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Laura Prior and Matthew Curtner-Smith

Purpose: Most research examining the effects of socialization on physical education teachers’ curricula is dated, has been incidental, and conducted in secondary schools. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of occupational socialization on the curricula delivered by elementary teachers. Methods: Participants were 10 teachers. Data were collected with six qualitative techniques and analyzed by employing standard interpretive methods. Findings and Discussion: Three groups of teachers were identified. These were nonteachers, conservatives, and progressives. The curricula they delivered varied greatly in terms of pedagogies and quality. Each teacher group was closely aligned to orientations for teaching and coaching, and these orientations were forged by the teachers’ socialization profiles. Conclusions: The findings provided clues as to how the cycle of poor and nonteaching might be broken in U.S. elementary schools. In addition, these findings served to potentially modify occupational socialization theory pertaining to physical education.