Constructing Professional Knowledge: A Case Study of an Experienced High School Teacher

Schempp, Paul G.
October 1993
Journal of Teaching in Physical Education;Oct1993, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p2
Academic Journal
Steve Sommers has taught high school physical education for 16 years, and in that time he has learned much about the demands that teachers face in public schools. This study examined how Steve constructed the knowledge necessary to meet those demands. Specifically, this study sought to describe the sources and processes used in making pedagogical decisions. Data were collected over one academic year using life history and ethnographic techniques. Data analysis entailed reducing data to themes and categories that identified the specific sources of knowledge and how Steve used those sources in his teaching, Steve relied upon four primary knowledge sources: community, school, profession, and biography. These sources provided Steve with the expectations for his teaching and the limits of his responsibilities. Further, these sources provided the raw information that Steve translated into classroom practices. A dialectic tension existed between Steve and his occupational environment that shaped and gave status to his professional service.


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