Where the 'real' learning happens: the role of the placement in preparing physical education graduates

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The prominence given to Health and Wellbeing has resulted in increased responsibility for Physical Education (PE) graduates and there is a need for PE to undertake a profound transformation (Fletcher & Casey, 2014). Mastery experiences during ITE and induction year contribute to the development of preparation leading to confidence or 'teacher efficacy' (Hoy, 2000). Given this it is essential to consider the role of students' experiences on placement on their perceived preparedness. In initial framing of the research study, the four categories of teacher presented by Menter et al. (2010) were used as lenses for examining student perceptions. A mixed method approach was used. Quantitative and qualitative data was gathered via questionnaires. This then led on to the second stage of data collection; qualitative data was collected in the form of focus groups. The first and second stage of data collection happened in the participants graduating year. The final stage of data collection, which happened at the end of the participants probationary year, was semi-structured interviews. The questionnaire data was analysed for descriptive / comparative statistics and common themes. The ability to capture the experiential world of the participants is of key importance and the selection of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) for the analysis of focus group and interview data allowed for this. This inductive method allows the researcher to focus on interpretation of meanings (Smith et al, 2009). The findings of the study indicate that participants attached significance to time spent in school as supporting them in feeling prepared.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2017
EventScottish Educational Research Association Annual Conference : Educational Futures in a Changing Landscape: Bridging Boundaries or "Mind the Gap"? - University of the West of Scotland, Ayr, United Kingdom
Duration: 22 Nov 201724 Nov 2017


ConferenceScottish Educational Research Association Annual Conference
Abbreviated titleSERA Conference 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • physical education
  • pre-service teachers
  • initial teacher education
  • perceived preparedness


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