A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Study of Pre-Service Physical Educators' Perceptions of their Professional Preparedness

Geoffrey Martin Hampson

Document Type Article


The purpose of this hermeneutic phenomenological study was to capture the essence of the perceptions of 11 pre-service physical educators in the final field placement and clinical practices of their undergraduate degree program at the University of Redbank, the University of Peters, and Ina University where they prepared to become professional educators. Pseudonyms protected the names of the participants and institutions. The theoretical framework guiding this study was social cognitive theory. The research questions were (a) How do the attitudes and beliefs of teaching physical education as pre-service physical educators influence their knowledge and skill development for classroom preparedness? (b) What aspects of the teacher education program do pre-service physical educators believe best prepared them for their student teaching experiences to influence student outcomes? (c) What obstacles hinder pre-service physical educators’ professional development and attitudes through their teacher education program? and (d) What additional resources would pre-service physical educators perceive to be value-added to their physical education teacher education program? Data collection included interviews, focus groups, and open-ended questionnaires. Moustakas’ (1994) seven steps served as the foundation for the analysis of data in this hermeneutic phenomenological study. Intrinsic motivations and self-efficacy supporting professional growth, curriculum and instruction advancing knowledge and skills, close relationships and support systems enhancing readiness, and challenging, time-consuming components influencing preparedness influenced the participants. The pre-service physical educators provided time-consuming challenges and recommended additional resources critical to the design and structure of the program.