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Highlights from Education at a Glance 2009
branch Special Section: TALIS
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Are teachers satisfied in their jobs?
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  • There are generally only small differences between countries in the degrees of self-efficacy and job satisfaction reported by teachers.
  • Norway has an exceptionally high mean score for both self-efficacy and job satisfaction.

Significance

As well as examining pedagogical beliefs and attitudes, TALIS also looked at job-related attitudes, namely job satisfaction and teacher self-efficacy (or the extent to which a teacher feels that he or she has the capacity to achieve teaching goals). Job satisfaction is a central concept in organisational and work psychology. It is assumed that job satisfaction is both affected by the work situation and influences work-related behaviour, including performance, absenteeism and turnover. Strong self-efficacy beliefs can prevent stress and burnout, and teachers' self-efficacy beliefs and their job satisfaction are linked to instructional practices and student achievement.

Findings

The teacher self-efficacy index was constructed from four items of the teacher questionnaire that asked teachers to rate their responses to each of the following propositions:

  • I feel that I am making a significant educational difference in the lives of my students.
  • If I try really hard, I can make progress with even the most difficult and unmotivated students.
  • I am successful with the students in my class.
  • I usually know how to get through to students.

Teachers were also asked to answer a single question on their level of job satisfaction.

Generally there were only small differences between countries in self-efficacy and job satisfaction. Norway had an exceptionally high mean score for both self-efficacy and job satisfaction. Teachers in Austria and Belgium (Fl.) were also relatively satisfied with their job. For Hungary and the Slovak Republic, however, average job satisfaction was low compared to that of the other participating countries. Comparatively weak self-efficacy beliefs were reported by teachers in Estonia, Hungary, Korea, and Spain.

However, the biggest variations in self-efficacy and job satisfaction were seen not between countries but between teachers - in other words, teachers within a school varied markedly in their levels of self-efficacy and job satisfaction, while differences between countries (and between schools) were rather small. For self-efficacy, 5% of the total variance was between schools, 8% between countries and 87% between teachers; for job satisfaction the variances were 6% between schools, 4% between countries and 90% between teachers.

These results emphasise the psychological nature of the constructs and the fact that across countries, teachers' self-efficacy and job satisfaction depend on and interact with their personality, personal experiences, competencies and attitudes. This should be considered in interventions aiming at enhancing teachers' self-efficacy, as these results suggest that individualised interventions may be more effective than school or system level policies.

Definitions

See introduction to this section.

Going further

For additional material, notes and a full explanation of sourcing and methodologies, see Education at a Glance 2009 (Indicator D6).

 

Further reading from OECD

Creating Effective Teaching and Learning Environments: First Results from TALIS (2009).

Indicator in PDF Acrobat PDF page

Figure
gS-7. Country means of teacher self-efficacy and job satisfaction, 2007-08
Country means of teacher self-efficacy and job satisfaction, 2007-08