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Smith, Mark A.

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The student teaching experience is widely regarded as the most formative aspect of a teacher preparation program. This practicum is the final opportunity to occupationally socialize a teacher candidate with the attitudes and values of the teacher preparation program. Knowing this, careful selection of student teaching placements is imperative. However, little research has been conducted regarding placement procedures in general teacher education, and even less in physical education teacher education (PETE). The purpose of this paper was to explore placement procedures of PETE teacher candidates in CAEP accredited programs at state classified universities/colleges within the United States. The research was conducted in two phases. Phase 1 consisted of a survey of demographics and basic placement procedures with responses from 40 universities/colleges. Phase 2 utilized data from the survey results to purposefully select six universities/colleges to conduct more in-depth study of the placement experiences of the PETE faculty student teacher coordinators. Phase 1 found that the majority of PETE programs are governed by the college of education and that when governed by the college of education rather than another college, PETE faculty have more of a say in placements. That being said, twenty-seven and a half percent of programs reported not having a say in student teaching placement selection. When examining site selection considerations, congruency between the PETE program and the placement was the primary quality and that availability was considered before quality of the placement. Phase 2 found that the majority of the six physical education student teacher placement coordinators interviewed felt that physical education is a unique discipline that is not always understood by others. All of those interviewed felt that relationships with those involved in the placement process are important and need to be developed in order to have placement input and ensure quality. Different programs have different procedures, and the ideal placement process depends on the program, but all agreed PETE faculty need to have input regarding the placement of their teacher candidates at student teaching sites. Placements do have an impact in the development of a teacher candidate. Poor placements can be detrimental, but opportunities for learning do still exist. This paper provides information about demographics and placement procedures of PETE programs in the United States. The experience of the PETE student teacher coordinators provides insight into how different programs experience different procedures, how they work to have a say in placements, and how they feel about how the quality of the placement impacts the teacher candidate. These data allows for base knowledge about PETE student teacher placement procedures and a jumping off point for getting, increasing, or maintaining a say in placements.


physical education, placement, student teaching


169 ages

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