Job satisfaction among physical education teachers in finland

Por: N. Johansson e Pilvikki Heikinaro-Johansson.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Teacher job satisfaction is a multifaceted construct that is crucial to teacher commitment, teacher retention, and school effectiveness. Teacher satisfaction is also an essential link in the chain of education reform. Teacher satisfaction influences job performance, and eventually student performance. The purpose of this study was to investigate specific factors associated with job satisfaction and dissatisfaction of male and female physical education teachers working at different levels in Finnish schools. In addition, a profile of satisfied and dissatisfied physical education teachers was constructed. The Expanded Karasek’s Job Strain Model [1] was used as the theoretical foundation of this study. This study is a part of a wider research project called Research on Physical Education Curriculum.


Data was collected through a questionnaire called "The P.E. Curriculum and Teachers Work Questionnaire", which consists of both open-ended and more structured questions and attitude scales. The questionnaire was distributed to a population of physical education specialists (N=533) working in different schools across the country. Complete questionnaire data for this study were obtained from 275 teachers. All the respondents were certified physical educators with a university degree in physical education. The gender distribution was 176 females (64%) and 99 males (36%), and the age range was between 26 and 62 years (M=46years). The teachers represented different school types or levels as follows: elementary school 6%; middle school 62%; senior secondary school 18%; vocational or polytechnic 14%. The data analyses consisted of chi-square statistics, t-tests and one-way ANOVA’s. Percentages and frequencies were also calculated.


Five sources of job satisfaction were found: interaction with students (55%), multifaceted work (50%), professional success (39%), professional autonomy (34%), and interaction with colleagues (22%). Sources of dissatisfaction included poor working conditions (34%), work under pressure of time 29%, student misbehavior (32%), large class sizes (23%) and lack of resources (12%).


Job satisfaction among physical education teachers has received relatively little attention. More research and discussion about physical education teachers’ job satisfaction and working conditions is needed.


[1]. Pitch, C., Chapman, D., Mangione, T. & Jenigs, S. (1994). Gener, work and mental distress in an industrial labour force: an expansion of Karate’s job strain model. In G. P. Keita & J.J. Hurrel (eds.) Job stress in a changing workforce. Washington, American psychological Association, 39-54.





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