This study aimed to identify how Japanese elementary school teachers’ viewpoints of instruction for physical education, based on mutual relationships among colleagues, were formed. The participants included 24 elementary school teachers in Japan, who had more than one year of teaching experience and were teaching physical education. Interviews were audiorecorded and transcribed verbatim.
Data were analyzed qualitatively by employing open coding and axial coding. As a result of the analysis, 65 items of reduced data that related to the relations among colleagues were extracted. On further examination of the data, from the perspective of the mutual relationships among teachers, the data were then classified into five codes. Subsequently, from a perspective of the situation in which the mutual relationships were associated with the formation of viewpoints of instruction, commonality and heterogeneity between the codes were examined and classified into categories as follows: a) sharing by eye contact and b) sharing by talking.
The process of school teachers sharing matters that are related to physical education classes affected the teachers’ viewpoints on instruction by either strengthening their original viewpoints or changing them. This occurred when the teachers embraced other viewpoints, had their views adopted by others, or when their views were not supported by others. These interactions arose from the relation of two movements within the schools. The first movement was intended to promote sharing matters related to physical education classes among teachers and the second was to control this sharing. The relationship among these school teachers enabled them to have their viewpoints about instruction embraced or afforded them the opportunity to adopt other teachers’ viewpoints through the interactions of sharing by means of eye contact and talking; both interactions promoted sharing matters related to physical education classes. However, both forms of interaction were suppressed when teachers “held back or hesitated about other people’s ideas.”