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Professional expectations revealed by physical education teachers in different phases of the teaching career

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The purpose of this study was to examine the expectations established by Physical Education teachers throughout their teaching career. 64 Physical Education teachers who teach classes in schools of Porto Alegre-RS participated in this study.
Autor(es): Oliveira Farias, Galcemar; Fazendeiro Batista, Paula Maria; Vieira do Nascimento, Juarez; Braga dos Santos Graça, Amândio
Entidades(es): Faculty of Sport, University of Porto- Portugal; Centre of Research, Education, Innovation and Intervention in Sport, University of Porto; University Federal of Santa Catarina – Brazil
Congreso: Congreso de la asociación internacional de escuelas superiores de educación física (AIESEP)
Úbeda A Coruña, 26-29 de Octubre de 2010
ISBN: 9788461499465
Palabras claves:Professional expectations, teaching career, Physical Education Teacher

Professional expectations revealed by physical education teachers in different phases of the teaching career


The purpose of this study was to examine the expectations established by Physical Education teachers throughout their teaching career. 64 Physical Education teachers who teach classes in schools of Porto Alegre-RS participated in this study. A questionnaire with open and closed questions was constructed and validated to collect the data for this study. We followed the orientations of Hill and Hill (2002) for it’s construction. Content analysis procedures, assisted by the Software NVivo 7, were used to depict and look at the inward (referring to the teacher as a person) and outward (related to students, society or the profession) direction of teachers’ professional and personal expectations. Similarities and differences in teachers’ expectations were sought according to gender, age range, professional experience, and academic background. The results indicated that both inward and outward-oriented expectations were raised by the group of specialist teachers. Outward-oriented expectations were those that stood out in the study, mainly in teachers aged 40 to 49 who were searching for continuity of training and professional growth. This, was the group of teachers with higher professional education (masters, masters and PhD students). Moreover this group of teachers was the only group that stood the outward-oriented expectations.


Since the initial training period and from contact with teachers during elementary school, future teachers are already beginning to build their professional identity as well as delineate the mechanisms that may be relevant to their pedagogic practice. These actions characterize what is denominated anticipatory professional socialization. This model of professional socialization is marked by the mediation provided by the student in training with teachers. They considered models of competence and interpersonal relationships throughout their formal education (Nascimento, 2002; Valle, 2003), and assist teachers in their construction of professional knowledge. Students’ relationship with parents who were also teachers can mark this moment. If the students were adolescents and were involved in sports teams and had a close relationship with their coaches, this could bring similar characteristics of their coaches because they considered them as experts in the professional area. In this route of acquiring knowledge and skills to fulfill the teaching tasks, the teacher creates beliefs, perspectives and expectations, for which teachers seek answers in the course of their training and professional performance.

The approach in studies about professional expectations teachers have been carried out in order to better understand the teacher’s feelings and search for answers/solutions to their everyday problems (Loureiro, 2001; Valle, 2003, Farias et al. 2007; Moletta et al., 2010). Valle (2003) when investigating the process of professionalization of teachers three categories of expectations were identified. They are: the personal in relation to his/her individuality and the family context; the professional referring to career progress; and the conjectural which are manifested by the teachers will to propose changes in the social context. At the same time, Loureiro (2001) found two kinds of expectations in this study, the inward and outward-oriented.

The first refers to the teacher as a person, while the second refers to professional questions. In this sense, the objective of this study was to analyze the expectations revealed by PE teachers according to different stages of their teaching career. Their personal and professional experiences that teachers faced in the career teaching course allows the teacher to form expectations that deserves special attention from researchers to better understand the pedagogical practice, the different phases through which teachers go through during their teaching career.

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The nature of this study is descriptive. The studies with descriptive nature according Picolli (2006) are "(...) observe, record, mark and correlate facts or phenomena’s, not manipulate them "(p. 128). Thomas and Nelson (2002, p. 280) mention that "(...) the descriptive research is a study of status and is widely used in education and behavioral sciences.” During the development of the study, data was collected from 64 PE teachers. 31 were women and 33 men, who were teaching classes in schools of Porto Alegre-RS. The age ranged between 27 and 63 years. All had initial training in Physical Education and 10 of them also had training in health, sciences and humanities. It is noteworthy that only six teachers have academic degree, while the others have completed the initial training in the broadest sense. For the selection of these teachers, the following inclusion criteria was adopted: teachers with training in Physical Education, active in elementary school, effective in Porto Alegre municipal schools, working as PE teachers or in administrative positions (managers) in school and in other educational systems, since SMED effective in Porto Alegre. And, as exclusion criteria: teachers working outside the area (licensing, qualification courses, etc.).

The authorization of the City Department of Education of Porto Alegre was the first requirement to initiate the process of data collection, for conducting the study and allow input from researchers in schools. Besides this, the project was submitted to the project at the Ethics in Human Research of University of Federal de Santa Catarina, which was approved (088/09 FR-249158). The participation of PE teachers was defined after signing the consent form (the document presented detailed guidelines for teachers.) A questionnaire with open and closed questions was constructed and validated to collect the data for this study. The orientations of Hill and Hill (2002) were followed for the construction. Content analysis procedures, assisted by the Software NVivo 7, were used to depict and look at the inward (referred to the teacher as a person) or outward (related to students, society or the profession) direction of teachers’ professional and personal expectations.

In this process we used the Bardin (1977) guidelines Similarities and differences of teachers’ expectations were sought according to gender, age range, professional experience, and academic background. The data were categorized in NVivo 7. This qualitative analysis procedure of data allows for the synthesis and organization of the data (Guizzo et al. 2003; Batista, 2008). The categories were defined a posteriori, i.e., emerged from the PE teachers answers. To correct possible mistakes in data categorizing, we used intra-coding process reliability ( ), and the Cohen Kappa coefficient, which reached 0.88. Finally, we performed a content analysis


In the analysis of professional expectations, it was considered important to determine what these represent to the PE teachers during their teaching performance. Thus, expectations were interpreted as actions of the professional context that teachers aspire to be consolidated during the teaching career. The results show that the teachers’ jobs, relationships with peers and pedagogical practices perspective great teaching quality could improve their performance. In the categorization process of expectations issued by teachers of this study, these were grouped into two categories: the inward-expectations (referred to the teacher as a person) and outward-expectations (related to students, society or the profession).

One thing to note is that the issues of teachers’ professional expectations often are related to satisfaction and motivation during professional teaching performance. The investigations that show the factors of satisfaction and dissatisfaction of teachers (Soriano; Winterstein, 1998; Folle et al. 2006; Pedro; Peixoto, 2006; Folle et al., 2008), reported the mechanisms of recovery and professional recognition, both of leaders as well students and peers. A peculiarity in the case of investigated teachers lies in the recognition issued by the municipal secretary, which are tied in terms of qualifications and remuneration. Although teachers express complaints regarding these factors, it is evident in their discourses the expectation of continued appreciation of this, besides the expansion of opportunities and benefits to be enjoyed throughout his career. Professional expectations of PE teachers may change during the development of their teaching performance. Research done on Physical Education teachers and their retirement, developed by Moletta et al. (2010) revealed that at the entry expectations were focused on maintaining stability in the professional and financial rewards and at present their expectations highlight the policy issues and represent the profession.

Moreover, the investigation of Farias et al. (2007) that examined other factors related to the teachers professional expectations in different phases of the teaching career diagnosed that inclusion in postgraduate programs, recognition in society through teaching, and job security are common expectations that change along the teaching career. However, the evidence found in this study revealed that outward-expectations were predominant in the participants. Aspects related to the teachers enrichment, improvements in public education, better pay, career progression, opportunities for professional qualifications (master’s and PhD’s) justify this dominance. In fact, with the teaching career progress teachers tend to seek professional qualification in a broad sense. That explains why among the 64 study participants, 58 teachers have completed or are near completion of their training courses in a broad strict sense.

This has been manifested mainly in teachers that were 40 to 49 years active and had worked more than 13 years at the elementary school. In relation to post-graduate training, specialists teachers had both inward and outward expectations. On the other hand, the master teachers and PhD teachers only have outward expectations. About this issue Loureiro (2001) shows that teachers professionalized, but without effective link below expectations, had few expectations comparatively to the teachers with permanent contract. At the same time Valle (2003) shows that teachers with higher professional titles have more professional expectations. However, the younger teachers in their teaching career are more concerned with factors related to survival, such as work 40 hours in one school, aiming to devote themselves more to work with a view to improve their quality of teaching and search for satisfactory working conditions and safety of their labor rights. These initial career expectations characterize what Huberman (1995) and Gill (1995, 2009) mention as being a shock to the real context of work because the teacher, when faced with adverse situations and not experienced during the initial training, creates mechanisms by which consequently generate future expectations that may in fact be real or a constant quest for qualification.

Teachers more advanced in their career, especially those teachers with over 21 years teaching experience, have the expectation of retirement. This fact does not represent the end of their careers of teachers investigated as a feeling of disinvestment or bitten, appears as a step to be experienced in the professional career. Dagenais, Steffy and Enz (2000) explains that teachers who are still active at the end of their career, after retirement, could return to the school context from the perspective of helping colleagues with their accumulated knowledge and experiences in the teaching profession. Thus programs could be organized to help retired teachers return to schools nationwide in order to share their accumulated knowledge which might help student teachers in their careers and help them manage difficult situations. Although there was an emphasis on outward expectations in the study, in all the analysis, it was found that in relation to gender, this effect was also noticeable.

Teachers demonstrated outward expectations regarding professional development, the idea of assuming positions of administrative management and to seek new strategies for the current problems of education. The teachers expressed expectations similar to those reported by teachers, while their responses also highlighted throughout the career inward expectations, but in unbalanced proportions. The inward expectations are related to the enthusiasm for the career, the job satisfaction in the teaching profession and the expectation that their work can generate significant knowledge for schools in general and the student in their personal lives. Loureiro (2001) shows that female teachers have higher expectations in their teaching careers. They reflect the stimulus for doing the work, the recognition and professional development, diversity and creativity in teaching tasks.


At the end of the study it can be stated that the PE teachers built different expectations throughout their teaching career trying to improve working conditions, professional recognition and appreciation. It is clear that there was a close relationship between the components of job satisfaction with the professional expectations in the career of PE teachers that participated in this study. It is pertinent to clarify the outward expectations, namely those related to the teaching profession context, were more marked than the inward expectations. For the territorial dimension of Brazil and the request of teachers who teach in different contexts and regions, the systematization of a new study, with teachers from other Brazilian states, can certainly contribute to the production of new knowledge in the area.


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