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ERIC Number: EJ959644
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 41
ISSN: ISSN-1740-8989
A Portrait of the PETE Major: Re-Touched for the Early Twenty-First Century
McCullick, Bryan A.; Lux, Karen M.; Belcher, Donald G.; Davies, Nigel
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v17 n2 p177-193 2012
Background: The literature on those who choose to become PE teachers received healthy attention in the late twentieth century but has been largely ignored since. Querying those PETE majors in first decade of the new century enables PETE faculty to have updated and pertinent knowledge of their charges. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to develop and analyze the profile of modern PETE students. Specifically, this study aimed to learn PETE majors': (a) demographic background, (b) motivation for choosing the PE teaching profession, (c) beliefs about the purposes of PE and teaching, (d) expectations for the field as future PE teachers, and (e) views regarding coaching and its relationship to teaching PE. Participants and setting: 798 PETE majors from all the United States except Hawaii and Mississippi. Data collection: A review of the PETE and teacher socialization literature guided design of 34 open-ended questions aimed at obtaining rich and detailed responses from PETE majors focusing on their personal and professional demographics, background, beliefs, and aspirations. Recent literature has successfully utilized open-ended questionnaires as a viable and useful qualitative data collection technique. It was most useful and practical to collect a large amount of data online given the large population of United States PETE majors. Data analysis: Researchers analyzed data both independently and cooperatively using Huberman and Miles' four-stage process. Data were summarized by independently reading participant responses in search of common ideas and themes. The researchers met weekly to discuss the emerging themes attempting to clarify and better articulate the expressions of the participants. Relationships were then identified among the emerging themes and repeatedly validated by going back to the data to authenticate initial connections between the dominant themes. Meaning was then made of the data based on those relationships as we considered the themes relative to related research and other contextual issues in PETE. The use of researcher triangulation during open-ended questionnaire construction and data analysis provided strong data trustworthiness. The large number of participants in the study accentuated data credibility and transferability and provided data saturation, thus, allowing themes to be confirmed. Findings: Four salient themes surfaced indicating that the twenty-first century PETE major: (a) is paternally altruistic, (b) holds paradoxical professional positions, (c) owns a vocational aptitude, and (d) views coaching as primary and independent of teaching. Conclusions: It appears that while today's PETE students still share some characteristics and beliefs of the PETE students of yesteryear (white, middle class, strong sport and activity influences) there is evidence of a slight shift in the twenty-first century profile of a PETE student. A strong sense of altruism pervaded the data as did a seeming unawareness of the relationship between teaching PE and coaching sport. Findings provide insight to those charged with designing and delivering PETE programs and underscore the need to regularly conduct studies such as this so that our knowledge of PETE students is contemporary.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A