Date of Award

5-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Educational Psychology and Research

Major Professor

Schulyer W. Huck

Committee Members

Gary Skolits, John Lounsbury, Jennifer Richards

Abstract

Teacher job satisfaction has been shown to impact teacher retention, attrition and absenteeism (Perrachione, Rosser, & Peterson, 2008). Given the significant investment of resources required to train effective classroom teachers, retention of those teachers is important. Research strongly supports the connection between personality traits and occupational related outcomes such as work performance, career success, and job satisfaction across occupational groups. Developing an understanding of the personality profile of satisfied teachers as a whole, as well as by teaching area, could serve to better equip teachers for the reality of teaching, potentially having the ability to increase job satisfaction. The purposes of this study were to investigate the similarities and differences of personality traits within teacher groups, as well as examine the effects of personality on job satisfaction for teachers, through a longitudinal study using analysis of covariance and multiple regression. When differences attributable to gender were controlled, two groups within the teacher sample emerged. Math, science, and physical education teachers were more resolute, analytical and investigative, where as elementary, secondary English and history, and special education teachers were more open-minded and sensitive. Among the traits distinctive of the teacher occupational type as a whole, teacher groups in this sample were generally extraverted, warm, energetic, dutiful, and patient. Having an accurate understanding of the personality traits that may influence teacher satisfaction could serve to inform teacher preparation programs and best practices in leadership for in-service teachers, potentially having the ability to increase job satisfaction.

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