This study examined practicing teachers’ perspectives on the requisite characteristics needed for participants in PETE. Eighteen physical educators were interviewed. The interviews were audiotaped and transcribed, and the data were analyzed using analytic induction, which allowed the researcher to draw themes and commonalities from participant answers. Interpretivism and teacher socialization theories were used to analyze and understand the data. Dominant themes emerging from this study were that undergraduates should have a love for physical activity, should like children and people, be physically fit, and be flexible. The teachers also believed that a teacher educator’s effectiveness in preparing future physical educators depended on being credible, displaying a love for physical activity, and having concern for undergraduates and their development as teachers. Finally, themes emerging specific to characteristics of cooperating teachers included commitment to the profession, displaying effectiveness as teachers, and embodying personal characteristics such as honesty and adaptability. This study is significant in that it provides evidence of a shared technical culture in physical education, gives teacher educators valuable input as to the type of student who would likely be a good physical education teacher, and gives voice to those who teach physical education in an area in which they should be intimately familiar—the preparation of a teacher for public school.
Bryan A. McCullick is with the Dept. of Physical Education and Sport Studies, University of Georgia, Ramsey Student Activity Center, 300 River Road, Athens, GA 30606.