Graduation Year

2004

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Measurement and Evaluation

Major Professor

Ferron, John

Co-Major Professor

Carey, Lou

Keywords

teacher attitudes, job satisfaction, SASS, HLM, NCES

Abstract

The 1999-2000 restricted-use School and Staffing Survey (SASS) dataset was used to construct hierarchical linear models to determine to what degree administrative support, resources, collegiality, parental support, school atmosphere, credentialing requirements, professional development, classroom and school autonomy, and compensation can predict teacher satisfaction in public, private, and charter schools after controlling for teacher background and school characteristics. Variables were selected in part because it is possible for them to be manipulated by policy. The study also reports on efforts to refine and validate subscales of items chosen based on theory and literature from the SASS to represent teacher satisfaction and predictors of satisfaction. SASS collected a nationally representative complex random sample of public, private, and charter schools with teachers randomly selected from schools.

The conceptual framework of this study identifies level of opportunity and amount of power to access and use resources as the most significant aspects of a position as related workplace conditions. Though teaching is often characterized by isolation from adults, results of this study show that relationships with others are important. Key relationships focus on principals of schools for administrative support and leadership, teachers and school staff for cooperative environment and collegiality, parents for parental support, and students in terms of respect and behavior. Teachers also report higher levels of satisfaction when they have adequate resources like time and materials, when they have autonomy in their own classrooms, and when they are satisfied with their class sizes and salary. Principals of schools appear to be in the best position to directly influence teacher job satisfaction, but they need support from their community and school districts.

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