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Job satisfaction and career persistence of beginning teachers

Wei‐Cheng J. Mau (Department of Counseling, Educational and School Psychology, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas, USA)
Randy Ellsworth (Department of Counseling, Educational and School Psychology, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas, USA)
Donna Hawley (Department of Counseling, Educational and School Psychology, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas, USA)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 18 January 2008

6237

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to examine career persistence and job satisfaction of beginning teachers. Design/methodology/approach – Four hundred and fifty‐one tenth grade students from a nationally representative sample, who aspired to be teachers, were examined over a ten year period regarding their career choices. Students who persisted in teaching were compared to students who did not persist with regard to job satisfaction. A job satisfaction model was tested using clusters of variables as guided by Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT).

Findings

Students who persisted in teaching were significantly more satisfied than both those who did not persist and those with non‐teaching careers. Beginning teachers were more satisfied with their jobs than those in other occupations. Teachers who had teaching licenses also reported being more satisfied than those who did not have licenses. The social‐contextual factors, i.e. race, socioeconomic status, teaching license, parents' education, and occupation were among the best predictors of job satisfaction. Research limitations/implications – We did not measure self‐efficacy directly. Instead, we used the separate yet highly correlated constructs, self‐concept and locus of control, to represent the self‐efficacy. For improvement, further research may use a more direct measure of self‐efficacy. Practical implications – Awareness of key factors influencing persistence in teaching career and job satisfaction identified in this study would provide school administrators with a sound basis for identifying students who are likely to persist in becoming teachers, and in retaining satisfied teachers. Originality/value – Findings of this study should assist educational administrators to better understand factors related to selection and retention of beginning teachers.

Keywords

Citation

Mau, W.J., Ellsworth, R. and Hawley, D. (2008), "Job satisfaction and career persistence of beginning teachers", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 48-61. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513540810844558

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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