A Study of How Teachers' Beliefs Affect the Experiences and Professional Development of Physical Education Teachers: Composition and Function of Their Image of What a Teacher is and Vocational Beliefs*


<p>The professional development of a physical education (PE) teacher occurs within a variety of experiences that become resources for the teacher to learn from. However, to gain experience does not necessarily mean development. Development through learning by experience is influenced by the beliefs that the person has. The purpose of this study was to determine the composition and function of PE teacher beliefs—especially “image of what a teacher is” and “vocational beliefs” that influence their professional development. In addition, we classified PE teachers by their beliefs, and examined their development status with a focus on the relevance of receptivity to growth experiences for changing a teacher's ideals. A questionnaire survey was conducted. Data were collected from a sample of 634 junior high school and high school PE teachers. The main findings are summarized below.</p><p> 1) Factor analysis of data revealed that the PE teachers' image of what a teacher is comprised 4 factors: “leader,” “supervisor,” “supporter of learning,” and “team member”, and vocational beliefs comprised 7 factors: “emphasizing public values,” “self-actualization,” “pursuit of pioneering teaching practices,” “emphasizing students,” “professional exclusiveness,” “exercise of autonomy,” and “research orientation.”</p><p> 2) The teachers were classified by image of what a teacher is into 2 types: “supervisor” and “supporter”. The teachers were classified by vocational beliefs into 5 types: “self-actualization,” “emphasizing students,” “open-minded beliefs,” “self-righteous,” and “close-minded beliefs.” The ratios of young teachers classified into “supervisor” and “emphasizing students” were significantly larger than that of experienced teachers. The ratios of experienced teachers classified into “supporter,” “self-actualization,” and “self-righteous” were significantly larger than that of young teachers.</p><p> 3) Factor analysis of data revealed that receptivity to growth experiences comprised 5 factors: “reflecting on teaching practice,” “knowledge acquisition,” “conversing with fellow teachers,” “observing and opening up one's own teaching practices,” and “hard experiences.” Experienced teachers were more passive in their experiences, except “knowledge acquisition”, than younger teachers. For more experienced teachers, having positive experiences was more effective for changing ideals.</p><p> 4) Teachers classified as the “open-minded beliefs” type were more willing to experience a variety of things than the “close-minded beliefs” type teachers. Regression analysis of data revealed that “emphasizing public values,” “pursuit of pioneering teaching practices,” and “research orientation” correlated significantly and positively with experience. But “professional exclusiveness,” “exercise of autonomy” and years of service correlated significantly and negatively with experience.</p>



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