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Athletic trainers work in clinical settings such as secondary schools, colleges and universities, sports medicine clinics, professional sports, hospitals, and other healthcare environments. However, with the rapid expansion of athletic training education programs (ATEP) over the years, another role for the athletic trainer has developed, the athletic trainer educator. Consequently, it is currently becoming increasingly apparent that athletic trainers must also be equipped with the knowledge and expertise to teach, mentor, and train the future generations of certified athletic trainers within the classroom. Recently, researchers (Hertel et al., 2001; Craig, 2006; Rich, 2009) have argued that athletic training instructors lack the necessary pedagogical knowledge to be more effective instructors. However, athletic training education is a unique environment that provides both a wealth of content knowledge and many opportunities for students and professionals to engage in inquiry, action, interaction, mentoring, and reflection. Does the athletic training environment provide informal opportunities for students and instructors to gain pedagogical expertise? To learn more about instructors’ preparation for teaching, this dissertation explored athletic training instructors perceived preparedness for teaching in an ATEP. This study used a mixed methods research approach through a self-developed and pre-piloted electronic questionnaire. The approach consisted of collecting and analyzing scalable quantitative and qualitative data as well as written narrative qualitative responses from 364 participants currently teaching within an ATEP. In addition, quantitative data was collected from ATEP program directors regarding their perceptions of pedagogy on instructor preparation and its place within athletic training (AT) education. Through the study’s findings, it became evident that instructors’ perceived preparedness for teaching is explained by several theories of learning, such as the mentor/protégé model of learning, experiential learning theory, and social learning theory. Demonstrated by their actions, attitudes, and beliefs, participants placed high value on pedagogy, its importance on effective teaching, and its place within AT education. Furthermore, from within athletic training’s unique clinical field and classroom settings, participants demonstrated how each environment provided them with their perceived foundations for teaching within an ATEP. Despite these findings, formal pedagogical preparation and its place within athletic training curricula needs further exploration.



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