Teachers' satisfaction with their work in context of students' attitude to physical education classes

PhD, Associate Professor E.A. Izotov1
A.I. Kovalenko1
PhD, Associate Professor G.V. Soldatova2
1St. Petersburg Mining University, St. Petersburg
2Saint Petersburg Academy of Postgraduate Pedagogical Education, Saint Petersburg

Keywords: contentment, physical education, students, teachers.

Background. The issue of the students' contentment with the physical education service appears highly relevant albeit still relatively understudied. At the moment there are only a few study findings that show students being mostly unhappy with the classes [7-9]. Thus our survey of the technical university student sample found them being generally indifferent to the academic physical education service. The sample was tested somewhat content with only in a few formal aspects of the physical education service including own discipline/ attendance and academic progress in the physical education classes; whilst the contentment with the core aspects of the service (education service quality, physical progress, health improvement etc.) was tested relatively low [2].

It might well be that there are multiple negative factors of influence on the students’ commitment for the physical education classes – including drawbacks in the traditional physical education curriculum, its low sensitivity to the practical needs and expectations of the students, etc. We would, however, agree with T.V. Dylkina [1] that highly promising for such analyses are the interpersonal relations of the physical education teacher with the students, his/her sensitivity to the students’ interests and health agendas and the individual teaching style that shall be democratic enough for success. It is also not improbable that the students’ reluctance to the physical education classes is rooted in the physical education teacher’s poor commitment for and mean contentment with the own professional service – as was found by one of the recent surveys [4]; and these attitudes cannot but give rise to the students’ negativism to the physical education classes. This assumption, however, needs to be verified by a special empirical study.

As defined by Y.P. Ilyin, ‘contentment may be interpreted as the sustainable individual relation to (opinion on) the own activity on the whole and its aspects in particular, with a repeated satisfaction from the process, its conditions, good outcomes and well grounded expectations of the same satisfaction in the future’ [3]. Thus the individual physical education specialist’s attitude to the own service is normally stable enough and needs to be well profiled and analyzed to prevent potential negativistic trends with detriment for the service quality. This was the reason for us to survey the physical education teachers’ and student’s attitudes to the academic physical education service as a theoretically and practically topical subject.

Objective of the study was to survey the physical education teacher’s contentment with own professional service versus the students’ attitudes to the physical education classes.

Methods and structure of the study. Sampled for the physical education motivations survey were the Saint Petersburg National Mining University students (n=158) and physical education faculty (n=22), with the sample being age-, specialty-, gender- and service-record-representative. The students’ questioning survey was modeled based on the G.V. Lozovaya [6] contentment test form, and the physical education teachers’ survey was governed by the G.V. Lozovaya [5] Vocational Service Contentment Survey Method; with the contentment with the physical education service aspects rated on a standard scale as required for the study purposes; and with the contentment test data correlations analyzed by the Pearson linear correlation analysis.

Results and discussion. The study found quite a few correlations in the physical education teacher’s and students’ attitudes to the physical education service. Thus the student’s contentment with the own academic progress in physical education classes (4,19±0,96) was tested to correlate with the physical education teacher’s happiness with students (р≤0.01). Contentment with own academic sport/ physical education accomplishments (3,05±1,17) was tested highest in the students served by the physical education teachers highly content with the own service (р≤0.01), professional growth prospects (р≤0.01); vocational identification (р≤0.05); and service income (р≤0.05). It was demonstrated, therefore, that the ‘sport dominance’ in the academic physical training models is largely fostered by the physical education teachers.

Furthermore, the students’ overall contentment with the academic physical education service (3,58±0,82) was tested to correlate with the physical education teacher’s vocational commitment (р≤0.01) and service income (р≤0.05). Contentment with own physical fitness was found the highest in the students served by the physical education teachers highly content with the own teaching service and competence (р≤0.01) and the professional progress opportunities (р≤0.05). And the integral students’ physical education service contentment was tested to correlate with the physical education teacher’s appreciation of the vocational service (р≤0.01), personality progress opportunities and the creativity encouraging climate (р≤0.05).

Conclusion. The study found the physical education teachers’ attitudes to and commitments for their service responsibilities being largely mirrored by the students' attitudes to the physical education classes, with a special role played by the interpersonal relations with the teachers. The teacher’s vocational commitment, communication competence and skills, financial standing, professional progress and career motivations were found critical for the technical university students’ appreciation of the academic physical education service. Initiatives to support the students’ motivations for the academic physical education service are recommended to give a special priority to the physical education teacher’s communicative competence, skills and vocational commitment.

References

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Corresponding author: izotov_1974@mail.ru

The study found that the physical education teachers’ commitments for their service responsibilities are largely mirrored by the students' attitudes to the physical education classes, with a special role played by their interpersonal relations with the teachers. It is the teacher’s vocational commitment, communication competence and skills, financial standing, professional progress and career opportunities that are critical for the technical university students’ appreciation of the academic physical education service.