Robin’s Story: Life History of an Exemplary American Female Physical Education Teacher

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Gunars Cazers University of West Alabama

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Matthew D. Curtner-Smith University of Alabama

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The purpose was to construct the life history of Robin, an exemplary female physical educator, to hear her voice, and to explore ways in which she experienced marginalization. Few life histories of exemplary physical educators have been recounted.


Robin’s life history was investigated in light of the theory of occupational socialization (Lawson, 1983 a, b). Three semistructured interviews were conducted, and data were analyzed deductively according to categories in the occupational socialization literature.


The study found that Robin experienced marginalization based on gender, lack of support, and being unaccepted. Occupational socialization explained how Robin’s induction into teaching helped her both teach as she had been trained and to be innovative.


The study suggests ways in which Robin persevered in her career and gives suggestions based upon her story. The sharing of this story may serve to empower other teachers not just to survive, but to challenge the status quo in their professional life.

Cazers is with the Department of Physical Education and Athletic Training, University of West Alabama, Livingston, AL. Curtner-Smith is with the Department of Kinesiology, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL.

Address author correspondence to Gunnars Cazers at
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