About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 3753 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0955

Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain

RISK-TAKING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHERS’ NARRATIVES OF EXPERIENCE

K. Whitehouse

University of Worcester (UNITED KINGDOM)
Physical Education (PE) exists in times of uncertainty with continual curriculum and policy change. Literature suggests that prescribed PE curriculums and patterns of teaching are preoccupied with fixed rather than fluid knowledge which has led to PE teachers’ reluctance to reflect, problematise knowledge or engage with sustained innovation. Furthermore, PE teacher professional development programmes often provide limited opportunity for teachers to reflect upon their personal beliefs, values and practices.

In response, eight years ago, the Risk-Taking Professional Development Programme (PDP) was designed to challenge trainee teachers to reflect critically upon their teaching and pupil learning and, move beyond their comfortable practices. Inspiration emerged from the Office for Standards in Education outstanding descriptor at that time, to ‘Take risks when trying to make teaching interesting, be able to deal with the unexpected and grab the moment’ (Ofsted, 2008, p. 1). The Risk-Taking PDP became a core component of the PE teacher training course in one UK Higher Education Institution and was delivered to over 100 PE trainee teachers.

This research adopted an interpretive qualitative approach to explore the influence and longer-term relevance of the Risk-Taking PDP once teachers began teaching in schools. Using narrative inquiry, it emphasised holism, context, subjective meaning and viewing people’s lives as storied lives where, learning is through experience, reflection and interaction with others. It aimed to understand the experiences of nine PE teachers who had taken ‘risks’ during their training year, and who had been teaching in schools for between six months and five years. Narrative interviews explored participants’ definitions of and, the influences upon risk-taking once teaching in schools.

Analysis focused upon overlapping and interlocking themes which most closely represented illuminative epiphanies (Denzin, 2001). Findings revealed that risk-taking became a central component of teachers’ practice during the training year. It encouraged critical reflection and developed trainee confidence which lead to further learning. Epiphanic moments experienced by participants highlighted that adaptation, negotiation and resilience formed over time as crucial aspects of risk-taking. Once qualified and teaching in schools, key influences affected PE teachers’ willingness to take risks. These included; performativity measures, time, pupil behaviour and the influence of the subject community. Risk-taking was found to support personal and professional growth and, when influences in schools were positive, engagement with innovation and creativity continued.

This research offers a conceptualisation of risk-taking as holding four-dimensional metaphorical space which may inform teacher training programmes and professional development more generally. Likewise, insights from a methodological approach, of narrative inquiry, that has seen a limited application in the context of PE teacher professional development illustrates an important viewpoint placing the researcher’s and participants’ stories as central.
@InProceedings{WHITEHOUSE2018RIS,
author = {Whitehouse, K.},
title = {RISK-TAKING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHERS’ NARRATIVES OF EXPERIENCE},
series = {10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN18 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-02709-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2018.0955},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.0955},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {3753}}
TY - CONF
AU - K. Whitehouse
TI - RISK-TAKING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHERS’ NARRATIVES OF EXPERIENCE
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0955
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 3753
EP - 3753
ER -
K. Whitehouse (2018) RISK-TAKING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHERS’ NARRATIVES OF EXPERIENCE, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, p. 3753.
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