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Journal of Physical Education

On-line version ISSN 2448-2455

J. Phys. Educ. vol.29  Maringá  2018  Epub Oct 04, 2018

http://dx.doi.org/10.4025/jphyseduc.v29i1.2937 

Original Article

CONFIGURATIONS AND RELATIONS ESTABLISHED IN SUPERVISED PHYSICAL EDUCATION TRAINEESHIP

CONFIGURAÇÕES E RELAÇÕES ESTABELECIDAS NO ESTÁGIO CURRICULAR SUPERVISIONADO DE EDUCAÇÃO FÍSICA

Arestides Pereira da Silva Júnior1 

Jorge Both2 

Amauri Aparecido Bássoli de Oliveira3 

1Universidade Estadual do Oeste do Paraná, Marechal Cândido Rondon-PR, Brasil.

2Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Londrina-PR, Brasil.

3Universidade Estadual de Maringá, Maringá-PR, Brasil.

ABSTRACT

The objective of this study is to analyze configurations and relations established (at university and school) between Physical Education (PE) student teachers and school agents during Supervised Teaching Traineeship (STT), according to different Basic Education levels. It is an exploratory-type research with mixed-method approach (quantitative and qualitative). Ninety (90) students enrolled in the PE undergraduate course at State University of Maringá, as well as 63 PE teachers working in municipal and state schools, participated in the survey and completed a questionnaire. For quantitative analysis, data were subjected to the SPSS Statistics 20.0 software, as well as to the Kruskal-Wallis and Dunn’s post hoc tests. Qualitative data were organized on the NVivo 10 qualitative analysis software using content analysis, as per to the configurational theory by Norbert Elias. Differences were observed in the following aspects: STT duration and closest relationships between PE students and school agents; proximity between university learning and school reality; and professional relationship between student teacher and advisor professor. Overall, there were interrelations between assessed aspects, established relations and STT configuration.

Keywords: Teacher’s training; Supervised Teaching; Practice; Teaching.

RESUMO

O objetivo desta pesquisa foi o de analisar as configurações existentes e as relações estabelecidas (na universidade e na escola) entre os estagiários de Educação Física (EF) e os agentes da escola no desenvolvimento do Estágio Curricular Supervisionado (ECS), a partir dos diferentes níveis de ensino da Educação Básica. Caracteriza-se como sendo do tipo exploratória, com abordagem de método misto (quantitativa e qualitativa). Participaram da pesquisa, respondendo a um questionário, 90 acadêmicos do curso de EF-licenciatura, da Universidade Estadual de Maringá, e 63 professores de EF de escolas da rede municipal e estadual. Na análise quantitativa, os dados foram analisados com o auxílio do software SPSS Statistics 20.0, e emprego dos testes de Kruskal-Wallis e post hoc de Dunn. Os dados qualitativos foram organizados com auxílio do software de análise qualitativa NVivo 10, utilizando a técnica de análise de conteúdo e com o aporte teórico da teoria configuracional de Norbert Elias. Evidenciou-se diferenças quanto: a duração do ECS e as relações mais estreitas com os agentes da escola; aproximação entre o aprendizado da universidade com a realidade da escola; relacionamento profissional do estagiário com o professor orientador. De forma geral, constataram-se inter-relações entre os aspectos avaliados e as relações estabelecidas e a configuração do ECS.

Palavras-chave: Formação de professores; Estágio Curricular Supervisionado; Docência.

Introduction

The field of human relations is called a society, in which interdependent individuals live in interaction within group configurations set by them, commonly marked by power struggles, conflicts and tensions responsible for borders, associations, dependencies, proximity and distance between those involved, that is, a complex, dynamic, unstable and non-linear process1),(2),(3.

In this scenario, the concepts of configuration, power relations and game emphasized in Norbert Elias’s writings are important for the understanding of phenomena in the sociological and educational fields4),(5, sometimes also requiring perspectives that transcend objective, direct associations with cause and effect relationships, as they involve subjective variables, in which a researcher’s experiences become fundamental in this investigative and analytical process. Although these terms have specific meanings, they share similarities and interdependencies.

According to Elias1),(2, the idea of configuration comprises the sense that individuals in society create interdependent human connections and webs, in which they form structures of different shapes and compositions, establishing direct and/or indirect, close and/or distant relationships, but whose movements are certainly reflected in the structure of said relationships. Elias2):15 reinforces this view by stating that “[...] people, through their basic dispositions and inclinations, are oriented towards one another and united to one another in a variety of ways…”, thus constituting [...] “interdependence webs or configurations of many kinds, such as families, schools, cities, social strata or states […]”.

In this context of human bonds, Elias2 stresses that power relations between individuals are a structural feature of all human relationships, which can be understood in a balanced or unbalanced way in the use of their forces. When relations are unequal, people or groups of people tend to exercise their influence and supremacy over others, causing an unbalanced and negative form of use of power. However, when power relations are balanced, there is “[…] an integral element of all human relations”2):80.

In this idea of power relations and forces, the concept of game is also widely used in Norbert Elias’s configurational theory, because the game cannot be played alone and the movement of a player (individual) interferes or varies relatively according to his or her opponent. The conception of game in society allows people to transform, grow, adapt, adjust, be close or distant, depending on the dynamics and positions1),(2.

Based on these concepts and positions, the theme of this research sought to use Elias’s theoretical framework and establish inferences, interlocutions and connections as to Supervised Teaching Traineeship (STT) in the initial formative process of Physical Education (PE) teachers, especially in the configuration of the traineeship and in the relations established between the actors of this formative action of future teachers at different levels of education [Children’s Education (CE), Elementary Education - Initial Years (EEIY), Elementary Education - Final Years (EEFY) and High School (HS)].

Although the concepts addressed by Norbert Elias have proximities and interdependences, for this article the focus given to the term “configurations” is on the arrangement and composition of structures that comprise teaching traineeship (at school and university), and “relations” are about relationships between individuals involved in this formative process (trainee, advisor professor, supervising teacher, other school and university agents).

The concepts of “configuration”, “power relations” and “game”, widely present in Norbert Elias’s writings, supported the discussions and helped clarify the dynamics involved in the development of the STT in the initial training of PE teachers, since this formative process encompasses struggles, clashes, exchanges and negotiations between trainee and school and university agents. In this game, the student trainee, because he or she is a “new” element in the context, seeking his or her space in an already established configuration (often rigid and not flexible), tends to retreat faced with adversities, which limits his or her pedagogical autonomy.

Corroborating with Pimenta and Lima6, it is assumed that STT is a fundamental pedagogical practice in a future teacher’s training process, and can be carried out in a collective and collaborative way, since the development of the traineeship is a product of a complex and dynamic configuration - involving: Course Pedagogical Project (CPP) and the Political Pedagogical Project (PPP) of the school, articulation with other curricular components, and organization of the traineeship itself; relationships established during the STT: with university professors or school agents (direction board, pedagogical staff, PE teacher/professor, other teachers/professors, employees and students).

In this sense, STT in the initial training of PE teachers must ensure that its execution complies with legal normative configurations guaranteed by the legislation in force7, the regulations of the Higher Education Institution (HEI) and the course in question, the PPP and school’s statute8, as well as the specificity of the PE discipline in Basic Education, presented in the National Curricular Common Base9.

In addition to normative and organizational aspects, STT is permeated by relations between individuals, which, according to connections and bonding between the agents of this process, may affect the flow and dynamics of this important moment in the future PE teacher’s initial training. Researches as those by Neira10, Souza Neto et al.11 and Aroeira12 reinforce this idea by emphasizing that harmonious relations, partnerships, sharing and exchanges are more likely to contribute to the effective development of STT, not only for the PE future teacher, but also for all agents directly or indirectly involved in the traineeship.

In this context, the theoretical reference used by Norbert Elias, especially in “A Sociedade dos Indivíduos”1, “Introdução à Sociologia”2 and “Os estabelecidos e os outsiders: sociologia das relações de poder a partir de uma pequena comunidade”3, may contribute to the articulation and discussion of phenomena of the practical field that manifest in the theoretical field of Elias’s framework, especially in established relations and STT configurations in the initial training of PE teachers, which are the object of investigation in this research.

These important findings raise the question: How are established relations and configurations presented during STT in PE? Extending the scope of the question - considering the students’ characteristics and levels, contexts of practice, specific approaches, the contents’ different degrees of complexity, the characteristics of knowledge, and experiences inherent to PE for each age group - how are these characteristics presented at different levels of Basic Education?

In this way, the objective of the research was to analyze existing configurations and established relations (at university and school) between PE trainees and school agents in the development of STT, as well as how this action was presented according to different levels of Basic Education.

Methods

It is an exploratory research13, as it seeks to clarify phenomena related to configurations and relations established during STT in the initial training of PE teachers. The approach employed was mixed research method (quantitative and qualitative), considering the methodological eclecticism, the pluralism of patterns, and the emphasis on the specific research problem in the determination of the method14. Thus, in the presentation and discussion of results, quantitative and qualitative data will be worked on and articulated as a way of complementing each other, expanding possibilities of analysis and transcendence of focus limitations (quantitative or qualitative).

A total of 90 undergraduate students pursuing a teaching degree in PE at the State University of Maringá (UEM) and 63 PE teachers from Maringá’s municipal and state schools, PR, participated in the study. To keep the trainees’ and teachers’ identity confidential in the research, they were named T1 to T90 (trainees) and TE1 to TE63 (teachers). The number of students accounted for 90.9% of all students attending STT for the course in 2015, and the number of teachers participating in the research is the totality of these trainees’ supervising teachers.

The students were intentionally selected as per the following criteria: a) having active enrollment in Supervised Teaching Traineeship I and/or II in 2015, b) accepting to participate in the research. As for selection of teachers, the criteria were: a) working as PE teacher in the municipal and/or state education network; b) having received students from the investigated HEI for STT development in 2015, c) accepting to participate in the research. All participants were informed about research objectives and procedures and signed the Free and Informed Consent Form, as a mandatory requirement for participation.

First, a letter was sent to the city’s Education Department, to the Regional Education Center and to the PE course of the investigated HEI, requesting authorization for the conduction of the research at municipal and state schools and at the university. After duly authorized, in compliance with provisions of the Ministry of Health, according to norms and guidelines of the National Health Council that regulate research with human beings (466/2012), this research project was submitted to UEM’s Standing Ethics Committee on Research with Human Beings [Comitê Permanente de Ética em Pesquisa com Seres Humanos] - COPEP, being approved and certified with Legal Opinion No 1.113.894 of 11/05/2015.

Subsequently, a questionnaire made up of closed-ended questions was applied to the PE teaching students from the participating HEI, who were attending STT in 2015, as well as to all supervising teachers who received the trainees. The questionnaires were prepared according to Hill and Hill’s guidelines15 on objectives, sections, how to write questions and answers, measurement scales, layout and evaluation.

This instrument was prepared by the researcher from the construction of an analytical matrix contemplating the research’s objectives, indicators (categories defined a priori) and related questions (questionnaire questions). As a way of improving and validating the instrument, the questionnaire was sent to 10 expert professors with doctorate degree in the field for appreciation, who evaluated clarity, suitability and relevance, in addition to making considerations as to the instrument’s content. The teachers returned their evaluations, and the results indicated indexes equal or superior to 80% in the three items. Thus, the instrument was considered valid according to indications of Cassepp-Borges, Balbinotti and Teodoro16.

After validation, the questionnaires were tested and applied in a pilot research to evaluate the instrument and adequacy to proposed objectives. The pilot research was conducted with teachers from a state school and trainees attending a PE teaching course at a private HEI. It should be noted that the pilot project’s participants did not compose the research sample.

The questionnaires for supervising teachers were applied at the end of the STT period. To do so, contact was made personally at the school or by phone, and individual meetings were scheduled to fill out the questionnaire, during the teacher’s working time outside the classroom. The questionnaires were applied to students collectively during Supervised Teaching Traineeship classes. The trainees’ questionnaires were answered at the end of the traineeship referring to the education level with which they were involved. Considering that during the year, in some cases, students develop STT at two education levels, they answered the questionnaire twice, one for each level.

Quantitative data were tabulated through the Microsoft Excel program and analyzed with the aid of the SPSS Statistics 20.0 software. In order to answer the closed-ended questions of the questionnaire, the respondent should inform his or her opinion by means of a 5-point Likert scale. It should be noted that in questions Q1, Q3, Q4, Q5, Q6, Q9 and Q10, the following answer categories were used: “never” (1), “rarely” (2), “sometimes” (3), “often” (4) and “always” (5). For items Q2, Q7 and Q8, the categories “bad” (1), “reasonable” (2), “good” (3), “great” (4) and “excellent” were used.

Descriptive presentation of statistical data used Median (Md) as central tendency measure, and Interquartile Interval (Q1 - Q3) as dispersion measure. In inductive statistical analysis, the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was used first to verify normal data distribution. With data found to be not normally distributed, the Kruskal-Wallis test was used to compare the different types of STT that the students developed, as well as to compare the trainees’ and teachers’ opinions. It is worth highlighting that in the Kruskal-Wallis test analyses that showed significant association, Dunn’s multiple comparison test was then used to identify significant differences between the assessed groups for dependent variables. A significance of 95% (p<0.05) was adopted for all analyses.

Qualitative data were organized and distributed using the NVivo 10 qualitative analysis software (QSR NVivo). The answers were analyzed descriptively with the content analysis technique, following the procedures suggested by Laville and Dionne17: selection of information related to research objectives, categorization and quantification (frequency - f), interpretation and writing in text form, confronting with Norbert Elias’s framework and with theoretical bases in the field.

Brandão4 and Hunger, Rossi and Souza Neto5 emphasize that Elias’s studies constitute a convincing and effective theoretical contribution to the education field, as they allow relating the author’s concepts, speculations, reasonings and theses to contemporary pedagogical questions. In this sense, Norbert Elias’s Theory of Configurations was used to found theoretically and epistemologically the discussions and reflections in this research, mainly based on the following writings: “Introdução à Sociologia2”, “A Sociedade dos Indivíduos1” and “Os estabelecidos e os outsiders: sociologia das relações de poder a partir de uma pequena comunidade3

Results and discussion

Several STT aspects in the initial training of PE teachers can influence a trainee’s pedagogical practice10),(11),(12. Considering this statement, Table 1 displays quantitative results regarding these aspects and their influence on the performance of future PE teachers.

Table 1 Configuration and relations established in STT (%), Trainees (T) and Teachers (TE) 

CE Md (Q1 - Q3) EEIY Md (Q1 - Q3) EEFY Md (Q1 - Q3) HS Md (Q1 - Q3) p*
T TE T TE T TE T TE T TE
Q1 - STT duration and closest relationships with school agents. 3 (3-4) 4 (3-4) 3 (3-4) 4 (3.25-4,75) 4 (3-5) 3 (3-4) 4 (3-5) 3 (3-4) 0.016 0.161
Q2 - Professional relationship between trainee and PE teacher. 4 (3-4,75) 4 (4-5) 4 (3,25-5) 5 (4-5) 4 (4-5) 4 (4-5) 4 (3.75-5) 5 (4-5) 0.128 0.643
Q3 - Proximity between university learning and school reality. 4 (3-4) 3 (3-4) 4 (3-4) 4 (3-4) 4 (3-4) 4 (3,25-4) 4 (3-4) 4 (3-5) 0.931 0.039
Q4 - Execution of bureaucratic actions and didactic-pedagogical activities. 3 (3-4) 4 (3-4) 3 (3-4) 4 (4-5) 3 (3-4) 4 (3,25-4,75) 4 (3-4) 5 (4-5) 0.689 0.064

Note: * Probability estimated by the Kruskal-Wallis test

Source: The authors

STT duration is one of the questions about structure and organization that effectively impacts performed activities. The results showed significant differences (p=0.016) in the trainees’ answers regarding the question about whether the STT’s duration allows them to establish closer relationships with the school’s agents. A detailed analysis of this question showed that EEFY trainees had a higher index compared to EEIY ones (p=0.029).

In addition, the results revealed, to some extent, divergent opinions, but with a predominance of those who judged the time allocated to the teaching traineeship adequate for the trainee to establish closer relations with the school’s agents. However, for those who did not fully agree with the teaching traineeship’s duration, the answers differed, with some trainees (T10, T11, T53, T62, T70 and T86) claiming that the length of the STT was too long. However, most of the trainees’ justifications were not about pedagogical and training reasons, but personal and professional, as pointed out by T11, who says that “for those who work, it is difficult, you have to change shifts at work, but there are people who do not understand, your boss does not understand, we might lose our job.” On the other hand, some teachers (TE32, TE33, TE43, TE51 and TE62) claimed that it should be longer. TE32’s answer values ​​this extended traineeship time by stating that:

The trainee’s permanence in the school is of paramount importance, because the longer the time, consequently the stronger the bond to be formed in this institution, not only the teacher-trainee bond, but the institutional bond, with the direction board, pedagogical staff, teaching staff. In short, permanence is what makes relationships closer (TE32).

In the same line, Batista18 emphasized the importance for trainees to stay during the whole school year in the school, following up a class throughout this period. According to the author, the longer the time spent in the school favors the acquisition of a teacher’s identity, and thus stresses the “valuation of an on-site, comprehensive and holistic formative process” (p. 20).

Appropriating the results of this questions and taking into consideration Elias and Scotson’s3) thoughts, the authors state that time is an essential factor in the sense of minimizing power differences between individuals and interdependent groups, thus facilitating a more active and harmonious participation among those involved. In this context, STT can be understood as a game, in which trainees need to increase their forces so that they can exercise their actions more autonomously in their context of activity, in a manner that this game can be understood as “a two-way path”, in which distribution of forces and powers between all players can influence the overall course of the game.

The school’s PE teachers and trainees were also asked about their evaluation of the professional relationship between them during the STT period. The results are satisfactory for both trainees and teachers in all groups assessed (Table 1).

Aroeira12 and Gomes et al.19 pointed out that follow-up and guidance during STT are more likely to succeed when harmonious, respectful and collaborative relationships are established between trainees and supervising teachers. Benites et al.20 also stress the importance of good professional relationships, but observe that before, there is a need for establishing affective and partnership interactions because, with this harmony, the educational, experience-exchanging process can be strengthened. In the same direction, Gomes et al.19):263 stated that “students make it clear that they can learn more when the interaction atmosphere between them and the agents is positive (sharing, companionship and understanding).” In this sense, T14’s report portrays this observation by affirming that “the supervising teacher’s role was vital, because he was always there, participating, observing, and if he noticed something was not working out, he intervened, helped with another method, found another way, this is essential!”

In the question about proximity between university learning and school reality (Table 1), significant differences were found in the teachers’ results (p=0.039). In the detailed analysis of this question, HS teachers showed a higher satisfaction index in relation to CE teachers (p=0.045).

Pimenta and Lima6 stress that STT is the most opportune moment that students have to learn to be a teacher and to build their professional identity, hence the need for an associative and integrated relationship between university and school. Batista18 points out that in cases in which relationships are closer and collaborative, trainees present greater possibilities to develop consistent pedagogical practices aimed at building their professional identity.

In this sense, Iza and Souza Neto21 reported a need for replacing the teacher training model centered only on the HEI and expand it, so that school and university are contemplated and valued in this chain.

The results for this question evidenced a satisfactory percentage in the relationship between HEI and school learning, except for CE, in which the indicator “sometimes” was predominant in the PE trainees’ and teachers’ answers.

In the justifications for the trainees’ answers, there is prevalence of reports attributing the problem to the direction of the course’s disciplines, which has little to do with school context (T2, T7, T14 and T22). The teachers’ answers follow the same direction, but also emphasize students’ lack of practice and knowledge about the school; TE6, for instance, stated that “sometimes the impression we have is that students come with no knowledge at all about the school or some essential disciplines, like didactics”.

In view of Elias’s theoretical contribution experimented and used in this research, it is important that, in the configuration of STT, university and school behave interdependently, considering educational institutions as partners in the process. In addition, it is imperative that relations between the agents are corresponding and bilateral, for the teaching traineeship to be an action that transcends benefits only for the future teacher, but also enables continuous formation for the school’s PE teacher and for the advisor professor, as well as closer ties between university and school, with the execution of many actions and activities.

Teachers and trainees were also asked if they were able to fully develop bureaucratic activities (filling in forms, reports, signatures, among others) and didactic-pedagogical activities (orientations, classes, evaluations, conversations) during STT (Table 1). It is possible to verify that the answers were more favorable on the part of the teachers. On the other hand, the main complaint of these trainees (T3, T4, T22, T54, T56, T63, T69, T69 and T89) was about the amount of documents required for STT. According to T3’s report, “during the STT classes we talked more about things related to paperwork, reports and bureaucratic demands, instead of discussing pedagogical points of the traineeship.” Despite some complaints, it is important to point out that this bureaucratic condition is necessary to safeguard students and the HEI.

In the configurations context, Elias2):33 said that “bureaucracy today tends to reduce complex social interdependencies to unique administrative departments.” In this context, Pimenta and Lima6 and Neira10 affirm that it is necessary to overcome STT configuration models in which bureaucratic and documental matters surpass and/or are more valued than pedagogical ones.

Specifically, results of the questions addressed to the trainees are presented in Table 2, and to supervisors in Table 3.

Table 2 Configuration and relations established in STT (%) - Trainees (T) 

CE EEIY EEFY HS p*
Md (Q1 - Q3) Md (Q1 - Q3) Md (Q1 - Q3) Md (Q1 - Q3)
Q5 - Difficulties in professional relationships with school staff. 2 (1.25-3) 2 (1-2) 2 (1-3) 2 (1-3) 0.570
Q6 - Prejudice and/or discomfort for being a trainee in the school context. 2 (1-3) 2 (1-2) 2 (1-3) 2 (1-3) 0.059
Q7 - Professional relationship between trainee and advisor professor. 4 (3-5) 4 (3.25-5) 4 (3-4) 3,5 (3-4) 0.007

Note: * Probability estimated by the Kruskal-Wallis test

Source: The authors

In order to understand STT beyond the specificity of the teaching-learning process, or even as a branch of a more complex structure, it becomes substantial, in agreement with Pimenta and Lima6, to take into account the school and its PPP as a whole, not only the specifics of the discipline in question, PE in this case. Thus, it is necessary to consider all the people in the school context because, somehow, they exert direct or indirect influence, near or far from the STT.

In this way, the trainees were questioned about difficulties in their professional relationship with people belonging to the school context. In general, results indicated, at all levels of education, the answers “rarely” or “never” as predominant, revealing a satisfactory result. On the other hand, data may evidence absence of or few relationship difficulties because this contact and interaction are little effective, or even non-existent. Examples of difficulties could be evidenced by T20, who reports that “a teacher of a different discipline complained that we were having lunch in the teachers’ room together with everyone.” T88, in turn, mentioned that, “for being a trainee, there was more bureaucracy and difficulties with some employees to use the school’s supplies”.

Neira10 recognizes that identifying all different actors working in the school and their respective roles, as well as bonding with them, is of considerable importance for STT. In this sense, the author emphasizes the need for the traineeship to enable relations between trainee and other agents in a way that is more similar to what happens daily in the school.

Another question specifically addressed to trainees concerns the feeling of prejudice and/or discomfort in the school context because they are trainees. Data show similar results at different levels of education. However, in some of the trainees’ reports, there are feelings of exclusion in the school because they are trainees. Some of the trainees’ reports exemplifying these results are: (T12) “trainees are seen as spies”; (T53) “I often heard other people saying that we are just trainees”; (T51) “we felt excluded from other teachers”.

The idea for STT is to enable future teachers to live and experiment with teaching in a way that is closer to what happens in school everyday. Thus, the need to value the trainee as an integral part of the school’s PPP becomes essential for him or her to be able to exercise his or her pedagogical practice with autonomy. In this direction, Norbert Elias’s studies1),(2 support this matter by addressing distribution of forces and powers as a way of valuing the active and interdependent participation of all the protagonists involved in a configuration, in this case, the school.

The evaluation of professional relationships between trainee and advisor professor revealed a significant difference (p=0.007) in the students’ answers. In the detailed analysis, EEIY trainees presented more satisfactory results than HS trainees did (p=0.012).

In view of this, no negative justification from EEIY I students was found regarding their relationship with advisors. As for HS trainees, some students (T63, T78, T86 and T88) complained about lack or inexistence of follow-up and pedagogical guidance on the part of the HEI’s professor, as revealed by T63, who describes that “there is no follow-up on the part of my advisor professor, I did everything by myself and without guidance.” The statements corroborate with Batista’s findings18, according to which, although trainees complain about pressure when follow-up and supervision effectively happen, they recognize and value this pedagogical advising process.

Neira10 and Batista18 affirm that the task of an STT advisor requires specific competence that is integrated to the PE context in the school environment, in the sense of sharing knowledge, experiences and actions between those involved in the traineeship and, thus, qualifying and motivating the dynamics of the STT process.

However, according to Batista18, STT coordination has its difficulties in the sense of finding qualified teachers able to play the role of traineeship advisors. In addition, the author emphasizes that, oftentimes, the appointment of trainee advisors happens without pedagogical criteria, being more about the need to complete the professors’ workload, as a purely instrumental duty (guide in the preparation of documents, observe and supervise actions).

Questions referring to relationships between trainees, advisor professor, supervising teacher and other school context agents highlighted in this research’s results attest Norbert Elias’s stance1),(2) face the importance of configurations of interdependent individuals, considering their relations, conflicts, tensions and interests for society’s progress. In this case, specifically, reinforcing the relevance of all agents in the execution of STT in the initial training of PE teachers, and not only the assignment of STT to student and the school’s PE teacher, as usual.

Table 3 Configuration and relations established in STT (%) - Teachers (TE) 

CE Md (Q1 - Q3) EEIY Md (Q1 - Q3) EEFY Md (Q1 - Q3) HS Md (Q1 - Q3) p*
Q8 - Evaluation of integration between the school and the trainee’s HEI. 3 (3-4) 3 (1-3) 3 (1-3) 3 (2-4) 0.331
Q9 - Feeling an integral part of the trainee’s formative process. 5 (4-5) 5 (4-5) 5 (4-5) 5 (4-5) 0.869
Q10 - Feeling pedagogically qualified to participate in the formation of trainees. 4 (4-5) 4 (4-5) 5 (4-5) 5 (4-5) 0.215

Note: * Probability estimated by the Kruskal-Wallis test

Source: The authors

The advisor professors evaluated the integration between school and HEI (follow-up, partnerships, projects, meetings, etc.). In the results, the “Good” indicator was predominant at all levels of education. However, the justifications for the answers of other teachers (TE1, TE21, TE23, TE27, TE40 and TE63) revealed problems in this integration between institutions, especially as to lack of follow-up and supervision on the part of the HEI’s advisor professors. TE39 attributes this failure to the school by saying:

Unfortunately, in some schools, the pedagogical team limits the activity of trainees in its space. I think this makes it difficult to access knowledge exchanges and complementary elements for the trainee’s professional formation; on the other hand, there are a number of factors that cause this ‘resistance’. There could be great relationships between school and university, but there is still a way to go in order to break with this idea that trainees are in the school just to get in the way of the teacher’s daily planning; we need to move on and understand that the trainee is also there to add knowledge.

The rigid and narrow-minded management of some schools limits the access of future teachers, as well as the utilization of spaces and actions related to a teacher’s functions and roles, restricting possibilities for a comprehensive and autonomous action, and leading trainees to limit their performance, favoring passive and subordinate behaviors18.

Authors such as Neira10, Aroeira12 and Iza e Souza Neto21 pointed out that one of the major difficulties of STT in PE is the mismatch of actions, partnerships and ties between these institutions, causing withdrawal and isolated actions. In addition, they reinforce that there should be meetings between the institutions’ traineeship-related agents, permanent exchange of information between teachers, as well as partnership projects.

Taking into account the research’s results, as well as Elias’s theoretical framework1),(2, which emphasizes interdependencies, it is convenient for the effective development of STT that the institutions involved (composed of interdependent people) narrow their relations, establishing dialogues and partnerships, mainly understanding that the full development of STT will benefit not only the trainee, but also the institutions involved, the area and the population served (students).

Other questions addressed only to supervising teachers refer to their feelings as an integral part of the trainee’s formative process, as well as to the recognition of their own pedagogical training to participate in such formation. The results are broadly satisfactory at all levels. TE15’s report exemplifies part of the results presented when affirming that “they see us as role models, so we cannot disregard our experience and knowledge to help them in this training process.”

Neira10, Benites et al.20 and Aroeira12 found in their research that, although the school’s PE teachers recognize STT as an important moment for the formation of a future teacher, they do not see themselves as part of this process, in the same way that they do not feel capable to collaborate. Thus, they acknowledge and suggest ongoing training for PE supervising teachers in the sense of, additionally to preparing for traineeship assistance, also promoting the strengthening and enrichment of their daily pedagogical practices.

A study carried out by Batista18 observed that lack of professional conditions, especially when it comes to heavy demand for tasks, lack of time and compensation, are elements that progressively lead to one neglecting his or her roles.

Relating these aspects to the power foundation used by Elias2, which evidences that the less unequal the distribution of powers the smaller the possibility of the game becoming unilateral. In this sense, the more pedagogical practices are shared, collective and collaborative, the greater the chances of mutual gains, for university and school, as well as for students and PE teachers.

Conclusions

Established configurations and power relations are constitutive elements of society. In this sense, with the analysis of these elementary principles in STT in the initial training of PE teachers, based on Norbert Elias’s configurational theory, it is possible to conclude, in a general way, that interrelations and interdependencies were unveiled among the evaluated aspects, as well as in established relations and STT configuration at education levels.

Specifically, as for comparing education levels, it was found that: EEFY trainees considered the STT’s duration more adequate to establish closer relations with school agents compared to EEIY students; HS teachers identify a greater proximity between university learning and school reality in relation to those working in CE; when it comes to evaluation of professional relationships between trainee and advisor, the students who developed the STT in EEIY presented more satisfactory results in relation to HS trainees.

As a way of broadening comparisons beyond education levels, the research identified that both teachers and trainees recognize the professional relationship between them as an aspect of paramount importance for the development of STT in the formative process of PE teachers. Besides, they stressed the need to value pedagogical actions over those of bureaucratic nature. Although the trainees had the perception of good professional relationship with the school’s staff, they reported situations of prejudice and/or discomfort for being trainees. In the evaluation of integration between school and university, PE teachers reported specific problems, especially about lack of supervision by the HEI’s professors. In general, PE teachers feel like an integral part of the training process, as well as able to perform their roles in the training process of future PE teachers.

Although the instrument used in this research meets the proposed objective, this study has as limitations difficulties in collecting answers that could go beyond what is presented in the documents or the questionnaire’s objectivity. Thus, new research that allows greater interlocution with researched subjects is suggested, such as use of interviews and focus group.

Taking into account the use of Norbert Elias’s configurational theory, one can have a more accurate look at the phenomenon of configurations and established and power relations, given their complexity and dynamics in the investigation of aspects related to teachers, students and other agents directly or indirectly involved with STT in the initial training of PE teachers, whether at school or university. Based on this research, it is possible to identify a wide use of Elias’s configurations model and its replication in other contexts and realities in the educational field, especially in PE.

Acknowledgments:

The research received financial support from Araucária Foundation for Scientific and Technological Development of Paraná State and the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel [Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior] (CAPES) with the granting of scholarships (Doctoral Level).

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Received: March 14, 2017; Revised: June 23, 2017; Accepted: August 16, 2017

Author Address: Arestides Pereira da Silva Júnior. Rua Helmuth Roesler, n. 396, Parque Ecológico, Marechal Cândido Rondon-PR, Cep [Postal code]. 85.960-000. E-mail: arestidesjunior2000@yahoo.com.br

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