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Parallel Stories to Return by: A Spiritual Sense of Calling to Return to Integrated Being as Physical Educator
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This narrative inquiry aims to conceptualize ‘stories to return by’ through parallel stories of a US physical education teacher and myself who went “full circle from teacher training to joining the profession, to leaving it, and then rejoining it again”. While unfurling the stories of full circle, I intended not to restrict teachers’ ‘stories of leaving’ and ‘stories of returning’ to the domain of teacher attrition and retention. In addition, I tried to avoid merely describing a sum of stories of living in, leaving, and returning to teaching Physical Education. Rather, by attending holistically to the parallel stories, I sought to understand physical educators’ spiritual sense of calling and interpreted sense of place. In order to address the research questions“What does it mean to us to return to physical education?”, “Where is the place that we left and the place to which we are aiming?”, and “What inspired us to return to physical education?”, I lived, told, retold, and relived stories of the experiences that the US physical educator and I parallelly went through. By continuously attending to the three-dimensional narrative inquiry space and narrative resonances echoing between the parallel stories, a new concept of stories to return by was constructed. The parallel stories to return by, which rooted in the concept of ‘stories to live by’ and ‘stories to leave by’ in Clandinin-Connelly research line, revealed physical educators’ embodied spirituality and beliefs in the value of Physical Education and how we as physical educators have journeyed to integrate own spiritual identity and disciplinary identity. Through this narrative inquiry journey, I expect to shed new light on the hidden truths which exist between the issue of teacher attrition and retention; a different perspective to interpret own disciplinary identity based on personal/professional knowledge landscapes; the importance of integration between one’s spirituality and professionality in the educational context; and a new way of teacher education based on understanding pre-service physical education teachers’ embodied spirituality as well as embodied knowledge.
Subjectstories to return by
a sense of calling
Lee, Hyeseung (2019). Parallel Stories to Return by: A Spiritual Sense of Calling to Return to Integrated Being as Physical Educator. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from