American Journal of Sports Science
Volume 3, Issue 3, May 2015, Pages: 57-60

Considering the Occupational Prestige of Physical Education Teachers Compared with Other Jobs (Hamadan Province Case Study)

Keivan Shabani Moghaddam1, Mehdi Roozbahani2, Said Janjan2, Seifollah Shahabzade1, Aboozar Soori1

1Faculty of Physical Education, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran

2Department of physical education, Borujerd Branch, Islamic Azad University, Borujerd, Iran

Email address:

(K. S. Moghaddam)
(M. Roozbahani)
(S. Janjan)
(S. Shahabzade)
(A. Soori)

To cite this article:

Keivan Shabani Moghaddam, Mehdi Roozbahani, Said Janjan, Seifollah Shahabzade, Aboozar Soori. Considering the Occupational Prestige of Physical Education Teachers Compared with Other Jobs (Hamadan Province Case Study). American Journal of Sports Science. Vol. 3, No. 3, 2015, pp. 57-60. doi: 10.11648/j.ajss.20150303.14

Abstract:Physical education discipline in many countries of the world, in comparison with other academic topics, is considered as possessing lower credibility, and physical education teachers are sometimes seen by some individuals as people with an entertaining and trivial job. This study was conducted with the aim of investigating the occupational prestige of physical education teachers compared with other jobs. The study’s statistical sample consisted of 235 physical education teachers in the Hamadan Province. A realized questionnaire was employed to gather data, and the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was used to determine normality of data distribution, and the independent-t test and the one-way ANOVA was employed to test the hypotheses. The study results showed significant difference between the mean credibility of the jobs being considered (physician, teacher, cab driver, salesman, sandwich maker, barber, physical education teacher, and governmental clerk) in the study sample with that of the population. According to respondents, job-owners such as salesmen, barbers, sandwich makers, and cab drivers had higher occupational prestige compared with physical education teachers. Finally, physical education teachers believed that they deserved higher occupational prestige. They were of the belief that physical educationteachers’ job credibility was being considered as lower than some other occupations, and they did not enjoy a social prestige and credibility equal with that of the teachers of other subjects.

Keywords: Job, Occupational Prestige, Physical Education, Teacher

1. Introduction

Although the subject of physical education is obligatory during a curriculum, many people do not consider it as constructive and useful in comparison with other subjects [1]. Physical education teachers are often considered by some people including students and other teachers as individuals with an entertaining and trivial job, who just blow whistles. The social status of physical education teachers depends on culture, history, and political circumstances of a society and in some countries, this profession does not have much credibility. In many countries, physical education teachers are not used for teaching in elementary schools. Instead, other teachers offer physical education subject to students, and qualified physical education teachers only start their work in schools as of middle school. This subject can be due to the fact that this profession is not considered as requiring a certain education and skill. Therefore, individuals with irrelevant education also start to teach it. In many countries, physical education teachers are scorned by others and they do not enjoy a considerable respect in the public. In many cases, social status and rights and advantages of physical education teachers in comparison with teachers of other subjects are not the same [2]. It can be stated that the status of physical education in schools depends upon the expertise of the physical education teacher in his/her job [3]. On the other hand, the occupational credibility of physical education teachers can be considered in connection with the low status of the physical education discipline. Waddington [4] stated in his study that physical education teachers are well aware of their relatively low occupational status, and they know that it is assumed lower than other academic disciplines.

According to the European Sports Charter [5], physical education specialists must act in a way that they become a positive example and model for children and adolescents. It is expected that physical education teachers have behaviors consisting of bodily activity, lack of addiction, and healthy recreations [6]. Also, physical education teachers in schools are in a good position to promote healthy and active lifestyles [7]. Teachers are not only responsible for publicizing and teaching of sport skills to children and students, but they should also direct them to a route, where they like sport activities, and persuade them to continue this activity over their lifetime. Although the social status of physical education teachers has been investigated in a number of studies and a great many of topics and papers have been published regarding the role and status of physical education teachers in educating students, domestic researches dealing with the subject of physical education teachers’ occupational prestige are extremely rare, and no sufficient resources exist in this regard.

Occupational prestige is a multidimensional concept and it is related with such topics as prestige, credibility, respect, independence, qualification, and expertise [8]. The occupational prestige of physical education teachers is affected by different factors. According to Christodoulou [9], factors such as interest in job, sport record, and economical factors play roles in physical education teachers’ achieving desired social status. In the present study, occupational prestige is defined as a feeling of confinement in the socio-economic condition in the job or the occupational position, and it is attempted to explain and consider occupational prestige and the factors affecting it (interest in job, social prestige, economic factors, and sport record) in the P.E. (physical education) teachers of the Hamadan Province.

2. Statistical Population and Research Tools

The statistical population in the present study consists of all P.E. teachers of the Hamadan County, who were about 800 as of 2014. For sampling, a multistage cluster method was used, and the counties of Hamadan, Malayer, Nahavand, Touyserkan, and Samen were randomly selected. The statistical sample was estimated to be equal to 367 using Morgan table. After sending questionnaires and tracing results, 254 questionnaires were returned from which, 19 were removed due to deficiency or other problems from the research process, and finally, 235 questionnaires were analyzed. The toolused in the study was a realized questionnaire the initial framework of which was formed by the Christodoulou questionnaire [9]. After translation to Persian, some items were removed due to cultural incompatibilities. To measure the occupational prestige P.E. teachers, the final questionnaire considered the four criteria of interest in job, social prestige, sport record, and economic factor. After the verification of superficial validity and content by professors, the reliability of the questionnaire’s final version was verified by doing a pilot study comprising 11 university professors, with a Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of 0.87. To analyze data using the SPSS software, after determining data normality using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, descriptive statistics indexes (mean, standard deviation, and standard error) and inferential statistics (independent-t test and one-way ANOVA) were reported for each of the hypotheses.

3. Findings

The size of the sample under consideration was 235. After running the questionnaire, first, descriptive statistics indexes such as frequency, minimum, maximum, mean, standard deviation, mean standard error, and distance estimation relating to the variables under study were reported. To study normality of data distribution, the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test in a significance level of 0.05 was used, and the significance level of the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test for the criteria of career interest, social prestige, sport record, and economic factor was calculated as 0.6, 0.051, 0.061, and 0.099 respectively, and since obtained figures in all variables of the study were higher than 0.05, scores distribution was assumed as normal and natural.

95 participants (40 percent) were men and 128 participants (55 percent) were women and 12 participants (5 percent) did not respond the relevant items. 77 percent of the participants were married and 22 percent were singles, with 1 % (3 people) not answering the relevant question. As regards education degrees, 10 % of the respondents had associate’s degree, 63 percent had graduate degree, and 27 percent had a postgraduate degree. 3 % of respondents had graduated before 1991, 19 percent between 2001 and 2011, and 27 percent did not answer the relevant question. Regarding city of residence, 36 percent of respondents were Nahavand residents, 37 percent Hamadan residents, 14 percent were Touyserkan residents, and 7 percent were living in Samen.

As shown in tables 1 and 2, a significant rift was obtained between the mean of career interest and economic factor of P.E. teachers in the sample under study and the mean of the society. This hypothesis did not become significant for the criteria of social prestige and sport record.

Table 1. descriptive statistics indexes and variable distance estimation.

Criteria Frequency Mean Standard deviation Mean standard deviation error
Career interest 235 3.44 0.50 0.03
Social prestige 235 3.02 0.63 0.04
Sport record 235 3.00 0.64 0.04
Economic factor 235 2.80 0.42 0.03
Total score 235 3.10 0.41 0.03

According to the results of table 2, as the calculated absolute value (t) of the criteria of career interest, economic factor, and total score are greater the critical value t with the degree of freedom of 234with the degree of freedom of 234 and significance level of P<0.01, it could be concluded with a 99% certainty that there is a significant relationship between the criteria of career interest and economic factor of P.E. teachers in the sample under consideration and the mean of the society.

Table 2. referential statistics indexes used to calculate one-sample t-test.

Hypothesis Mean Mean differences Standard error of differences df t test Significance level Result
Career interest 3.44 44 0.03 234 13.49 P<0.01 Null hypothesis refuted
Social prestige 3.02 02 0.04 234 0.50 P>0.05 Null hypothesis confirmed
Sport record 3.00 00 0.04 234 0.02 P>0.05 Null hypothesis confirmed
Economic factor 2.80 -20 0.03 234 -7.23 P<0.01 Null hypothesis refuted
Total score 3.10 10 0.03 234 3.87 P<0.01 Null hypothesis refuted

As shown in tables 3 and 4, a significant difference was observed between the mean credibility the jobs under observation (physician, teacher, cab driver, sandwich maker, barber, P.E. teacher, and government employee) in the study sample and the society’s mean.

Table 3. descriptive statistics indexes and variable distance estimation of jobs’ credibility.

Jobs Frequency Mean Standard deviation Mean standard deviation error
Physician 232 93.36 12.20 0.80
Clerk 228 72.63 18.52 1.25
Cab driver 226 37.52 18.74 1.25
Salesman 223 46.28 18.94 1.27
Sandwich maker 231 37.66 18.90 1.24
Barber 228 39.61 20.78 1.38
P.E. teacher 231 63.25 21.07 1.39
Non-P.E. teachers 229 68.86 17.23 1.14

Diagram 1. jobs’ credibility versus P.E. teacher.

Table 4. Inferential statistics indexes used to calculate one-sample t-test.

Hypothesis Mean Difference of means Standard error of deviations df t test Significance level Result
Physician 93.36 43.4 0.80 231 54.1 P<0.01 Null hypothesis refuted
Clerk 72.63 22.6 1.23 227 18.5 P<0.01 Null hypothesis refuted
Cab driver 37.52 -12.5 1.25 225 -10.0 P<0.01 Null hypothesis refuted
Salesman 46.28 -3.7 1.27 222 -2.9 P<0.01 Null hypothesis refuted
Sandwich maker 37.66 -12.3 1.24 230 -9.9 P<0.01 Null hypothesis refuted
Barber 39.61 -10.4 1.38 227 -7.6 P<0.01 Null hypothesis refuted
P.E. teacher 63.25 13.2 1.39 230 9.6 P<0.01 Nullhypothesis refuted
Non-P.E. teachers 68.86 18.9 1.14 228 16.6 P<0.01 Null hypothesis refuted

According to the results of table 4, since the calculated absolute value (t) of the credibility for all jobs is greater than the t critical value with the respective degree of freedom and the significance level of P<0.01, the null hypothesis is refuted and the research hypothesis is confirmed.

4. Discussion and Conclusion

According to the studies, each profession possesses six main specification that include: 1) mental activity, 2) practicality,3) using novel researches and comments, 4) Self-improvement and self-organization, 5) communication capacity, and 6) philanthropy. It seems that P.E. includes all these items. Regarding the first item i.e. mental activity it should be stated that having bodily awareness is necessary for teaching kinetic skills. Regarding the third item, the studies being performed in the field of physical activity and sport are very quickly progressing and increasing. The fourth item refers to the self-organization of professional custodians. As regards the fifth item, the communication capacity of P.E. has been well proved in most societies. In terms of philanthropy, the role of P.E. specialists is well observable [10]. Recognition of P.E. teachers’ position and occupational prestige is of great importance, and it provides us with a landscape and vision regarding the importance of education and health [11]. Therefore, in this study an investigation of occupational prestige of P.E. teachers’ job in the Hamadan Province was conducted. In the present study, based on yielded results, a significant difference existed between teachers’ occupational prestige in the criteria of career interest, economic factor, total score, and the society’s mean. In other words, teachers’ interest was higher than the mean extent, and the economic factor and receiving high benefits had not resulted in choosing the teaching job. As regards the criteria of sport record and social prestige, no significant rift was observed between the mean of the sample under consideration and that of the society. The results of the present study revealed that most P.E. teachers cared enough about their own lifestyles.

A feeling of pride regarding job results from different factors. According to results of the work of Crossman and Harris [12], the factors affecting acquisition of this feeling are divided into three main categories of environmental (job itself or the job’s environment), psychological (personality and perspective), and demographic (age, gender). Teachers traditionally enjoy high respect in most societies [10]. However, P.E. teachers’ status is relatively different. Nonetheless, the highest and lowest career credit in views of respondents belonged to physicians and cab drivers, respectively. The point to note is that according to P.E. teachers, non-P.E. teachers’ career credibility was higher than that of P.E. teachers. Also, according to the study results and respondents’ views, jobs such as salesman, barber, sandwich maker, and cab driver had a credibility less than P.E. teachers, and people working as physicians, clerks, and non-P.E. teachers had greater credibility compared with P.E. teachers. The unexpected result was that although P.E. teachers are considered in the same category as that of other clerks and teachers (paid by the government), estimation and expectations from their jobs are less than those of the people mentioned above, and even clerks had a credibility higher than P.E. teachers. It is noteworthy that regardless of other professions considered in the study, P.E. teachers, by themselves, evaluated their career credibility high (over 68 percent). In general, results showed that P.E. teachers believe they deserve a higher social status. They believed that P.E. teachers’ career credibility is considered less than that of many other occupations, and their career credibility in the society is not assumed identical and equal to that belonging to the teachers of other subjects.


  1. Christodoulou, D (2010) Health Awareness and Sporting Behaviors of Qualified Cypriot Physical Education Teachers. Biomedical Human Kinetics, 2, 54 – 57.
  2. Stroot, S. and Bomna, K. (2006) Induction of Beginning Physical Educators into the School Setting. Handbook of Physical Education. SAGE publications.
  3. Zahner, L., Stüssi, C., Schmid, J. & Dössegger (2005) Comparative Physical Education – Why, What and How? In Uwe P. and Markus G. (eds.) International Comparison of Physical Education. Concepts Problems Prospects. Oxford UK: Meyer and Meyer Sport. 630-656.
  4. Waddington, I. (2000) Sport and Health: A Sociological Perspective. Handbook of Sport Studies. SAGE publications.
  5. European Sports Charter & Code of Sports Ethics (2001) Council of Europe. Revised versions.
  6. Kristonne, B. M., S. Gabor, B. Klara and S. Janos (2007) Physical Education, as a Subject and the PE Teacher According to the Opinion of Faculty Board. Budapest, MSTT. 292-300.
  7. McKenzie, L. T. (2007) The Preparation of Physical Educators: A Public Health Perspective. Quest (00336297), 59(4), 345-357.
  8. Hoyle, E. (2001) Teaching: Prestige, Status and Esteem. Educational Management and Administration, 29(2), 139-152.
  9. Christodoulou, D (2011). Social status of qualified physical education teachers in cyprus, PhD Thesis. Semmelweis University, Doctoral School for Sport Science Program for Sport, Pedagogical and Social Sciences.
  10. Freeman, H. W. (1987). Physical Education and Sport in a Changing Society (third edition). Macmillan Publishing Company, New York.
  11. Fwu, B. and Wang, H. (2002) The Social Status of Teachers in Taiwan. Comparative Education, 38(2), 211-224.
  12. Crossman, A. and Harris, P. (2006) Job Satisfaction of Secondary School Teachers. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 34(1), 29–46.

Article Tools
Follow on us
Science Publishing Group
NEW YORK, NY 10018
Tel: (001)347-688-8931