A three domain model of teacher and school executive career satisfaction

Steve Dinham (Faculty of Education, University of Western Sydney Nepean, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia)
Catherine Scott (Faculty of Education, Nottingham‐Trent University, Nottingham, UK)

Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Publication date: 1 October 1998


This paper presents a model of teacher and school executive satisfaction derived from a study involving 892 respondents in 71 government schools in Western Sydney, Australia. Factor analysis of survey items was utilised to develop an eight factor model of teacher satisfaction. The eight factors were named: school leadership, climate, decision making; merit promotion and local hiring; school infrastructure; school reputation; status and image of teachers; student achievement; workload and the impact of change; and professional self‐growth. Scores on the scales fell into three domains: “core business of teaching” factors (student achievement; professional self‐growth); school level factors (school leadership, climate, decision making; school infrastructure; school reputation); and system level/societal factors (workload and impact of change; status and image of teachers; merit promotion). Respondents were most satisfied with “core business” aspects and least satisfied with system level/societal factors, while school level factors showed the most variation, reflecting the influence of teachers’ specific and varying within‐school experiences. Leadership, communication and decision making styles were found to be important contributing factors to satisfaction with school based aspects of respondents’ roles. It is argued that within the important, school level domain, action to improve teacher satisfaction is most likely to be effective.



Dinham, S. and Scott, C. (1998), "A three domain model of teacher and school executive career satisfaction", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 36 No. 4, pp. 362-378. https://doi.org/10.1108/09578239810211545

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