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  • Author: Jared A. Russell x
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Senior Physical Education Teacher Education Majors’ Reflections on Teaching at a Youth Development Center

Cory E. Dixon, Peter A. Hastie, and Jared A. Russell

Purpose: Acknowledging the growing ethnic and cultural gap in diverse teacher and student populations, this study examined the pedagogical experiences of undergraduate physical education teacher education seniors following a teaching experience at a youth development center. Method: A phenomenological case study approach was employed in which preservice teachers taught and participated in over 45 secondary physical education lessons. The primary data sources were reflective journals and semistructured interviews. Results: Two major themes were constructed that describe the journeys of the physical education teacher education seniors teaching at both the youth development center field experience and in their internship placements the following semester. Initially, the preservice teachers experienced nervousness, uncertainty, and concern but, across time, experienced a degree of change and growth that saw them becoming particularly aware of and appreciating the personal biographies of their students. Discussion: The extent to which the physical education teacher education seniors’ experiences at the youth development center were transferred into their internships is discussed in addition to implications for introducing culturally relevant pedagogies in nontraditional settings.

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Graduate Teaching Assistants’ Experiences Teaching Physical Education at a Youth Development Center

Cory E. Dixon, Jared A. Russell, and Peter A. Hastie

Purpose: This study examined the pedagogical experiences of former graduate teaching assistants following their teaching experiences at a youth development center. Method: A case study approach was utilized to investigate each participant case while a phenomenological approach was employed to analyze each case. The participants, Malik, Dante, and Ray, previously taught physical education at a youth development center as graduate teaching assistants. Results: The results of this study are presented as three cases centered on the participants and their experiences. The first case, “developing people from where they are, not where you want them to be . . .” (Malik) highlights the participants’ appreciation of their students’ culture and context. The second case, “resiliency to teach well regardless of circumstance or situation . . .” (Dante) features the participants’ ability to teach diverse learners. The third case, “uphill battles . . . you cannot learn this in a textbook . . .” (Ray) features the challenges faced while teaching at the youth development center. Discussion: Consistencies across participants’ experiences, the impact on their current careers, and implications for introducing culturally relevant and sustaining pedagogies via nontraditional settings are discussed.