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How times change: secondary teachers' job satisfaction and dissatisfaction in 1962 and 2007

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Publication details

JournalBritish Educational Research Journal
DatePublished - Oct 2009
Issue number5
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)745-759
Original languageEnglish


In this article we explore the level of job satisfaction and the sources of job dissatisfaction for 210 secondary school teachers in southwest England and compare our results with the results from a similar study published in 1962. Using anonymous questionnaires, we asked 210 secondary teachers in southwest England (63% female) to rate their level of job satisfaction and to rate 16 sources of job dissatisfaction that we adapted from the 1962 study. Teachers in 2007 rated their job satisfaction significantly lower and ordered the sources of job dissatisfaction significantly differently than did teachers in 1962. Whereas teachers in 1962 were most concerned with external sources of job dissatisfaction (e. g. salary, condition of buildings and equipment and poor human relations), teachers in 2007 expressed the most concern about factors relating to teaching itself (e. g. time demands and pupils' behaviour). The changes in sources of dissatisfaction hold true for male and female teachers, with no difference in rankings according to years of teaching experience.

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