Development of physical education teacher education in Hong Kong: A problem setting analysis

Chung LI

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Ever since physical education (PE) has been included as an elective in the teacher education (TE) programme in 1947, it has developed from being a practical and professional oriented school subject to a theoretical and academic based discipline in the tertiary institutes in Hong Kong. This paper employs Lawson's (1984) 'problem setting analogy' for tracking such development, which involved framing, naming and editing historical incidents of the development of PETE in Hong Kong. It intents to identify problems of the present practices and to initiate discussion on alternative directions of the PETE curriculum and practice in the coming future. PETE was socially and politically constructed and became hegemonic towards scientific bias, health-dominated, technocratic and utilitarian-oriented nowadays. It creates tensions of dichotomised issues between PE and sports science; PE and medical science; inter- and sub-discipline; theoretical and pedagogical orientation; research and practical basis; scholarly and professional discipline; and technocratic and inquiry focus etc. It illustrates the differences in directions, status, functions and practices that PETE has been shaped during the development. The present study calls for a clarification of the discipline of PE; the appropriate knowledge for PETE; the roles of PE teachers. It recommends to strengthen the humanistic aspects of PE, adopt the 'social reconstructionist PETE curriculum' and acquaint PE teachers as 'critical' professionals. With such model, social values are stressed in the context of PE and experiences in forms of sports, leisure and health activities are geared for developing citizenship, social co-operation and morality etc.. All types of knowledge in the PETE curriculum for its own sake are not ignored, but are treated as problematic and are justified in terms of social needs.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1999


Li, C. (1999, November). Development of physical education teacher education in Hong Kong: A problem setting analysis. Paper presented at the Hong Kong Educational Research Association (HKERA) 16th Annual Conference: Exploring New Frontiers in Education, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.


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