This longitudinal research explored beginning elementary classroom teachers’ beliefs about learning to teach physical education (PE) across time. Understanding how beliefs shape the process of learning to teach PE can inform the design of more impactful physical education teacher education (PETE). We mapped beliefs over six years including the three years of an undergraduate elementary teacher education program and the first three years teaching in schools through reflective writing tasks and semistructured interviews. Across time these beginning teachers believed that learning to teach PE required active participation in PE content, building of a resource bank of content ideas, and practice of teaching the content. Building competence in PE content through active participation combined with development of more complex understandings of PE content through PETE pedagogies can better support elementary teachers learning to teach PE.
Ní Chróinín is with the Department of Arts Education and Physical Education, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland. O’Sullivan is with the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.