“Knowing the Rules of the Game”: Rural Sporting Biographies and Their Influence on Physical Education Pedagogy

  • Amanda Mooney
  • Christopher HickeyEmail author
Part of the Self-Study of Teaching and Teacher Education Practices book series (STEP, volume 14)


The influence of place-based biographies in shaping professional identities and practices can be powerful. This is particularly prevalent in fields like Physical Education (PE) where personal physical and sporting prowess can readily become embodied signifiers of one’s credibility and expertise. In rural and regional communities, identities attached to, and social capital accrued from sports participation are often very strong. In this chapter we reflexively draw on aspects of our own personal biographies as active (and privileged) participants in rural community sport to explore the ways in which they have shaped our professional identities and practices as physical education teacher educators. We juxtapose our biographies alongside the experiences of ‘Rachel,’ a female physical education teacher who, at the time of data collection, had recently commenced teaching in a regionally based Catholic all-boys’ school after two previous posts in rural co-educational schools. Presented as heuristic devices, we look for points of intersection and divergence between Rachel’s experiences and our own biographies to consider the ways in which place shapes professional identities and pedagogical practices in PE. The practical translation of this self-study process is to be ultimately located in our undergraduate teacher education programs and in our identities as teacher educators.


Preservice Teacher Pedagogical Practice Physical Education Student Teacher Professional Identity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Arts and Education, School of EducationDeakin UniversityGeelongAustralia

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