The Measurement of Teacher Dissatisfaction
Tobiason, John Raymond
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The purpose of this study was to identify and measure dissatisfaction perceived by teachers. Nine hypotheses were tested to determine: 1) areas in which teachers perceive a lack of congruency between individual need and role expectation, and the magnitude of resulting dissatisfaction perceived in areas where incongruency exists, 2) the relationship of the magnitude of dissatisfaction in various organizational areas to the magnitude of dissatisfaction in areas outside the organization, 3) the relationship of dissatisfaction magnitude to membership in subgroups assigned on the basis of age, sex, perceived possibility of aspiration fulfillment in the present district, teaching level, and satisfaction distribution, and 4) the feasibility of the Dissatisfaction Magnitude Scale (DIMS) as a diagnostic instrument for the measurement of dissatisfaction. The Dissatisfaction Magnitude Scale (DIMS) was developed as a part of the study and administered to one-hundred classroom teachers selected at random representing all grade levels in an 8,000 student suburban school district. The DIMS incorporated the bi-polar adjective design of the Semantic Differential utilized by Osgood, Suci, and Tannenbaum in the measurement of meaning. Dissatisfaction was measured on ten concepts present in the organizational setting (eg, MY PRINCIPAL) and five concepts present outside the organization (e.g. WHERE I LIVE) by having participants mark an S for Satisfied and an N for Now on twenty seven step scales with poles bounded by poler adjectives (eg, good, bad, strong, weak). The difference between the S for Satisfied and N for Now marking was defined as dissatisfaction. Four factors, POTENCY, ACTIVITY, CONSISTENCY, and EVALUATIVE, identified through factor analysis of the twenty bipolar scales, added to the diagnostic strength of the DIMS. The fifteen concepts which served as stimuli to which the scale marking was a terminal response were (from greatest to least dissatisfaction): 1) PARENTS OF STUDENTS, 2) PUBLIC EDUCATION, 3) OUR PRESENT SALARY SCHEDULE, 4) TEACHING AS A PROFESSION, 5) STUDENTS IN MY SCHOOL, 6) DISTRICT PERSONNEL PRACTICES, 7) OUR PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, 8) MY PRESENT EDUCATIONAL ROLE, 9) MYSELF, 10) CENTRAL OFFICE STAFF, 11) MY PRINCIPAL, 12) MY FELLOW TEACHERS, 13) WHERE I LIVE, 14) MY FRIENDS, 15) MY FAMILY. Eight of the nine null hypotheses in the study were rejected. There were significant correlations of dissatisfaction scores between organizational and extra-organizational concepts, between dissatisfaction and age, and between the DIMS and each of three more standard alternate dissatisfaction measuring instruments. There were significant differences in mean distribution scores among the ten organizational concepts, among the five extra-organizational concepts, and between subgroups assigned by sex, teaching level, and dissatisfaction. Findings included: 1) individuals tended to maintain a consistent ratio of dissatisfaction between concepts present in and outside of the organization, but expressed a lesser magnitude of dissatisfaction on the latter, 2) dissatisfaction decreased with increasing age, 3) greater dissatisfaction was expressed by males, 4) greater dissatisfaction was expressed by those perceiving fifty per cent or less of life satisfactions coming from the organizational role than those perceiving over fifty per cent, and 5) the DIMS shared equal validity with less diagnostic instruments commonly used in measuring dissatisfaction. Further investigation of dissatisfaction using the DIMS was recommended including expansion of the scope of contents used, longitudinal as well as cross-sectional study, factor analysis of concepts, and selection of alternate scales to increase the number of components of dissatisfaction measured by the instrument.
- Education - Seattle