Using a scale to explore pre-service physical education teachers’ attitudes towards difference: methodological opportunities and tensions

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This chapter provides an examination of the development, validation and application of quantitative scales to research pre-service physical education (PE) teachers’ attitudes towards otherness and difference. The case study we present provides a frame to explore methodological opportunities and tensions associated with using quantitative scales to research difference – a socially constructed concept – in PE. Throughout this chapter, and in sharing our case study, we discuss some of the pertinent questions that we have raised and grappled with throughout the project including: is it possible to quantify attitudes towards difference, and can we do so in ways that engage with the complexity of difference? Can we explore difference without ‘othering’? How do we challenge labelling and stereotyping without ourselves being guilty of doing just that? We argue that this research contributes in unique ways to current knowledge around researching difference in PE, sport and physical activity more broadly. It brings to the fore questions about the role of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in addressing agendas of difference and inclusion in PE. The chapter concludes by summarising our key learnings from the scale development process relevant for others wishing to utilise this method.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearching Difference in Sport and Physical Activity
EditorsRichard Medcalf, Chris Mackintosh
Place of PublicationAbingdon UK
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781315266749
ISBN (Print)9781138289963
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameRoutledge Research in Sport, Culture and Society


  • difference
  • inclusion
  • initial teacher education
  • pre-service teachers
  • sport
  • health
  • Physical education
  • physical education and health and physical education

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