Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
A dilemma in some local educational institutions is the lack of a supportive teacher community which could lead to decreased teacher job satisfaction. The purpose of this study was to describe to what extent teacher collaboration in a professional learning community (PLC) impacts teacher job satisfaction. Theoretical foundations by DuFour, Eaker and DuFour supported the relationships between PLC and teacher collaboration. Herzberg's theory of motivation and Maslow's hierarchy also served as frameworks in this study. An interpretive, qualitative research design was used to explore potential connections between collaboration and job satisfaction. Research questions addressed how scheduled school day collaborative time impacts teacher job satisfaction, job satisfaction changes due to a PLC environment, and the impact of teacher isolate on job satisfaction. Data included observations of collegial interactions, face-to-face interviews, recorded field notes and audio tapings captured during these data collecting events. Cross-referencing was applied between collection tools. Data were coded, categorized and analyzed following the process designed by Hatch. Ideal collaborative time and job satisfaction characteristics emerged as core themes. Specifically, scheduled collaboration provided a structure for developing strategies for meeting students' needs, and principal support for collaboration was shown to enhance teachers' perceptions of job satisfaction. Teachers also cited improved practices and enhanced collegial relationships as additional sources of increased job satisfaction. Implications for positive social change include improving teacher job satisfaction, which could assist in creating a positive, productive environment for teachers. This can result in more well planned learning environments and greater academic achievement for students.