This paper presents a Glaserian grounded theory study of adult students’ holistic professional growth in a two-year tailored, work-related, teacher qualification program in physical education. The data consisted of reflective learning diaries, interviews and the written texts of 20 adult students. The data analysis followed the stages of Glaserian grounded theory analysis with substantive and theoretical coding processes carried out using the constant comparative method. The article presents the emotional core and its properties (criticality, ethicality and empowerment) of physical education teacher students’ professional growth. In addition, the article introduces a substantive theory of a process of adult students’ multifaceted professional growth during a work-related physical education teacher-qualification program and discusses the pedagogical implications in relation to developing teacher education in general and the education of physical education teachers in particular.


Professional Growth, Teacher Students, Physical Education Teacher Education, Adult Education, Grounded Theory

Author Bio(s)

Leena Aarto-Pesonen is a postdoctoral researcher and a senior lecturer at the Department of Teacher Education, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. She conducts research to teacher development and professional growth in teacher education and work-related higher education. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: leena.aarto-pesonen@jyu.fi.

Päivi Tynjälä is a professor at the Finnish Institute for Educational Research, University of Jyväskylä. Her research field is teaching and learning in higher education, and her special interests are learning at the interface of education and work, workplace learning, teacher education and the development of generic skills in higher education. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: paivi.tynjala@jyu.fi.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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