This study was informed by the literature on teaching metaphors and the theory of occupational socialization. Its purpose was to examine in-service Physical Education teachers’ initial (before entering the profession), current, and ideal metaphors of teaching, related factors, and potential differences in participants’ metaphors based on their teaching experience. A mixed-methods approach was employed for this study, including a modified version of an existing survey (N = 66; Alger, 2009) and interviews (N = 13). Descriptive statistics indicated that while participants predominantly embraced teacher-centered metaphors initially, about half of them reported their current and ideal metaphors as student-centered. Constant comparison and analytic induction techniques revealed three themes and several subthemes: (a) fluidity (own definitions, combination of metaphors), (b) formation of initial views of teaching (acculturation, professional socialization), and (c) evolutionary forces and constraints (experience, pressure of test scores, time allocation, resources). These results have implications both for preservice and in-service teacher education programs.
Stylianou, Hodges Kulinna, and Kwon are with the Department of Educational Leadership and Innovation, Arizona State University, Mesa, AZ. Cothran is with the Kinesiology Department in the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, Indiana University Bloomington, IN.