Seeing it differently: physical education, teacher education and the possibilities of personal construct theory

Rossi, Tony (1997) Seeing it differently: physical education, teacher education and the possibilities of personal construct theory. Sport, Education and Society, 2(2), pp. 205-220.

View at publisher


The celebrated work of Lortie (1975) alerted teacher educators to the extended period of 'apprenticeship' that student teachers have been through before they arrive at teacher education programmes. The subjective implicit theories (Marland, 1992) developed by prospective teachers are shaped by their lifeworld experiences at school and in the case of physical education teachers, their experiences in sport. The biography of physical education teacher education (PETE) students tends to be characterised by ecto-mesomorphic individuals who have been socialised by the rigours of highly competitive sport (Gore, 1990; Macdonald, 1992; Rossi, 1996). We can add to this, the requirements of teacher preparation in physical education which for the most part are dominated by the traditions and rhetoric of the 'natural' bio-physical sciences; largely a legacy of Henry's (1964) work on physical education as an academic discipline, as well as that of Abernathy and Waltz the same year (Abernathy & Waltz, 1964). In the United Kingdom, Curl (1973) further advanced the argument in an attempt to justify human movement as an independent field of study with its own corpus of knowledge. It is little wonder then, that the dominant pedagogical discourse in physical education is, as Tinning (1991) discusses, one of performance pedagogy (see also Hendry, 1986 for an earlier discussion). The knowledge required to support such a discourse could be described as 'official' (Apple, 1993) and it assumes such status by virtue of the power appropriated by and bestowed upon the scientific community in PETE (Macdonald & Tinning, 1995; Sparkes, 1989, 1993). However, there are social reifiers too, and these tend to relate to the social construction of the body (Kirk, 1993; Kirk & Spiller, 1994; Gilroy, 1994) and what Tinning (1985) has termed the Cult of Slenderness. Furthermore the 'slender image' has become a signifier of 'good health'. This is inextricably linked to what might be considered as a health triplex—'exercise = fitness = health' (see Kirk & Colquhoun, 1989; Tinning & Kirk, 1991) which in Australia, underpins curriculum packages such as Daily Physical Education which teachers (often including physical education primary...

Impact and interest:

4 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 81730
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Physical Education, Pedagogy, Personal Construct Theory, Social Constructionism
DOI: 10.1080/1357332970020205
ISSN: 1470-1243
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Physical Education and Development Curriculum and Pedagogy (130210)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Deposited On: 11 Feb 2015 00:03
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2015 00:03

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page