Secondary Physical Education Teachers’ Job Satisfaction in Japan, South Korea, and the United States
Stringer, Joshua R.
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Physical education (PE) teachers have high attrition rates worldwide, yet little cross-cultural research exists exploring the factors contributing to their job satisfaction/dissatisfaction. The purpose of this study was to qualitatively assess cross-cultural factors contributing to job satisfaction/dissatisfaction among secondary school PE teachers in Japan, South Korea, and the United States (U.S.). Nine secondary school PE teachers, three in each country, were observed during a full day of teaching in their respective schools, while researchers compiled field notes of their observations. After each class period, participants indicated their satisfaction on an 11-point visual analog scale. Afterwards, participants completed a semi-structured interview, in their native language, consisting of 16 core questions and additional questions relevant to the observed day. Four primary themes surrounding job satisfaction emerged: 1) student relations, 2) workload, 3) teaching, and 4) administration relations. The main theme of job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction was student relations and workload in all three countries. The U.S. teachers reported more satisfaction than dissatisfaction in their teaching, whereas the opposite relationship was observed among South Korean and Japanese teachers. Results of our study highlight the importance of understanding cultural values that constitute job satisfaction/dissatisfaction in finding ways to reduce attrition of PE teachers.
Physical education teachers