The purpose of this study was to gauge preservice physical education teachers’ perspectives during one physical activity pedagogy course, teaching outdoor and adventure education. Teacher belief, occupational socialization and experiential learning theories overlaid this work. Over three years 57 students (37 males; 20 females) participated in the course. Each student wrote four reflections during their term of enrollment based on semistructured questions regarding their own participation, thoughts on K-12 students, and teaching and learning in physical education. Reflections were analyzed using constant comparative methods. Three main themes emerged from the data: 1) fear, risk and challenge, (subthemes of skill and motivation; self-awareness); 2) lifetime activity; and 3) teaching physical education (subthemes of K-12 students; curriculum). Implications for physical education teacher education suggest the inclusion of novel physical activities that elicit strong emotional responses due to challenges with perceived and/or actual risk as a viable method for inducing belief change.
Timken is with the Division of Health and Physical Education, Western Oregon University, Monmouth, OR. McNamee is with the Department of Health, Human Performance, and Athletics, Linfield College, McMinnville, OR.