Entering the Field of Physical Education: The Journey of Fifteen First-Year Teachers

Julene Ensign, Amelia Mays Woods, Pamela Hodges Kulinna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Given the significant challenges facing today’s physical educators, the purpose of this study was to examine the expectations of induction teachers and identify the factors in both their personal and organizational environments enhanced or constrained their assimilation into the field during their 1st year. Method: Using occupational socialization theory as a guide, data from demographic surveys and a series of formal interviews with participants at the beginning, middle, and end of the school year were inductively analyzed for theme development. Results: Results revealed positive acculturation experiences and unity regarding the purpose of physical education as preparing students to be fit for a lifetime. Barriers were noted to be family and personal crises, role conflict, isolation, marginalization, issues with classroom management and discipline, and difficulties in developing positive relationships with stakeholders. Enhancers were identified as positive interactions and rapport with students, colleagues, and administrators and favorable individual dispositions. Conclusion: Implications indicate a need for purposeful physical education teacher education training to proactively address these barriers during professional preparation as well as the creation of additional support systems for beginning teachers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-79
Number of pages14
JournalResearch Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018


  • Induction
  • PETE
  • socialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Nephrology


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