Job satisfaction among female head teachers in Saudi Arabian secondary schools: a qualitative perspective
University of Southampton, School of Education,
This research considers job satisfaction among female head teachers in Saudi Arabian secondary schools in the city of Abha using a qualitative methodology. The subjects of the study were female head teachers in five secondary schools in the city; all the deputy heads and some of the teachers were also included. The research identifies the main factors that influence female head teacher satisfaction. It is based on interviews as the main method, and documents and observation as supporting methods. This study groups job satisfaction and dissatisfaction factors into six major themes: educational administration, school conditions, supervision, nature of the work, personal variables, and social relationships with students, parents, deputies and teachers. The study found that female secondary school head teachers? overall attitudes to their job in the five schools were negative. Unfortunately, factors of dissatisfaction outnumbered factors of job satisfaction. Achievement, helping students, and salary were the chief sources of satisfaction, while factors of dissatisfaction were linked to educational administration by the education authorities outside the school, including lack of cooperation and inconsistent decisions (e.g. in the application of regulations), lack of delegated authority, constrained budgets, limited training and development opportunities, poor supervision, and high workload and, to some extent, poor school infrastructure, including a lack of maintenance, poor facilities, and challenges because of school location. The study is important from the point of view of the head teachers, because their performance depends on satisfaction in the role, which in turn affects the whole school and the community. The study concludes with a number of recommendations for local and national education authorities in Saudi Arabia.
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