for inquiry into a physical education teacher education program that emphasizes development of skillful movers as the primary goal of physical education. Epistemological stances on movement skillfullness held by 25 beginning preservice teachers were explored. Data were collected in a directed reflective format. Inductive data analysis revealed that these preservice teachers see above average ability, task commitment, and creativity as characteristic of being skillful. Their constructs of skillfulness were developed in contexts that include the human body in action, intermesh of movements, whole pattern of performance, presence of movement, the sociocultural event, and skillfulness as a backdrop for teaching. These findings informed the dialectic between teacher education faculty and students by creating avenues for shared understandings of the epistemological bases of the program.

P.C. Allison, B.W. Pissanos, and A.P. Turner are with the School of Human Movement, Sport, and Leisure Studies at Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403. D.R. Law is with the Burnell Campus School at Bridgewater State College, Bridgewater, MA 02325.

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