Teacher Gender Differences in Job Satisfaction in Transkei

Article excerpt

Job satisfaction is a function of the work one is engaged in, as well as of the people with whom one works. In terms of work, there are aspects such as feelings of achievement, a sense of independent thought and challenge, autonomy, feedback on quality of performance and completion, security, and prestige which contribute to job satisfaction (Neumann et al.,1988). In terms of people, satisfaction may be brought about by getting to know others, taking part in decision-making, forming friendships and helping others (ibid.).

Park (1992) has asserted that women traditionally perceive themselves as teachers and nurturers of pupils and that, owing to social expectations as well as informal gender stereotypes, they are more likely to desire job satisfaction in their teaching career. This view has repeatedly been confirmed by studies in which women teachers have been observed to experience greater job satisfaction than their male counterparts. According to Lissmann and Gigerich (1990), women teachers are more pupiloriented than men teachers and consequently spend more time improving the class climate.

In a study of Israeli secondary school teachers Kremer-Hayon and Goldstein (1990) reported that women teachers experienced more job satisfaction than was the case with men. In a study of stress and job satisfaction among 844 primary school teachers in Malta, Borg and Falzon (1989) observed that more than twice as many male teachers as women teachers indicated dissatisfaction with their work as teachers. Correspondingly, women teachers showed greater satisfaction with teaching than men.

Participants were drawn from thirty senior secondary schools across Transkei which were selected on the basis of a stratified random sample. Twenty questionnaires were sent to the principal of each of the chosen schools, and the principals were asked to see that the questionnaires were filled in by their teachers. Seventeen of the thirty schools returned the completed questionnaires. The seventeen schools yielded a total of 123 teachers.

There were sixty-eight women and fifty-five men whose ages were 32,6 years for women and 32,0 years for men.Their teaching experience ranged from one to twentyseven years, with a mean of 7,3 years and a standard deviation of 6,2 years.

The questionnaire consisted of two main parts. Part 1 dealt with demographic information pertaining to gender, age, nationality, marital status, educational qualifications, professional status and teaching experience. In the second part, participants were asked to respond to four questions in which they were asked to tick the appropriate answer on a scale of 1 to 4.

From the analysis of the results it was evident that both male and female teachers experience job satisfaction in their profession. There was, nevertheless, a proportion of teachers who felt that they were less satisfied with teaching, as it was not congruent with their expectations before they qualified. …