The occupational socialization of German physical educators

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University of Alabama Libraries

The goal of researching the occupational socialization (OC) of physical education teachers has been to improve physical education (PE) and physical education teacher education (PETE). To date, the vast majority of this research has been carried out in the United States, with a few studies conducted in European and Asian countries. The following three studies were conducted in Germany. The first study examined five phases of OC of two sport pedagogy faculty. Data analysis confirmed the cyclical and unique nature of the socialization process, indicating that traditional sport-focused teaching orientations were reinforced throughout these five phases and were further strengthened by the generic nature of PETE and doctoral programs. Both faculty supported the status quo and reproduced the same kind of PETE they had experienced. Moreover, due to little competition between curricular physical education and extracurricular sport in German schools, this reproduction did not serve to perpetuate teachers’ use of poor practice. In the second study, the three OC phases of PE teachers of at least 50 years of age from former East (EG) and West Germany (WG) were examined. Findings indicated distinct and different patterns of socialization grounded in disparate political views of sport and physical education. Following the German reunification, WG teachers continued to hold their conservative teaching orientations, whereas all but one EG teacher shifted from the state demanded high performance orientation to a teaching orientation, with one partially retaining his high performance perspective. The acculturation phase of German prospective preservice physical education teachers (PPETs) was explored in the third study. Findings revealed eight participants’ conservative teaching orientations primarily focused on teaching traditional German sports. Two more progressively oriented PPETs favored teaching a wider range of content and were more focused on health-related fitness. Key subsidiary attractors to a career in PE were remaining connected to sport and working with young people. Three factors that shaped the PPETs’ values and beliefs were similar to those revealed in previous research: family and friends, the apprenticeship of observation, and youth sport. The people and institutions that comprised these factors, however, operated in different modes within the German context.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Physical education, Secondary education, Educational sociology