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  • Author: James D. Ressler x
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K. Andrew, R. Richards and James D. Ressler

Self-study is a self-focused, improvement-oriented approach to understanding one’s own professional practices while also forging recommendations for the larger community of learners within a discipline. Faculty in teacher education have been engaging in self-study research since the early 1990s, and the approach has recently been adopted by faculty working in physical education teacher education. The purpose of this research note is to advocate for the use of self-study as part of a larger research agenda focused on understanding faculty development and experiences within physical education teacher education. We connect the self-study of teacher education practices to occupational socialization theory and discuss the ways in which self-study can help faculty think more critically about their work as it relates to teaching, research, and service. We also discuss best practices for self-study and lessons learned as they relate to an ongoing research project. We close by discussing implications of self-study work and recommendations for future research.

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Jenn M. Jacobs, K. Andrew R. Richards, Zach Wahl-Alexander and James D. Ressler

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.