Predicting kindergarten teachers' job satisfaction: The roles of personality and demographic factors

Year: 2012

Author: Paul, Wong Yau Ho

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


Employees' turnover has been related to a low level of job satisfaction. In spite of the diverse studies that support the importance of early childhood education to children, little job satisfaction research has been conducted in the early childhood settings. In a computer search for the period 1992 to 2012, of more than 15,000 job satisfaction studies, only seven of them were marginally associated with kindergarten teachers. Hong Kong kindergartens employ more than 10,000 teachers to care for about 140,000 children (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, 2011). Though the figure is substantial enough to acknowledge teachers' job satisfaction, there is little research that examine quantitatively teachers' profiles of job satisfaction and how teachers' job satisfaction are predicted by their personal characteristics. The purpose of study was to investigate kindergarten teachers' patterns of job satisfaction and how their personality and demographic factors related to job satisfaction. 371 kindergarten teachers participated by completing the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Job Satisfaction Survey. The sampling included in-service teachers who pursued their studies in either the Certificate of Education or the Bachelor of Education Degree program (Early Childhood Education) at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. Results showed that teachers generally had moderate levels of job satisfaction and were more satisfied in “nature of work” and “coworker relationship” but less in “promotion” and “fringe benefits”. Teachers who are extraverted, feeling, and judging types tended to have higher levels of composite job satisfaction. Moreover, teachers who were in higher rank and worked in non-profit-making kindergartens also displayed higher levels of job satisfaction. The study was the first to examine kindergarten teachers' job satisfaction and its correlates. The findings are expected to inform school managers when planning for staff allocation and professional development programs to reduce teachers' turnover.