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Should I Stay or Should I Go? Physical Education teachers' career intentions

Mäkelä, K., Hirvensalo, M. and Whipp, P.R.ORCID: 0000-0002-5895-2667 (2014) Should I Stay or Should I Go? Physical Education teachers' career intentions. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 85 (2). pp. 234-244.

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Purpose: This study investigated Finnish physical education (PE) teachers' intentions to leave the profession and the reasons behind them. Method: A large sample (N = 808) of PE teachers who graduated between 1980 and 2008 (432 women, 376 men) answered a modified job satisfaction and teacher follow-up questionnaire that elicited career perceptions, intentions, and current work duties. Results: In this sample, 26% of the respondents were contemplating leaving their jobs as PE teachers and an additional 13% were actually in the process of transferring from PE teaching but planned to remain in school teaching. To determine the reasons for considering leaving the PE teaching profession, principal axis factoring with direct oblimin rotation was performed on the 35 items of the questionnaire. These factors were labeled as status of the PE teaching profession, pupils, working conditions, colleagues, expertise, workload, administration, and stress. The most influential factors were poor facilities, poor equipment, and isolation from the peers. Additional factors included working conditions, low status of the PE teachers, and workload. For women, workload and stress were more significant reasons for leaving the profession than they were for men (p = .010–.040, d = 0.34–0.43). PE teachers in the age group of 40 to 44 years old constituted the largest group who were considering leaving the profession. Conclusion: Thirty-nine percent of the PE teachers considered leaving the profession. Even though PE teachers face a variety of challenges in their work, the majority intend to remain in the teaching profession. Improved resourcing and collegial support could potentially reduce PE teachers' intention to leave.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Ltd
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