University of Limerick
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Chinese university-based physical education teacher educators’ professional learning and development needs

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posted on 2023-03-03, 09:19 authored by Yueying Gong

The aim of this research is to explore the professional learning and development (PLD) needs of Chinese university-based physical education teacher educators (PETEds) and their views about effective ways to address them. This is significant given the limited research exploring this group of teacher educators. There are three studies in my PhD.

The first study uses quantitative methods of data collection and data analysis to examine what PLD activities that Chinese university-based PETEds most needs, and the best ways to address their PLD needs. Results indicated that the majority of PETEds had a strong desire to undertake further professional learning activities in three areas: subject knowledge and didactic with particular emphasis on professional training in specific types of sports, research-related academic activities and institutional activities. They preferred formal learning programmes as well as international learning activities to address these needs. 

Following the results from the first study, study two uses qualitative methods to explore Chinese university-based PETEds’ PLD needs for involvement in research activities. A sample of fifteen university-based PETEds were sourced after completing the survey. The results conveyed that the motives for Chinese university-based PETEds to be involved in research activities tend to be extrinsic to the individual.

Study three aims to explore how Chinese teachers who are teaching in physical education teacher education (PETE) programmes in universities position their professional identity. Fifteen interviews and five follow-up interviews were conducted. It was found that Chinese teachers who were involved in PETE programmes perceived their professional identity more as university teachers than teacher educators.



  • Faculty of Education and Health Sciences


  • Doctoral

First supervisor

Ann MacPhail

Second supervisor

Ann-Marie Young

Other Funding information

A sincere thank you to the Faculty of Education and Health Sciences and Chinese Scholarship Council for the funding and scholarship to support me to do my project.

Department or School

  • Physical Education and Sports Science

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