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Journal of Career and Technical Education

Current Co-Editors:
Edward C. Fletcher Jr.   ecfletcher@usf.edu
Victor M. Hernandez-Gantes   victorh@usf.edu

Volume 27, Number 2
Winter 2012

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A Gender Analysis of Job Satisfaction Levels of Agricultural Education Teachers in Georgia

Donald Gilman
Instructor, Worth County, Georgia High School

Jason B. Peake
Associate Professor, University of Georgia

Brian Parr
Assistant Professor, Auburn University

ABSTRACT

The over-arching premise of many concerning issues in secondary agricultural education may be directly related to levels of job satisfaction among teachers (Delnero & Weeks, 2000). The purpose of this study was to examine the factors that influenced the perceptions of job satisfaction/dissatisfaction among agricultural educators in Georgia. The findings indicated that male and female agriculture teachers in Georgia were satisfied with their jobs, and they did not differ significantly in terms of their overall job satisfaction scores. These findings concur with those found by Cano and Miller’s 1992 study. With respect to the job satisfier and dissatisfier factors, both male and female agriculture teachers rated “the work itself” highest among the job satisfier indicators. Males and females rated “school policy” lowest from the variables identified as job dissatisfiers; indicating that regardless of gender, agriculture teachers were most dissatisfied with school policy. The results of this study may be beneficial to state and local school agencies in determining the needs of agricultural educators to lessen the factors of job dissatisfaction and increase factors that help maintain teacher retention.

Introduction

Previous research has determined that job satisfaction among teachers holds a strong linear relationship with longevity of career (Billingsley and Cross, 1992, Cano & Miller, 1992). In light of the current shortage of qualified secondary agricultural educators who are willing to enter and remain in the profession (Kantrovich, 2007) as well as the projected shortages in agricultural educators in the years to come (Walker, Garton & Kitchel 2004), it is important to understand the factors that impact job satisfaction and, possibly more crucially, those factors that influence job dissatisfaction for secondary agriculture teachers to provide insight toward retention of quality educators. Camp (2000)identified the agriculture teacher shortage problem as early as 1977, and the problem has continued well into its third decade (Walker, Garton, & Kitchel, 2004).

To further exacerbate this problem, the great recession of 2008 created an environment across the United States in which many schools were forced to reduce the number of teachers; the Executive Office of the President published a report “Teacher Jobs at Risk” (United States Executive Office of the President, 2011) which projected as many as 280,000 teaching positions could be cut across the United States. It is possible that shrinking education budgets would have an impact on teacher job satisfaction; fortunately for Georgia agriculture teachers, despite the recession of 2008, there has been an increase in the number of agriculture teaching positions in the state since the recession. Thus, at least for this population, this concern was minimal.

As the problem of longevity and short supplies’ of agricultural educators continues, studies of behavioral predictors must be made so that decision makers can form sound judgments based upon indicators that accurately indicate satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Walker, Garton & Kitchel (2004) stated that “we are in the worst teacher shortage ever” (p.28); identifying factors that influence educator decisions to stay in the occupational field of education is vital to slowing the shortage of educators through attrition. Decision makers are faced with assessing how to extend the longevity of educators’ careers and determining the satisfaction/dissatisfaction factors that influence agricultural educators decision to stay in or leave the profession. To further compound the situation, studies have shown differences of perceptions in job satisfaction between genders that has called for further investigation into these gender discrepancies (Scott, Swortzel & Taylor, 2005). This study grew out of the need to examine agricultural educators in Georgia to investigate the level of job satisfaction, to see what factors influence satisfaction and to possibly discover a correlation that could lead to better satisfaction and teacher retention.

Satisfaction can be described as approval, pleasure, happiness, fulfillment, contentment, agreement, or liking. All of these terms describe feelings that are formulated about the work environment that influences one’s perceptions of satisfaction or dissatisfaction (Wood, 1973). Kelly defined satisfaction as the perceived difference between accomplishments and the reward that the individual received for those accomplishments (1980). Crucial issues of teacher attraction and retention face the field of agricultural education today. The overarching premise of many of these issues may be directly related to levels of job satisfaction (Delnero & Weeks, 2000). Previous research has shown that the field of agricultural education is no exception when it comes to the importance of job satisfaction as related to teachers’ decision to enter and remain in the teaching field; the level of satisfaction can indicate a level of longevity (Cano & Miller, 1992). In addition, satisfaction can also give insight to the level of job performance that a teacher is willing to expend (Cano & Miller, 1992). Kee and Knox (1970) identified three categories of behavior necessary to achieve organizational effectiveness. “First, people must join an organization and remain in it. Second, they must perform adequately in the roles to which they assigned. Third, they must occasionally engage in cooperative and innovative behavior beyond that required for membership maintenance” (Wood, 1973, p.3). All three of these behaviors can be influenced directly by job satisfaction.

Teaching secondary agriculture is a very complex job with various facets that must be considered. According to Ricketts, Duncan, Peake, & Uessler (2005), “There is more to teaching agriculture than content and pedagogical process” (p. 47). While the duties of the job have certainly changed over time (Delnero & Weeks, 2000), the constant has been that the job of being an agricultural education instructor is both demanding and challenging. Agriculture teachers draw upon physical, emotional and intellectual resources in order to be effective in the classroom (Cano, 1990). Furthermore, there is also the contention that the strains and potential sources of dissatisfaction could be different between the two genders. To further illustrate this point, Ricketts, Stone, and Adams (2006) stated that, “significant [unique] factors have been found to contribute to the occupational success or failure of a female” (p. 54).

Several studies have been conducted over the last fifteen years to measure satisfaction /dissatisfaction among professionals in agricultural education. Through these studies, researchers have discovered evidence that supports the anecdotal notion held by many. The basic premise of this area of research was stated well in the following quote from Walker, Garton, & Kitchel, “if an individual is not satisfied with his/her job, the likelihood for that individual to remain in the teaching profession is greatly diminished” (2004, p.29). While several researchers (Beavers, Jewell,& Malpiedi, 1987; Flowers & Pebble, 1988; Grady, 1985; Newcomb, Betts, & Cano, 1987) have examined satisfaction factors among agricultural educators, few studies have been conducted in the last two decades and none in the state of Georgia. This study was designed to fill that void in the literature.

Much research has uncovered many of the reasons why agricultural educators become dissatisfied with their positions. Previous research has determined that when agricultural education professionals perceive compensation strategies to be unfair, job satisfaction and performance are at risk (Wicks & Lindner 2003). Further, recent evidence suggests that many people are dissatisfied with their jobs or alienated from work altogether (Wicks & Lindner 2003). Justification for the need to investigate job satisfaction is exemplified in the seemingly observed relationship between the level of job dissatisfaction and turnover, absenteeism, and tardiness (Locke, 1976). Furthermore, Wicks and Linder determined that “research has shown that agricultural education professionals have perceived that they are not being fairly compensated” (p.115). Castillo, Conklin and Cano reported in 1999 “Teachers were least satisfied with finances related to teaching” (p.25). Furthermore, research from Walker, Garton, and Kitchel (2004) pointed out “lack of administrative support” was the most frequently reported reason given by leavers, followed closely by family issues” (p.29) as additional and relative reasons for job dissatisfaction factors.

General consensus among researchers (Bowen & Radhakrishna, 1991, Cano & Miller, 1992, Castillo, Conklin & Cano, 1999, Walker, Garton, & Kitchel, 2004) has been that secondary agricultural educators were somewhat satisfied with their jobs or at least not dissatisfied with their jobs (Bennett, Iverson, Rohs, Langone and Edwards, 2002). CCastillo, Conklin and Cano, 1999, replicated studies performed earlier by Cano and Miller 1992 and reached similar conclusions. Researchers as recent as 2007 have stated that second year agricultural teachers “are satisfied with their jobs” (Aschenbrener, Terry, Torres & Smith 2007, p.56). In an additional study by Cano and Miller in 1992, based upon six taxonomies of agricultural education, it was concluded that “agriculture teachers in the six taxonomies were slightly to somewhat satisfied with each of the five job satisfier factors. However, teachers were undecided about their job satisfaction when all facets of their jobs were considered”(p.13).

In light of the research that has indicated that other groups of agricultural educators were fairly to moderately satisfied with their jobs (Cano & Miller, 1992) and with the aforementioned research indicators available to use as a comparison, the question explored by the researchers in this study was; how satisfied or dissatisfied are educators in Georgia? Determining which factors weigh the heaviest in terms of satisfaction and dissatisfaction as well as the differences observed in these factors between genders may open areas of opportunity for teacher preparation programs as well as strengthen opportunities that are offered state wide in Agricultural Education programs.

Previous studies have been inconclusive about any definite relationship between age and job satisfaction as well as the relationship between length of service and satisfaction. Earlier findings implied that older or younger teachers were not necessarily more or less satisfied with their jobs. A further implication was that the longer a teacher remained in the teaching profession; their level of overall job satisfaction was not affected (Castillo & Cano 1999). The teacher’s age, years in current position, total years teaching, and degree status were not significantly related to overall job satisfaction (Cano & Miller 1992) in other settings, but would these findings hold true in Georgia?

Theoretical Framework

The concept that job satisfaction is measurable is the premise of the Motivator-Hygiene Theory (Herzberg, Mausner & Snyderman, 1959). The theory states that jobs have factors which lead to satisfaction or dissatisfaction. According to Castillo & Cano,

Job satisfying (motivator) factors included achievement, recognition, work itself, responsibilities, and advancement. Job satisfying factors allowed individuals to satisfy their psychological potential and were usually related to the work itself. Job dissatisfying (hygiene) factors were related to the work environment and were pursued in order to prevent job dissatisfaction or discomfort. Job dissatisfying factors included pay, working conditions, supervision, policies, and interpersonal relationships (1999, p.67).

This study is built upon the theoretical framework outlined by Herzberg, Mausner, and Snyderman (Figure 1) that contended that if certain aspects of an employee’s perception could be understood, then working conditions could be manipulated to enhance worker satisfaction and to lessen dissatisfaction. Before organizational changes take place, the anticipated sensitive factors for employees need to be identified and analyzed. By identifying and analyzing these factors, administrators will have an understanding of what their employees want from their work. Understanding what their employees want from work can help administrators develop in-service trainings that will meet the needs of their employees, thus keeping job satisfaction at a maximum while simultaneously reducing job dissatisfaction (Scott, Swortzel, Taylor, 2005). According to Hackman & Oldham, 1980, it is far more beneficial to focus directly on areas of change that employees want changed, and not beneficial to focus on recommendations of “experts” who attempt to identify areas where employees want change.

From a horizontal line, a downward pointing arrow is labeled, 'Poor pay, Company policy, Continual pressure.' From the same horizontal line, an upward pointing arrow is labeled, 'Varied work, Sense of achievement, Recognition.'
Figure 1. Herzberg's Two-Factor Theory (Herzberg, 1968; Herzberg, Mausner, & Snyderman, 1959).

It is apparent that there are many factors to consider when examining the phenomena of job satisfaction. Teacher retention in Georgia agricultural education will be a priority over the next ten years as a measure to lessen the shortage of educators. Identifying factors that impact retention, i.e. satisfaction/dissatisfaction will play a role in lessening the deficit of competent agricultural educators.

Purpose/Objectives

The purpose of this study was to examine the factors that influenced the perceptions of job satisfaction/dissatisfaction among agricultural educators in Georgia.

The objectives of this study were as follows:

  1. Describe selected demographic characteristics of secondary agriculture teachers in the state of Georgia.
  2. Describe relationships between secondary agriculture teachers’ level of job satisfaction and selected demographic variables.

Methods/Procedures

The research method used for this study was a survey of the population of agricultural educators in Georgia. The population received a modified form of an instrument developed by Brayfield and Roth (1951) that was also used in the Cano and Miller (1992) study so that the results of this study could be compared directly to the earlier study to determine if there are parallel conclusions or discrepancies that warrant further investigation.

The population for this study included 380 high school agriculture teachers, middle school agriculture teachers, and Young Farmer educators that were employed in the state of Georgia during the 2007-2008 school year. The groups were educators in the north, central and south regions of agricultural education as described by the Georgia Department of Education and identified by gender.

The Brayfield and Roth instrument has been used in its original form or modified in several studies over the years as a means to predict how job satisfaction will predict longevity of workers. Cano and Miller (1992) suggested using this instrument to assess job satisfaction of agricultural educators. Wood (1973) developed a modified form of the Brayfield Roth instrument for use with agricultural education teachers. Thus, this modified form of the instrument was employed in this study.

The “Job Satisfaction Index” constituted Part I of the questionnaire. Wood’s (1973) instrument was used to assess the level of job satisfaction among secondary agricultural education teachers. Participants were asked to score that series of 21 statements on a Likert-type scale with such statements as: My job is like a hobby to me; I am satisfied with my job for the time being; and I find real enjoyment in my work. Wood’s instrument constituted Part II of the questionnaire and provided the basis for describing teacher perceptions of the following factors: achievement, advancement, recognition, responsibility, the work itself, supervision, salary, interpersonal relations, policy and administration, and working conditions. Part III of the questionnaire consisted of demographic variables specific to educators in Georgia. This instrument was chosen so that replication of the Cano & Miller 1992 study could be performed.

Reliability for the Brayfield-Rothe Job Satisfaction Index that had been established previously via the Cronbach alpha procedure was .90, .94, and .90 in the Newcomb, et al. (1987), Cano and Miller (1992), and Castillo, et al. (1997) studies respectively. Replication is also a tool that will provide a measure of validity and reliability, as the research was conducted on agricultural educators in Georgia to measure perceptions and compare them to the findings from the study conducted by Cano and Miller (1992). For this study, 225 out of 380 educators participated which provided a population to base recommendations on.

The collection of data was performed by the researchers at the two conferences of Georgia Agricultural Educators in January and July, 2007. 374 of 380 Georgia agricultural educators were present at the January conference and 375 of 380 Georgia agricultural educators were present at the July conference. No Georgia agricultural educators were absent from both conferences. All Georgia agricultural educators who were present at the meetings were given an opportunity to participate in this study at both conferences. The researcher administered the survey and scored the responses. Each participant on his or her instrument provided demographic information including: gender, years of teaching experience, years in current position, geographical region, age, education level, etc.

All data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 14.0,. Independent sample t-test, means, standard deviation, and frequencies were calculated to analyze the data. The alpha level was set a priori at .05 as in the Newcomb, Betts, and Cano (1987), Cano and Miller (1992), and the Castillo, Cano, and Conklin (1997) studies. Of the 380 agricultural educators in Georgia, 225 responded to the survey (n=135 early responders; n=90 late responders) Early responders were defined as the subjects that completed the survey in January 2007 at the Georgia Vocational Agricultural Teachers’ Association Mid Winter Conference. Late responders were defined as those who completed the survey at the GVATA Summer Conference in July 2007. A participation rate of 59% of the total population was achieved. Nonresponse error was controlled by comparing early responses to late responses (Lindner, Murphy & Briers, 2001). After compiling the data, it was determined that there were no statistically significant differences between early and late responders participating in the study. It was, therefore, concluded that results could be generalized to the target population, and nonresponse error was lessened as a threat to the external validity of the study.

Results

It was found that 72 percent (162) of the participants were male while 28 percent (63) were female (Table 1). Using means and standard deviations, it was found that the mean age for female agriculture teachers was 31.64 years while the mean age for male teachers was 40.31 years. Male teachers, on the average, had 10.13 years of teaching experience while females averaged 4.76 years (Table 1). Males had significantly more years of teaching experience than females. Furthermore, male teachers had been in their current positions 3.35 years compared to female teachers 1.88 years in their current positions.

Table 1. Means, Standard Deviations, and t-tests for Selected Demographic Variables
Variable Males (n=162) Females (n=63) t-value Prob.
Mean SD Mean SD
Age 40.31 10.40 31.64 9.18

Total years of teaching 10.13 8.65 4.76 5.69

Years in current position 3.35 1.98 1.88 1.54 -5.20 .001

Based on a five point Likert type scale that measured subject agreement to specific job satisfaction constructs with responses ranging from strongly disagree (1- lowest level of satisfaction) to strongly agree (5- highest level of satisfaction), males provided a mean score of 2.93, while females provided a mean score of 2.94 on the overall job satisfaction scale (Table 2). The mean scores for male and female secondary agriculture teachers on the overall job satisfaction scale were not significantly different.

Table 2. Means, Standard Deviations, and t-test for Overall Job Satisfaction
Variable Males (n=162) Females (n=63) t-value Prob.
Mean SD Mean SD
Note: Based on scale: 1=strongly disagree; 2=disagree; 3=undecided; 4=agree; 5=strongly agree.
Overall job satisfaction 2.93 .21 2.94 .27 .21 .836

Utilizing a six point Likert type scale with responses ranging from very dissatisfied (1), to very satisfied (6), males provided the following mean scores on the job satisfier factors: achievement, 4.78; advancement, 4.83; recognition, 4.53; responsibility, 4.89; the work itself, 5.09 (Table 3). The same Likert type scale yielded the following mean scores for female agriculture teachers: achievement, 4.77; advancement, 4.57; recognition, 4.44; responsibility, 4.79; the work itself, 5.03; Male and female agriculture teachers did not differ significantly on any of the job satisfier factors (Table 3). Responses from male and female agriculture teachers revealed from the mean score the following: “The work itself” provided the highest mean for both male and females illustrating a high contentment with their jobs.

Using the same six point Likert type scale with responses ranging from very dissatisfied (1), to very satisfied (6), males provided the following mean scores on the job dissatisfier factors: interpersonal relationships, 5.03; policy and administration, 4.42; salary, 4.65; supervision/technical, 4.91; working conditions, 4.87 (Table 3). The same Likert type scale yielded the following mean scores for female agriculture teachers; interpersonal relationships, 5.02; policy and administration, 4.18; salary, 4.66; supervision/technical, 4.72; working conditions, 4.57. Male and female agriculture teachers did not differ significantly on any of the job dissatisfier factors (Table 3). Males tended to be slightly more satisfied with their salary than did females. Males and Females scored nearly the same response on interpersonal relationship. The evidence here would tend to suggest that while agriculture teachers may not be happy with policy and administration, they value the relationships that are formed in the school systems that they are employed in. Both groups showed slight satisfaction with the factors that were identified as factors for dissatisfaction with both groups means scores being the lowest on policy and administration.

The research supports evidence that both males and females surveyed were satisfied with the individual aspects of their jobs as described in questions 22 – 31. All respondents’ scores range from slightly satisfied to somewhat satisfied showing overall satisfaction for the described facets of their jobs. The work itself coupled with interpersonal relationships scored the highest mean scores for both groups with virtually identical scores. These two factors give important insight to key areas of job satisfaction for Georgia agriculture educators.

Table 3. Means, Standard Deviations, and t-tests for Job Satisfier and Job Dissatisfier Factors.
Variable Males (n=162) Females (n=63) t-value Prob.
Mean SD Mean SD
Note: Based on scale: 1=strongly disagree; 2=disagree; 3=undecided; 4=agree; 5=strongly agree.
Job Satisfiers
Achievement 4.78 1.01 4.77 .97 -.09 .929
Advancement 4.83 1.00 4.57 1.10 -1.62 .106
Recognition 4.52 1.29 4.44 1.18 -.43 .664
Responsibility 4.89 1.07 4.79 1.14 -.62 .534
The Work Itself 5.09 .87 5.03 .98 -.40 .692
Job Dissatisfiers
Interpersonal Relationships 5.03 .90 5.02 .97 -.10 .920
Policy and Administration 4.42 1.39 4.18 1.53 -1.11 .271
Salary 4.65 1.15 4.66 1.14 .01 .993
Supervision/Technical 4.91 .99 4.72 .99 -1.30 .196
Working Conditions 4.87 1.05 4.57 1.29 -1.79 .075

While correlation is always present in situations where linear relationships exist it is important to note that correlations are not an indicator of causation. Positive correlations indicate that as one variable increases so does the second variable, in contrast negative correlations indicate that as one variable increases the second variable decreases. For the purpose of this study both negative and positive linear relationships between two variables could be caused by an unmeasured third variable. It is important to remember that the correlations described in this study are simply correlations and should never be used to indicate causal relationships (Ross and Shannon, 2008).

Pearson product moment correlations were calculated to describe the relationships between agriculture teachers’ level of job satisfaction and selected demographic variables. As the correlation coefficients approach 1.0 the level of job satisfaction is more strongly correlated with the selected demographic variable, a correlation coefficient of 0.0 indicates no correlation of the variables, and a correlation coefficient of -1.0 indicates that as one variable increases the other variable decreases.

The coefficients ranged in magnitude from negligible to moderate according to Davis (1971). The coefficients for males were (Table 4): age, -.08; years in current position, .08; total years teaching, -.11; level of education, .01. Coefficients for females were (Table 4): age, -.20; years in current position, .07; total years teaching, -.25; level of education, -.17. The only area that showed significant difference in correlation was level of education; all other areas did not show significant differences. The coefficients illustrated that the longer a person is in their job, the stronger the correlation to job dissatisfaction; it is more clearly seen with the female population.

Table 4. Relationship Between Overall Job Satisfaction and Selected Demographic Variables.
Variable Males (n=162) Females (n=63)
Age -.08 -.20
Years in current position .08 .07
Total years of teaching -.11 -.25
Level of education .01 -.17

Correlations were calculated to describe the relationships between agriculture teachers’ overall level of job satisfaction and job satisfier factors. The coefficients for males were (Table 5): achievement, .11; advancement, .22; recognition, .12; responsibility, .20; and the work itself .26. The coefficients for females were (Table 5): achievement, .06; advancement, .17; recognition, .12; responsibility, .10; and the work itself, .26. None of the job satisfier factors were significantly correlated with overall job satisfaction; however, the work itself had the highest correlation for both males and females (Table 5).

Table 5. Relationship between Overall Job Satisfaction and Job Satisfier Factors
Variable Males (n=162) Females (n=63)
Achievement .11 .06
Advancement .22 .17
Recognition .12 .12
Responsibility .20 .10
The work itself .26 .26

Correlations were calculated to describe the relationships between agriculture teachers’ overall level of job satisfaction and job dissatisfier factors. The coefficients for males were (Table 6): interpersonal relationships, .04; policy and administration, .26; salary, .18; supervision, .21; and work conditions, .20. The coefficients for females were (Table 6); interpersonal relationships, .05; policy and administration, .02; salary, .20; supervision, .20; and work conditions, .15. Males were most dissatisfied with policy and administration while females were most dissatisfied with salary and supervision. None of the job dissatisfier factors were significantly correlated with overall job satisfaction.

Table 6. Relationship Between overall Job Satisfaction and Job Dissatisfier Factors
Job Dissatisfier Males (n=162) Females (n=63)
Interpersonal relationships .04 .05
Policy and administration .26 .02
Salary .18 .20
Supervision .21 .20
Work conditions .20 .15

Additionally, Pearson’s correlation coefficients were calculated to describe the relationships between agriculture teachers’ level of job satisfaction with salary satisfaction and the perception of being adequately paid for the job that they perform. Pearson’s product moment correlation was selected to analyze this correlational relationship as both variables involved included continuous data (Leedy and Ormrod, 2005).

Davis (1971) identified correlations of .10 to .29 as low associations, .30 to .49 as moderate correlations, and .50 to .69 as substantial correlations when studying a group of less than five hundred. The survey respondents answered positively to the questions regarding being adequately paid and to the question of being satisfied with their pay. The coefficients for the variables identified in Table 7 were low correlations.

Correlations were calculated to describe the relationships between agriculture teachers’ level of job satisfaction and selected demographic variable in addition to using the coefficient of determination (r2) to examine the magnitude of the effect. r2represents the proportion of variance in one variable that can be accounted for by knowing the other variable. In this case r2allows us to determine the percentage of job satisfaction that is related to adequate pay.

However, when examining the r2 factor for both males and females, the perception of being “adequately paid” accounts for four percent of job satisfaction. Additionally, males and females were similar in their perceptions on salary. For males, r2= 3.2 percent while for females, r2= 4 percent. Given that there was a correlation between these two constructs, when examining both items together they account for 8 percent of the variance. Conversely, this means that there are other factors that accumulate for 92 percent of job satisfaction outside of these two constructs. In examining gender, both males and females had nearly identical views when examining their perception on compensation issues.

Table 7. Relationship Between overall Job Satisfaction and Compensation
Variable Males (n=162) Females (n=63)
Compensation r r 2 r r 2
Adequately paid .20 .40 .20 .40
Salary .18 .32 .20 .40

Conclusions and Implications

Male and female agriculture teachers in Georgia were satisfied with their jobs, and they did not differ significantly in terms of their overall job satisfaction scores. These findings concur with those found by Cano and Miller’s 1992 study.

Since both genders showed overall satisfaction in the various areas explored in this research, it becomes incumbent upon individuals to seek out areas for individual improvement to achieve a level of satisfaction that will ensure personal longevity. Furthermore, individuals that identify areas of discontent should work with local Career and Technical Education supervisors and content experts to set goals annually for their respective programs of work. Additionally this report will be sent to the state director of Agricultural Education as well as region coordinators and area teachers with the recommendation that more emphasis be placed on teachers setting and reviewing goals for completion annually.

Further findings from this research revealed that male agriculture teachers were significantly older, had significantly more years of teaching experience, and had been in their current position significantly longer than female teachers of agriculture. Male agricultural teachers made up 72% of the respondents while female teachers made up 28%. It is recommended that further research be conducted to uncover the reasons for these differences. Could female recruitment strategies in the 1990’s be the reason for the emergence of female agricultural education teachers in 2010? Could changes in the agricultural education curriculum over the past century created an influx of female agriculture students? What impact did the National FFA Organization’s 1969 decision to allow females in the National FFFA Organization have on female agriculture teacher numbers? Agricultural educators should attempt to ascertain whether the causes of these differences are related to the overall job satisfaction of agriculture teachers. Additionally, it is recommended that females be recruited to enter the teaching profession in the field of agricultural education to close the gender gap as described in this data.

Furthermore, as Cano and Miller (1992) discovered through their research, “The teacher’s age, years in current position, total years teaching, and degree status were not significantly related to overall job satisfaction” (p.44) , consequently, these findings hold true for the research conducted for this study of agricultural educators in Georgia.

The correlation coefficients calculated to describe the relationship between overall job satisfaction and job satisfier and dissatisfier factors ranged from .024 to .264, relationships ranging from low to significant in magnitude. This finding is particularly puzzling. Further research must be performed to determine if the satisfaction factors are valid measures of overall job satisfaction.

With respect to the job satisfier and dissatisfier factors, both male and female agriculture teachers rated “the work itself” highest among the job satisfier indicators. From this finding, program planners of agricultural education have been successful in assembling a quality program for the teachers to deliver to their students. Males and females rated “school policy” lowest from the variables identified as job dissatisfiers; indicating that regardless of gender, agriculture teachers are most dissatisfied with school policy. It is recommended that efforts be made to identify specific factors that cause educators to be dissatisfied with school policy. Furthermore, it is recommended that additional studies be conducted that show a comparison of agricultural educators to general educators concerning dissatisfaction with school policy to see if this is a phenomenon that is unique to agricultural education.

State Supervisors, public school supervisors, and teacher educators should be aware that female agriculture teachers are least satisfied with “level of recognition” when comparing job satisfier factors; this indicator in the job satisfier variables ranked the lowest for females participating in the study. Persons with supervisory duties should review their procedures and methods of supervision to determine if the process is biased against females and ensure that they are properly recognized for their contributions to not only to classroom achievement but also to FFA activities and student achievement.

A further recommendation and/or implication from this study regards surveying teachers who have already left the profession. Did the teachers leave the profession due to job dissatisfaction, for better paying professions or for family related issues? It is not unwarranted to suggest that teachers who leave the profession are less satisfied, while those who do not leave are somewhat satisfied (Cano & Miller, 1992). A longitudinal study should be conducted after five years to determine if those who left the profession during the five year period were less satisfied at the time of this investigation. Teachers who have left the profession could be interviewed to determine what influenced them most in their decision to leave. Additionally, this study should be replicated on five year intervals and presented to state agricultural education planners to ensure that quality agricultural education is delivered by means of teachers that are satisfied with their perspective jobs and with the perceptions of their jobs.

Also, research has shown a correlation between job satisfaction and salaries. Agricultural educators in Georgia are satisfied with their salaries (87%). It stands to reason that this one finding with its high correlation could be a large reason why as a group, Georgia agricultural educators are satisfied with their jobs. When Ag teachers feel they are not being adequately compensated for their work they are dissatisfied (Wicks & Lindner, 2003). Given that Georgia Ag educators were satisfied with their compensation, the cited research gives credibility to the theory that the compensation system in Georgia attributes to teacher satisfaction to both male and female teachers alike based upon correlations from this study. Extra measures should be extended by state leadership to ensure that the current or a better pay scale stays in effect for persons engaged in Georgia’s agricultural education delivery system.

The results of this study may be beneficial to state and local school agencies in determining the needs of agricultural educators to lessen the factors of job dissatisfaction and increase factors that help maintain teacher retention. The results may further be beneficial to the agricultural education programs that prepare teachers for service in the educational system by exposing the values that practicing educators recognize as factors that contribute to job retention. In addition, the study may also be of assistance to other educators in the Career and Technical Education programs in Georgia because of the parallelism among jobs in this particular field of education.

Other replications of this study in different geographical areas should be conducted. In conclusion, the following are the recommendations that have been derived from this study.

  1. State supervisors and staff should administer the instrument from this study yearly as a means to identify areas for teacher improvements as a self-help technique to strengthen areas needed.
  2. Continued emphasis should remain in place to ensure that Georgia agricultural educators have a quality education program to deliver.
  3. Persons with supervisory duties should review their procedures and methods of supervision to determine if the process is biased against females and ensure that they are properly recognized for their contributions to not only to classroom achievement but also to FFA activities and student achievement.
  4. A longitudinal study should be conducted after five years to determine if teachers who left the profession during the five year period were dissatisfied and the reasons that accompanied their departure
  5. Continue and support efforts that ensure Georgia Agricultural Education instructors remain leaders in compensation.
  6. Efforts should be made to identify the factors that cause educators to be dissatisfied with school policy.
  7. Implement program to help shape teachers perceptions of their jobs in a positive manner to help build job satisfaction and career longevity.

REFERENCES

Aschenbrener, M; Terry, R; Torres, R; & Smith A; (2007) Assessment of creativity and job satisfaction of second year agricultural education teachers. Proceedings of the 2007 AAAE Research Conference. 34, 55-65.

Bems, R. G. (1989). Job satisfaction of vocational education teachers in Northwest Q&. Northwest Ohio Vocational Education Personnel Development Regional Center. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University.

Bennett, P.N; Iverson, M.J; Rohs, F.R; Langone, C. A. & Edwards, M.C. (2002). Job satisfaction of agricultural teachers in Georgia and selected variables indicating their risk of leaving the teaching profession.Paper presented at the Southern Agricultural Education Research Conference, Orlando FL.

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