An analysis of factors associated with job dissatisfaction and quitting behavior among urban public school teachers

Date

1982

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Abstract

Purpose. Most research on teacher career change has been obtained from exit interviews and after-the-fact surveys. This study considered a number of factors which have been identified in other studies of turnover and determined which factor or factors, singly or in combination, yield the best prediction of whether a teacher remains on the job or leaves the district. Research Procedures Attitudinal data were collected at a time of active employment and combined with exit interview data for teachers who quit within two years of the original survey in order to predict future staying or leaving behavior. Two linear regression models were advanced and empirically revised toward a more complete explanation of quitting behavior. Twelve hypotheses were utilized to test the significance of 22 variables in the models. The works of Becker ('side-bets'), Ritzer and Trice (intrinsic satisfaction and collegial solidarity), Merton (reference group theory) Seeman (five aspects of alienation), and Rotter (locus of control) provided constructs which identified the groupings of variables resulting from the analyses. Findings and Conclusions. The resulting models accounted for only 9% of the total variation in quitting behavior and 26% of the total variance in alienation. These rather weak relationships are consistent with previous studies of the relationship between measures of job satisfaction and turnover. The theoretical model as advanced is applicable in the analysis of teacher dissatisfaction and turnover in any school district which is involved in court-ordered desegregation. The variables which measure attitudes toward racial groups and to the Singleton faculty desegregation mandate limit the scope of the model but address the issues faced by many large urban school districts at this point in time. However, the remaining variables in the model are useful in predicting teacher dissatisfaction and subsequent quitting behavior for districts who can provide exit interview data for all quitting teachers in the original sample. Recommendations. The results of this research suggest: 1) Teacher training institutions should be encouraged to offer courses which allow teacher skills to be more easily translated into other job market. 2) Teacher preparation and inservice training should address the need for better interracial understanding and respect. 3) Principals should recognize and better utilize the talents of teachers in developing educational goals in curriculum, faculty evaluation, inservice training, and social management.

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Keywords

Teachers, Job satisfaction, Teacher turnover

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