Source: Teaching and Teacher Education 51 (2015) 162-181
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
The purpose of this article is to review research carried out on, with and by physical education (PE) teacher educators over the last 25 years. It also aims to identify areas where research is lacking, in order to provide scholars with a useful context for the design and conduct of future scholarly inquiry on PE teacher educators.
A total of 96 papers were included in the review. The included articles emerged from 15 countries and 25 journals.
The authors found that the bias of English language publications notwithstanding, there has certainly been a much stronger focus on PE teacher educator research in the US than elsewhere. While a wealth of data has been collected on US PE teacher educators, a number of themes have received little attention elsewhere, such as the demographic make-up, biographies, careers, socialisation, or work roles of PE teacher educators beyond North America.
However, research into the knowledge, understanding and perspectives of PE teacher educators enjoyed a more balanced geographical representation, as did scholarship on the pedagogical practices of this population and their work with in-service teachers and schools.
Finally, it has been almost 20 years since research explicitly investigated how, why or to what end PE teacher educators enact the scholarly aspect of their professional work. This gap in our knowledge is particularly troublesome considering that the research endeavours of PE teacher educators contribute substantially to the knowledge base of the field.
Furthermore, outside of North America, little research has been carried out on the PE teacher education profession as a whole, either within or between countries. In addition, advances in communication technology and strengthening networks of national and international physical education research associations could be drawn upon to co-ordinate large-scale national and international research on PE teacher educators. International and longitudinal research was particularly notable by its dearth in this review. In the area of pedagogy, specifically, 17 articles were identified in which the authors' own pedagogical practice was under investigation. Of these articles, all but one of which were published since 2007.
The authors suggest that there is a need for a coordinated approach to future research on physical education teacher educators.