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Collective Pedagogical Teacher Culture and Teacher Satisfaction

by Elizabeth Stearns, Neena Banerjee, Stephanie Moller & Roslyn Arlin Mickelson - 2015

Background/Context: Teacher job satisfaction is critical to schools’ success. As organizations, schools need teachers who are satisfied with their jobs and who work with one another to build school community and increase student achievement. School organizational culture shapes teacher job satisfaction in many ways, but it is still unclear which facets of organizational culture have the greatest influence on teacher job satisfaction and whether some of these facets may have moderating effects on others.

Purpose of Study: This study investigates the association among two aspects of organizational culture (professional community and teacher collaboration), teacher control over school and classroom policy, and teacher job satisfaction. We use the term Collective Pedagogical Teacher Culture to refer to those schools with strong norms of professional community and teacher collaboration.

Research Design: We use a nationally representative sample of U.S. kindergarten teachers from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey in 1998–1999 and hierarchical linear modeling to examine the association between aspects of school organizational culture and teacher job satisfaction.

Findings: We find that professional community, collaboration, and teacher control are predictive of satisfaction and they also have interactive influences. The association between teacher collaboration and job satisfaction, as well as that between control over classroom policy and job satisfaction, is most pronounced in schools with weaker professional communities.

Recommendations: Future reform efforts that foster greater professional communities, teacher collaboration, and control over classrooms can exist alongside more conventional reforms such as raising curricular standards and instituting greater accountability. Fostering a strong teacher pedagogical culture will help to bolster teacher job satisfaction.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 117 Number 8, 2015, p. 1-32
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18017, Date Accessed: 11/25/2020 11:39:56 PM

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About the Author
  • Elizabeth Stearns
    University of North Carolina
    E-mail Author
    ELIZABETH STEARNS is Associate Professor of Sociology and Public Policy at UNC Charlotte. Her research interests include the interplay between structural characteristics of schools and student outcomes, including gender and racial disparities in achievement and attainment. Her current research is focusing on the gender and racial gaps in STEM education, including the declaration of STEM majors in college. She has published recent articles in Social Science Research, Sociology of Education, and Social Forces.
  • Neena Banerjee
    Valdosta State University
    E-mail Author
    NEENA BANERJEE, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Public Administration in the department of Political Science at Valdosta State University. Her current research examines how structural and cultural factors in schools influence student learning outcomes during their elementary, secondary, and college years. She is studying the implications of teacher diversity in schools and teacher–student ethno-racial matching on teachers’ job satisfaction, students’ schooling experiences, and educational outcomes. She is also interested in issues of teacher quality, school culture, and achievement gaps. Dr. Banerjee’s work has appeared in Sociology of Education and Social Science Research.
  • Stephanie Moller
    University of North Carolina
    E-mail Author
    STEPHANIE MOLLER is Professor of Sociology at UNC Charlotte. Her research examines structural constraints on students' achievement by race, SES, and gender. Recent publications are available in Sociology of Education and Social Forces.
  • Roslyn Mickelson
    University of North Carolina
    E-mail Author
    ROSLYN ARLIN MICKELSON is Professor of Sociology and Public Policy at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She also has appointments in the interdisciplinary program in Women & Gender Studies and Information Technology. Mickelson’s research focuses upon the political economy of schooling and school reform, particularly the relationships among race, ethnicity, gender, class, and educational organization, processes, and outcomes. She has investigated school reform in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools since 1988 focusing on the ways integration and resegregation influenced educational equity and academic achievement. Her coedited book Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. The Past, Present, and Future of (De)segregation in Charlotte will be published in 2015 by Harvard Education Press.
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