Impact of occupational socialization on the perspectives and practices of sport pedagogy doctoral students

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The theoretical framework of occupational socialization has been used to good effect to explain why preservice and inservice physical education (PE) teachers think and teach as they do. The purpose of this study was to use the same lens to examine the perspectives and practices of a cohort of sport pedagogy doctoral students in terms of PE teaching and physical education teacher education (PETE). Participants were 12 doctoral students enrolled in one university's sport pedagogy doctoral program. Data were collected through formal and informal interviews, observations, and self-reflective posters. They were analyzed using analytic induction and constant comparison. Key findings were that doctoral students espoused both conservative and liberal forms of PE and PETE and that these views were shaped by the interaction of the various phases of their socialization. Doctoral students recalled being oriented to both teaching and coaching. The longer coaching orientations remained intact the more likely they were to espouse conservative versions of PE and PETE. Prior to their graduate work, the pattern of socialization for the cohort of students was similar to that illustrated in other studies. What was new, however, was the power and potency of the students' graduate education or secondary professional socialization. This appeared to be primarily due to influential faculty, a practitioner focus in master's degree programs, and engagement in undergraduate PETE.

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