Twitter as a Professional Development Platform Among U.S. Physical Education Teachers

K. Andrew R. Richards, Chad M. Killian, Christopher J. Kinder, Kaizeen Badshah, Casey Cushing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate how U.S. physical educators who actively engage with professional content on Twitter view it as a platform for continuing professional development. Method: Thirty-two U.S.-based physical educators participated in semistructured telephone interviews. Most of these teachers were White (n = 29; 91.00%) and taught in elementary schools (n = 26; 81.25%). The data were coded inductively and deductively, using role socialization theory as the guiding framework. Results: Four themes were generated: (a) socialization into Twitter takes time and is often encouraged by existing members; (b) socialization through Twitter focuses on improving practices via the sharing of resources; (c) everyone has a voice on Twitter, but the content requires critical appraisal; and (d) teachers create a community on Twitter that addresses marginalization and isolation. Discussion/Conclusion: The participants used Twitter to develop a sense of professional community and reduce perceptions of isolation. Twitter has the potential to support the improvement of practice through grassroots continuing professional development.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)454-463
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Teaching in Physical Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • Isolation
  • Marginalization
  • Role socialization theory
  • Social media
  • Workplace experiences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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