Old Story with a New Twist: Applying Decision Theory to Advance Understanding of the Negative Socialization Cycle of Physical Education Teachers

in Kinesiology Review
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In recent years, the physical education (PE) profession has been forced to confront a plethora of issues, from the demise of teacher education programs to the loss of programming in the K–12 context. Calls for change and a time of introspection have been prompted by this climate. The impetus for change has long been a staple of PE discourse. Occupational socialization theory, which describes the forces that shape the decisions and behaviors of physical education teachers, offers insight on the change narrative. Emerging from the results of occupational socialization research are myriad negative issues that highlight a perplexing problem—some PE teachers have the propensity to make irrational decisions. The purpose of this article is to apply decision theory as a means to critically examine issues that have emerged from the negative socialization cycle of PE teachers. Beyond connecting theories, suggestions will be provided to improve the decision-making of PE professionals.

J.D. Wyant and K.N. Wyant are with the Department of Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences, University of the Pacific, California.

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