Learning on the fly: Transitioning from doctoral student to physical education teacher educator

Christopher J. Kinder, Victoria N. Shiver, K. Andrew R. Richards, Amelia Mays Woods, Casey Liane Cushing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Occupational socialization theory has been extensively applied to study the recruitment, professional preparation, and ongoing socialization of inservice physical education teachers. Less is known, however, about the socialization of physical education teacher education (PETE) faculty members. This qualitative panel study aimed to understand early career faculty members’ perspectives on their preparation for and experiences in the role of teacher educator. Participants included 23 faculty members and data were collected through interviews over five years. Research team members analyzed the data using both deductive and inductive analysis strategies. Data analysis resulted in three themes that unpacked participants’ experiences relative to teaching in higher education. The findings indicated that in the United States (US), PETE doctoral education provides teaching opportunities, but lacks explicit teacher education training. Moreover, doctoral education focuses on research, but initial positions tend to focus on teaching, and PETE faculty members are compelled to develop into effective teacher educators. Taken together, faculty responsible for leading US PETE doctoral programs should consider the importance of embedding intentional and progressive teacher educator-related opportunities supplemental to graduate program requirements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-35
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Physical Education Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • Teacher education preparation
  • doctoral education
  • faculty members
  • higher education
  • occupational socialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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