The purpose of this study was to explore and describe three preservice teachers’ beliefs as they evolved throughout a 4-year teacher preparation program. Data collection spanned 5 years and included formal interviews, open-ended questionnaires, and document analysis of reflective writings. The results indicated that participants assimilated program messages into their beliefs about teaching physical education relative to elementary content, teaching effectiveness, and the importance of planning. Participants were less likely to assimilate program messages about classroom management and the purpose of physical education due to the impact of their own biographies. Participants were in favor of emphasizing effort and participation and rejected the program philosophy on assessment of student learning. Data suggest that participants’ K–12 school experiences as well as their lived experiences play a powerful role in the formation of their beliefs about teaching physical education.
Marcia Matanin is with the Dept. of Human Performance & Exercise Science, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH 44555; Connie Collier is with the School of Exercise, Leisure and Sport, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242.