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Title: Front stage, backstage and off stage : the socialisation of first year physical education and primary education students on an initial teacher education programme at a Scottish university
Author: Cosford, Brian D.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2009
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This is a study of two cultures in a School of Education where, since 1998, PE students and primary students have taken a generic Education course that comprises one third of their study programme. PE students have been perceived to be a problem for the people responsible for running the Education course because their behaviour and attitudes have not matched the expectations of the staff. Drawing on Goffman's metaphor of theatre, and on Becker's analysis of the collectively held perspectives of medical students, this study examines the hidden curriculum of the academic front stage and students' activities back stage and off stage. The study uses an ethnographic approach using multiple methods and direct and prolonged observation of front stage, back stage and off stage settings. Three aspects of the hidden curriculum are identified, tensions between the Education courses and the ITE programmes, assessment and timetabling. The hidden curriculum supports and defines students' beliefs and defines the two student cultures. For PE students the effect was to marginalise the Education courses and promote 'mainstream' PE courses. For primary students this effect was absent. The front stage supports the development of two separate cultures and on the back stage there is an influential PE culture supported by a 'family system' that links the four year groups. Backstage is an arena for the acquisition of social capital and the deliberate construction of sociability through bonding activities and it is here that PE students are socialised into the norms and values of the group. Primary students did not appear to have an identifiable group culture, either on campus or off campus. Despite the different socialisation experiences, both groups of first year students successfully accomplished placement and had relatively similar perspectives on teachers and teaching.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available