An investigation of the job satisfaction of teachers at well-performing secondary schools in the Gauteng Province
This study aimed at the job satisfaction of teachers at previously diadvantaged, secondary schools in the Sedibeng and Johannesburg South districts of the Gauteng Department of Education. These schools were targeted because of their consistent good performance in the National Senior Certificate results over a number of years despite being historically disadvantaged and located in areas of poor socio-economic conditions. The study was quantitative and thus positivist and used a survey research design. The Job Satisfaction Survey developed by Spector was used with a population of 1050 teachers from 30 secondary schools in the two districts. The study found that the overall job satisfaction of the surveyed teachers was ambivalent and thus was indeterminate regarding whether respondents were satisfied or not with their jobs. An addition important finding of the study is that the respondents indicated job satisfaction with regard to sub-scales indicating the work itself, co-workers and some items of principal and school management team leadership through items expressing supervision. The complimentary nature of these dimensions seems to engender a spirit of cooperation and most crucial, of being engaged in so far as the work itself is concerned. A conclusion drawn from this exposition of lessons derived is that factors that adversely influence teacher job satisfaction seem to be related to factors mostly related to the challenges of teaching in the current school scenario. The study recommends that enhancing teacher job satisfaction requires creating enabling work environments that should be challenging and stimulating in terms of work, accompanied by stimulating working conditions and contingent rewards, supervision, co-workers and communication. To do this requires focusing on the job characteristics as a way of stimulating job satisfaction factors that focus on both external and internal satisfying conditions. In enhancing the nature of work, focus must be on, firstly, the core dimensions of the job that promote the psychological states that comprise the meaningfulness of work, responsibility for work outcomes or autonomy and knowledge of results. To achieve these, the study proposes a Holistic Approach for Enhancing Teacher Job Satisfaction. The approach is grounded on development and support to stimulate teacher job satisfaction and motivation. This approach being holistic, proposes an active and meaningful involvement of the main school stakeholders – the GDE as policy development and implementation entity, the district offices as support entities to schools and the schools themselves.
- Education