One Step Forwards, Two Backwards: Deprofessionalization within Physical

Year: 1992

Author: Macdonald, Dr. Doune

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper begins with a description of several key discourses which are shaping tertiary education, teacher education and schooling and, in turn, the professional processes underpinning physical education teacher socialization. Shaw (1985), although using a somewhat unproblematic conception of professionalism, explained that: Any model of teacher training... needs to be put into the context of the long-term ebb and flow of the government's efforts to retain or regain control over various facets of the educational system and, on the other side, of the struggle of teachers, as individuals, to develop their professionalism with a degree of autonomy, and as an occupational group, to defend and improve their professional status.... Whatever members do about their own professionalism, the state can, and historically has, manipulated the situation to keep in check their aspirations towards professional status. (pp.56-57) Drawing from data at an Australian case site, it will be argued that discourses within PETE reflect and further shape several of the dominant discourses through the production and reproduction of knowledge, values, attitudes, and practices together with others which are repudiated by these current agendas (for example, sexism). In doing so PETE courses may constrain the professional development of physical education and physical education teachers. To conclude, the argument is made that the proletarianization of PETE faculty and students needs to be arrested by particular measures which will in turn be of benefit to the intellectual work of physical educators.