Physical Educators’ Attitudes Toward the Teaching Profession and Perceptions of School Climate




Physical education teachers, teacher attitudes, teacher perceptions, school climate, job satisfaction


Teachers’ attitudes and enthusiasm about teaching are characteristics of effective teachers, and these characteristics affect student achievement. This study compared self-reported perspectives of secondary public school physical education (PE) teachers to all other secondary public school teachers regarding (a) attitudes toward the profession of teaching, (b) perceptions of their school climate and working environment, (c) job satisfaction, and (d) general characteristics and job responsibilities. Data were collected from a nationally representative sample of public school teachers in the United States. This study used descriptive statistics to describe secondary teachers’ perceptions of school climate, general characteristics, and attitudes toward teaching. Compared to teachers of other subjects, physical educators reported more job responsibilities outside of teaching and leadership roles in the school community. PE teachers also reported more positive levels of teacher satisfaction, professional support, and attitudes toward teaching. Based on these findings, recommendations related to physical educators’ attitudes and perceptions are provided.

Author Biographies

Catherine E Cardina, Buffalo State College

Catherine Cardina is a former elementary and secondary physical education teacher and is a permanently certified PE and Health teacher in New York State. Currently, she is an associate professor teaching primarily in the Health and Wellness Program in the Department of Health, Nutrition, and Dietetics at Buffalo State College. 

Clancy Seymour, Canisius College

Assistant Professor and Director of the Physical and Health Education, Sport Studies, and Coaching Programs in the of Kinesiology at Canisius College, Buffalo, New York