The retention of elementary general music teachers is of primary concern to the music education community. Teachers complete four years of college with additional coursework or masters degrees to improve and enhance their teaching expertise. With increased amounts of time and money involved in the training of these music teaching professionals, why do so many still choose to leave the profession?
In previous studies, a theoretical model based on worker core evaluations was devised to better understand job satisfaction for unskilled labor in an industrial setting (Judge et al., 2000), and this was adapted to highly skilled professionals trained in elementary education (Rice, 2003). For the current study, the adapted educational model was modified for use with elementary general music teachers in order to examine job satisfaction and the personal beliefs and professional relationships that cause job related stressors, role ambiguity, role conflict, and burnout.
A total of 272 randomly selected survey respondents from elementary schools in each geographical region in the state of Illinois provided responses to three types of core evaluations encompassing efficacious-confident, conscientious-respect, and collaborative-supportive. These personal beliefs were linked with professional relationships in the school environment and teaching competencies to provide a better sense of overall job satisfaction. A structural equation model using LISREL/AMOS was computed to show the relationships between each of the four theoretical constructs of core evaluations, school environment, teaching competencies, and job satisfaction. Open-ended survey responses measured by frequency in SPSS Text Analysis for Surveys was used to characterize personal beliefs of job satisfaction in terms of job stressors depicting role ambiguity, role conflict, and repeated physical experiences that further indicated characteristics of teacher burnout.
Elementary general music teachers reported high levels of teaching job satisfaction when describing their own teaching process and methods as related to teaching general music. Negative school politics and daily repetitive teaching responsibilities represented much of general music teacher job dissatisfaction. Professional collaborations of music teachers with regular classroom teachers or other specialist teachers (Art, P.E., Computer) was the dominant type of professional collaborations. Valued support from principals was reported to be in the form of personal support and professional respect. Over half (54%) of the surveyed elementary general music teachers stated that their principal(s) provided them with adequate support, yet overall job satisfaction most strongly pivoted around the relationships teachers had with their principals and the school environment.
Elementary general music teachers continue to report familiar job stressors, role ambiguities, role conflicts, and possible burnout situations as noted in past music education research. The relationships identified in this research illustrate the importance for music teachers not to isolate themselves from the rest of the school community. In-service teachers are therefore encouraged to establish collaborative relationships with their colleagues through co-teaching experiences and to engage in reflective collaborative action research. They are also encouraged to assume a more active role in school politics in committees with their school principal as a method for more personal engagement and involvement in school issues.
Personal beliefs of underlying relationships between teacher personality and the elementary school environment were found to be key indicators of job satisfaction. Teachers who seek collegial collaborations with their peers and school principal(s) are better positioned to avoid stressors, role ambiguity, role conflict, and burnout.
|Advisor:||McPherson, Gary E.|
|School:||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-A 71/01, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Music education, Elementary education|
|Keywords:||General music teachers, Illinois, Job satisfaction, LISREL/AMOS, Music education, Music teachers, Structural equation model (SEM), Teacher retention|
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