Motivations for Pursuing a Career in Physical Education: The Rise of a Fitness Orientation

K. Andrew R. Richards, Sookhenlall Padaruth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research related to the occupational socialization of physical education teachers has found that students have been primarily motivated to pursue careers in physical education because they have developed interests related to teaching and/or coaching extracurricular sport. However, recent trends within physical education — and in society more generally — that emphasize health and fitness may be leading contemporary recruits to careers in physical education as a way to affect childhood fitness and wellness. The term “fitness orientation” is used to describe this motivation for entering physical education. This article will discuss role orientations with a specific focus on fitness orientations. It will then describe recruits' motivations for entering physical education as a combination of varying degrees of preference for teaching, coaching and fitness. The article concludes by discussing the implications of recruits' role orientations for physical education teacher education faculty, and proposes some directions for future research. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-46
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 4 2017
Externally publishedYes


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