Integrating Technology in Physical Education Teacher Education: A Socialization Perspective

July – September 2020

Source: Quest, 72:3, 260-277

(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

The purpose of this article was to propose a conceptual framework for helping preservice physical educators develop technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) that is grounded in occupational socialization theory. Accordingly, the authors have developed a four-phase approach that includes
(a) building knowledge and learning to value technology in physical education,
(b) observing and exploring through instructor modeling and integration,
(c) experimenting and collaborating with mentoring and scaffolding, and
(d) discovering through innovation and utilization.
This approach, they believe, will help preservice teachers question their preconceived notions about technology and prepare for the realities of life in schools that may limit technology integration (Arslan, 2015).
In line with a focus on learning about schools as social environments more generally (e.g., Richards et al., 2013), preservice teachers need time to develop the sociopolitical skills needed to navigate contexts that may not support technology integration.
Correspondingly, the more exposure they have to technology during physical education teacher education (PETE), the more comfortable they may be utilizing technology to facilitate learning in their future teaching (Ertmer & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010). Including all of these phases, not just targeting one, is vitally important, as requiring student teachers to integrate technology without proper scaffolding and previous training, may be setting them up to fail and could result in negative perceptions toward TPACK.
Preservice teachers need valuable and extensive experiences with TPACK and innovative teaching practices that allow them to critically reflect and adjust their subjective theories of physical education (Richards et al., 2014).
A reoccurring barrier to TPACK in PETE is lack of physical education-specific technology proficient teacher educators.
Programs that offer masters and doctoral degrees in physical education could make use of graduate students that may be more comfortable with technology use.
Some universities collaborate with local physical education teachers that are effective technology users as an adjunct for a domain-specific technology course.
Although these strategies use resources creatively and collaboratively to provide a needed component (domain-specific technology course) for PETE, if it is going to be effective, then technology needs to be reinforced and expanded on throughout the other PETE course offerings.
All programs should look to utilize more competent staff to lead less competent ones in creating consistent messaging regarding technology use (Tondeur et al., 2012), highlighting research that demonstrates how detrimental it may be to preservice teachers receiving mixed messages (Curtner-Smith et al., 2008).
Notably, however, the authors recognize that factors such as class size, budget, colleague and administrative support, inadequate preparation, and technology access form barriers that limit PETE faculty members’ ability to fully integrate our framework through field experiences.
Occupational socialization research investigates how preservice teachers’ subjective theories influence teacher education effectiveness (Richards et al., 2014).
Experiences with TPACK that align with preservice teachers’ subjective theories are more likely to be integrated than those that are inconsistent (Curtner-Smith et al., 2008).
Similar to extending occupational socialization theory in relation to preservice teachers’ assessment literacy (Starck et al., 2018), the authors extend occupational socialization to the development of TPACK in PETE given that many recruits did not experience effective technology integration in physical education during acculturation.
They want to develop physical educators that are TPACK competent, able to use technology to facilitate student learning and see themselves as both scholars and intellectuals with potential to change future practices (Ertmer & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010).
The authors’ framework is intended to provide examples of activities that can be used to help preservice teachers in TPACK development and should not be viewed as an exhaustive and comprehensive list.
They anticipate that readers of this article will likely adapt and expand upon their suggestions in order to meet the contextual characteristics of their program environments.
In the future, researchers may seek to determine how this framework may fit PETE program contexts.
Additionally, PETE programs must account for the individual learning differences of preservice teachers.
For example, after preservice teachers complete autobiographical essays in phase one of their framework, faculty members may realize that this cohort is further along or behind in the developmental stages of technology integration and adjust future technology experiences and scaffolds accordingly.

Arslan, Y. (2015). Determination of technopedagogical content knowledge competencies of preservice physical education teachers: A Turkish sample. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 34, 225–241.
Curtner-Smith, M., & Sofo, S. (2004). Preservice teachers’ conceptions of teaching within sport education and multi-activity units. Sport, Education and Society, 9, 347–377.
Ertmer, P. A., & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. (2010). Teacher technology change: How knowledge, confidence, beliefs, and culture intersect. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 42, 255–284.
Richards, K. A. R., Templin, T. J., & Gaudreault, K. L. (2013). Understanding the realities of school life: Recommendations for the preparation of physical education teachers. Quest, 65, 442–457.
Richards, K. A. R., Templin, T. J., & Graber, K. C. (2014). The socialization of teachers in physical education: Review and recommendations for future works. Kinesiology Review, 3, 113–134.
Tondeur, J., van Braak, J., Sang, G., Voogt, J., Fisser, P., & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. (2012). Preparing pre-service teachers to integrate technology in education: A synthesis of qualitative evidence. Computers and Education, 59, 134–144.

Updated: Dec. 02, 2020