Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Physical education teachers in motion: An account of attrition and area transfer

Mäkelä, K., Hirvensalo, M., Laakso, L. and Whipp, P.R.ORCID: 0000-0002-5895-2667 (2014) Physical education teachers in motion: An account of attrition and area transfer. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 19 (4). pp. 418-435.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


Background: Teacher turnover has been identified as a major problem that represents instability in teaching. Teacher turnover can be divided into three components: attrition means that the teacher is leaving the profession; area transfer means that the teacher is changing his/her subject area and migration means that the teacher is moving from one school to another. The single most important concern is teacher attrition. Attrition is particularly high among teachers in their first five years of service. Although extensive research has been carried out on teacher attrition, no single study exists which comprehensively analyses the attrition of physical education (PE) teachers.

Purpose: The purpose of the study was to establish the attrition and area transfer rates of PE teachers in Finland. This paper also focuses on the reasons behind why PE teachers are leaving the profession.

Key findings: A total of 230 (23%) of 994 PE teachers who graduated between the years 1980 and 2006 moved out of PE teaching. Of the 23%, the attrition rate was 13% and the area transfer rate was 10%. The reasons for leaving the profession could be divided into six different categories: pupils, administration, working conditions, colleagues, respect and rewards and workload. Those who moved outside of schools (i.e. leavers) were mainly younger teachers, while those who changed from PE to another subject area (i.e. movers) were mainly older teachers. It was also found that men left earlier than women and leavers earlier than movers.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Routledge as part of the Taylor and Francis Group
Item Control Page Item Control Page