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ERIC Number: EJ1088104
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1740-8989
What Should a Physical Education Teacher Know? An Analysis of Learning Outcomes for Future Physical Education Teachers in Sweden
Backman, Erik; Larsson, Håkan
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v21 n2 p185-200 2016
Background: Research indicates that physical education teacher education (PETE) has only limited impact on how physical education (PE) is taught in schools. In this paper, our starting point is that the difficulties of challenging the dominating subject traditions in PE could be due to difficulties of challenging certain epistemological assumptions recurring in significant PETE subject matter and didactics courses. Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to scrutinise how knowledge is expressed in learning outcomes formulated in curriculum documents at PETE institutions in Sweden and to discuss the potential educational consequences of the epistemological assumptions underlying the analysed expressions of knowledge. Setting and participants: This paper offers possible explanations for the difficulties of influencing subject traditions in PE through analysing learning outcomes formulated in PETE curriculum documents. The analysis is based on 224 learning outcomes collected from a total of 18 course syllabi, spread at 6 PETE institutions in Sweden. Research design, data collection and analysis: The documents have been collected through contact by e-mail with representatives for each institution. Through the analysis different themes in the material have been identified and clustered together. Inspired by Fenstermacher's ideas about teacher knowledge as propositional knowledge and performance knowledge, our ambition is to discuss the potential educational consequences of the epistemological assumptions underpinning the analysed learning outcomes. Findings: In the collected learning outcomes, the following themes were identified: teaching PE, interpreting curriculum documents, physical movement skills, science, social health, pedagogy, critical inquiry, and research methods. In most of the identified themes, the learning outcomes represent both subject matter knowledge and general teacher knowledge and are also formulated with an integrated perspective on so-called performance knowledge and propositional knowledge. However, particularly in the themes science and physical movement skills, two very influential themes, the learning outcomes are limited to subject matter knowledge and the concept of knowledge in these themes is also limited and unilateral in relation to ideas of different forms of teacher knowledge. Conclusions: We argue that a decontextualisation of knowledge, in this paper identified through dissolving science from its use in practice and through detaching physical movement skills from other conceptual foundations, contributes to the reproduction of subject traditions that render PE teachers incapable of critically reflecting over their practice, for instance how different groups of students benefit or suffer from the teaching of certain content. Drawing on the work of Tinning, we offer an explanation as to how teacher knowledge in the themes science and physical movement skills, emanating from behaviouristic and craft knowledge orientations, is formulated.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sweden
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A