Professional standards for physical education teachers' professional development: technologies for performance?

Doune McDonald, Jane Mitchell, Dianne Mayer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background: The widespread and diverse models of professional standards for teaching raise questions with respect to the need to provide teachers with a pathway for continuing professional development balanced with the public nature of surveillance and accountability that may accompany standards. Ways of understanding technologies of power in relation to standards for teaching gives us a new language and, in turn, new questions about the standards agenda in the physical education profession.Purpose: To analyse how one health and physical education (HPE) teacher worked with Education Queensland's (EQ) professional standards for teaching within the broader context of teacher professional development and renewal.Participants and setting: An experienced HPE teacher working in an urban secondary school was the 'case' for this article. Tim was the only experienced HPE teacher within the larger pilot study of 220 selected teachers from the volunteer pool across the state.Data collection: The case-study data comprised two in-depth interviews conducted by the first author, field notes from workshops (first author), teacher diaries and work samples, notes from focus groups of which Tim was a member, and electronic communications with peers by Tim during the course of the evaluation.Findings: Tim was supportive of the teaching standards while they did not have a strong evaluative dimension associated with technologies of power. He found the self-regulation associated with his reflective practices professionally rewarding rather than being formalised within a prescribed professional development framework.Conclusion: Tim's positive response to the professional standards for teaching was typical of the broader pilot cohort. The concept of governmentality provided a useful framework to help map how the standards for teaching were received, regardless of teacher specialisation or experience.We suggest that it is not until the standards regimes are talked about within the discourses of power (e.g. codification for career progression, certification for professional development imperatives) that we can understand patterns of acceptance and resistance by teachers to policies that seek to shape their performance.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)231-246
    Number of pages16
    JournalPhysical Education and Sport Pedagogy
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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