An examination of the relationship between football coaches and the teaching of social studies in the state of Texas.
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Rodgers, James B., 1983-
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In this study, I investigate the perceived relationship between coaching football and teaching social studies in the state of Texas. While I did not investigate the validity of the relationship, individuals who fit this mold were studied in order to identify the cause of this relationship, how the teacher/coaches view themselves as professionals, and the appealing aspects which these individuals found in both coaching football and teaching social studies. I utilized a qualitative multi-case study in order to explain best the rationale, perspective, and opinions of the teacher/coaches. A questionnaire was sent to the approximately 12,000 football coaches in Texas during the 2012-2013 academic year. Through this questionnaire, I established demographics on football coaches and coaches who also teach social studies. From this questionnaire, a group of nine individuals volunteered to be interviewed and comprised the cases in my study. I asked these individuals a series of guided questions designed to probe their profession in a personal and general sense. From the data collected in this study, I was able to gain insight into the culture of coaching. I discovered that the majority of these individuals decide to become teacher/coaches; they do not differentiate the decision between fields. This decision typically arises from teacher/coaches who influenced them as athletes. Consequently, their choice of teaching area is often built on a relationship with a teacher/coach who taught and inspired them in that subject-area. While the teacher/coaches identified several aspects of shared appeal in both coaching football and teaching social studies, the most common was an interest in strategy, as they often compared the strategy in football with the strategy in military history. Finally, I discovered that this relationship is losing prevalence within the culture of coaching. This shift is a result of two factors. The first factor resulting in a change in this culture was the increase in the size of football programs. The second factor is the influence of standardized testing and its impact on the classroom teachers. Both factors have led to more diversity in certification areas for football coaches.