Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users, please click the view more button below to purchase a copy of this dissertation from Proquest.

(Some titles may also be available free of charge in our Open Access Dissertation Collection, so please check there first.)

A phenomenological description of the professional lives and experiences of physical education teacher educators

Kay Margaret Williamson, University of Massachusetts Amherst


The purpose of this study was to describe through a series of in-depth phenomenological interviews the nature and quality of physical education teacher educators' work experiences, and to understand the meaning they make of their professional lives. In one of the most important reviews on teacher education of this decade, Lanier and Little (1986) emphasized that we know very little about teacher educators. As pressures are generated by current reform proposals for teaching and teacher education, it seems appropriate to try to understand as much as we can about the people who educate teachers. Phenomenological interviewing was used to collect material about the experiences of 15 teacher educators in physical education. Eight women and seven men in early and late career stages, from both university and college settings (primarily in the northeastern states), were interviewed on three different occasions for 60 to 90 minutes each time. The audio taped interviews were transcribed verbatim, producing approximately 100 pages of material for each participant. Pseudonyms were used as an attempt to protect the identity of the participants and their institutions. From transcripts, eight to twelve page profiles were constructed using the participants' own words. The researcher also identified themes which connected the experiences among the participants. Thematic descriptions included how participants perceived their work tasks, how they associated with other faculty, how they related to school-based colleagues, and how they interacted with their students. Major themes from these interviews include participants' emphasis on teaching and interacting with students as the most rewarding aspect of their work; differences between junior and senior faculty members' views about research; perceptions about the low status of physical education; and clear gender differences in attitudes toward work roles and salary.

Subject Area

Physical education|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Williamson, Kay Margaret, "A phenomenological description of the professional lives and experiences of physical education teacher educators" (1988). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI8822684.