In a study by Zhongshan, the great differences in the outcomes of previous research was noted. Zhongshan’s study aims to answer the unanswered questions with regard to elementary school teacher’s job satisfaction. Shanghai is a fast paced economy that is focused on education. The job satisfaction of the elementary teacher has become a great concern of education administrators and researchers alike. (Zhongshan, 2008).
This study seeks to answer the questions related to the satisfaction levels of elementary school teachers in Shanghai in relation to their roles, responsibilities, relationships, career growth opportunities, salary and over-all satisfaction. The study also looks at the differences among the levels of job satisfaction between each gender and age group as well as types of schools. (Zhongshan, 2008).
The elementary school teachers from Shanghai that were included in the study were selected from differing training classes among twelve districts in China. There was a sampling between one and five teachers per school and care was taken to pay attention to where the districts are located and the teachers’ gender and age. There were over 500 questionnaires given out, about 90 % were returned and, of those, about 95% were used. (Zhongshan, 2008).
The questionnaire given to the teachers consisted of two parts; satisfaction related to various aspects of the job and overall satisfaction. The satisfaction questionnaire was based on previous studies and was pretested on one elementary school training class. The questionnaire included forty items and used a five point scoring method numbers reflected the level to which the participant agreed or disagreed. (Zhongshan, 2008).
Overall, the results showed that teachers were considerably less satisfied with their salary and career growth opportunities and more satisfied with their relationships with colleagues, job roles, administration and their overall job satisfaction. The results were further analyzed to gain a greater understanding. This further analysis showed that male teachers were more satisfied with their salary than females and that each aspect of teaching that was questioned seemed to increase with age. However, there was not a significant difference between the private and government schools across the board. (Zhongshan, 2008).
The results show that elementary school teachers in Shanghai are mostly satisfied with their job. The main differences were that they were mostly satisfied with their relationships, administration and their job roles and less satisfied with their salary and growth opportunities. These results suggest that there is still work to be done to raise the social status of teachers in China. (Zhongshan, 2008).
The increase of male satisfaction related to income could be attributed to the uneven number of male teachers to female teachers and that male teachers tended to be older. Other contributing factors include that male teachers are more unlikely to reveal their true feelings and that they are more often in higher academic roles and are generally more satisfied with their job. (Zhongshan, 2008).
This study also confirms that job satisfaction increases with age. This finding would suggest that there is little enthusiasm or satisfaction for a new teacher and that satisfaction comes later in a person’s career. This particular dimension requires additional and further discussion and research. (Zhongshan, 2008).
Review of Literature
There have been numerous studies on the topic of teacher satisfaction. One such study looks at teacher job satisfaction at charter schools. Charter schools gain their funding from the public and are not held to the same standards and regulations that regular schools are. They are believed to operate with more efficiency and create an air of competition resulting in a better education for the student. Since charter schools have more autonomy than their counter-parts, it was hypothesized that student and teacher satisfaction would increase. It was though that teachers would be more satisfied at a charter school due to the lowered restrictions and more involvement from parents. This study compares the job satisfaction levels of teachers in charter schools to that of teachers in regular schools in order to test this belief. (Gius, 2016).
This study assume two different models of teacher satisfaction. One model posits that one way to look at charter school teacher satisfaction is influenced by external factors and the other is that it is influenced my internal factors. This new view is applied to previous research on teacher job satisfaction and a model was construction to analyze the explanatory variable that ultimately summarize characteristics that are individual and job-related. (Gius, 2016).
Variables were chosen to highlight the influence of institutional level characteristics were used. Some of these included student-teacher ratios, tenure, school enrollment and location. The dependent variable were measured by several indicators regarding a teacher’s view or feeling about their job as a teacher. Each of the measures was quantified by having the subjects identify an outcome related to each measure linked to the degree to which the agreed or disagreed. (Gius, 2016).
All of the data was collected from a survey administered by the US Department of Education. The survey is conducted every few years and focuses on teachers and administrators from a random sample. This study only looked at full-time teachers with data listed. The sample that was used included about 36,000 teachers, only about 2,000 of them were charter school teachers. (Gius, 2016).
The results of this study conclude that charter school teachers are more excited about and less willing to leave their job. The study also found that charter school teachers are less likely to regret their decision to become a teacher. In this regard, the results supported the hypothesis that charter school teachers are more satisfied with their job than regular public school teachers. (Gius, 2016).
One limitation of this study is that it could be argued that teachers that choose to work in a charter school are already inherently more satisfied with a teaching career. The authors used a multistage regression to combat the bias in the data. The first part of the regression was to analyze the number of charter schools as compared to the number of total schools in an area. This led to the conclusion that teachers are more likely to work in a charter school if there are a large number of charter schools in the state. (Gius, 2016).
One important driving factor in the creation and running of charter schools is the ability of the school to attract and keep highly qualified teachers. Because of the less restrictive environment it is imperative that working at a charter school be seen as a positive career move. This drive for public perception creates the need to study teacher satisfaction at a charter school as compared to teacher satisfaction at a regular school. Unfortunately, there is still extensive research that needs to be done on this topic. (Gius, 2016).
In another study, the focus was on the effects that merit pay has on teacher job satisfaction. Typically salaries are determined by a schedule or steps, and a teacher is paid based on the number of years that they have been teaching. They are usually also given a stipend depending on their level of education. With this type of pay, the quality of the teacher’s instruction is not taken into consideration. (Gius, 2013).
One hypothesis that is being tested by school districts is the use of merit pay. With this type of compensation plan a teacher would gain extra pay, merit pay, if their students reach a given academic goal. If students persistently fall below the goal then the teacher would eventually receive a lower overall salary. The idea is that highly effective teachers would receive monetary benefits. This study looks at the relation of merit pay on teacher job satisfaction. Previous research has been done on merit based pay for teachers, but very little research has been conducted to look at the correlation to job satisfaction. (Gius, 2013).
A large sample of teachers, who taught in a public school in 2007, were used. The study will focus on teachers who have taught in a school district that employs the merit pay system and only full-time teacher’s data was used. The sample size was approximately 32,000 subjects. Participating teachers were given a survey that included variables to collect data on age, sex, race and educational level. Variables were also included in order to capture information about the effects of institutional systems on teacher job satisfaction. These variables include racial make-up of the school, ratio of students to teachers, urban or rural location and the number of students enrolled. There were five dependent variables that were used. These include a teacher’s view on teaching a profession and their role within that system. They were asked to rate the level to which they agree or disagree to each given statement. (Gius, 2013).
When the results were analyzed it was found that teachers that work in a school that uses merit pay are not any more or less generally satisfied with their job than teachers that do not work in a district with merit pay. However, teachers with merit pay were less likely to be enthusiastic about their job and more often failed to see the importance of their work. The results of the study showed that more than 90 % of teachers responded favorably to statements that they were satisfied with their job. However, about 20% noted that they felt that teaching was not worth the effort and almost 40% stated that they were no longer enthusiastic about teaching. Almost 30% of the teachers surveyed noted that they would leave their district for better pay. (Gius, 2013).
The limitations for this study relate to the understanding of the terminology used. Specifically, one concern was the how each district defines excellence in teaching.