School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Angela Smith


Job Satisfaction, Special Education, Rural, Administrators, Special Education Teachers




The purpose of this collective case study was to describe special education teacher and administrator perceptions of administrator practices that support job satisfaction of special education teachers in a rural Southwest Virginia public school district. The theory guiding this study is Herzberg’s motivational-hygiene theory of job satisfaction (1959). Purposeful convenience sampling was used to select 11 participants who are administrators or special education teachers who currently work in the rural public school setting. Face-to-face interviews, observations, and a focus group were used in order to seek to answer the questions: How do special education teachers and administrators describe practices that support job satisfaction of rural special education teachers? How do administrator practices that motivate special education teachers increase job satisfaction? How do administrator practices that improve the school environment influence special education teacher perceptions of job satisfaction? How does enriching the school environment by an administrator influence the job satisfaction of special education teachers? Analysis of the data was performed using categorical aggregation to identify codes and themes, which were then used to determine what is meaningful to the study in the data collected. Results showed that when administrators initiate practices that support the job satisfaction of rural special education teachers and enrich the school environment, it is likely that job satisfaction will increase which may influence special education teacher decisions to remain in their positions.

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