Physical education teachers' career-long professional learning: getting personal

Kyriaki Makopoulou, Kathleen Armour

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    20 Citations (Scopus)


    The aim of this study was to build upon previous PE-CPD (Physical Education Continuing Professional Development) research by exploring Greek case study physical education (PE) teachers' engagement in professional learning. It is argued that in the contemporary European context, where the teaching profession is viewed as central to achieving wider learning goals, an understanding of teachers' engagement in professional learning is worthy of scrutiny; in particular an understanding of learning and contexts. The research was undertaken from a qualitative, social constructivist, situated perspective within a case study framework. In total, nine case study PE teachers (five females and four males) participated in the study. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews with the teachers over a period of one year. The data were analysed using a constructivist approach to grounded theory. Evidence suggested that, for these teachers, professional learning can take place in multiple contexts and situations. However, for some teachers, their unique blend of personal, contextual and professional factors inhibited self-initiated (and self-funded) PE-CPD participation. In the absence of enabling CPD structures, some teachers had abandoned attempts to engage in sustained and meaningful professional learning. In addition, poor PE facilities and lack of opportunity for teacher collaboration had a negative impact on teachers' professional learning. Hence, drawing on evidence from this qualitative study, it is suggested that future PE-CPD for these teachers should focus on building their capacity for learning. Moreover, provision should draw upon the available evidence from wider research on teachers' professional learning but ensure it is contextualised. Evidence from this study also suggested that it would be useful to base future CPD design on an in-depth understanding of the diverse ways in which Greek teachers work, live and learn in order to meet the specific needs of Greek teachers and schools at this stage of their development.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)571-591
    Number of pages21
    JournalSport Education and Society
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


    • Professional learning
    • Learning capacity
    • Personal factors
    • Personalised learning
    • Barriers to learning


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