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Motriz: Revista de Educação Física

On-line version ISSN 1980-6574

Motriz: rev. educ. fis. vol.23 no.2 Rio Claro  2017  Epub May 15, 2017 

Original Article

Learning of Teaching in the Professional Socialization in Physical Education

Samuel de Souza Neto1  * 

Dijnane Fernanda Vedovatto Iza2 

Mellissa Fernanda Gomes da Silva3 

1Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho, Rio Claro, SP, Brazil

2Universidade Federal de São Carlos, São Carlos, SP, Brazil

3Centro Universitário Católica de Quixadá, Quixadá, CE, Brasil



to investigate how the professional socialization happens through teacher education.


a qualitative research, descriptive, was developed using exploratory interview and narrative interview to clarify and deepen the collected information. Two Physical Education teachers with different stories of personal and professional development participated in this study. Through content analysis the data was organized in themes: the cultural capital and the learning of teaching, as a social, spatial and temporal process; a cognitive, plural and heterogenic process and a human, moral and relational process.


life settings can be viewed as the building scaffoldings of a professional socialization with the aim of understanding teachers and their practices in the knowledge of their lives, as influenced by social interactions. In this process of successive socializations, teachers build their professional identity, valuing social interactions in the environments they inhabit. In this study, practice was viewed as a site for training, the production of knowledge, and professional socialization in the acquisition of cultural capital. The knowledge of teachers was conceived as having a social nature, bringing underlying sources of acquisition associated with the family, school, and university because they decisively contribute to the structure of the educational practice.


the professional socialization is a dynamic process which involves not only the learning, but the acquisition of a professional ethos and, mainly, a teacher's identity and a base of knowledge that support the social interaction and the teaching culture in the activities and individual socialization in the habitus perspective.

Keywords teaching; professional learning; professional development; professional identity


This study addresses practice as a locus for training, the production of knowledge, and professional socialization based on the premise that the nature of teacher knowledge is social, given that it relates to different experiences, knowledge sources, and educational practices such as schooling, university education, and the teaching profession.

The professional socialization is composed of the learning of the values, beliefs and forms of conception of the world of a particular occupational culture, as well as being identified as the acquisition of a professional ethos, not necessarily expressed in words, but which gives to the agent in socialization the meaning of the game. However, the process of professional socialization has an underlying history built by primary socialization (family, school) and secondary socialization (university)1.

The socialization of teachers involves a process of identity construction and the production of knowledge within the workspace itself, characterizing this space as a training site. The space is permeated by issues related to knowledge and the teaching work, diversity knowledge, temporality knowledge, human knowledge, and training of teachers2, leading to a teaching culture in action within a dialogical process. This professional culture involves a professionalization process2 that occurs within a setting where teaching is learned. It is formed by a group of topics and content that is related both to the personal development and the professional development of teachers, in addition to the organizational development of the school. Nóvoa3 proposed based on these three challenges produce the teacher's life, the teaching profession, and the school.

The learning of teaching profession follows an itinerary that involves life settings, knowledge, identity, and educational practices. That is, it is a process of professional socialization that comprises the learning of values, beliefs, and world concepts typical of a certain occupational culture and that can also be identified as the acquisition of a tacit professional ethos, not necessarily expressed in words, which provides the agent in socialization with the aim of the game4.

Actions, beliefs, and values are rooted in primary socialization, which occurs in but is not constrained to the family setting because the individual has contact with other agents throughout life, characterizing secondary socialization as “any subsequent process that inducts an already socialized individual into new sectors of the objective world of his society”5.

In primary socialization, “there is no problem of identification”. “Society presents the candidate for socialization with a predefined set of significant others, whom he must accept as such with no possibility of opting for another arrangement”. Thus, in primary socialization, “although the child is not simply passive in the process of his socialization, it is the adults who set the rules of the game” as the only conceivable world for them, and “it is for this reason that the world internalized in primary socialization is so much more firmly entrenched in consciousness than worlds internalized in secondary socializations”. It is in primary socialization that “the individual's first world is constructed”. Thus, socialization is “never finished”, i.e., it does not end at this time of life, but it transforms itself over time by means of secondary socialization, which is understood as the internalization of institutional “sub-worlds”, which are partial realities in contrast with what was acquired in primary socialization5.

However, primary and secondary socializations are not completely independent because secondary socialization never fully erases the “general” identity constructed at the end of primary socialization, which in very precise institutional conditions can “transform a ‘specialized’ identity into another”6. Dubar6 advocates the perspective of social change based on the possibility of the occurrence of a rupture with primary socialization in secondary socialization, depending on the relationships established between the agents of primary and secondary socializations. In this sense, the possibility of social change is based on building other worlds “beyond those that were internalized in childhood”, i.e., “producing identities and social actors guided by the production of new social relationships that are susceptible to transformation through effective, i.e., lasting collective action”5.

Within this context, socialization processes promote the incorporation of a habitus 7 that tends to guide actions, given that it is the product of social relationships. As an "active and synthetic presence of all the past that produced it, habitus is the generating structure of practices"5 in socialization processes throughout life, marking individuals because the concept of habitus is based on past history while also guiding present action.

About Physical Education, Sanchotenem, Molina Neto8, based on the work of Perrenoud et al.9, understand the professional habitus of the teacher as routines; use of explicit knowledge and representations capable of directing an action; and rational action and ruled improvisation. Thus, habitus may be seen as a cultural matrix predetermining individuals to achieve certain choices. Such predetermination puts the habitus theory as a process of construction of social identities10. Therefore, the formation guided in practice produces in the teacher in initial and ongoing formation a habitus, embedded and put into action through the practice that "is, at the same time, necessary and relatively self-sufficient in relation to the situation considered in its immediacy, because it is the product of the dialectical relationship between a situation and a habitus”11, which is understood as a system of rules that integrates all past experiences.

The learning of teaching and the exercise of the profession promote the incorporation of a certain habitus, and therefore, teacher training also need to be based on an epistemology of professional practice that can give a new meaning to practice and guide pedagogical action. The epistemology of professional practice is understood as the set of knowledge mobilized by teachers in a concrete situation of practice arising from a process of professional socialization. Thus, "professional practice constitutes an original space for training and the production of knowledge by practitioners because it is the bearer of conditions and specific conditionals that are not found anywhere else nor can be ‘artificially’ reproduced”2.

Habitus, then, becomes a constituent part of the epistemology of professional practice, and in this sense, the training of teachers must also be based on a dimension of experience in which a critical reflection concerning it is sought to understand the “tacit knowledge” that arises both from teachers while teaching and from the reaction of students to such teaching12. Thus, not only the university but also the school are conceived as spaces for training, and experiential knowledge is conceived as a set of representations whereby teachers interpret, understand, and guide their profession and their practice, constituting the "teaching culture in action"1.

In this teaching culture, professional practice seeks to give a new meaning and to reorganize the knowledge of teachers in accordance with the work requirements. According to Ferreira13, the experience is valued by physical education teachers because, for them, it contributes to the performance of their actions, i.e., it is through experience that they build their own way of teaching. However, this process implies critical reflectivity, taking into account that reflection is not merely the analysis of practice but also a theoretical and critical interpretation of educational phenomena that involves dialogue with oneself, dialogue with one’s peers, and dialogue based on the situations experienced14.

Among the assumptions that guide this change is the understanding that the training of teachers is not built only with the accumulation of knowledge of training, but that a significant part of the training takes place in the context of professional practice15. The professional practice, in the specific context of teaching, can be understood as a special area of production of knowledge and not only as a scope of application of theories and techniques16.

Tardif1 and Contreras17 argue also that teaching should not occupy the centrality of training. As a response, Schon12 proposes a pedagogy of training focused on epistemology of practice and Rangel-Betti, Betti18, in Physical Education proposed a training curriculum permeated by practice. In this direction, Cochran-Smith19 suggest the deprivatization of practice for both university and school. The term “deprivatization” has been used in educational theory and research by a number of people working from different theoretical frameworks and traditions to refer to various aspects of pedagogy, teaching practice, school change, classroom documentation, and other related concepts19. Following this idea, Gauthier et al20 propose making public the school experiences grounded by science.

The considerations presented here lead us to deepen this study further, focusing our research on the learning of teaching in the process of teacher socialization. The following research question is posed: How does the professional socialization of teachers manifest itself in the training and professional practice of physical education teachers?

The results of this study are expected to contribute to the identification of elements that are present in the socialization of physical education teachers, and they may contribute to the construction of an epistemology of professional practice in the socialization process.

Within this perspective, Machado21 highlights the need to turn “experiences into objects of analysis and reflection" because, in general, “there is no concern regarding the context in which our practices are built and consolidated” and because “we do not rebuild the history of our practice”. In light of this understanding, the objective of this study is to investigate how the professional socialization of teachers occurs during teacher training.



Two physical education teachers, who were given the names “Tomé” and “Sofia”, were selected for this study. These teachers taught at the elementary education level and were identified as being in the phase of “competent teacher”22 among a group of four teachers. The others physical education teachers were not at In this stage of professional development. Pieroni22 points out that the teachers, in their professional mastery of basic education, may be framed within the scope of teaching, such as: Beginner (student and teacher in the first year of exercise): it acts based on rules, sometimes without necessarily knowing its context, behaving in a rational way, but lacking malleability, because its first task is to gain experience; Advanced beginner (teacher in the 2nd and 3rd year of exercise): he recognizes some similarities in the situations, moments and some episodes which are recorded in his memory, and tries to relate them with his current experience, beginning to develop certain strategic knowledge and realizing what he should or should not do and; Competent teacher (over 4th year of exercise on education): he consciously chooses what needs to be done.

So the choice of participants was made by a non-probabilistic intentional selection, defined by Rudio23 as coming from an appropriate strategy electing subjects representing certain population in some aspect.

Descriptive Study

This is a qualitative and descriptive study in which the analysis is based on working with values, beliefs, habits, attitudes, representations, and opinions. It is suited to an in-depth study of the complexity of particular and specific facts and processes regarding individuals and groups. A notable characteristic of the study is the interaction that occurs between the researcher and the object of study because it uses methods that seek to extract in-depth data that lead to the inevitability of involvement between the researcher and the object of study24.

A descriptive study is aimed at describing the characteristics of a certain phenomenon25 and is used by social researchers concerned with practical action. In this case, what interests us is how practice in socialization processes can be “deprivatized”19. The use of this term is to call attention to the fact that for many years, teaching (education/training) has been regarded as privatized work19. Thus, the association between a qualitative and descriptive study occurs because the qualitative analysis “is developed in a natural situation”, being rich "in descriptive data, has an open and flexible plan and focuses on reality in a complex and contextualized manner”26.


The narrative interview for the collection of life history data was the chosen data collection technique because the study is focused on professional history within the socialization process. Each teacher was interviewed twice. In the first interview, an exploratory survey was performed that aimed at mapping career choice, teacher knowledge, and the teaching profession. The second interview was thematic and narrative, having childhood as its starting point. Both the first and second interviews were transcribed in full and delivered to the participating teachers for validation. An informed consent form was signed by the participants (Ethics Committee).

The content analysis used contained five steps: preparation - selection of the samples; unitization - in which samples are defined, identified, and isolated; categorization - in which samples are clustered; description - presentation of results achieved through the formulation of a text by category; and, finally, interpretation - performed by means of an existing theoretical framework or considering the theory that emerges from the collected data27. In the following section, the results are presented and discussed with an emphasis on the socialization of the physical education teacher when learning teaching.


Life settings can be viewed as the building scaffoldings of a professional socialization28 with the aim of understanding teachers and their practices in the knowledge of their lives, as influenced by social interactions. In this process of successive socializations, teachers build their professional identity, valuing social interactions in the environments they inhabit. These issues are analyzed based on two professional socialization cases that involve four descriptive categories.

The Professional Socialization of Tomé

Tomé is the son of a railway worker (father) and a teacher (mother). He spent this childhood with an elder sister and remembers that he had good relationships with everyone. He states that, because his mother was a schoolteacher, the family always had “strong ties with the school, she always worked at the school…my father, despite not having studied much, really valued studying, he really valued school”. “I spent 10 years of my life, from preschool to eighth grade, in the same school", because it was "the school where my mother worked. My father was also associated with the school, he was part of the Association of Parents and Teachers (APT)”. (Tomé).In this description and in those that follow, Tomé tells us how he acquired cultural capital.

The cultural capital

Cultural capital is a term coined and used by Bourdieu29 with ambiguity and comprehensiveness to indicate the ways in which culture reflects or acts on the living conditions of individuals. The term capital associated with the term culture represents an analogy to power and utilitarianism related to the possession of certain information, likes and practices, highlight three distinct aspects, but connected: the “incorporated” state meaning the specific cultural skills class transmitted through the primary socialization, such as family, but also, gradually, from basic to higher education; the "institutionalized" state represents the degrees, diplomas and other educational credentials, appearing in the conversion of cultural capital into economic capital by way of diploma and employment or work as is the case of entry into the teaching career; finally, "objectified" state regarding the acquisition of cultural objects - paintings, books, sculptures etc., being transmissible in its materiality29. In this paper we will give emphasis to the incorporated state and institutionalized state of cultural capital.

In the descriptions of Tomé emerge the life in the family and school, the appreciation for physical education and professional choice. In the neighborhood where Tomé lived, there was a soccer field near his home, and the school where he studied was two blocks away. Here members that he had a happy childhood, with numerous friends in the neighborhood and at school, with freedom to go out, ride his bicycle, and play soccer, batting games, tag, cops and robbers, or mother may I?, and he always participated in all sports activities that were proposed. When Tomé graduated from high school, he states that “some friends said that they would apply for the physical education undergraduate course and told him ‘Why don’t you do it?’, and I said, ‘Okay, let's do it’. I was kind of spontaneous” (Tomé). However, because his parents had always “encouraged and demanded that I go to college” (Tomé), he admits that he took the opportunity that was presented.

Tomé graduated in 1984 but started working at a bank while taking exams to become a public school teacher. He says that his start as a teacher “was not something planned”, in the sense of “being at a school working as a teacher”. In his report, Tomé also noted that he took the “Education course” and worked for “15 years in school administration” as a vice principal. He presently continues exercising both functions.

Regarding his permanence at school (teaching career) and sharing it with his administrative career, Tomé states that, “In 1990, I started in the education program". I had been working at the school for five years, then I decided enroll in the education program as a career development plan, to work in school administration and have training in that area, because I felt I was lacking something". Tomé also states that the Licentiate in Education "gave mea professional foundation. Indeed, I took exams for five vacancies as a state school teacher and was fortunate enough to pass all of them" (school physical education); "I took two exams to become a vice-principal and passed; two exams for supervisor and passed; I was even called to be a principal but preferred to continue teaching. For supervisor, there were few vacancies, and I was not hired”, adding that, “However, this is all due to financial and career issues, I don’t think that it is cool, not at all [laughs]" (Tomé).

Thus, while reflecting on his permanence at the school, Tomé discusses “the vocation or career guidance issue”, saying that, in his case, he was at the school because of “life consequences. Nothing was planned", i.e., programmed. He earned a Licentiate in Physical Education but thought that he might not stay at the school because he believed he could find something else; however, in the end, "it worked out fine"(Tomé).

Hence, according to Tomé’s descriptions, the acquisition of habitus 8 is related to the lasting conditions of the organism that incorporates him in the accumulation of cultural capital that occurred through the assimilation and internalization of knowledge and information over time (the incorporated state)7. In his specific case, the fact that his mother was a teacher and that he liked school and identified mainly with sports led him to physical education. Subsequently, there is the institutionalized state, related to the diploma and certification, allowing the transaction between symbolic capital, cultural capital, and economic capital7 in the exercise of an administrative position as vice-principal of the school to improve his financial condition. In this direction, socialization also led to Tomé’s career choice to start diversifying in the stabilization stage in the life cycle of the teacher30.

The learning of teaching is social and space-temporal

When discussing the school, Tomé says that it was located two blocks away from his home but that he had physical education classes in a place far from his home. He also highlights that his physical education classes were more focused on “soccer”. “I had a teacher who would vary a little more”, but that was "in the fourth grade, where skills were more required". During junior high school, “I had more soccer classes, and in high school, there were no soccer classes”. In this regard, he highlights that he liked his physical education classes but that “he could have had a wider range of" experiences with movement and physical exercise (Tomé).

So he recognizes that physical education that left something to be desired, being restricted to the sport or leisure. However, he acknowledges that “he really enjoyed school and was a good student”. He had “great memories” because “he never had issues with the institution”. If he had issues, they were normal, "not serious behavioral issues”.

Nevertheless, he recognizes that “he was not a person who had a very good sports ability” but always “participated in everything”, considering this fact to be very significant for him. Although “I was not ‘one of the best’, I was ‘always participating’”(Tomé).In this sense, we observe the formation of a habitus in school as a student and an illusio, in the Bourdieu an sense of being born within the game and of belonging to the game from birth7.

The learning of teaching is cognitive, plural, and heterogeneous

Knowledge forms teachers and their identity, causing them to rely more on a certain knowledge (content)and on a teacher’s or practice’s example, depending on the setting in which they are inserted2. When recalling the experiences that based his practice, Tomé remembers some of his teachers, saying that he had “a teacher from Rio Claro” who started to “teach him in the third/fourth grade”; in the “fifth grade”, he had classes with “Celso”, who “was very keen on teaching”. He would take “us to the swimming pool, he taught us a bit of basketball, a bit of volleyball, handball, a little more of soccer and swimming. I mean, he was a very eclectic guy”. Then, he had a physical education teacher with whom “I did not identify myself at all. I do not think he taught us” anything. He would give the ball to us and ‘pick up’ the newspaper and take a nap”.

During “high school”, he had a “very humanistic” teacher who “talked a lot with us”. However, he also “taught the ‘basics’, gym, running, and sports”, and sometimes, “when he changed the kind of sports a bit, there was a certain resistance, the kids liked soccer”. When discussing the physical education program, Tomé says that he was "a reluctant student because it was an evening program that lasted three years". He continues: “The university had a program focused - today, in my opinion - much more on the sports area”. He also notes that this was “the outlook in the 1980s” and that he did not have a more comprehensive curriculum as a basis: "Teachers had no training" at the "master’s and doctoral level". In his opinion, it "was not the teachers" who were responsible for that, but rather, it was what they would do in "more practical classes aimed at sports practice and a little bit at school” (Tomé).

He also comments that “People say that the student, not the university, is responsible for their own learning". However, in his opinion, that is only “partially true” because he thinks his “physical education program failed to fulfill expectations". He says that the "little I learned was based on practice, by taking courses, studying pedagogy more, the educational part, in fact. Then, I could understand a little better”.

Subsequently, when he took a preparatory course for one semester to apply for the Licentiate in Education, Tomé comments that he liked the people who taught the classes. Among others, there was the “literature teacher” and teachers who were remarkable because of “the way they taught classes”, which, in their case, was “more of a technique”. In this continuum, Tomé highlights that the “education program” “gave him a better foundation” in relation to the “physical education program”, which “failed to fulfill expectations” (Tomé). During the Licentiate in Education program at the State University of São Paulo (Universidade Estadual Paulista - UNESP), a public university evening program, he had good higher education teachers. There were people at this university whom he admired both in the education and physical education fields.

In this retrospective, we observe the acquisition of teacher knowledge arising from pedagogy and education and physical education in the goals, contents, and experiences (moral, human, relational) that are personalized and focused2.

The learning of teaching is human, moral, and relational

The teacher’s work objects are human beings, who are imbued with sensitivity and insight and comprise an ethical and emotional component1.

When stating that he currently teaches at a large school, Tomé highlights that “there is an indoor court, but some days there are two, even three teachers teaching classes at the same time, so then, we have to share the space". He also says that he teaches “two classes to each classroom”, meaning that they are classrooms that range from first to fourth grades. In this sense, he admits that, with the “fourth grade, I sometimes find it difficult to organize [the students], but I try to vary, work differently, but sometimes, because of having to share the space, [the students] become a little scattered”. However, he believes that he gets on well with this age group with the content taught and the way he organizes the classroom and class: “I think I teach a class that is actually well received by them. I try to give everyone the opportunity to participate".

Regarding his working method and the criteria used to choose certain strategies, Tomé admits that “I think that, from the first to fourth grades, sometimes it is easier to work because of their acceptance, they really like us”. When discussing the upper grades, from “fifth to eighth”, Tomé says that “the adolescence issue starts" but that he tries to "do activities in which everyone can be included. That is a struggle, a commitment”, but he cannot always achieve what was planned. Within this context, Tomé says that he works with "the game" because, "no matter how much it requires the specific skills of a sport", it provides other recreational experiences, not only competition, “so it provides a kind of leveling out” (Tomé).In this relationship, Tomé shows that he has incorporated an educator's habitus because these

(...) schemes, once acquired, (...)control a part of the new experiences of the individual, both in the construction of an image of reality and in the concrete behaviors adapted in relation to their work, to their colleagues, to their career31.

Therefore, human knowledge in relation to human beings offers perspectives on relational knowledge in the teacher's action but does not fail to bring an underlying specific and personalized knowledge in the way of teaching2.

The Professional Socialization of Sofia

Sofia was born in Piracicaba, state of São Paulo (SP), Brazil. In her interview, she says that her parents always worked but that the relationship between parents and children (she is the eldest of two daughters) was always good, based on trust and respect. Her father worked for a period of time as a manager of a clothing store, and her mother worked in the administration of a steelworks company. In her childhood, Sofia interacted with her younger sister, some cousins who lived nearby, and with school friends. In this process, similar to Tomé, Sofia tells us how she acquired her cultural capital.

The cultural capital

Sofia describes the backyard of her home as an adventure park and the street as a meeting place where she would join her cousins to play hopscotch, soapbox car, board games, games, toys, tag, cops and robbers, mother may I?, capture the flag, dodge ball, hula hoop, dolls, school, etc. Thus, playing was what she enjoyed the most (Sofia).However, there were limits. Because her parents worked and would only see each other at night, Sofia remembers that, when she woke up in the morning, she would see what message her mother had left. For her sister, her mother would leave drawings because there was a three-year age gap between the girls and thus were not always in the same phase, although they had a good relationship. Some years later, when Sofia was a teenager, her parents opened a pastry shop because her father lost his job; her parents still work at the shop.

In adolescence, in addition to playing different sports and the guitar, Sofia reached the stage at which she had to take the entrance exam for college. She says that, in the twelfth grade, she started receiving vocational guidance, in which the school would take students to learn what the physical education teacher does, what the physical therapist does, etc. Sofia also reports that she visited the Department of Geography and that she liked it very much, followed by the Department of Arts and the Department of Physical Education. Sofia confesses that, when she was visited the Department of Physical Education of the Methodist University of Piracicaba (Universidade Metodista de Piracicaba - UNIMEP), a place that had everything, she told herself: “Physical education is what I want, it’s what I like”. Then, she says that what she truly wanted was to be a “teacher”. She also comments that the careers that were most “appealing had to do with school", including geography, physical education, and literature, but she dismissed the others “because they were more of a hobby”. In addition, Sofia says that, for her parents, it was important that she choose something with which she could identify.

In this context, Sofia presents a cultural capital32 incorporated by primary socialization6 related to the school, school physical education and sports, i.e., a schooling process that led her to university and the incorporation of a student habitus 31.

The learning of teaching is social and space-temporal

When discussing her discipline as a person, Sofia tells us that the family experienced serious financial problems during her adolescence. Her father lost his job, and it was her mother who supported the family while working in sales. Because of this situation, Sofia was given a grant to study in a private school, but to support herself, she had to work at the school. She also says that, since childhood, she was involved in games and activities that were related to the act of teaching and that she admired her mother for being a catechist, for teaching things: “make-believe school games, guitar lessons to friends, organizing the school Olympic games, class representative, coordination, volunteer groups, the church youth group". However, she says that all of these activities were not everything because she "was part of the student guild, of a school project, that occurred during the vacation period, where she taught workshops and organized scavenger hunts with children; organized the rehearsals of the band in which she played. I always wanted to be a teacher” (Sofia).

Sofia says that, when she passed the university entrance exam, "it was a weight off my shoulders, because it was something I really wanted, but at the same time, in the first year, it was very complicated because I could no longer help my parents". Thus, “I would go home every weekend to keep working because the business was still growing. Today, we do not need to work anymore, but at that time, it was important”. She says that, whenever she could, she would do something at university "to make some money to support herself, that was also very important. Because it was not something for free, you had to give something back” (Sofia).

In her transition from student to teacher, Sofia states that “it was kind of natural. I was preparing myself for this transition. I remember that I took the internship very seriously. It was very serious to teach classes during the internship”. Due to this commitment and moral obligation16, “I was making this transition from student to teacher. When I was hired as a teacher, I had some things that were already easy for me and others that were not". She highlights that she “did not have enough knowledge of practice, of the practical knowledge that is required” but that she knew other things well, such as “communication, verbalization of the content. Because I had already experienced that”. Furthermore, she adds:“Perhaps, I did not have total control of the students in some moments. The relationship with other teachers, because I did not stay in the place of the other teachers the whole time” (Sofia).

In this sense, Sofia states that, in the transition from student to teacher, “your understanding of the world changes, because, until then, you are a student, you are in the early stages of training, and you often do not see the connection between what you will do and what you are learning". Similarly, "It changes the understanding of what you will do because, when you have greater contact with the effective exercise of what you are trained in, you start to give a new meaning to these contents"(Sofia).

Sofia’s statement is meaningful because, in it, she makes a reflection concerning two different times, highlighting: “You think 'God, when I took that subject, I did not even imagine that I could use it this way', you start to see things..."and “you have a whole history as a student. Then, you look back”. Furthermore, she adds: “Well, that difficulty I had, maybe it was a difficulty because they did not know how to explain it to me or because I did not value the way the teacher wanted to instruct me, you start to see the other side of the coin".

In Sofia’s life, the acceptance of different roles is evidenced not only in the transition from pupil to student and from student to teacher but also in the incorporation of a biographical and relational identity and in the construction of a habitus and proper teaching postures5.

The learning of teaching is cognitive, plural, and heterogeneous

At university, Sofia reports that, because of her eagerness, “I was very frustrated in my first year. Because it was very easy, it seemed that I had studied so many difficult things, and when I arrived there, everything was easy”. “Thus, I thought the subjects I took in the first year were ridiculous”. Then, she comments that she would ask herself “Why do I have to do massage?", "I could not understand why I was doing that. Today, I can understand it better, but I still think that the subjects are quite disconnected in the first year"(Sofia).

Her criticism arises from the fact that “you study so much. You have an educational system that ‘crushes your spirit’ so that you pass the university entrance exam, and when you pass it, you develop the stigma of an 'easy course'. I had this sensation in my first year”. Hence, to compensate, "I started to fill my time with other things (participating in many projects) to fulfill my need to know more than I was learning"(Sofia).

Starting in her first year, Sofia started to perform assignments “in the futsal project until the fourth year”; then, she also worked with several teachers in the first year, taking an “anatomy internship”, “a project related to the body with the professor Roberto of sociology", and several different things "because my idea was not to leave many things to the imagination because I thought everything was very easy"(Sofia).

In some of these projects, Sofia was required to teach classes: "Teaching classes was something that is already inside of me". Then, she says: “I taught guitar lessons when I was a teenager to a group of friends, I taught classes in the volunteer project for children (I taught several things that were proposed in the project...)".Thus, “I started teaching classes, more formally, with the futsal project (...) I really enjoyed the experience of teaching futsal”. She highlights that, in this project, they had “55 students from the community, they were aged from nine to 16 years old. I continued the project with many of these students for four years, so much so, that in my last year, the project had 30 students". In this moment, she also assumes that it was in this project “where I improved many things, it was where I understood, where I already had part of the training"(Sofia).

While highlighting this interweaving of experiences that recall the learning obtained from temporal teaching-in accordance with the places and situations specific to the activities that she should perform to assist in her financial support and satisfy her keenness for learning Sofia assumes that teaching was something that was part of her and that, simultaneously, she understood that, in the mobilization of knowledge to teach, she already had something of the training when she completed the first year.

In the second year, she started “to be part of a project at the school, a school in Limeira (a municipality in the state of São Paulo), where I had to perform activities [with the students], teach classes, I started to come in contact with a lesson plan". She also highlights that, in the third year during the supervised internship, “in the teaching practice, within the university program, I already had that experience”. However, she had actual professional experiences with “the classes I taught at public schools, and when I was contracted as a state school teacher after passing the entrance exam, I started to teach classes”.

In this history, it is observed that, while participating in projects, Sofia naturally mobilizes knowledge derived not only from her life history but also from the present as it relates to soccer, the body, anatomy, the lesson plan, etc., bringing to the surface not only pedagogical knowledge associated with the teaching practice but also knowledge connected with the identity of school physical education, the contents to be developed, and practical experiences1. In this process of secondary socialization, the redesign of a biographical and relational identity is revealed5.

The learning of teaching is human, moral, and relational

The teacher’s work objects are human beings, and teachers bring the marks of these objects2, who are imbued with sensitivity and insight and comprises an ethical, emotional and dialogical component.

In the professional context, Sofia defines herself as “a professional who is always in search of something more” and who “is not content with some things”. This identity is considered to be, on one hand, “good because I am always seeking to know more and improve” and, on the other hand, extremely tiresome “because I am very self-demanding. I became an extremely self-demanding person…no one needs to demand anything from me, I already demand a lot from myself".

“When I leave a class I just taught, I crucify myself, if necessary, because I realize that I did not do the things the way I should have done them. Then, I make notes, I write, I try to improve things for the next class”. In another moment, Sofia says that she faithfully follows the daily plan, but if something goes wrong or she is not able to follow through, she thinks: “I am no longer able to make things work. I could make things work before, but not anymore, it is almost a neurotic thing [laughs]". She concludes that she is “a very hardworking person for some things (I say that I am hardworking, I don’t even consider that intelligence, but I make an effort)”; she acknowledges that she became “a good professional” because she had “a very good education when she was at university (at home and at school)", and she states that she is “committed to this profession” that she chose. Therefore, she says she is “a good professional”.

When she talks about her relationship with her peers at school and her involvement with the school, Sofia remembers the situations she experienced as a student and then as a teacher, saying that, "When I went to Limeira, I spent very little time with the teachers; in the extension project, there were no other teachers, teachers' lounge, administration, principal's office". However, since she began working as a teacher in the state of São Paulo, she started to have "a new outlook on the matter of teaching, which is the exchange between teachers and the principal. I do not see the transition from student to teacher as difficult, but I sense a difficulty in understanding other elements of being a teacher”.

Subsequently, she started to work in a private school, informing that she has “a very good relationship with my coordinators”, although sometimes handling “six coordinators” is complicated, given that Sofia teaches the “transition years, which sometimes belong neither here nor there”.

In relation to the students, Sofia believes that she has "a very productive relationship, in the sense that I can establish goals and reach these goals"; similarly, she believes that she has "a harmonious relationship": "It is not a stressful relationship in which they irritate me the whole time and I have to reprimand them. That happens because it is part of the class and they are children and they will often express themselves differently”. Due to this understanding, Sofia highlights that she seeks to “understand the limits of the age group and pay attention so that I do not become very restraining, like, ‘Oh, you are making too much noise!’, because sometimes that is their time to make noise. We have a good relationship, I consider it good”.

Regarding the school, Sofia thinks that she is very engaged, saying that "she organizes activities", is "part of the environmental committee", is a "representative at the APT", and helps at a "teenagers' meeting" conducted at the school. She is also involved in "a conference that the school is organizing on education". In addition, she recognizes that, at the school where she works, she has "privileged working conditions, I have available materials, not very large classes (the highest number of students I have in a classroom is 28), they are quiet classes, the workspace is appropriate (as a matter of fact, several workspaces)”.She adds that she pays attention to the way "things happen in the school, how the school works, how it is organized" and concludes that it is "a good routine" but “very pragmatic”.

In this process, Sofia reveals aspects of a critical reflectivity14 and the exercise of the teaching profession with regard to being committed to the students' learning (and understanding the age group), to the school, and to her peers, understanding that professional competence goes beyond know-how and includes other aspects17.

Discussion and Conclusion

The data found makes it possible to understand socialization as a dynamic process that involves not only the learning of teaching and of a professional ethos but also, and mainly, the learning of a teacher identity and of a body of knowledge that support social interactions and school culture.

Thus, the school creates a knowledge in which there is, on one hand, the confrontation between “systematized knowledge available in general culture and, on the other hand, less elaborate knowledge, arising both from the institutional ‘logic’ and from the characteristics of the profession and everyday school life”33.

Teacher knowledge comes from several social sources that are previous to “the career itself or situated out of the daily work" and that are somehow external to the exercise of teaching2.

In this process of socialization, human development, and identity formation, relational identity can be understood as the assigned identity or the identity for the other, which involves external transactions between individuals and institutions identified as the socialization of activities. The biographical identity is associated with the transactions internal to the individual and to acts of belonging, that is, the claimed identity or identity for oneself, identified as the socialization of individuals 6.

When we consider the study participants, we identify how each participant established the personal and professional life plan. In this regard, Wautier34, based on the studies by Claude Dubar on the interaction between the collective and the personal projects, adds other information in relation to the matter of identity, with the following situations:

(a) the militant identity occurs when the personal project is in accordance with the collective project and there is social recognition;

(b) the mobility identity occurs when the personal project is not fully realized but the teacher adheres to the collective project and there may be social recognition;

(c) the complacent identity occurs when the personal project is not consistent with the collective project but the teacher remains in the group, due to complacency and;

(d) the excluded identity occurs when the personal project is in opposition to the collective project and the teacher does not demonstrate commitment and it not recognized by peers.

In this context, it is possible to note that the discourses of the interviewees tend to be guided by the incorporation and reproduction of the structures of which they are a product. In the cases of both Tomé and Sofia, the socialization processes evidence an incorporation of the ways of “feeling, thinking, and acting of the group of origin”. However, in the case of Tomé, there is an incorporation of a habitus, conceived as a product of objective conditions, which derive from his primary socialization, concomitantly ensuring "subjective adherence and active participation of the agents to the reproduction of a social position, simultaneously causing the incorporation of a common sense world whose immediate evidence is transformed into objectivity and ensures consensus"6. With regard to Sofia, there seems to be a movement aimed at change, given that she differs from her original condition, exhibiting an investment in studies and being different from her parents' life history.

Hence, it is noted that, although the interviewees are a product of social structures, in the case of Tomé, what is evidenced is the pursuit of financial survival and upward mobility of his social status through the choice of a hybrid career. This was the objective to be reached, even before the “diversification stage” in the professional life cycle30, by taking steps to complete the course in education to be able to work in the management field. The implication is that Tomé opts for two careers that require different skills and abilities, which, to a certain extent, is a common path among education professionals because of the lack of a stable teaching career at the federal, state, or municipal levels. However, Sofia takes a route of constant professional improvement in her teaching towards tertiary socialization, in which expertise (specialized knowledge/practice, recognized and that demands preparation, training, and experience)35 has no predefined time to be acquired; however, few teachers will become an “expert” in terms of professional mastery22.

Thus, on one hand, Pieron22 notes that only some reach the “expert teacher” level in their profession because they teach with an overall sense of the situation and act with almost unconscious fluidity until a specific problem occurs that requires them to use their analytical thinking. On the other hand, we note that, although the profile indicated can fit that of a "professional teacher" or a "career professional"36, these individuals tend not to remain at school if there is no decent teaching career. We believe that the perspectives on finding how tertiary socialization is developed with the acquisition of expertise, the socialization of individuals and activities, and choosing a hybrid career within the context of professional socialization are the great differential of the findings, in the sense that they can contribute or be added to other existing work in the area, such as studies of 8,37-39.

Two stories, two paths

The socialization processes of the two respondents were revealed in their discourses, in the deprivitazation practice19, given that they act in accordance with situations similar to those in which their socialization processes and identity were established.

In this study, practice was viewed as a site for training, the production of knowledge, and professional socialization in the acquisition of cultural capital. The knowledge of teachers was conceived as having a social nature, bringing underlying sources of acquisition associated with the family, school, and university because they decisively contribute to the structure of the educational practice.

The socialization processes that occurred throughout the life of the two participants promoted the acquisition of a habitus, the practice of which tends to guide actions, given that it is a product of social relations, but simultaneously ensures the reproduction of the same objective relations that compose them.

In this sense, primary and secondary socialization constituted the different types of knowledge that structured the actions of teachers in relation to the social reality; however, they also gave a very well-characterized professional identity to Sofia and less well-characterized identity to Tomé, given that he chose two careers. Indeed, Tomé is a case that is sui generis and, simultaneously, increasingly common, that is a person who has incorporated cultural capital derived from his schooling process, in which sports exerted a certain appeal, but who, at a certain point and for economic reasons, ends up assuming a double identity.

Tomé oscillates between teaching and management (school administration), and it is worth noting that, although both are within the school setting, they are functions with different professional identities. Tomé conveys the idea that his personal life project, not being fully consistent with the professional project chosen, was adapted because this matter must be resolved privately and cannot be transferred to a certain professional training course, to gender issues, or even "to life circumstances", as Tomé stated, because each of us writes our own story.

In the same direction but with different life circumstances, Sofia reveals that her production of meanings permeates the opportunities that are not only given to her but also, especially, can be created from a professional life project. In our opinion, this is the main difference between Tomé and Sofia: one knows what she wants and has a defined professional life project, whereas the other does not know well what he wants, entrusting his professional life project to external conditions as though in a type of bet: “Let’s see what happens...!”

Sofia advances in her teaching career and is successful in her choices (like Tomé) based on a professional life project that allows her to give a new meaning to her practice, making each school a new socialization and learning process, because she wants to be a teacher. Therefore, through the socialization achieved in the area and the permanent professionalization process, she considers herself a good professional. However, nothing prevents her from following a hybrid career path or from remaining solely in the administrative career or from choosing an academic career.

We conclude that, although they are fundamental to the construction of a professional identity, the socialization and career of teachers are not, at once, the development of a series of objective events shaped by the existential costs related to professional training, insertion in the profession, the reality shock, practical learning, the discovery of one’s own limits, negotiation with others, i.e., a series of never-ending challenges. However, these challenges are over come owing to the mobilization of personal resources to face such costs, with stand them, and give them a new meaning.


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Received: July 23, 2016; Accepted: January 23, 2017

Corresponding author: Samuel de Souza Neto. Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho - Campus de Rio Claro, SP, Brasil.

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