‘Letters to an early career academic’: Learning from the advice of the physical education and sport pedagogy professoriate

Eimear Enright, Steven Rynne, Laura Georgina Alfrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Taking our lead from Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, this project represents our attempt to stimulatedialogue between 30 physical education and sport pedagogy (PESP) early career academics (ECAs)and 11 PESP professors. First, the ECAs were invited to write a narrative around their experiences asPESP ECAs. Second, a narrative analysis was undertaken and three composite ECA letters wereconstructed. Third, these letters were shared with the professoriate, who were each invited towrite a letter of response. Finally, six of the professors participated in a symposium, whichfocused on the letters. The professors’ letters and the transcripts of the symposium constitute the dataset for this paper. While the larger project engages with ECA voices this paper focuses on how the professors construct the university and PESP and the implications of these constructions for how they advise and mentor ECAs. Theoretically, we recruit the work of Pierre Bourdieu, and nascent ideas about mentoring, to challenge our interpretive complacency, and help us think ingenerative ways about the data. Our analysis engages with three broad themes: constructions of the university; constructions of PESP; and constructions of self. Findings suggest that while much of the professorial advice might be interpreted as targeted towards the development of more accomplished neoliberal subjects, there was some evidence of a more radical, collegial mentoring of sorts, through advice that foregrounded strategies of resistance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-39
Number of pages18
JournalSport, Education and Society
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Bourdieu
  • Early Career
  • Mentoring
  • Narrative
  • Neoliberal University

Cite this

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‘Letters to an early career academic’ : Learning from the advice of the physical education and sport pedagogy professoriate. / Enright, Eimear; Rynne, Steven ; Alfrey, Laura Georgina.

In: Sport, Education and Society, Vol. 22, No. 1, 2017, p. 22-39.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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