Teacher Participation in Professional Activities and Job Satisfaction: Prevalence and Associative Relationship to Retention for High School Science Teachers
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In this dissertation, I used survey response data from 385 science teachers situated in 50 randomly selected Texas high schools to describe the prevalence of high school science teacher participation in professional activities and levels of job satisfaction. Using relative risk statistics, I determined the direction and significance of multiple associative relationships involving teachers’ participation in professional activities, satisfaction with working conditions, and retention state. Finally, I used these results to make specific policy recommendations. Teachers participate in diverse professional activities. Descriptive analyses of responses from teachers revealed higher rates of participation in development activities than in maintenance or management activities. Relative risk statistics exposed several positive and significant associative relationships between participation in specific professional activities (i.e., observation of other science teachers, involvement in a science education study group) and teacher retention. Additionally, results of risk analyses suggest teacher participation in maintenance activities, more than development or management, is associated with teacher retention. Researchers consider job satisfaction an important factor in teacher retention. Descriptive analyses revealed high rates of satisfaction with occupational choice and the interpersonal relationships shared with professional colleagues and administrators. Conversely, teachers expressed low rates of satisfaction with their school’s science laboratory facilities and equipment or support for student involvement in informal science activities. Results of risk analyses exposed no positive associations between job satisfaction and retention for teachers. The interaction between teacher participation in professional activities and satisfaction with occupational choice was also examined. Descriptive analyses of responses from retained teachers (n=291) revealed high rates of participation in development activities in comparison to maintenance or management activities. Results of risk analyses exposed both positive and negative associations between teacher participation in professional activities and satisfaction with occupational choice, suggesting an interactive effect exists between participation in activities and satisfaction with occupational choice on retention. I used results from analyses to make state and school level policy recommendations, which included: (a) development of state standards for classroom equipment and facilities; (b) greater state involvement in defining teacher professional activities; and, (c) increasing school support for teacher participation in maintenance activities.
Bozeman, Todd Dane (2010). Teacher Participation in Professional Activities and Job Satisfaction: Prevalence and Associative Relationship to Retention for High School Science Teachers. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from