Teachers’ Thought Processes: The Case of Tunisian Gymnastic University Teachers


Teacher’s behaviour is substantially influenced and even determined by teachers’ thought processes. Several studies concerning effectiveness in physical education have analysed various topics such as student engagement, curriculum time allocation, teaching methods, teacher behaviour, and teacher perceptions. However, these investigations have not applied the classroom research findings identified by other researchers. Firstly, this study explains the implied thoughts of the explained Tunisian Gymnastic University Teachers (TGUT) to teach gymnastics learning processes by analyzing their thought processes. Secondly, we included the analysis of the connection, interaction and relationship between the three topics reviewed. Thirdly, we identified and analyzed the difference between different Tunisian physical educational teachers’ thoughts and its influence on their didactical practice intervention. Data were collected during 4 months of observations and interviews with six TGUT at the high institute of sport and physical education (ISSEP) in Tunisia. They all teach not mixed class in Level1 (first year, BAC + 1). These interviews were semi structured (40 minutes each) and gave teachers the opportunity to share their perspectives on broad topics such as education, teaching, and society, and also on more succinct topics such as individual students and situations that had occurred in previous lessons. The data were analyzed using constant comparison. Three topics emerged illustrate how the teachers’ thinking influenced their selecting, ordering, and formulating of curriculum units, their didactic and pedagogical manoeuvring during lessons. This study revealed three major conceptions used by TGUT: 1) Teaching based on pedagogical conceptions (7.20%), 2) Teaching based on sciences (17.42%), and 3) Teaching based on means and practices (75.37%). A number of themes emerged from the analysis of each case, aside to the contextualised responses of individuals. The perception of the TGUT had two consequences: 1) a didactic consequence; the TGUT plan activities that will assist students in developing only physical skills, 2) the legitimacy of the contributory sciences in training programs for student teachers of physical education (PE). Basis on this argument, we might reasonably ask what might be done to address this problem. The issues discussed in this paper will encourage teachers to reflect on their own teaching beliefs and practices and to include them in the process of planning and teaching effectiveness.

Share and Cite:

Bali, N. (2013) Teachers’ Thought Processes: The Case of Tunisian Gymnastic University Teachers. Creative Education, 4, 158-164. doi: 10.4236/ce.2013.47A2020.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Ajzen, I., & Fishbein, M. (1980). Understanding attitudes and predicting social behavior. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
[2] Ajzen, I., & Madden, T. J. (1986). Prediction of goal-directed behavior: Attitudes, intentions, and perceived behavioural control. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 22, 453-474. doi:10.1016/0022-1031(86)90045-4
[3] Bali, N. (2004). Epistemological and didactic relationship between bio mechanical knowledge and teaching gymnastics designs trainers and student teachers and teachers' practices, for ISSEP. Unpublished MSc Thesis, Tunis: University of Tunis.
[4] Bali, N (2005). “Theory and practice” articulation in the training of Tunisian student physical education teachers. Journal Research and Training, 49, 135-150.
[5] Bali, N. (2010). Didactic practices of gymnastic teachers in relation with their teacher thinking. Comparative study in Tunisia and France. Unpublished Thesis, Paris: University of Paris.
[6] Bali, N., et al. (2013). Heterogeneity language conceptions’ physical education teachers of the fourth (4th) year of primary French schools in Tunisia. IOSR Journal of Research & Method in Education (IO SR-JRME), 1, 77-84.
[7] Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: Freeman and Company.
[8] Calder, et al. (1999) Research on teacher thinking. Thinking implied schools.
[9] Clark, C. M. (1988). Asking the right questions about teacher prepara tion: Contributions of research on teacher thinking. Educational Re searcher, 17, 5-12. doi:10.3102/0013189X017002005
[10] Gernigon, Ch., et al. (2002). Peer tutoring in a physical education set ting: Influence of tutor skill level on novice learners’ motivation and performance. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 22, 105.
[11] Cizeron, M. (2002). PE teachers' beliefs as cognitive anthropological basis of their expertise in teaching gymnastics. Ph.D. Thesis, Rennes: University of Rennes.
[12] Lambert, C. (1986). Secrets of a successful trainer: A simplified guide for survival. New York: Wiley-Interscience.
[13] Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavior sciences. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
[14] Conatser, P., Block, M., & Gansneder, B. (2002). Aquatic instructors’ beliefs toward inclusion: The theory of planned behavior. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 19, 172-187.
[15] Conkle, T. (1997). Inservice programs: What do physical educators want? Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, 68, 50-55. doi:10.1080/07303084.1997.10605007
[16] Cronbach, L. J. (1951). Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests. Psychometrika, 16, 296-334. doi:10.1007/BF02310555
[17] Crahay, M. (2002). Teaching between succeed and understand—Im plicit theories of education and thinking of expert teachers—Test of socio-constructivist cropping. In J. Donnay, & M., Bru, Research, practice and knowledge in education (pp. 108-132). Brussels: De Boeck.
[18] Davis, L. E., Ajzen, I., Saunders, J., & Williams, T. (2002). The deci sion of African American students to complete high school: An ap plication of the theory of planned behavior. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94, 810-819. doi:10.1037/0022-0663.94.4.810
[19] Fishbein, M., & Ajzen, I. (1975). Belief, attitude, intention, and behav ior: An introduction to theory and research. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley.
[20] Foran, A. (2006). Teaching outside the school: A phenomenological in quiry. Edmonton: Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Alberta.
[21] Gauthier, et al. (1997). For a theory of pedagogy. Contemporary re search on teacher’s knowledge. Sainte-Foy: Presses of Laval Uni versity.
[22] Goldberg, L. R., & Velicer, W. F. (2005). Principles of factor analysis. In S. Strack (Ed.), Differentiating normal and abnormal personality (2nd ed.). New York: Springer.
[23] Gollwitzer, D. (1993). Concept implementation interventions for inten tion behaviour relationships. European Review of Social Psychology, 4, 141-185. doi:10.1080/14792779343000059
[24] Hastad, D. N., & Lacy, A. C. (1998). Measurement and evaluation in physical education and exercise science (3rd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
[25] Hopple, C., & Graham, G. (1995). What children think, feel and know about physical fitness testing. Journal of Teaching in Physical Edu cation, 14, 408-417.
[26] Jaakkola, T., & Watt, A. (2011) Finnish physical education teachers’ self-reported use and perceptions of Mosston and Ashworth’s teach ing styles. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 30, 248.
[27] Keating, X. D., Silverman, S., & Kulinna, P. H. (2002). Preservice phy sical education teacher attitudes toward fitness tests and the factors influencing their attitudes. Journal of Teaching in Physical Educa tion, 21, 193-207.
[28] Kudláèek, M., Válková, H., Sherrill, C., Myers, B., & French, R. (2002). An inclusion instrument based on planned behavior theory for pro spective physical educators. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 19, 280-299.
[29] Martin, J. J., & Kulinna, P. H. (2004). Self-efficacy theory and the the ory of planned behavior: Teaching physically active physical educa tion classes. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 75, 288-298. doi:10.1080/02701367.2004.10609161
[30] Martin, J. J., & Kulinna, P. H. (2005). A social cognitive perspective of physical activity related behavior. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 24, 265-281.
[31] McCaughtry, N. (2005). The emotional dimensions of a teacher’s pedagogical content knowledge: Influences on content, curriculum, and pedagogy. Development of pedagogical content knowledge: Moving from blaming students to predicting skillfulness, recognizing motor development, and understanding emotion. 22.
[32] Nunnally, J. C. (1978). Psychometric theory (2nd ed.). New York: Mc Graw-Hill. Intentions and Behavior during Fitness Testing 27.
[33] Perrenoud, Ph. (1994). Professionalization of the teacher profession, dual training and reflective practice. EPS in the Journal, 250.
[34] Schon, D.-A. (1994). The reflective practitioner. Montreal: Editions Logics.?
[35] Sutton, S. (1998). Predicting and explaining intentions and behavior: How well are we doing? Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 28, 1317-1338. doi:10.1111/j.1559-1816.1998.tb01679.x
[36] Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2001). Using multivariate statistics (4th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
[37] Thomas, J. R., & Nelson, J. K. (2001). Research methods in physical activity (4th ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
[38] Tochon, F. (2000). Research on teacher thinking: A paradigm maturity. French Review of Education, 133.
[39] Zeichner, K. M., & Tabachnick, B. R. (1981) Are the effects of univer sity teacher education “washed out” by school experience? Journal of Teacher Education, 32, 7-11.
[40] Wright, T. (2005). Classroom management in language education. La voisier: S.A.S. doi:10.1057/9780230514188

Copyright © 2024 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.