Physical Education Graduate Student Socialization in a Research-Focused Master’s Program

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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Researchers have begun using occupational socialization theory to understand the experiences of physical education teacher education doctoral students and faculty members. Comparatively little work has been done with graduate students pursuing research-focused masters’ degrees. These programs can serve as pipelines into PhD programs and have implications for the process of becoming a faculty member. Using a qualitative methodology grounded in existential phenomenology, this 2-year longitudinal study sought to understand the perspectives of Angela and Kelly as they navigated the master’s degree program. Data were collected through interviews, an online discussion forum, and text message conversations. Data analysis resulted in the construction of three themes and associated subthemes to describe the data. The primary themes included: (a) adjusting to graduate student life, (b) the importance of relationships, and (c) preparing for life after graduate school. Results are discussed using occupational socialization theory, and implications for research and practice are suggested.

Richards is with the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL. Gaudreault is with the Department of Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM. K. L. Simonton is with the School of Kineisology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA. A. Simonton is with the East Baton Rouge School District, Baton Rouge, LA.

Address author correspondence to K. Andrew R. Richards at karichar@illinois.edu.
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