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Journal of Educational Administration 36,4 362

Received May 1997 Revised August 1997 Accepted August 1997

A three domain model of teacher and school executive career satisfaction
Steve Dinham
Faculty of Education, University of Western Sydney Nepean, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia, and

Catherine Scott
Faculty of Education, Nottingham-Trent University, Nottingham, UK
Introduction This paper reports on the central findings of the Teacher 2000 project, a survey of teachers which, in part, sought to test the “two factor” theory of teacher career satisfaction. A model of teacher and executive satisfaction derived from the study and other results provide support, however, for the presence of a three domain model of teacher and executive satisfaction. Career satisfaction and motivation Career satisfaction and motivation are two concepts which are often, understandably, somewhat confused. Generally, motivation is taken to mean a stimulus for behaviour and action in the light of a particular context, while satisfaction – and indeed dissatisfaction – is usually taken to mean a product of behaviour and action in the light of a particular context or environment (Nadler and Lawler, 1991, pp. 99-110). However, both phenomena are inextricably linked through the influence each has on the other. Herzberg, for example, while identifying lower order needs (“hygiene factors”) and higher order needs (“motivators”), was also concerned with satisfactions and dissatisfactions flowing from these and the need to strengthen motivators in order to engender long term career satisfaction (Herzberg et al., 1959). A detailed examination of the literature on career motivation, including the debate over extrinsic versus intrinsic motivation (see Owens, 1995, pp. 23-64), is outside the scope of this paper, although where relevant, the work of researchers and writers ostensibly labelled as “motivation” theorists, will be brought into the discussion. Theories of teacher career satisfaction: “two factor” approaches The interrelatedness of motivation and job satisfaction has been noted. A feature of the conceptualisation of career satisfaction in the literature is the role that need fulfilment plays in satisfaction, something which connects with the well known motivation work of Maslow (1970) and Alderfer (1972). According

Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 36 No. 4, 1998, pp. 362-378, © MCB University Press, 0957-8234

while extrinsic factors such as poor interpersonal relations and administrative responsibilities were found to be uniformly dissatisfying. In many cases. what has been advocated and even mandated at one time has been reversed later. a natural part of life and there is no reason why educational employees. outcomes which are not always perceived as positive for students and teachers[1]. and school selfmanagement versus centralised administrative control of educational systems. Owens (1995. school executive A further feature of the literature on career satisfaction is the view that satisfaction satisfaction is a dynamic construct which equates to how an individual feels about his or her job. The presence or absence of certain factors or “facets” will influence the global satisfaction one experiences. . it has been widely accepted and applied to the study and management of organisations. Background to the study under discussion One theme above all has resonated through education internationally since the 1960s and that is change. and tends to group those factors influencing job satisfaction into two broad domains: intrinsic matters “built” into the nature of the work itself. responses from subgroups tended not to differ. two examples being school based curriculum development versus central prescription and control over curricula. p. A replication of Herzberg’s work with 71 teachers by Sergiovanni (1967) and an interview study with 57 resigned teachers by Dinham (1992) are two examples of research confirming this “two factor” theory of teacher career satisfaction. with intrinsic aspects of teaching such as student achievement and teacher self-growth found to be uniformly satisfying. Another way of expressing this view is that it rejects the notion that factors giving rise to teacher satisfaction and teacher dissatisfaction are arranged along the same continuum. 57) notes some of the concerns about Herzberg’s work. and matters more extrinsic to the central purpose of the worker and job. such as achievement. but do not result in an increase in job satisfaction when they are absent. job satisfaction is an indicator of the degree of need fulfilment Teacher and experienced by an individual. However. Herzberg’s “two factor theory” and work derived from it formed an important basis of the study outlined in this paper. such as poor working conditions. which tend to result in dissatisfaction through their presence. While there have been criticisms of Herzberg’s “two factor theory” of job satisfaction-dissatisfaction. before concluding that “Herzberg’s research – after exhaustive review in the literature over a period of two decades – must be accepted as representing the state of the art”. In both studies cited above. Change is. institutions or systems should be immune to or protected from change. what is perhaps problematic about change in education is the often conflicting motives and pressures for change and the various outcomes of attempts to facilitate change. This view derives from 363 Herzberg’s work. which tend to promote satisfaction.to this view. whereby the factors giving rise to satisfaction and dissatisfaction are largely mutually exclusive. of course.

Frequently. the sources and strength of their satisfiers were basically unchanged. teacher burnout. while it was the increase in the strength of their dissatisfiers that had “tipped the balance” and precipitated the “resignation decision”. and type of school. dissatisfiers were phenomena perceived as detracting from or militating against the “core business” of teaching students. or at least more pressure being placed on teachers to change both themselves and their practices. teacher satisfaction and teacher motivation. often vaguely defined and overlapping literature on such matters as teacher stress. being treated impersonally by employers. where devolution of responsibility to schools has occurred. in election campaigns. many would argue that in fact this has proven to be a new form of centralisation. these matters are also the subject of debate and discussion in the public arena. . and positive relationships. 5) has noted the “twin realities of change” as being “ideological compliance” and “financial self-reliance”. the media. these changes have in many cases been promulgated in order to facilitate both “economic regeneration” and the “rebuilding of national cultures and identities” (Hargreaves. position held. 1994. p. poor supervision. such attempts occurring within a context of greater criticism of education and tighter economic constraints. on the other hand. there is encountered a vast. teaching experience. There has also been ongoing tension between schools and teachers giving attention to the “basics”. 1995a) revealed that the factors contributing to teacher satisfaction were largely discrete from those contributing to teacher dissatisfaction. teacher achievement.4 364 Additionally. in many cases. Rather than achieving “educational ends”. and that when teachers made the decision to resign. Satisfiers were largely universal across sex. When considering the effects of teaching on teachers. In short. is undoubtedly greater workloads to meet the demands of change and. Hargreaves (1994. in some cases.Journal of Educational Administration 36. The present study: the Teacher 2000 project As noted above. p. “Dissatisfiers”. such as pupil achievement. mastery and self-growth. and increased expectations and responsibilities in the area of the “social” aspects of schooling. 1992. the declining status of teachers in society. “satisfiers” were phenomena and rewards “intrinsic” to teaching. were phenomena more “extrinsic” to the teaching of students and included impacts of changes to educational policies and procedures. greater expectations on schools to deal with and solve social problems. location. 5). teacher morale. and in teachers’ salary disputes. Changing education must inevitably mean changing teachers. new responsibilities for schools and increased administrative workloads. Overwhelmingly. a literature which has expanded commensurate with educational innovation and change in the period since the 1960s. a previous interview study involving resigned teachers (Dinham. A third reality. recognition from others. changing pupil attitudes and behaviours in a positive way. resultant “change fatigue”.

resigned teachers maintained that they still found the core business of teaching to be highly satisfying at the time they resigned. Following analysis of pilot study data (n = 305) only minor editorial changes to the wording of the survey were made. Sergiovanni (1967). In short. which are more dynamic both in form and strength and which were found to respond to changes occurring within education systems and society generally. better inform decision making and policy formation in the areas of teacher satisfaction. while open-ended responses were analysed using NUDIST (QSR. The final instrument contained seven sections: (1) Demographic items. Method Instrument A machine readable self-report instrument was developed consisting of mostly pre-coded items with some open-ended questions. and the work of Schmidt (1976). (3) Satisfaction/dissatisfaction with teaching – participants used a seven point scale to rate their satisfaction with 75 aspects of teaching/teachers’ work. with resultant dissatisfaction. Data from completed surveys were computer scanned and analysed using SPSS.It was found that the relative strength of respondents’ dissatisfiers had Teacher and increased over time due to social and educational change. in turn. such a “two factor” model of teacher satisfaction is broadly consistent with earlier findings of Herzberg et al. (2) Orientation to teaching – participants were asked to rate as true or false seven reasons for their entering teaching and two items about their preparedness to teach. imposed changes impacting on schools satisfaction had to be implemented with little room for discretion on the part of principals and teachers and with little practical help from above. Kaufman (1984) and others. As noted previously. 1993). The Teacher 2000 project The Teacher 2000 project arose because of a desire to test and extend the model and key findings of the resignation and persistence research and other follow up research involving the partners of teachers (Dinham. 1994) . and the impact of change on dissatisfiers. motivation and health[2]. It was intended to also use responses on the 75 items to explore the . 1995b). (1959). in that in many cases. and that “control” school executive was a key issue. The intention was to survey a relatively large number of teachers and school executive and to. There was a direct causal link between increased dissatisfaction 365 and increased stress (Dinham. although what is perhaps novel in the resignation study findings is the relative “quarantining” or insulation of teacher satisfiers and satisfaction strength from the effects of change. Holdaway (1978). Items were derived from interviews with teachers conducted as a part of Dinham’s doctoral research (1992) and follow up research (1995b).

(7) Finally. stress avoidance. ensuring in the selection process a representative sample of schools. a pilot during which the instrument was tested and a second main data collection step. however. (5) The 40-item commitments scale – was used as a measure of motivation/ commitment. the region is usually portrayed as being “disadvantaged” in comparison with the rest of Sydney and a “difficult” area in which to teach. and altruism. . from areas of high and persistent adult and youth unemployment and poverty. to pockets of affluence. Economically. the region covers a wide spectrum. sensation seeking. to develop scales from the items which would allow for more parsimonious measures of satisfaction/dissatisfaction. Western Sydney was chosen both because of convenience of access and because of its heterogeneity. which in total. power and achievement.Journal of Educational Administration 36. Data were collected in three steps. (4) Time devoted to teaching tasks – respondents were asked to indicate via subdivisions on a pie chart the proportion of their “professional life” devoted to activities such as preparation for teaching. Participants Sampling The Metropolitan West Region was one of the largest of the ten public school regions in the New South Wales Department of School Education (DSE). and from schools with large proportions of students with languages other than English to schools with negligible numbers of students with this background.4 366 underlying structure of satisfaction/dissatisfaction and. or “stress”. and so on. Participants also used seven point scales to rate their current level of satisfaction with teaching and the change in their level of satisfaction since they began teaching. ranging from small rural primary schools to large urban high schools. face to face teaching. personal growth. 1996a). based on these analyses. In the media. (6) The 12 item form of the general health questionnaire (GHQ) – the GHQ is a widely used and reliable instrument for the assessment of nonpsychotic mental distress. Novacek and Lazarus’ instrument (1990) yields scale scores for six components of commitment – affiliation. meetings. employs approximately 50. The invitation for participation in the project was made to over one-third of all government schools in the Metropolitan West Region.000 teachers[3]. both of which comprised the first phase of the project (Dinham and Scott. an open-ended question gave respondents the opportunity to make any other comments about teaching.

“time wasting”. schools for the hearing impaired. satisfaction Overall. and indeed similar to the remainder of the state and nation. blind. given the overall demographic profile of those surveyed. additional responses to the questionnaire Teacher and were obtained from schools in Western Sydney and more detailed analysis of school executive the total data took place (Dinham and Scott. 2. 212-40). with 892 surveys (38 per cent) returned and analysed. a phenomenon which can militate against effective communication and dissemination of information (Hargreaves. with complaints that participation in research projects is time consuming and in many cases. can be attributed to a number of factors. Overall.e. • At 14 pages. took part in the study. possibly reflecting both the larger size of high schools and their fragmentation or “balkanisation” into faculties and departments. while somewhat disappointing. although this is not thought be a threat to the validity of the sample.336 surveys were distributed at 71 schools. For comparative purposes. pp. the survey was a lengthy one. in 1989 the Australian teaching force was 61 per cent female and 39 per cent male (Logan et al. The response rate of 38 per cent. 65 per cent were women and 35 per cent men. etc. 1994. 1996b). 19 of 54 secondary schools. 1). It also varied greatly from school to school.). 367 Response rate In total. which was very close to that of the region as a whole. . and so principals nominated a higher number of surveys to be provided. Sample description Of the 892 respondents.In the second phase of the project. as will be seen below: • It is apparent from talking with teachers and principals that many schools have become “flooded” with requests for research. response rates in high schools were lower than primary and SSP schools. 47 of the region’s 185 primary schools. p. and five of the region’s 16 schools for specific purposes (SSP) (i.. 1990. in that there is no feedback of findings to schools (a number of respondents wrote that the survey itself was another aspect of their “overwork”). • The response rates for individual schools and anecdotal evidence suggests that the process of distribution of surveys within some schools was ad hoc. although additional surveys (> 50) continued to arrive after the final computer scanning and are not included in these response figures or in the analysis. • The number of surveys issued to schools exceeded full time staffing levels as it was intended that casual (substitute) teachers be included. and this no doubt deterred some potential respondents.

The great majority of respondents (84 per cent. n = 743). by sex Notes: There were ten cases where sex was not shown NSW DSE schools have the following promotions positions: High Schools: principal. Sample description. 1995. Table III shows the highest qualification held by those surveyed. were born in Australia. al. 5). while lower than the NSW DSE overall. The Australian College of Education (ACE). Mean length of service as a teacher was 14. Once again. had earlier found that 83 per cent of Australian teachers were born in Australia (Logan et. pp.4 368 The mean age of respondents was 40.5.3) 5. al. approximately 52 per cent (n = 462) were secondary trained.3 (9. in a research study on the profile of the Australian teaching service. 1990. 19-20. advanced skills teacher.6) 32 68 55 Total Sample n = 892a 40. Of female respondents.5 (9.Journal of Educational Administration 36.4 (4. with a range of 20 to 66 (Table I). assistant principal.3 (10. 1990. only 9 per cent (n = 76) had a first language other than English.7 (9. Including the newly created position of advanced skills teacher[4]. Overall.3) 17. 1990. while 32 per cent of men were primary trained and 68 per cent high school trained (Table I). p. while the ACE study found 12 per cent of Australian teachers had this background (Logan et. NSW DSE. deputy principal/leading teacher..0) 5. executive teacher.5 years (range 0 to 31).3 years (women = 39. (faculty) head teacher. trained % promotedb a b Men n = 307 41. Table III shows present position held by respondents. deputy principal. 1994). Women n = 575 Age Length of service Time in school % primary trained % high sch. are close to the means for then Metropolitan West Region which has tended to be younger in profile than more favoured regions of the state such as the North Coast and South Coast. 5).7). These means.0 (4. advanced skills teacher (AST). p.0 (9.. For comparative purposes. 56 per cent were primary/elementary and 44 per cent high school trained.5 years (range 0 to 37). Logan et.7) 6. men = 41.5 (10. al. and 55 per cent of the men (48 per cent of the total sample). 44 per cent of the women were in promotions positions.3) 48 52 48 39. and mean length of time in current school was 5.. classroom teacher (non-promoted) .1) 56 44 44 Table I. Of the respondents to the Teacher 2000 study.5 (4. these findings are similar to those of the region and for Australia as a whole (Baumgart. classroom teacher (non-promoted) Primary Schools: principal.4) 13.1) 14.

1996b. see Dinham and Scott. including 7 per cent who rated themselves as highly dissatisfied. including 4 per cent who rated themselves as highly satisfied. while 42 per cent rated themselves as dissatisfied (1. 2 and 3 indicate some level of dissatisfaction.3 combined). 90-1). Respondents tended to be polarised. Present position held Results Satisfaction and dissatisfaction On the seven point scale to measure respondents’ reaction to the 75 satisfaction/dissatisfaction items.e. with only 8 per cent describing themselves as neutral. . Self-ratings for overall satisfaction with teaching On a seven point scale. while 7 indicates that an issue is highly satisfying (for respondents’ scores on the 75 satisfaction items. 5. 1 signifies that an issue is highly dissatisfying. 50 per cent of respondents rated themselves as satisfied. Using collapsed categories for satisfaction/dissatisfaction from the seven point scale (i. respondents were asked to give an overall rating for their current level of satisfaction with teaching (Table IV).6. Highest qualification held by respondents Position held Principal (primary/secondary) Deputy principal (primary/secondary)/leading teacher (secondary) Assistant principal (primary)/head teacher (secondary) Executive teacher (primary) Advanced skills teacher (primary/secondary) Classroom teacher (primary/secondary) Casual teacher (primary/secondary) Other (primary/secondary) Missing cases Number 48 26 110 40 170 345 81 62 10 Percentage 5 3 12 4 19 39 9 7 1 Table III.Qualification Two year Certificate or Diploma in Education Three year Diploma in Education Four year BEd or three year Degree + Diploma in Education Four year Degree + Diploma or four year qualification + Diploma in Education Master’s Degree Doctorate Missing Cases Number 46 166 366 227 86 0 1 Percentage 5 19 41 25 10 0 Teacher and school executive satisfaction 369 Table II. while 4 indicates that an issue is neither satisfying nor dissatisfying. Ratings of 5 and 6 indicate some satisfaction.7 combined).2. pp.

climate. (2) merit promotion and local hiring (“The way promotion on merit has occurred in schools”. Exploratory factor analysis of the 75 satisfaction items using an oblique rotation indicated that the final model of teacher satisfaction should contain between seven and 14 factors. respondents were asked to think about how their initial satisfaction/ dissatisfaction with teaching had changed. Satisfaction scale construction A data reduction was performed on the 75 satisfaction items with the aim of exploring the structure of satisfaction/dissatisfaction and of developing a series of scales to measure these. Confirmatory factor analyses using LISREL 8 indicated that an eight factor model gave the best fit (Root Mean Sq Error of Approximation = 0. Rating Highly satisfied Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied Highly dissatisfied Percentage 4 46 8 35 7 Table IV. including 17 per cent who rated themselves as now being more highly dissatisfied.047. (3) school infrastructure (“Your school’s material resources”.83). once again indicating how respondents were polarised on this issue (Table V). GFI = 0. while 59 per cent were now more dissatisfied.Journal of Educational Administration 36.86).86). 0. The eight factors were named (highest loading item with factor loadings included in brackets): (1) school leadership. including 5 per cent who said they were now more highly satisfied. AGFI = 0. In total. 29 per cent said they were now more satisfied. 0. Twelve per cent had experienced no change in their original level of satisfaction/dissatisfaction with teaching. decision making (item with the highest loading “Leadership in your school”. 0.88.66). Self-ratings for satisfaction Rating Now more highly satisfied Now more satisfied No change Now more dissatisfied Now more highly dissatisfied Percentage 5 24 12 42 17 Table V. Self-ratings for changed satisfaction .4 370 Self-ratings for overall change in satisfaction since beginning teaching Similarly.

local hiring Status. A mean of 4 is considered neutral.27 3. (8) professional self-growth (“The degree to which you have achieved your professional goals”. and holders of different promotions positions on several of the eight satisfaction scales. 0.18 Scale Self-growth Student achievement School reputation School leadership School infrastructure Workload.32 5. primary and high school teachers. while a Satisfaction scores total sample 5. 0. The relationship between scores on the satisfaction scales and sex.(4) school reputation (“Reputation of your school in the community”.69).36 4.68 3. 0. 371 0. a series of three way ANOVAs were performed to control for the effects of all three variables. Mean scores on the eight satisfaction scales .78). type of school and promotions position held Exploratory analyses revealed differences between men and women.03 4. change Merit promotion. Given the strong association between being male or female and both the type of school in which one teaches (high school or primary school) and promotions position held. Results revealed a significant difference between men and women on the scale merit promotion.07 3. Scores were calculated as item averages so that a mean of > 4-7 indicates some level of satisfaction. Teacher and school executive (5) status and image of teachers (“Your current salary”.73). and on the scale student achievement.77). 0. image of teachers Table VI. local hiring. Scales calculated from the items loading on the eight factors were found to have good reliability and correlated significantly with both self-ratings of global satisfaction with teaching and with change in satisfaction with teaching since commencement of employment. Results for the eight satisfaction scales Overall results for the eight satisfaction scales Table VI shows mean satisfaction scores for the total sample for each of the satisfaction scales in descending order of satisfaction. (7) workload and the impact of change (“Your current workload overall”.76). satisfaction (6) student achievement (“Your capacity to change students’ attitudes”.10 2. while scores of 1 – < 4 indicate some degree of dissatisfaction.

School leadership. HSDPs/LTs = 3. and type of school (high school/primary school). and primary executive teachers (3.71). Merit promotion.37) and class room teachers (PST = 3.50) were most dissatisfied (F7. Only the scores of school principals (mean = 4. on average. HSHTs = 2. decision-making scale. This means that in several cases. HST = 3.45. ASTs (3. an interaction was found between type of school and promotion position (F7. Significant relationships were also found between promotion position and scores on the eight satisfaction scales. The interaction was accounted for by differences between primary and high school ASTs and classroom teachers.26) were less dissatisfied than ASTs. HSASTs = 2. these relationships were complex and interactions were found between this variable and sex. p = 0.804 = 2.4 372 significant interaction was found between sex and type of school on the professional self-growth scale. while primary assistant principals/secondary head teachers (3.Journal of Educational Administration 36. scores ranged between somewhat dissatisfied and somewhat satisfied. However.021) and thus.803 = 6.804 = 2. p = 0. school principals (PSPs = 3. In all other cases high school staff were less dissatisfied than primary school personnel.32. it is not possible to predict the satisfaction level of a person holding a particular promotion position without also knowing in what type of school (primary/high school) the person teaches.0. School infrastructure On the school infrastructure scale. p = 0. and/or the person’s sex.021) on the merit promotion scale. Classroom teachers were more satisfied if they were primary school teachers.33) fell into the satisfied range.72) and deputies/LTs (PSDPs = 2.48).68).99.44).37. decision making On the leadership.000). climate. This was accounted for by a difference between primary assistant principals and secondary (faculty) head teachers which reversed the result found for all other promotion positions – primary APs were less dissatisfied than their high school counterparts (PSAPs = 2. However. thus.08. but less satisfied if they were high school teachers (PST = 4. HSASTs = 3.07. HSPs = 4. it is not possible to predict level of satisfaction of holders of various promotions positions unless type of school in which they teach is also known. climate. An interaction between sex and type of school means that statements about whether primary or high school teachers are more satisfied cannot be made unless it is also known whether the person is a man or a woman.39. Primary ASTs were found to be more satisfied than their high school equivalents (PSASTs = 4. .81). high school ASTs were less dissatisfied than their primary school equivalents (PSASTs = 2. HST = 3.75).36.88. local hiring An interaction was found between promotion position and type of school (F7.41) and deputies/leading teachers (4.

men = 2.22. HSASTs = 4. Type of school also significantly predicted satisfaction on this scale (F1. However. HSP = 4.06).73) were the most dissatisfied (F7. Workload. men = 2.50) were more satisfied than other groups. This result reversed the 373 trend on this scale for primary school personnel to be more satisfied than high school staff. p = 0.20). ASTs (4.56) and primary executive teachers (5. impact of change scale.000).87) were all more satisfied than ASTs.43.73). Sex was also a significant predictor of satisfaction on this scale (F1.23) teachers the least satisfied. with classroom (5.03).804 = 2. Casual teachers (mean = 3.55) were the least dissatisfied.26) were significantly more satisfied than were men (4.School reputation Teacher and There was a significant interaction between promotion position held and type school executive of school (F7. librarians and the like.29.76) and assistant principals/head teachers (2.19. p = 0. p = 0.82).23) and deputies/leading teachers (3. male class room teachers (2. HST = 3.66).08) were in the mid range. Primary assistant principals/secondary head teachers (5.26) were more satisfied than were high school staff (4. Thus.17.51.65. Women (mean = 5. compared to their primary school counterparts (PS = 4. However.801 = 7.33) and deputies/leading teachers (women = 2. ASTs. p = 0.000) on the student achievement scale.0) were less dissatisfied than males (1.804 = 5.85) were the least satisfied. primary ASTs were more satisfied than were high school ASTs (PSASTs = 4.51).41. and classroom teachers (PST = 4.804 = 45.25) were also among the less dissatisfied. while principals (5. while principals (3. This satisfaction interaction was accounted for by more satisfaction on the part of the group comprising high school counsellors. p = 0.804 = 10.81).20) and casual (5. Status and image of teachers A significant interaction was found between promotion position and sex on the status and image of teachers scale (F1.47) were most satisfied. HSDP/LT = 4. Professional self-growth A significant effect was found for promotion position held on the professional self-growth scale (F7.60. Student achievement A significant effect was found for promotion position (F7. ASTs (2.05. deputies/LTs (5.65.001).003) on the school reputation scale.803 = 3.67). impact of change A significant effect was found for promotion position held on the workload.93) and classroom teachers (4.000) as primary staff overall (5.19. with a .81).91. p = 0. and primary executive teachers (5. deputies/leading teachers (5.33) were less dissatisfied than were females (2. principals (PSP = 5. Female ASTs (21.74) as was also the case for female and male principals (women = 2.24. deputies/leading teachers (PSDP = 5.01).002). p = 0. HS = 4. Principals (5.803 = 3.64).

0005 0.0002). school Scale School leadership Merit promotion School infrastructure School reputation Teacher status Student achievement Workload. in several cases the direction of the relationship between satisfaction and time in the teaching service was the reverse of that found between satisfaction and time in current school.0000 0.0000) and self-growth (p = 0.19 0.82 3.4 374 mean of 5.05 0.24 –1. i.16 –0. Relationship between the eight satisfaction scales and time in the teaching service and in current school .14 4.021 0. and satisfaction on each of the eight scales.07 0.17 –0. Merit promotion (p = 0. scored nearer the second group than the executive position holders.0000). A significant interaction was found between sex and type of school (F1.03 0.22 –0. school reputation (p = 0.31 4.10 Time in school T Sig T –5. In comparison.77 –3.68 0.0000 0.0000).31 –0. scores on the other decrease.0002 0.0002 Beta –0.01 –0.0000).15 0. Table VII contains the Beta coefficients.002) with female primary staff overall (5. school infrastructure (p = 0.e. 5.0000 0.13 –0.07 0.003 0.98 –2.05).e..Journal of Educational Administration 36.804 = 8. Time in the teaching service was found to be significantly.0004). In each case.09 –0.0000 0.88 –4. while secondary male and female staff (5. A number of significant relationships were found between both years of service and time in current school and the eight scales. i.2 Time in teaching Beta T Sig T 0.74 0. The Beta coefficients give a measure of the relationship between the variables.006 Table VII. change Self-growth Note: R2 = 0. a series of multiple regressions were conducted. However. school infrastructure (p = 0.08 0.13 –0.28.16 3.71 –1.33 –3. T values and the significance of the T values. as scores on one variable increase. positively related to satisfaction on the following scales – school leadership (p = 0. student achievement (p = 0.94. Time in service.29) did not significantly differ. Negative coefficients signal a negative correlation between the variables. p = 0.17 –0.03).30. time in current school was negatively related to all eight satisfaction scales and significantly so in seven cases – school leadership (p = 0.75 0.0004 0.16 2.0000 0. years of service as a teacher and years in current school were entered as predictor variables.14 –0.0000). years in current school.45) being significantly more satisfied than their male equivalents (5.49 –2.11 –0. the larger the coefficient the stronger the relationship.0002). time in current school. and satisfaction To investigate the relationship between years of service as a teacher.69 –4. Time in the teaching service was significantly negatively related to one scale – merit promotion (p = 0.56 –2.

there was a third domain of factors revealed by the study.0005). R2 for the model was 0. As predicted. it was found that teachers and those holding promotions positions in schools are most satisfied by matters intrinsic to the role of teaching. self-growth. altruism and personal growth values.reputation (p = 0.006). the major sources of teacher and executive dissatisfaction were matters more extrinsic to the task of teaching children and working with other staff. school executive Commitments and general health questionnaire results Interactions between scores on the satisfaction scales and scores on the Commitments scale and the GHQ were also explored and are taken up in the full report on the study (Dinham and Scott. which revealed that teachers’ strongest commitments are to affiliation. the perceived low level of support provided by the system to implement changed policies. mastery of professional skills. supportive environment are powerful satisfiers. and the system. positive relationships with students and others. the lack of support services for teachers. Falling between the universally perceived intrinsic rewards of teaching such as self-growth and pupil achievement (most satisfying). change (p = Teacher and 0. Discussion Confirmation of “two-factor” theories?: A third domain identified When percentages of respondents who rated themselves satisfied/dissatisfied on the 75 satisfaction items were calculated. the major dissatisfiers were those seen to be external to and detracting from the facilitation of student achievement and teacher effectiveness.021). and the universal extrinsic dissatisfiers such as educational change. this third or middle band being comprised of largely school based factors. the rapid pace of change. This finding was consistent with the results of the Commitments scale. 1996b). A third domain However. the poor status of teachers and increased administrative satisfaction 375 . helping students to modify their attitudes and behaviour.2. These dissatisfiers are largely out of the control of teachers and schools. educational change and increased expectations on schools were found to have contributed to the most strongly felt dissatisfiers. Additionally. student achievement (p = 0. procedures and curricula. On the other hand. also as predicted. as predicted. and thus. and found within the wider domain of society. the apparent negative image of teachers portrayed in the media. the state government. which included the community’s apparent poor opinion of teachers and their “easy” working conditions. and changes to promotion procedures which many found problematic. workload. overall. and feeling part of a collegial. Student achievement. the “two factor” theory of teacher satisfaction discussed earlier – whereby the factors giving rise to teacher satisfaction and teacher dissatisfaction are basically discrete – was confirmed.003) and self-growth (p = 0.

“school leadership”.Journal of Educational Administration 36. in part. 1996b). However. and it was these factors where most variation occurred from school to school and where there is thus greatest potential for change within schools. government and employer level. and more ambivalent about the school based categories of “school infrastructure”. local hiring”. it does appear that given the uniformity and strength of satisfaction and dissatisfaction experienced at the intrinsic and extrinsic levels respectively.4 376 workloads (most dissatisfying). given that the factors giving rise to each are largely mutually exclusive. and thus. climate and decision making. while calling on others to take action at the extrinsic societal. 1996. As noted by Otto (1986) and others (see Johnson et al. school reputation. They have a degree of control over school based matters . All things being equal. somewhat ambivalent about school based factors which. matters over which persons perceive they have less control tend to be more dissatisfying and stressful. and “school reputation”. the commitments scale results. are school based factors such as school leadership. The importance of control in the three domains A key element in the above “three domain theory” is the notion of “control”. This “three domain” theory of teacher satisfaction is supported by the results of the more complex analyses leading to the development of the eight satisfaction scales. this will not guarantee improvement in the others. where.. Thus. recent study). the results for the overall ratings for the 75 satisfaction items. those in school have little control over extrinsic matters such as the image and status of teachers and educational change. Obviously. for a large. and school infrastructure. An important implication of this “three domain theory” of teacher and executive satisfaction. control is an important issue in worker stress and health. are a product of the leadership and decisionmaking processes and styles existing in their particular schools and the school’s relationship with its local community. and most dissatisfied with the largely extrinsic societal and systemically based factors such as the status and image of teachers and imposed educational change. is that if attention is focused on any of the three domains alone. all strongly suggest that teachers are most satisfied with the intrinsic rewards of their own self-growth and facilitating student achievement. most dissatisfied with “status and image of teachers”. over which they have most control. impact of change” and “merit promotion. Attention thus needs to be given to the particular circumstances and contexts of all three levels. and the eight satisfaction scale results. provides 30 key recommendations derived from the study to achieve the aim of improving teacher satisfaction/reducing dissatisfaction where relevant at all three levels. those surveyed were most satisfied with “self-growth” and “student achievement”. as Table VI indicates. there appears greater likelihood of success at the school based or middle domain. “workload. The final report (Dinham and Scott. this paper argues for schools to take up this challenge.

including the UK and New Zealand. Commensurate with this situation is the perception that the general community does not value or appreciate – in both senses of the word – what teachers and schools do. Rather.such as leadership and decision making. being expected to be the miracle workers of modern society. It seems imperative that there be a reassessment and redefinition of teachers’ work and school responsibility. however. relief/casual teachers and specialist teaching staff such as school counsellors and librarians. that the education “clock” can be turned back to some idyllic point in the past. an unrealistic expectation which ultimately results in guilt and strain when teachers and schools cannot deliver all that is demanded of them. Notes 1. Others within the community must reassume responsibility for some of the expectations currently being shifted to schools and teachers. the term teacher is used generically to encompass principals. in their landmark book In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies. it is also apparent that school teaching staff are increasingly feeling inadequate in the face of the rising expectations and greater responsibilities being placed on them. Peters and Waterman. Teachers and schools cannot and should not be expected to attempt this task alone. schools and educational systems. However. satisfaction 377 . others holding promotions positions in schools. this also seems timely advice for teachers. The study is currently being replicated in a number of countries. 1996). This is not to say. classroom teachers. it will require new forms of partnership between all sectors of the community with an interest in the education of young people for tomorrow’s world. school executive Concluding remarks The study has shown that teachers and school executive want to perform what they perceive to be the focus of their role – the facilitation of pupil achievement – something they find highly satisfying. The three domain model of teacher and executive satisfaction provides a conceptual framework to guide the process of addressing teacher satisfaction and dissatisfaction. 2. A position introduced in the early 1990s in Australia intended to recognise and reward the classroom teacher who remains substantially in the classroom. Over a decade later. In this paper. noted in 1982 how firms needed to “get back to basics” and to “stick to the knitting” of what they know and do best. 4. To some extent. 3. not the least because of what appears to be a looming teacher shortage in many countries (see Dinham. teachers have been handed an impossible task. while teachers have greatest control Teacher and over their own teaching and professional growth. The regional structure was in the process of being removed from the DSE administrative hierarchy at the time the study took place.

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