Helping Preservice Teachers Learn to Negotiate Sociopolitical Relationships Through a Physical Education Teacher Education Outdoor Education Experience

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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  • 1 Northern Illinois University
  • 2 University of Illinois
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Physical education teacher education programs are tasked with preparing students for a teaching career in a field that possesses inherent challenges. Purpose: The current study, designed as a descriptive case study, examined how an outdoor education field experience can facilitate important learning for preservice teachers about navigating sociopolitical relationships among colleagues and the greater school community. Method: Interviews were conducted with 13 preservice physical educators and the course instructor, in addition to field observations. Results: An outdoor education experience that includes opportunities to interface with and reflect on working with various stakeholders can help preservice teachers learn to navigate sociopolitics and persist through challenges. Discussion/Conclusion: Despite challenges, the nontraditional and intensive nature of the field experience, as well as the positive relationships developed with students, compelled the preservice teachers to find effective ways to collaborate and manage teaching roles.

Jacobs, Wahl-Alexander, and Ressler are with Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL. Richards is with University of Illinois, Champaign, IL.

Jacobs (jmjacobs@niu.edu) is corresponding author.
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