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Students’ Learning Interests towards the Physical Features of Hospitality Tourism Management Educators

Nimrod M. Carpio

Ma. Dianne Bacamante

Roel Renz Del Callar

· Volume I Issue IV

Educators are one of the influencers of any person who had the opportunity to pursue education. A person learns a lot from teachers in his whole life, which is why it is very vital for a teacher to be an example and teach good things inside or outside the classroom. This study was intended to explore the impact of physical features of educators on students’ learning interests. But the difference of this study is that the researchers focused on the hospitality and tourism educators as subjects who are expected to be the most presentable, neat, and well groomed because of the demand of its field and discipline. Students, as the respondents, assessed their learning interests based on the physical features of their respective teachers. Respondents’ age, sex, course, and year level were determined. While the core of this study is the level of impact of physical features of educators on students’ learning interests in terms of physical appearance; facial impressions; eye contact; and body movement. These objectives were answered using a survey questionnaire which was answered by hospitality and tourism students from different colleges and universities. Findings of this study help the researchers to recommend to their fellow hospitality and tourism educators how to improve or maintain their physical features towards students’ learning interests. This study will benefit both the educators and students to be sensitive and be aware that in their chosen field, physical features create tangible impacts on a human in the real world.

Keywords: Educators; Physical Features; Hospitality; Tourism


The first record of human communication started since the Bible time for the Christians and cavemen from the theory of human evolution. Whatever basis, people have the urge and need for sharing information and ideas, feelings, thoughts, and everything related to their lives. When meeting someone for the first time, there are several factors that may give impact on the person’s initial impression with someone. According to Shah, (2012), aspects such as race, gender, body movements, and facial expression may all impact this initial perception. It is a fact that one of the first things that a person notice when meeting someone for the first time how physically attractive they are. If they are beautiful, this is a subjectively positive affective experience (Singh, 1974). The first stages of reinforcing the value of beauty may affect the impact one‘s decision if they will continue paying attention to them or not (Lorenzo, Biesanz, & Human, 2010).

The study aimed to investigate the impact of physical features of hospitality and tourism educators on students’ learning. The in-depth study focused on the different physical features of educators in the hospitality and tourism academic community and to determine its importance on student’s learning. Further, the findings of the study were the basis for recommendations to achieve effective and efficient educators’ features towards student’s learning. Specifically, the demographic profile of the respondents in terms of age, sex, course, and year level were gathered. While the level of impact of physical features of educators on students’ learning interests in terms of physical appearance, facial expressions, eye contact, and body movement was tested. Based on the results of the study, recommendations were listed for the hospitality and tourism educators to improve or maintain their physical features towards students’ learning interests.


Learning Climate

From basic education up to college level, an educator has the most influence on any learner. A learner acquires a lot from teachers, so it is naturally significant for teachers to be a good model because, in some way, they contribute in the future of the society.

According to Fraker (2018), educators should have several characteristics to build a good learning climate where students are vigorous contributors as individuals while forming a collaborative group. He or she should also stimulate students and encourages their desire to study in a healthy learning environment. On the other hand, educators should also form a climate where students’ work is valued and appreciated.

Physical Appearance and Learning Interest
Given the role of physical appearance in person perception, it is important to explore how it influences the student’s learning interest. According to Shah (2012), educators’ physical appearance makes a good impact on students. In personal experience, the author ensured that she always attend mathematics classes, even the subject is known as one of the most difficult subjects because the teacher was very good looking and comes to the class well dressed. Majority of the students scored well, and the attendance was always above 90%. In her essay, Shah also added that she remembered her history teacher who usually comes very untidy in the classroom, no student wanted to join his class and most of the students scored badly in his subject. In this sense, the author experienced comparing two different types of educators’ physical appearance.

Educators’ Attractiveness and Learning Interest
The study of Chaikin (1978) stated that the consistent attractiveness of educators formed stereotyping that attractive teachers are considered competent and better at motivating students’ learning interest. Research has also suggested that attractive college instructors score higher on student evaluations (Riniolo, Johnson, Sherman & Misso, 2006). Myers (2005) also stated in the study that good looks are a great asset. These cases were confirmed in the study of Shah (2012) wherein the author stated that attractive teachers have three rewards. Attractive educators gained respect from the students easily, the attractiveness increases the attendance of the class, and lastly being attractive helps control the class management.

Facial expressions, Eye Contact, Body Movement and Learning Interest
Educators’ body movement and other non-verbal communication, influence their managerial efficiency in the classroom. It also comprises personality, organization, and intelligence (Nkomo and Fakrogha, 2016). According to Galloway (1968), nonverbal communication is very important in the students’ learning interests and both teachers and students should be aware of the outcome it has on communication. Students normally observe the facial expressions, eye contact, and even the body movement of the educators to obtain and confirm further information.

From the same study, the author stated that students produce images of their teacher in their minds from the moment they heard the sound of footsteps of teacher approaching the classroom. The authors added that teachers should have a disciplined walk, has a good gesture on entering the classroom. These non-verbal communications added to the learning interests of the students.


The study scrutinized the impacts of physical features of hospitality and tourism educators on students’ learning interests. The study utilized the quantitative method and descriptive research design. A structured questionnaire, both printed and online survey, were used to gather data from selected higher educational institutions in Metro Manila and Cavite in the Philippines offering hospitality and tourism programs. Random sampling was used to ensure the fitness of the samples. This study focused on 675 students from first to fourth-year level; from 15 years old and above. The respondents were both male and female taking up hospitality or tourism management program. Although the sample is scattered and not well represented per year level due to the transition of the Philippine education system during the data gathering.

The questionnaire was divided into five parts, of which part one to gather the profile of the respondents. Part two was to know the claims of the respondents regarding the physical features and attractiveness of the hospitality and tourism educators while claims about facial expressions of the educators were presented in part three. Claims about eye contact and body movement were presented in part four and five respectively. All the data collected from the respondents was feuded and tabulated and the analysis was done using the software SPSS.


For the purposes of this study, the researchers identified the impact of the physical features of hospitality and tourism educators on students’ learning interests.

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Table 5 summarizes the different claims of the respondents regarding the four dimensions of the educators’ physical features. Respondents agree that physical appearance has an impact with their learning interests with a weighted mean of 3.60. It is very evident that respondents agree that female educators should not use a great amount of make-up during class and should formally dressed in class. On the other hand, it is noticeable that according to the respondents, it is not acceptable when female teachers wear short skirts in class.

Secondly, the respondents agree that body movements of the educators have also an impact on student’s learning interests with a weighted mean of 3.24. They agree that the body movements of the teacher during the teaching process help them in understanding the lesson while on the other hand, they lose interest and feel unmotivated when the professor sits in the chair during the teaching process.

Facial expression has an impact on the students’ learning interests with a score of 3.21. Respondents are being motivated to have interests with their studies when educators smile during the teaching process. Respondents also marked high the motivation they gain when a teacher appreciates their involvement in the class through his/her facial expressions in the classroom. While anger on the teacher’s face doesn’t motivate the respondents to take interest in the studies.

Lastly, the eye contact of the educators was weighted by the respondents with 3.10. It is clear that educator’s eye contact makes them attentive in class and makes the classroom environment alive to the lesson taught.

With an overall weighted mean of 3.27, respondents agree that physical features of hospitality and tourism educators have an impact on their learning interests. According to Hanushek and Rivkin (2010), teachers’ features and their background characteristics contribute to students’ performance and interests during the teaching process. Educators are expected not only to raise the quality of the education but to deliver interesting, emotionally, and supportive learning environments (Cohen, 2011).


This research verified that physical features of hospitality and tourism educators have a different impact on the students’ learning interests. Conversely, physical appearance has a great impact on students as well as educators’ body movement during the teaching process are mostly agreed on by the respondents. That is why in order to increase more the learning interest of the students, educators should take great care of dressing sense as a professional.

It will be a continuous challenge for the educators in this industry to ensure that they dress professionally and appear decently before their student. Prepare and have a good grip on the course they handle before appearing in front of the student to let them be confident with their appearance and facial expression. As educators, they need to build a learning environment with an interactive discussion using appropriate eye contact and body movement.