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ERIC Number: EJ880833
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-1740-8989
Mapping and Interpreting Novice Physical Education Teachers' Self-Perceptions of Strengths and Difficulties
Shoval, Ella; Erlich, Ilana; Fejgin, Naomi
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v15 n1 p85-101 Jan 2010
Background: Research regarding beginning teachers' typical responses to the difficulties encountered at work relates to the professional, personal and environmental aspects of teaching. At the professional level, research describes mainly the beginner's difficulties in dealing with discipline problems, in using teaching methods efficiently, in planning and organizing assignments, in creating motivation in learning, evaluating student work and creating interaction with the pupils' parents. At the personal level, research shows a great discrepancy between the great expectations that young teachers may have of themselves on one hand, and recurring feelings of impaired self-confidence on the other. At the environmental level, the research shows that beginners have difficulty in integrating in the school environment. Teaching physical education is different from teaching most other subjects since physical education focuses on motor skills rather than verbal-academic skills, so that its teaching tools are different, and the status of the subject and those who teach it is different. Therefore, the question is whether the characteristic behavior of beginning teachers in general is typical of physical education teachers as well. Aims: The purpose of this research is to portray the strengths and difficulties of novice physical education teachers as perceived by the teachers themselves and to analyze the significance of the findings. Methods: Data were collected by open-ended questionnaires and structured interviews that were conducted with 62 beginning physical education teachers. Results: Beginning physical education teachers face similar difficulties as beginning teachers of academic subjects, but with much greater intensity. In the interpretation of the findings, the researchers identified five problems encountered by novice physical education teachers: (1) novices tend to feel and show a high degree of dependence on others; (2) they ignore the wider educational circle outside the classroom; (3) novices emphasize the importance of values, but are frustrated by their own inability to implement them; (4) they suffer from a gap between their initiatives and the environment's lack of appreciation; and (5) they possess a limited knowledge of practical pedagogy. Conclusions: It emerged from the present study that beginning teachers need to get meaningful support by: (1) being allowed to make mistakes in independent decisions and receiving suitable guidance to foster professional development; (2) being given the opportunity to link theory and practice independently; and (3) having the opportunity to learn methods to enable them to teach moral values. The article recommends considering ways to provide this support in teacher training and in the induction of new teachers in the schools. (Contains 1 figure and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A