An analysis of student teaching was made to determine how student teachers defined becoming a better teacher based on their actual teaching experiences in the gymnasium. Specifically, two definitions were derived from experiences the subjects identified as indicative of either progress or no progress in becoming a better teacher. A critical incident technique was employed to collect and analyze data from 20 student teachers. Data were collected in the second, sixth, and ninth weeks of a 10-week experience. Reliability of data was established by comparing exact agreements between the investigator and five impartial judges. The results of this study suggested the student teachers defined a better teacher through experiences in which a teacher-planned lesson activity was felt to have worked due to the entire class responding to the teacher’s efforts with appropriate social behavior. Incidents not indicative of a better teacher were those whereby the student teachers felt an activity they tried did not work, resulting in wasted time and inappropriate social behavior by the entire class. Further, it was found these definitions did not change throughout the student teaching experience.
Becoming a Better Teacher: An Analysis of the Student Teaching Experience
Paul G. Schempp
Paul G. Schempp
Physical Education Student Teachers’ Beliefs in Their Control Over Student Learning
Paul G. Schempp
This study determined changes in physical education student teachers’ beliefs (perceptions) of control over student learning. A pre-post student teaching design was used to detect changes in beliefs of 44 volunteer physical education student teachers. Beliefs in control over learning outcomes were measured by the Teacher Locus of Control scale. Pretesting was completed 5 weeks prior to teaching, and posttesting was administered at the completion of the 10-week student teaching experience. Data were gathered over a 2-year period. Data analyzed via a paired t-test indicated the student teachers’ belief of responsibility for student learning was decreased. Specifically, total responsibility for student outcomes and responsibility for student failure showed significant p < .05) decreases. No change in beliefs regarding control over student success was detected. A multiple regression analysis revealed significant p < .05) gender differences on the postteaching composite score. It appeared that males showed a significantly greater overall decrease in perceptions of beliefs of control over student learning.
Constructing Professional Knowledge: A Case Study of an Experienced High School Teacher
Paul G. Schempp
Steve Sommers has taught high school physical education for 16 years, and in that time he has learned much about the demands that teachers face in public schools. This study examined how Steve constructed the knowledge necessary to meet those demands. Specifically, this study sought to describe the sources and processes used in making pedagogical decisions. Data were collected over one academic year using life history and ethnographic techniques. Data analysis entailed reducing data to themes and categories that identified the specific sources of knowledge and how Steve used those sources in his teaching. Steve relied upon four primary knowledge sources: community, school, profession, and biography. These sources provided Steve with the expectations for his teaching and the limits of his responsibilities. Further, these sources provided the raw information that Steve translated into classroom practices. A dialectic tension existed between Steve and his occupational environment that shaped and gave status to his professional service.
Research on Teaching in Physical Education: Beyond the Limits of Natural Science
Paul G. Schempp
Recent years have seen an increase in the amount of research activity devoted to teaching in physical education. The result of these efforts has been a substantial growth in the body of knowledge regarding movement pedagogy. Most of these undertakings have been completed with the natural science mode of inquiry as the research model. Thus, the natural science research paradigm has emerged as the dominant mode of inquiry and analysis for research on teaching in physical education. In spite of the major contributions made in the engagement of the natural science model, the subscription to a dominant mode of inquiry holds serious consequences in the development of any body of knowledge. The underlying assumptions of a paradigm pose limits to the knowledge to which one has access. Therefore, this paper offers an analysis of the assumptions embedded in the operationalization of the natural science research paradigm in order to illuminate their limitations for research on teaching in physical education. The assumptions of an alternative, qualitative paradigm are also identified and discussed in terms of their potential for researching beyond the limits of the natural science model. It was not the intent of this paper to declare one paradigm superior to any other, but rather to recognize the need for alternative perspectives in researching the phenomenon of teaching physical education.
Exorcist II: A Reply to Siedentop
Paul G. Schempp
Teacher Socialization from a Dialectical Perspective: Pretraining through Induction
Paul G. Schempp and Kim C. Graber
Recent attention has focused on examining the process of becoming a teacher. Researchers have begun studying the stages of socialization that influence the beliefs, behaviors, and perspectives of those who choose to teach. The purpose of this article is to explore the earlier stages of professional socialization, focusing on four periods (pretraining, preservice, field experiences, and induction) that have the potential to significantly impact teacher development. The authors maintain that prospective teachers participate in a dialectical process, determining to some degree which beliefs they will acquire and which they will ignore. Specifically, this article supports the notion that a dialectical process exists during all four selected periods of socialization—a contest between societal expectations and the individual inclinations of prospective teachers.
Differences Between Expert and Novice Tennis Coaches’ Perceptual Capacities
Paul G. Schempp and Sophie Woorons
The purpose of this study was to examine analytic perceptions of expert and novice tennis coaches. Four expert and four novice tennis coaches volunteered as study participants. Both a video analysis and a recall test provided data for this investigation. In the video analysis protocol, participants were asked to describe what they observed while viewing a 10-minute video of a tennis practice session. In the recall test, a series of 10 tennis related slides were viewed by each of the coaches. After viewing each slide for five seconds, the coaches were asked what they recalled from the slide. The completed written accounts from the video analysis and the recall test audiotapes were transcribed and served as the primary data. The researchers looked for recurring themes and categories using the generic qualitative study technique. Data analysis revealed six themes: (a) the quantity of cues perceived, (b) attention to critical features, (c) analytic depth, (d) recognizing meaningful patterns, (e) anticipating the future, and (f) from description to prescription. These findings, while new to the coaching literature, supported previous research in other fields regarding the importance and domain specificity of experts’ superior perceptual capacities.