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Research Article
Open Access Peer-reviewed

Job Satisfaction among Special Education Professionals

Helen Tsakiridou , Stavroula Kolovou
American Journal of Educational Research. 2018, 6(11), 1565-1572. DOI: 10.12691/education-6-11-16
Received October 14, 2018; Revised November 20, 2018; Accepted November 29, 2018

Abstract

The quality of the professional life of those employed in care and support giving jobs has been the subject of many surveys. The present study discusses job satisfaction among the administrative, teaching and special education staff of Special Education who work in the Centres for Differential Diagnosis, Diagnosis and Support (KEDDY) in Greece. The results of the survey have shown that the participants are rather satisfied with their job. Significant differences were noted in the effect of demographic characteristics on each of the individual dimensions of job satisfaction, as well as on job satisfaction as a whole.

1. Introduction

Special education professionals, especially those serving in KEDDY, are people of many different specializations who share the aim of providing services of diagnosis and support to students with special educational needs or even disabilities 1. As in most anthropocentric vocations, special education professionals can be affected either positively or negatively while interacting daily with their colleague, their supervisor, their students, who experience a variety of difficulties, the parents, as well as the teachers.

However, the challenges in inclusive education demand that certain readjustments be made, as new communication relationships are being formed, asking for changes in the role and profile of special education professionals, as well as in the satisfaction they derive from their job 2, 3. It seems that employees who have been empowered contribute to the quality of the services provided, as well as to their own self-efficacy 4. Those who are satisfied with their job are better motivated, try harder and are more likely to work more efficiently 5.

2. Theoretical Background

The need for structural changes and improvements in the quality of the services of special education is at the heart of all discussions held by those immediately involved. More specifically, the issue of job satisfaction is of the utmost importance, as it is closely related to work behaviours such as productivity, absenteeism and job abandonment 6, 7, 8. Certainly, job satisfaction appears to pertain not only to the aforementioned human behaviours, but to financial 9 and administrative issues as well.

A great number of researchers have worked on the factors determining job satisfaction among teachers. Their surveys aim to present the factors which are responsible for the positive attitude teachers take and the emotions they experience while performing their duties - elements which extend to the work place and affect in their turn the teachers’ communication with the students, the other employees and the head-teachers 10. Job satisfaction among teachers can be seen as determined by two distinct categories of factors: (a) organisational and (b) demographic.

Reference 11 mentions that job satisfaction is affected by certain work factors which lead to the employees’ sense of psychological gratification. According to him, these factors can be (a) extrinsic, in which case they are often seen as the cause of the teachers’ dissatisfaction and their decision to change their profession, or (b) intrinsic, in which case they create positive feelings (reference in 12). Reference 13 mentions that people often opt for a teaching profession because of intrinsic factors, as they are genuinely fond of children and enjoy teaching, which leads to the lesson becoming more qualitative.

The research conducted by authors in 14 has shown that satisfaction is linked to the opportunities offered to teachers to make decisions in all school activities. In the school space this theory reflects the belief that teachers, knowing how the school operates, work autonomously and creatively in order to achieve its aims, and they perform their tasks effectively, and with no need of further suggestions, when they are happy in their workplace.

Reference 15 includes working hours, pay, working conditions etc. in the extrinsic factors. Reference 12 mentions that the school unit is an organisation exerting a direct positive or negative influence. It has also been suggested and ascertained by other researchers that one of the most important factors is the relationship with the students, along with the communication with colleague, the chances to promote new ideas, the participation in decision-making, the sense of autonomy, the relationship with the head teachers etc. 16.

Safety is also among the factors determining satisfaction. Although teachers in Greece do not experience the fear of being made redundant, more often than not they feel insecure because of the numerous reforms in the educational system. Moreover, their insecurity may stem from the lack of communication and the conflicts between colleagues during the academic year.

In conclusion, it becomes clear that internal forces incite people to pursue the teaching profession, while external conditions can affect the satisfaction they derive from their job and their desire to remain in education over the course of their career 13.

Moreover, job satisfaction among teachers depends on the demographic as well as the personal traits of the employees, such as age, gender, education, financial background, marital status, working experience, working hours etc. 17. Researchers are divided over the relationship between job satisfaction and the demographic characteristics of the teachers. Steady employment is more important for men, while women place greater emphasis on interpersonal relations (reference in 18). Reference 19 has proven that neither age nor gender seem to affect significantly job satisfaction.

In Greece, study conducted on organizational culture by researchers in 20 has led to the conclusion that those who seem to be most satisfied with their work are those who exhibit high levels of organisational commitment and dedication regardless of the employment provider, whereby people working for the public sector are more satisfied than those working for the private sector, and are accordingly more dedicated to the values and rules of their employer.

The general aim of the present study, which was conducted on a national level, is to investigate the degree of job satisfaction among employees in KEDDY across the country and the effect of demographic characteristics on the overall job satisfaction as well as on each and every one of its individual dimensions.

3. Method

3.1. Research Tools

For the collection of the data for this study, a two-part questionnaire was used. The first page of the questionnaire provides instructions as to how it should be filled in and returned, and ensures that personal details are properly protected. The first part consists of questions relating to the demographic characteristics of the participants and information pertaining to their professional status (gender, age, marital status, specialization, further studies in special education, service status, years of service in KEDDY as well as in special education in general, number of people serving in the same KEDDY, genre and specialization of the Supervisor). The second part consists of a JSS questionnaire (Job Satisfaction Survey) 21 which measures job satisfaction. The questionnaire was translated from English to Greek by two bilingual researchers and the everse “back translation” was performed by another two researchers.


3.1.1. The JSS Questionnaire (Job Satisfaction Survey)

The “Job Satisfaction Survey” (J.S.S.) is a multi-dimensional tool which, according to researcher in 21, can be used in most sectors, but was originally developed exclusively for the public sector, and specifically for the social services and the non-profit organisations.

The development of the JSS was based on the theoretical premise that satisfaction derived from one’s job is an emotional or behaviouristic reaction to a working position. The necessary literature review having been done, a scale was developed which measures nine aspects of job satisfaction on the basis of its dimensions, which are: pay, opportunities for promotion, fringe benefits, contingent rewards, supervision, colleagues, nature of work, communication and operating conditions. The questions formed aimed at covering these nine dimensions, with four questions corresponding to each dimension.

A six-point Likert scale is used for the answers with options ranging from “I disagree very much” (1) to “I agree very much” (6). Approximately half of the thirty six (36) questions included are formulated positively, while the rest are formulated negatively, so that the assessment of each question should lead to either a positive or a negative attitude towards work. It is worth noting that during the analysis of the questionnaires the initial codification of the negatively formulated questions was reversed so that more points denote a greater degree of satisfaction -and vice versa- in all 36 questions.

3.2. Participants

The study was conducted with the participation of 194 individuals working in the KEDDY of Greece, 37 of whom were men and 157 women. Of the total sample, 59 were teaching staff, 116 special education staff and 19 administrative staff. More specifically, 8.7% of the teaching staff were Nursery Teachers (University Education 60 or 61), 14,1% were Primary School Teachers (UE 70 or 71), 4,9% were Greek Language Teachers (UE 01), and 0,5% were PE Substitute Teachers of Special Education (UE 11.01), while regarding the special education staff 4.9% were Speech Therapists (UE 26 or 21), 27,2% were Psychologists (UE 23), 26,6% were Social Workers (UE 30), 1,6% were Physiotherapists (UE 28) and 0.5% were staff who are specialized (UE 31) either in vocational guidance of the blind or in mobility, guidance and everyday survival skills of the blind, and work using either the Greek sign language for the deaf or the Braille system.

Regarding the age of the sample, 28 of the participants were between 21 and 30 years old, 82 were between 31 and 40 years old, 62 were between 41 and 50 years old, and 22 were over 51 years old. Most of the participants were married (107), 74 were single and 13 were divorced.

13 of the participants hold a PhD; 6 of them hold a PhD in Special Education. 70 of the participants hold a Master’s Degree in Special Education, while 50 of them hold a Master’s Degree in another field. 22 of the participants hold a second University or College Degree and 37 participated in a 400-hour Seminar in Special Education.

Regarding their service status, 117 of the participants are permanently employed, and 77 are substitute teachers. Regarding their years of service in KEDDY, 95 have served 1 to 5 years, 61 have served up to 10 years, and 38 have served 11 to 15 years. Regarding their total years of service in Special Education, 64 have 1 to 5 years of service, 65 have 6 to 10 years, 42 have 11 to 15 years, 13 have 16 to 20 years, 3 have 21-25 years and 6 have over 25 years of service.

Most of the participants (134) serve in a KEDDY which employs 6 to 12 people, 40 serve in a KEDDY which employs up to 5 people and 20 in a KEDDY which employs more than 13 people.

Regarding the gender of their Supervisor, 132 of the participants have a female Supervisor and 62 have a male Supervisor. Regarding the specialization of the Supervisor, 144 stated that their Supervisor is a member of the teaching staff and 50 stated that their Supervisor is a member of the special education staff.

3.3. Procedure of Data Collection

Printed questionnaires were sent to all 63 KEDDY of the country. 41 KEDDY filled in the questionnaires and took part in the survey. Prior to the questionnaires being sent, the KEDDY were contacted and a member of their staff was appointed in charge and saw to the distribution, collection and return of the questionnaires by return mail, whereby a private mailing company was used, as mentioned on the first page of the questionnaire. The distribution and collection of the questionnaires lasted almost four months, from November 2015 to March 2016. 194 questionnaires were returned fully filled in.

4. Results

The data were statistically processed and the views of the participants were recorded with the use of nine variables which corresponded to the nine dimensions of job satisfaction (pay, opportunities for promotion, fringe benefits, contingent rewards, supervisor, co-workers, nature of work, communication, operating conditions), following the JSS 21. T-test and variance analysis techniques were used for the investigation of possible differentiations in the views of the participants as a result of their demographic characteristics, whereby the aforementioned variables were used as dependent variables and the factors taken into account were gender, age, specialization, further studies in special education, service status, years of service, number of people serving in the same KEDDY, as well as gender and specialization of the supervisor. The statistical analysis of the data was conducted with the use of the Statistical Package SPSS 21.

The reliability coefficient of the responses pertaining to the overall job satisfaction is 80.6%. According to the participants’ responses, the mean degree of satisfaction from their job is 3.84 with a standard deviation of 0.67, which means that the participants are pretty satisfied with their job. More specifically, the participants’ responses differ depending on their gender (t = 3.254, df = 186, p = 0.001), whereby women appear more satisfied with their job (M = 3.92, T.A. = 0.65) than men, who appear less satisfied (M = 3.52, T.A. = 0.70). Moreover, statistically significant differences were noted in the answers of the participants depending on their specialization (F2,185 = 4.283, p = 0.015 < 0.05). More specifically, the LSD test showed that special education staff are significantly more satisfied with the job (M = 3.91, T.A. = 0.62) when compared to the teaching staff (M = 3.81, T.A. = 0.73) and the administrative staff (M = 3.43, T.A. = 0.65) – the latter express the least satisfaction. The number of people employed at KEDDY affects significantly the answers of the participants with regard to their job (F2,185 = 3.841, p = 0.023 < 0.05), with the participants serving in KEDDY with few people (1-5) appearing more satisfied with their job (M = 3.95, T.A. = 0.65) than those serving in KEDDY with 6-12 people (M = 3.87, T. A. = 0.68) and those serving in KEDDY with more than 13 people, who are the least satisfied with their job (M = 3.46, T. A. = 0.54). No statistically significant differences were noted in the participants’ job satisfaction based on their age, their years of service, the gender and specialization of the KEDDY supervisor.

Following the participants’ responses, Table 3 presents the indicators of reliability (Cronbach’s a) as well as mean degrees and standard deviations for the overall job satisfaction and for each of its individual dimensions in the “Job Satisfaction Survey” (Spector, 1985).

4.1. Pay

The reliability coefficient of the responses pertaining to the participants’ pay is 74.5%. According to the responses of the participants in the study, the mean degree of satisfaction from the pay is 2.61 with a standard deviation of 1.02, which means that the participants are not satisfied with their pay. More specifically, the participants’ responses differ marginally based on their gender (t = 1.966, df = 191, p = 0.051) with women in particular appearing slightly more satisfied with their pay (M = 2.68, T.A. = 1.03) than men, who appear less so (M = 2.31, T.A. = 0.95). Moreover, the participants express different views according to their age (F3,189 = 6.775, p = 0.000 < 0.001). More specifically, the LSD test showed that younger participants (21-30 years of age) appear more satisfied with their pay (M = 3.35, T.A. = 1.06) as opposed to the participants aged 31-40 (M = 2.57, T.A. = 0.89), those aged 41-50 (M = 2.36, T.A. 0.98), and those aged 51-60 (M = 2.48, T.A. = 1.19). At the same time, statistically significant differences were noted in the participants’ responses based on their specialization (F2,190 = 5.838, p = 0.003 < 0.005). More specifically, the LSD test showed that the special education staff are significantly more satisfied with the pay (M = 2.79, T.A. = 1.00) than the teaching staff (M = 2.41, T.A. 1.05) and the administrative staff (M = 2.07, T.A. = 0.81) – the latter two presenting no differences between them. Moreover, statistically significant differences were noted in the participants’ responses based on their years of service in the KEDDY (F2,190 = 5.882, p = 0.003 < 0.005). More specifically, the LSD test showed that participants with 6 to 10 years of service appear significantly less satisfied with their pay (M = 2.29, T.A. = 1.02) than the participants with 11 to 15 years of service (M = 2.53, T.A. = 0.96), as well as the participants with 1 to 5 years of service, who are the ones most satisfied with their pay (M = 2.84, T.A. = 1.00). The number of people employed in the KEDDY affects significantly the participants’ responses regarding their pay (F2,190 = 4.262, p = 0.015 < 0.05), with participants serving in KEDDY with few employees (1-5) appearing more satisfied with their pay (M = 2.77, T.A. = 0.87) than those serving in KEDDY with 6-12 employees (M = 2.65, T.A. 1.05) and those serving in KEDDY with more than 13 employees, who are the least satisfied with their pay (M = 2.00, T.A. = 0.97). Finally, a statistically significant difference in the views about the pay was noted based on the service status of the participants (t = 4.201, df = 191, p 0.000 < 0.001), and more specifically, substitute staff appear more satisfied with their pay (M = 2.97, T.A. = 0.96) than the permanently employed (M = 2.36, T.A. = 1.00). No statistically significant differences were noted in the participants’ views about the pay based on the gender and specialization of the Supervisor of the KEDDY.

4.2. Opportunities for Promotion

The reliability coefficient of the responses relating to the opportunities of promotion is 71.8%. According to the participants’ responses, the mean degree of satisfaction from the opportunities for promotion is 2.38 with a standard deviation of 1.00, which means that the participants are not satisfied with their opportunities for promotion. Statistically significant differences were noted only when the participants’ answers were analysed on the basis of their specialization (F2,190 = 7.111, p = 0.001 < 0.005). More specifically, the LSD test showed that the teaching staff are significantly more satisfied with their opportunities for promotion (M = 2.64, T.A. = 1.04) than the special education staff (M = 2.35, T.A. = 0.98) and the administrative staff (M = 1.68, T.A. = 0.64), who are dissatisfied. No statistically significant differences were noted in the views of the participants regarding the opportunities for promotion on the basis of other demographic characteristics.

4.3. Fringe Benefits

The reliability coefficient of the responses relating to fringe benefits is 68.1%. The mean degree of satisfaction of the participants from fringe benefits is 3.11 with a standard deviation of 1.01, which means that the participants appear to be neutral – neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with fringe benefits. In terms of the age of the participants, statistically significant differences were noted (F3,188 = 3.337, p = 0.021 < 0.05). More specifically, the LSD test showed that the younger participants (21-30 years of age) appear more satisfied with their fringe benefits (M = 3.61, T.A. 0.85) than the participants aged 51-60 (M = 3.18, T.A. 1.08), those aged 31-40 (M = 3.08, T.A. = 0.98), and those aged 41-50 (M = 2.89, T.A. = 1.04) – the latter being the least satisfied. Moreover, the participants’ views differ based on the number of people employed in the same KEDDY (F2,189 = 3.337, p = 0.046 < 0.05) and more specifically, according to the LSD test, those working in a large KEDDY, with over 13 employees (M = 2.58, T.A. = 1.09) are less satisfied than those working in a smaller KEDDY, with 6-12 employees (M = 3.17, T.A. = 1.02) and 1-5 employees (M = 3.17, T.A. = 0.88), who express the same degree of satisfaction for the fringe benefits. Finally, a statistically significant difference in the views regarding fringe benefits was noted based on the service status of the participants (t = 2.644, df = 190, p = 0.009 < 0.05) and more specifically substitute staff appear more satisfied (M = 3.35, T.A. = 0.92) than the permanently employed (M = 2.95, T.A. = 1.04) as regards fringe benefits.

4.4. Contingent Rewards

With regard to contingent rewards, the reliability coefficient of the responses is 80.6%. According to the participants’ responses, the mean degree of satisfaction from contingent rewards is 3.77 with a standard deviation of 1.12, which means that the participants express small satisfaction from contingent rewards. The views of the participants differ depending on gender (t = 3.142, df = 191, p = 0.002 < 0.005) and more specifically women appear more satisfied with contingent rewards (M = 3.89, T.A. = 1.10) than men, who appear less satisfied (M = 3.26, T.A. = 1.11). Statistically significant differences were noted in terms of the service status of the participants (t = 3.035, df = 191, p = 0.003 < 0.005) and more specifically, substitute staff appear more satisfied (M = 4.07, T.A. = 0.94) than the permanently employed (M = 3.58, T.A. = 1.19) with regard to contingent rewards.

4.5. Supervisor

The reliability coefficient of the responses relating to the Supervisor is 91.9%. According to the participants’ responses, the mean degree of satisfaction from the Supervisor is 5.08 with a standard deviation of 1.17, which means that the participants are satisfied with their Supervisor. The only statistically significant difference noted relates to the Supervisor’s specialization (t = 2.281, df = 191, p = 0.024 < 0.05), and more specifically, the participants appear almost totally satisfied with a Supervisor who is a member of the special education staff (M = 5.40, T.A. = 0.67) as opposed to a Supervisor who is a member of the teaching staff (M = 4.97, T.A. = 1.28).

4.6. Co-workers

The reliability coefficient of the responses relating to co-workers is 73%. The mean degree of satisfaction of the participants with their co-workers is 5.11 with a standard deviation of 0.83, which means that the participants are satisfied with their co-workers. The views of the participants differ depending on gender (t = 2.159, df = 190, p = 0.033 < 0.05) and more specifically, women appear almost totally satisfied with their co-workers (M = 5.18, T.A. = 0.82) as opposed to men, who appear less so (M = 4.84, T.A. = 0.85). A statistically significant difference was noted in the participants’ responses based on their years of service in the KEDDY (F2,189 = 3.502, p = 0.032 < 0.05). More specifically, according to the LSD test, the participants with 6 to 10 years of service appear less satisfied with their co-workers (M = 4.89, T.A. = 0.91) than the participants with 11 to 15 years of service (M = 5.11, T.A. = 0.80) as well as those with 1 to 5 years of service (M = 5.14, T.A. = 1.08) – the latter two presenting no difference between them and being almost totally satisfied with their co-workers.

4.7. Nature of Work

The reliability coefficient of the responses relating to the nature of the work is 78.3%. According to the answers of the participants, the mean degree of satisfaction from the nature of their work is 4.92 with a standard deviation of 0.87, which means that the participants are quite satisfied with the nature of their work. A statistically significant difference was noted in the answers of the participants based on gender (t = 4.325, df = 192, p = 0.000 < 0.001) and more specifically, women appear more satisfied with the nature of their work and the type of tasks performed (M = 5.05, T.A. = 0.79) than men, who appear less so (M = 4.38, T.A. = 1.08). Statistically significant differences were noted in the participants’ responses based on their specialization (F2,191 = 17.969, p = 0.000 < 0.001). More specifically, the LSD test showed that the administrative staff are much less satisfied with the nature of their work (M = 3.86, T.A. = 1.15) than the special education staff (M = 5.02, T.A. = 0.68) and the teaching staff (M = 5.07, T.A. = 0.93). Moreover, statistically significant differences were noted in the participants’ responses based on the years of service in the KEDDY (F2,191 = 5.097, p = 0.007 < 0.05). More specifically, according to the LSD test, the participants with 1 to 5 years of service are more satisfied with the nature of their work (M = 5.08, T.A. = 0.76), the participants with 11 to 15 years of service are less so (M = 4.99, T.A. = 0.70), while the participants with 6 to 10 years of service are the least satisfied (M = 4.63, T.A. = 1.09). Finally, the participants’ responses differ depending on their service status (t = 2.611, df = 192, p = 0.010 < 0.05) and specifically, substitute staff appear more satisfied with the nature of their work (M = 5.12, T.A. = 0.67) than the permanently employed (M = 4.79, T.A. = 0.98).

4.8. Communication

The responses relating to communication have a reliability coefficient of 77.1%. The mean degree of satisfaction of the participants from communication is 4.74 with a standard deviation of 0.96, which means that they are quite satisfied with communication in their job. The only statistically significant difference was noted in the participants’ responses based on gender (t = 2.623, df = 192, p = 0.009 < 0.05), and more specifically, women appear more satisfied with communication within the service (M = 4.82, T.A. = 0.90) than men, who are less satisfied (M = 4.37, T.A. = 1.13).

4.9. Operating Conditions

The reliability coefficient of the responses relating to the operating conditions is 43.3%. According to the responses of the participants in the study, the mean degree of satisfaction from the operating conditions is 2.94 with a standard deviation of 0.82, which means that the participants appear to be neutral, neither satisfied nor dissatisfied from the operating conditions, and no statistically significant differences were noted in their views.

5. Discussion

The analysis of the findings has made clear that the participants are overall rather satisfied with their job. These findings agree with the data that emerged from the survey research in 15, who used a sample of 357 primary and secondary school teachers working in the Prefecture of Thessaloniki in order to study the teachers’ job satisfaction and the extent to which this is affected by their personal characteristics. The findings of her survey indicated a generally high level of job satisfaction among the teachers.

At the same time, significant differences were noted in the role played by demographic characteristics (e.g. gender, age, employment relationship) in the overall job satisfaction. Most findings presented agree with those of other surveys 22, 23, 24, while new original data have emerged which need further investigating, as they are now being applied to the KEDDY staff for the first time.

Generally, women appear more satisfied with their job, as shown in a previous study as in 25. The same is also true of substitute staff. The special education staff appeared to be significantly more satisfied with their job than the teaching and the administrative staff – the latter expressing the least satisfaction. Also, the number of people employed in the KEDDY significantly affects the participants’ responses with regard to their job: participants serving in a KEDDY with few employees (1-5) appear more satisfied with their job than participants serving in a KEDDY with 6-12 employees as well as those serving in a KEDDY with more than 13 employees – the latter being the least satisfied with their job.

Regarding their pay, participants are not satisfied with it, which may be related to the pay cuts in the Greek public sector. Women appear marginally more satisfied with their pay than men, who appear less satisfied.

Younger participants (21-30 years of age) appear more satisfied with their pay than participants aged 31-40, 41-50 and 51-60. According to the findings of the survey as in 24, this means that job satisfaction tends to be higher when the individual first starts working but diminishes later on.

The special education staffs are significantly more satisfied with their pay than the teaching and the administrative staff.

In terms of their years of service in KEDDY, the participants with 6 to 10 years of service appear significantly less satisfied with their pay than the participants with 11 to 15 years of service, as well as those with 1 to 5 years of service, who are the most satisfied with their pay.

The number of people employed in the KEDDY appears to affect significantly the participants’ responses with regard to their pay: the participants serving in a KEDDY with few employees (1-5) appear more satisfied with their pay than those serving in a KEDDY with 6-12 employees and those serving in a KEDDY with more than 13 employees – the latter being the least satisfied with their pay.

Finally, in terms of the service status of the participants, substitute staff appear more satisfied with their pay than the permanent staff, as they are subject to a different salary scheme.

Regarding the opportunities for promotion, the participants are not satisfied. The teaching staff are significantly more satisfied with their opportunities for promotion than the special education staff and the administrative staff, who are dissatisfied, since they are practically offered no opportunities for advancement by the current legislation. These results are also supported by the survey as in 24, where the development of the workforce or rather the opportunities offered by the organization to the employees regarding their education, future professional advancement and general enhancement of their skills, were seen to have a direct impact on their feelings of job satisfaction.

Regarding fringe benefits, which have certainly been cut in public education over the years of the financial crisis, the participants appear on the whole neutral, being neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. However, younger participants (21-30 years of age) appear more satisfied with fringe benefits than the participants aged 51-60, 31-40, as well as those aged 41-50, who are the least satisfied.

Based on the number of employees serving in the same KEDDY, the participants working in a large KEDDY, with more than 13 employees, are less satisfied than those working in a smaller KEDDY, with 6-12 and 1-5 employees – the latter two groups expressing the same degree of satisfaction with regard to fringe benefits.

Finally, based on service status, substitute staff appear more satisfied than permanent public servants, as they are subject to a different salary scheme and are offered more opportunities for further education or specialization by participating in European funding programmes.

Regarding contingent rewards, the participants express small satisfaction. However, women appear more satisfied than men, while substitute staff appear more satisfied than permanent staff.

The participants appear to be satisfied with their Supervisor. This finding seems to confirm the theory of the conceptual framework which postulates that the factor of the Supervisor is expected to affect job satisfaction positively 26. In fact, based on the specialization of the Supervisor, the participants appear almost totally satisfied with a Supervisor who is a member of the special education staff, as opposed to a Supervisor who is a member of the teaching staff.

All the participants appear to be satisfied with their co-workers. Women appear almost totally satisfied, as opposed to men who appear less satisfied. Also, participants with 6 to 10 years of service appear less satisfied than those with 11 to 15 years of service, as well as those with 1 to 5 years of service – the latter two groups showing no difference between them and being almost totally satisfied with their co-workers.

The participants are rather satisfied from the nature of their work. This finding is confirmed by the research as in 27 and the older research as in 28. Women appear more satisfied with the nature of their work and the type of tasks performed than men, who appear less satisfied.

Based on their specialization, administrative staff are much less satisfied from the nature of their work, possibly because of the workload and the very specific demands for which they have not received the appropriate training so as to be efficient, as opposed to the special education and the teaching staff.

Moreover, participants with 1 to 5 years of service are more satisfied with the nature of their work. Less so are participants with 11 to 15 years of service, while the least satisfied are those with 6 to 10 years of service. Substitute staff appear more satisfied with the nature of their work than the permanent staff. Substitute staff appear to be more alert, as they are trying to keep their post, and work with greater enthusiasm.

The participants are quite satisfied with communication in their job. Women appear more satisfied with communication in the service than men, who appear less satisfied. Finally, the participants appear to be neutral, neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, with the operating conditions.

6. Limitations

Although the current survey has led to some statistically significant findings, there are certain limitations. Initially there is a big difference in the percentages of men and women, with the sample of the survey being mostly represented by women. The fact that no big differences were noted between the two sexes is probably due to this disproportion. Also, despite the satisfactory and rather big number of the sample, there were disproportions in the individual groups of the specializations, so that no comparisons could be drawn and no associations could be made with other groups either. Finally, the use of questionnaires involves the risk of answers not being entirely sincere, which means that the findings are to a certain degree compromised. Also, it is not known whether the participants faced certain difficulties in filling in the questionnaire, since they were not in contact with the researcher. As a result, a future qualitative survey including interviews would provide further useful conclusions.

7. Suggestions

The KEDDY are special working spaces where professionals of many different specializations have to cooperate and work in an interdisciplinary way, a space which has yet to be researched and whose needs in terms of staffing have not even been recorded yet, whether these needs relate to material and technical infrastructure or to the staff’s further education.

In so special a working environment, a public service with an explicit educational orientation, responsible among other things for issuing medical reports stating the learning needs of the students of the wider country, is inadequately staffed, having a shortage both of permanent teachers and of teachers specialized in relevant fields as provided by the law. It is also a working space employing mostly a female population, since these are specializations chosen mostly by women.

It is also important to investigate in detail the differentiations and the causal factors of the high levels of job satisfaction when the Supervisor is a member of the special education staff – whether, that is, this is relevant to the Supervisor having been educated in interpersonal relationships and communication - as well as what could function as motivation so that Supervisors who are members of the teaching staff can develop skills that will contribute to a greater degree of satisfaction.

Future research could highlight issues relating to satisfaction or even exhaustion of the staff, their emotional maturity, the organizational structure, as well as the way an interdisciplinary team works and the difficulties emerging thereby.

References

[1]  Law 3699/2008, Government Gazette Α΄, 199/ 2-10-2008. Special Education of people with disabilities or special educational needs.
In article      
 
[2]  Alevriadou, A., and Lang, L. (2011). Active Citizenship and Contexts of Special Education: A Critical Perspective, London: Cice.
In article      
 
[3]  Tsakiridou, H. and Polyzopoulou, K. (2014). Greek teachers’ attitudes toward the inclusion of students with special educational needs, American Journal of Educational Research, 2 (4), 208-218.
In article      
 
[4]  Sharma, U., Loreman, T., and Forlin, C. (2012). Measuring teacher efficacy to implement inclusive practices, Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 12 (1), 12-21.
In article      
 
[5]  Kwong, J., Wang, H., and Clifton, R.A. (2010). Rethinking our assumptions about teachers’ job satisfaction in China and the West, Australian Journal of Education, 54 (2), 115-132.
In article      View Article
 
[6]  Petrili, S. (2007). Investigation of the effect of a number of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on the sense of job satisfaction among employees of private companies. MA Thesis. Athens. Panteion University of Athens. (In Greek).
In article      
 
[7]  Saiti, A. (2007). Main factors of job satisfaction among primary school educators: Factor analysis of the Greek reality, Management in Education, 21(2), 28-32.
In article      
 
[8]  Saiti, A., and Fassoulis, K. (2012). Job satisfaction: Factor analysis of Greek primary school principals’ perceptions, International Journal of Educational Management, 26 (4), 370-380.
In article      
 
[9]  Oshagbemi, T. (2000). Gender differences in the job satisfaction of university teachers, Women in Management Review, 15 (7), 331-343.
In article      
 
[10]  Dimitriadis, S., Bantikos K., and Papadopoulos, D. (2012). Factors affecting job satisfaction among male and female primary school teachers and limiting professional stress, The Educations, 103-104, 29-39. (In Greek).
In article      
 
[11]  Warr, P. (2005). Work, well-being and mental Health. In: Barling J., Kelloway K., and Frone M. (eds), Handbook of Work Stress. New York: Sage.
In article      
 
[12]  Tarasiadou, A. and Platsidou, M. (2009). Επαγγελματική ικανοποίηση νηπιαγωγών: Ατομικές Διαφορές και Προβλεπτικοί Παράγοντες. [Job satisfaction among nursery school teachers: Individual differences and predictive factors], Επιστήμες Αγωγής, 4, 141-154.
In article      
 
[13]  Sharma, R. D. and Jyoti, J. (2009). Job satisfaction of university teachers: An empirical study, Journal of Services Research, 9 (2), 51-80.
In article      
 
[14]  Bogler, R. and Nir, A.E. (2012). The importance of teachers’ perceived organizational support to job satisfaction: What’s empowerment got to do with it?, Journal of Educational Administration, 50 (3), 287-306.
In article      
 
[15]  Koustelios, A. and Kousteliou, I. (2001). Job satisfaction and professional exhaustion in education, Phycology, 8 (1), 30-39. (In Greek).
In article      
 
[16]  Zembylas, M. and Papanastasiou, E. (2006). Sources of teacher job satisfaction and dissatisfaction in Cyprus. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 36 (2), 229-247.
In article      
 
[17]  Van Maele, D. & Van Houtte, M. (2012). The Role of teacher and faculty trust in forming teachers’ job satisfaction: Do years of experience make a difference?. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28, 879-889.
In article      
 
[18]  Grammatikou, Κ. (2010). Job Satisfaction Among Primary School Teachers with Regard to Working Conditions, Athens: MA Thesis. (In Greek).
In article      
 
[19]  Anari, N.N. (2012). Teachers: Emotional intelligence, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment, Journal of Workplace Learning, 24 (4), 256-269.
In article      
 
[20]  Markovits, Y., Davis, A.J., and Dick, R. (2007). Organizational commitment profiles and job satisfaction among Greek private and public sector employees, International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 7 (1), 77-99.
In article      
 
[21]  Spector, P.E. (1985). “Measurement of human service staff satisfaction: Development of the Job Satisfaction Survey”, American Journal of Community Psychology, 13 (6), 693-713
In article      
 
[22]  Hulin, C.L., and Smith, P.C. (1965). A linear model of job satisfaction., Journal of Applied Psychology, 49 (3), 209-216.
In article      
 
[23]  Steijn B., (2004). Human resource management and job satisfaction in the Dutch public sector, Review of Public Personnel Administration, 24 (4), 291-303.
In article      
 
[24]  Wright, B.E., and Davis, B.S. (2003). Job satisfaction in the public sector: The role of the work environment, The American Review of Public Administration, 33(1), 70-90.
In article      
 
[25]  Koustelios, A.D. (2001). Personal characteristics and job satisfaction of Greek teachers, The International Journal of Educational Management, 15 (7), 354-358.
In article      
 
[26]  Barton, L. (2003). Inclusive education and teacher education: Α basis of hope or a discourse of delusion. Inaugural Professional Lecture, London: Institute of Education, University of London.
In article      
 
[27]  Lam, T., and Zhang, H.Q. (2003). Job satisfaction and organizational commitment in the Hong Kong fast food industry, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 15 (4), 214-220.
In article      
 
[28]  Spathis, P. (1999). The Financing of Greek Agriculture by 2010. In: Greek Agriculture towards 2010. Editor: N. Maravegias, 223-238. Athens: Papazisi publications.
In article      
 

Published with license by Science and Education Publishing, Copyright © 2018 Helen Tsakiridou and Stavroula Kolovou

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Normal Style
Helen Tsakiridou, Stavroula Kolovou. Job Satisfaction among Special Education Professionals. American Journal of Educational Research. Vol. 6, No. 11, 2018, pp 1565-1572. http://pubs.sciepub.com/education/6/11/16
MLA Style
Tsakiridou, Helen, and Stavroula Kolovou. "Job Satisfaction among Special Education Professionals." American Journal of Educational Research 6.11 (2018): 1565-1572.
APA Style
Tsakiridou, H. , & Kolovou, S. (2018). Job Satisfaction among Special Education Professionals. American Journal of Educational Research, 6(11), 1565-1572.
Chicago Style
Tsakiridou, Helen, and Stavroula Kolovou. "Job Satisfaction among Special Education Professionals." American Journal of Educational Research 6, no. 11 (2018): 1565-1572.
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[1]  Law 3699/2008, Government Gazette Α΄, 199/ 2-10-2008. Special Education of people with disabilities or special educational needs.
In article      
 
[2]  Alevriadou, A., and Lang, L. (2011). Active Citizenship and Contexts of Special Education: A Critical Perspective, London: Cice.
In article      
 
[3]  Tsakiridou, H. and Polyzopoulou, K. (2014). Greek teachers’ attitudes toward the inclusion of students with special educational needs, American Journal of Educational Research, 2 (4), 208-218.
In article      
 
[4]  Sharma, U., Loreman, T., and Forlin, C. (2012). Measuring teacher efficacy to implement inclusive practices, Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 12 (1), 12-21.
In article      
 
[5]  Kwong, J., Wang, H., and Clifton, R.A. (2010). Rethinking our assumptions about teachers’ job satisfaction in China and the West, Australian Journal of Education, 54 (2), 115-132.
In article      View Article
 
[6]  Petrili, S. (2007). Investigation of the effect of a number of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on the sense of job satisfaction among employees of private companies. MA Thesis. Athens. Panteion University of Athens. (In Greek).
In article      
 
[7]  Saiti, A. (2007). Main factors of job satisfaction among primary school educators: Factor analysis of the Greek reality, Management in Education, 21(2), 28-32.
In article      
 
[8]  Saiti, A., and Fassoulis, K. (2012). Job satisfaction: Factor analysis of Greek primary school principals’ perceptions, International Journal of Educational Management, 26 (4), 370-380.
In article      
 
[9]  Oshagbemi, T. (2000). Gender differences in the job satisfaction of university teachers, Women in Management Review, 15 (7), 331-343.
In article      
 
[10]  Dimitriadis, S., Bantikos K., and Papadopoulos, D. (2012). Factors affecting job satisfaction among male and female primary school teachers and limiting professional stress, The Educations, 103-104, 29-39. (In Greek).
In article      
 
[11]  Warr, P. (2005). Work, well-being and mental Health. In: Barling J., Kelloway K., and Frone M. (eds), Handbook of Work Stress. New York: Sage.
In article      
 
[12]  Tarasiadou, A. and Platsidou, M. (2009). Επαγγελματική ικανοποίηση νηπιαγωγών: Ατομικές Διαφορές και Προβλεπτικοί Παράγοντες. [Job satisfaction among nursery school teachers: Individual differences and predictive factors], Επιστήμες Αγωγής, 4, 141-154.
In article      
 
[13]  Sharma, R. D. and Jyoti, J. (2009). Job satisfaction of university teachers: An empirical study, Journal of Services Research, 9 (2), 51-80.
In article      
 
[14]  Bogler, R. and Nir, A.E. (2012). The importance of teachers’ perceived organizational support to job satisfaction: What’s empowerment got to do with it?, Journal of Educational Administration, 50 (3), 287-306.
In article      
 
[15]  Koustelios, A. and Kousteliou, I. (2001). Job satisfaction and professional exhaustion in education, Phycology, 8 (1), 30-39. (In Greek).
In article      
 
[16]  Zembylas, M. and Papanastasiou, E. (2006). Sources of teacher job satisfaction and dissatisfaction in Cyprus. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 36 (2), 229-247.
In article      
 
[17]  Van Maele, D. & Van Houtte, M. (2012). The Role of teacher and faculty trust in forming teachers’ job satisfaction: Do years of experience make a difference?. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28, 879-889.
In article      
 
[18]  Grammatikou, Κ. (2010). Job Satisfaction Among Primary School Teachers with Regard to Working Conditions, Athens: MA Thesis. (In Greek).
In article      
 
[19]  Anari, N.N. (2012). Teachers: Emotional intelligence, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment, Journal of Workplace Learning, 24 (4), 256-269.
In article      
 
[20]  Markovits, Y., Davis, A.J., and Dick, R. (2007). Organizational commitment profiles and job satisfaction among Greek private and public sector employees, International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 7 (1), 77-99.
In article      
 
[21]  Spector, P.E. (1985). “Measurement of human service staff satisfaction: Development of the Job Satisfaction Survey”, American Journal of Community Psychology, 13 (6), 693-713
In article      
 
[22]  Hulin, C.L., and Smith, P.C. (1965). A linear model of job satisfaction., Journal of Applied Psychology, 49 (3), 209-216.
In article      
 
[23]  Steijn B., (2004). Human resource management and job satisfaction in the Dutch public sector, Review of Public Personnel Administration, 24 (4), 291-303.
In article      
 
[24]  Wright, B.E., and Davis, B.S. (2003). Job satisfaction in the public sector: The role of the work environment, The American Review of Public Administration, 33(1), 70-90.
In article      
 
[25]  Koustelios, A.D. (2001). Personal characteristics and job satisfaction of Greek teachers, The International Journal of Educational Management, 15 (7), 354-358.
In article      
 
[26]  Barton, L. (2003). Inclusive education and teacher education: Α basis of hope or a discourse of delusion. Inaugural Professional Lecture, London: Institute of Education, University of London.
In article      
 
[27]  Lam, T., and Zhang, H.Q. (2003). Job satisfaction and organizational commitment in the Hong Kong fast food industry, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 15 (4), 214-220.
In article      
 
[28]  Spathis, P. (1999). The Financing of Greek Agriculture by 2010. In: Greek Agriculture towards 2010. Editor: N. Maravegias, 223-238. Athens: Papazisi publications.
In article