ERIC Number: ED214899
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
The Public School as Workplace: The Principal as a Key Element in Teacher Satisfaction. A Study of Schooling in the United States. Technical Report Series, No. 32.
Morris, Monica B.
Data collected on school environments for "A Study of Schooling" were analyzed to determine teachers' perceptions of their work environment. Two sets of elementary, middle, and high schools were identified from teacher responses. There were 14 schools in the set having less satisfying work environments, and ten schools were in the set having more satisfying work environments. In addition to teachers' attitudes, principals' attitudes and roles, and socioeconomic factors from these two sets were investigated. Confirming results from previous studies, schools perceived by teachers as being a less satisfactory workplace tended to be larger, expend less per pupil, have higher student teacher ratios, and serve racially mixed populations. While those factors affected teacher job satisfaction, strong principal leadership emerged as a consistent factor in teacher satisfaction and motivation. Teachers' comments on their relationships with principals showed significant differences between the less satisfying and the more satisfying work environments. Strong principals were characterized as autonomous, supportive, consistent, and in control. The implications for teacher job satisfaction were evident in findings on productivity, turnover, and teacher health. Salary level was evidently not a factor in satisfaction, since, despite similar salary levels, staff turnover was significantly higher at the less satisfying schools. These findings have implications for school policymakers at the local level, who must consider the effects of decisions about school administrators on teacher performance. Comments are drawn from responses to questions to illustrate certain trends in teachers' attitudes. Appendices present information on: (1) criteria for selection of more satisfying or less satisfying schools; (2) school descriptive data; (3) principal interviews about work environment; and (4) teacher interviews about work environment. (FG)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Institute for Development of Educational Activities, Dayton, OH.
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Los Angeles. Graduate School of Education