Understanding Emotion in Physical Education Teaching: A Conceptual Framework for Research and Practice

Kelly L. Simonton, K. Andrew R. Richards, Nicholas Washburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While more developed in the general education literature, research on teacher emotions represents an understudied area in physical education (PE) literature. Understanding the idiosyncrasies of PE teacher emotions represents an important direction for future research as teacher emotions have been linked to teaching effectiveness, job satisfaction, and personal wellbeing. Also, teacher emotions influence teacher-student relationships, which impact student motivation and learning. Accordingly, the purpose of this paper is to express the role of emotions in teachers’ lives, discuss the antecedents and consequences of teacher emotions, and propose a conceptual framework for understanding PE teacher emotions that account for the dynamic, evolving, and complex contexts in which teachers work. Specifically, appraisal theory is used to identify and understand teachers’ emotions and ecological dynamic systems theory is used to position these emotions within teachers’ classrooms and their sociopolitical and cultural experiences. Current research is reviewed and recommendations for research and practice proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-322
Number of pages17
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021


  • Appraisal theory
  • ecological dynamic systems theory
  • emotional intelligence
  • emotional labor
  • teacher motivation
  • teacher perceptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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