Education: a space to survive and thrive?

Mary O'Sullivan, Dawn Penney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The article presents our response to some ideas presented by David Kirk in his 2012 Scholar Lecture to the Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy Special Interest Group of the British Educational Research Association Annual Conference in September 2012. We seek to present an alternate view to one aspect of Kirk's argument which supports a view that physical education pedagogues are marginalised in academia and that such a status is attributed at least in part to their professional positioning within the field of education and within schools or faculties of education. We argue that a career as a scholar in the university sector means understanding the goals and priorities of the particular university where you work and how your interests and capacities align. We argue that being a teacher educator or a sport pedagogy scholar in a College of Education or in a Department of Human Movement Studies is not the central defining characteristic in progressing your career. What matters is that the priorities of your department and the attitude of your colleagues to your teaching and research align with your capacities and interests. We reject what we read as the message that being involved in teacher education is not a good career move in the contemporary university. While we acknowledge challenges to teacher education in England and elsewhere, this is not a reason to abandon research on teaching/teacher education or careers in schools/departments of education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-351
Number of pages9
JournalSport, Education and Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • teacher educator
  • physical education pedogogy
  • education career
  • sport pedagogy researcher
  • career progression

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