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Analysis of male and female physical education teachers’ perceptions of students’ participation in physical education classes in Sfax governorate, Tunisia

Mouna Khecharem Damak, Hamada Chaari, Mourad Bahloul


Background: The actors of physical education seek to make recognizable the aims of their teaching and to show their utility to solve the objectives of the school. But the social image of physical education does not seem to be in line with its institutional aims. While several studies have shown a rather positive vision of a physical education seen as motivating, or even important, but nothing proves so far that its social image is no longer lacking. Thus, we evoke the question of social representations for female and male teachers and their influence on the involvement of students in physical education courses. In this paper, we will try to identify, on the one hand, the semantic universe of social representations of teachers and then identify the socio-cognitive and pedagogical processes which are at their origin; and on the other hand tackle the problematic of the effects of social representations of students’ participation in physical education sessions as seen by Tunisian teachers.

Materials and methods: Actually, this study is part of a central question: “What does talking about social representations mean?” As part of a convenience sampling, 150 male and female physical education teachers voluntarily participated in this study. All the teachers work in secondary schools in the region of Sfax. The questionnaire of Van Hoye & Cloes (2013) was administered to teachers.

Results: The results of the study showed that there is a significant difference between male and female teachers with respect to the factors that play a key role in students’ engagement in physical education courses.

Conclusion: Female teachers linked low engagement to teacher characteristics and course content, while male teachers associated it with teacher relationships and students’ motivation.

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