Job satisfaction versus teacher ownership: how to keep your teachers satisfied
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To overcome the shortage in teachers in the Netherlands, it is important to understand why not many students choose to become a teacher and why beginning teachers often quit their job within a few years. In this research, it is investigated if there is a positive relation between perceived teacher ownership and job satisfaction and if factors including age, gender, subject, experience and type of school play a role. Participants were teachers at three different schools: Kulosaari Secondary School (Finland), United World College of the Adriatic (Italy) and State College High School (United States of America). Participants responded to questions about age, gender, years of teaching and subject, and answered a questionnaire about perceived teacher ownership and job satisfaction. The results indicated a strong and positive relationship between perceived teacher ownership and job satisfaction. (R = 0,65, p=0,000). This correlation becomes even stronger when teachers are older and more experienced. A strong correlation is found for teachers who teach sciences and languages, while a weak correlation was found in social studies teachers. The correlation between perceived teacher ownership and job satisfaction among teachers at the United World College in Italy is higher than the correlation among teachers at Kulosaari Secondary School in Finland and at the State College High School in the United States of America. Taking a closer look at the different dimensions of perceived teacher ownership it becomes clear that teachers, who feel that they have the opportunity to develop, feel involved in decision making and feel that they can influence their class and environment, are more satisfied with their jobs. In order to overcome the shortage in the educational sector and to keep teachers satisfied with their jobs, it is important for teachers to have the opportunity to develop themselves, to involve them in decision making and to have an influence on their class and environment.