Stereotypes and self-perceptions are important in understanding how people develop their self-knowledge and social identity, become members of groups, and view groups and their members. While we have some understanding of the stereotypical view of the physical education teacher, we currently have little knowledge of how physical education pre-service teachers (students studying a physical education degree) are stereotyped, and also if there is any relationship between these stereotypes and how physical education pre-service teachers perceive themselves. The purpose of this study was to examine the stereotypes and self-perceptions of physical education pre-service teachers. The aims were to describe how physical education pre-service teachers stereotype and perceive themselves, examine if there are differences in the stereotypes and self-perceptions between males and females, and to explore if there were relationships between what the physical education pre-service teachers believed stereotyped them and how they perceived themselves. Participants were 250 students (n=120 males, n=130 female) studying a 4-year Bachelor of Education (Physical Education) degree at a university who completed a questionnaire which contained 10 items about how they viewed physical education pre-service teachers (stereotypes), and 26 items on how they viewed male physical education pre-service teachers and female pre-service teachers (stereotypes) and 26 items on how they view themselves (self-perceptions). Factor analysis revealed 2 stereotype factors, which were labelled as Sociable (e.g., socialise, partying, drinking, loud and outgoing) and Health and Lifestyle (e.g., fit, playing sport and not smoking). The stereotype of the male physical education pre-service teacher, comprised two factors: physical, assertive and aggressive behaviour (e.g., aggressive, dominant, self-confident, and competitive) and physical and self-presentation factors (muscular, athletic, physically fit, physically coordinated, and attractive). The stereotype of female physical education pre-service teachers comprised three factors: physical appearance and ability (e.g., physically fit, athletic, able-bodied, attractive, thin, and physically coordinated), aggressive and assertive behavioural style (e.g., intimidating, unapproachable, and aggressive), and masculine behavioural style (e.g., aggressive, masculine, feminine, muscular and dominant). The self-perception of male physical education pre-service teachers comprised three factors: perceived appearance and ability (e.g., athletic, physical fit, thin, attractive, muscular and pleased with their body), aggressive and confident behaviour (e.g., intimidating, dominant, show off and aggressive) and independence and intellect (e.g., independent, ambitious, self confident and intelligent). The self-perception of female physical education pre-service teachers comprised three factors: strong willed behaviour (e.g., ambitious, and dominant), presentation and appearance (e.g., pleased with their body, attractive, thin and self confident), and aggressive and dominant behaviour (e.g., aggressive, intimidating, masculine and show off). There were significant relationships between the male physical and self-presentation stereotype factor stereotype and perceived appearance and ability self-perception factor and between the male physical, assertive and aggressive behaviour stereotype factor and the male aggressive and confident behaviours self-perception factor. For females, the aggressive and dominant behaviour stereotype was related to both the aggressive and assertive behavioural style self-perception factor and the masculine behavioural style self-perception factor. It is suggested that future studies investigate the stereotypes and self-perceptions of students in schools during the recruitment phase of socialisation, and the possible influence of the physical education teacher education programme, faculty leaders, and significant others on the physical education pre-service teachers’ self-perceptions, stereotypes and socialisation into physical education.
& Spittle, S.
Stereotypes and Self-Perceptions of Physical Education Pre-Service Teachers.
Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 37(1).