Title

The Value of Performance in Physical Education Teacher Education

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2013

Abstract

The current philosophical paradigm in higher education, where theory transcends practice, consigns physical education to the bottom of a hierarchy of educational content (Kretchmar, 2005). Leaders of physical education teacher education programs are left with three difficult choices: (a) accept physical education’s lowly position in the hierarchy, (b) emphasize the theory and science of physical activity and teaching to make the program appear academically respectable, or (c) argue for a different philosophical paradigm (Kretchmar, 1996). I contend the final option is the best strategy. Using John Dewey’s philosophy of experience and conception of human intelligence, I argue that skillful performance of dance, games, play, and sport should maintain a more prominent position in physical education teacher education curricula because skillful performance of the content represents a legitimate domain of human activity worthy of significant involvement in an academic program. Also, pre-service teachers need content knowledge derived authentically from the process of becoming skillful performers to teach physical education. Suggestions for activity performance coursework are offered.