Subjective warrant of preservice P.E. teachers

Chung LI

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


The process of occupational socialization of Physical Education (PE) Teachers is complex. It starts with the pretraining phase, followed by a preservice intervention including field experience and continues with teaching in schools until retirement. The present study focuses mostly on the pretraining phase with twenty preservice PE teachers as sample for investigation. They are presently attending a two-year full-time course of teacher training (1996-98) in the Hong Kong Institute of Education. Issues such as 'why' and 'how' they join the teacher education programme; their PE experience; and their conceptions about PE teacher as well as teaching are discussed thoroughly. The inquiry adopts an 'interpretive' approach. It tries to understand the preservice PE teachers and their inner meanings that they give to their social worlds. Data were collected through interviews and reflective journals of the student PE teachers within the first month after they had been admitted to the programme. The results reveal that these twenty preservice PE teachers join the teacher education programme (TE) for a variety of reasons, such as 'sports continuation' ; 'serving the community'; 'have a better career', 'influenced by others'; and 'the social, cultural and economic milieu of Hong Kong' etc. They possess distinct 'subjective warrants' that comprise the image of a 'PE teacher'; 'requisites for teaching PE' ; 'functions of PE' ; and 'PE teaching'. They are largely formed as the result of societal and sport socialization during thousand hours of 'apprenticeship of observation' period in schools. This study provides information that fosters a better understanding of the underlying perspectives of preservice PE teachers. Their characteristics and orientations can be typecast into five different groups as the 'Athletes' , 'Pragmatists', 'Followers', 'Insure' and 'Idealists' along an ostensible continuum. Different developmental processes concerning their occupational socialization are expected. Their subjective warrants activated by their career choice convey important messages. PE teacher educators have to aware the powerful influence of the subjective warrants possessed by the preservice PE teachers during the pretraining phase. Unless there are dialectical forces generated in the PETE, the conservative orientation and commitment to the status quo of most student PE teachers are likely to go unquestioned.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1997


Li, C. (1997, November). Subjective warrant of preservice P.E. teachers. Paper presented at the Hong Kong Educational Research Association (HKERA) 14th Annual Conference: Compulsory Education and Beyond, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China.


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