Reproducing Gender? Intergenerational Links and the Male PE Teacher as a Cultural Conduit in Teaching Physical Education

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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Drawing on illustrations from a recent life history study that focused on male student teachers as they negotiated their way through a 1-year postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) physical education teacher training course at a university in England, this paper explores how teachers are implicated in the social construction of gender relations in teaching physical education and school sport. The perspective forwarded is that the embodied gendered dispositions student teachers bring into the profession constitute a powerful influence on their professional behavior, and that the development and legitimation of these dispositions might be traced to key relationships with other physical education and coaching professionals. In so doing, we identify key moments in a process of cultural reproduction and conclude that teachers might be viewed as intergenerational living links or cultural conduits in the construction and transmission of particular gender orientations and practices in the profession. We conclude that future research needs to be intergenerational in focus if we are to better understand how these links act as channels in reproducing gender relations and how we might rupture and challenge them.

David Brown is with the Qualitative Research Unit, School of Sport and Health Sciences, Exeter University, Exeter, EX1 2LU, U.K.; John Evans is with the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, LE11 3TU, U.K.

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