School of Education
Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)
special educators, paraprofessionals, sense of community, job satisfaction
Education | Special Education and Teaching
Cooke, Jennifer Casi, "Differences in Job Satisfaction Between Special Educators When Controlling for Sense of Community" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4242.
Attrition among educators is a continuing concern in the area of special education. Job satisfaction has been associated with teacher burnout and teacher attrition. Many times, multiple educators work in a close environment creating a need for community in special education. The purpose of this study is to identify differences in job satisfaction among special educator roles, including collaborative general education teachers and inclusive special education teachers, as well as self-contained special education teachers and paraprofessionals, when controlling for sense of community. A quantitative, causal comparative design was used to determine differences among job satisfaction between special educators. The study involved 93 participants with 34 collaborative general education teachers, 30 inclusive special education teachers, 14 self-contained special education teachers, and 15 paraprofessionals. Participants were selected from public school districts in Virginia containing elementary, middle, and high schools. Variables were collected using two survey instruments, including Paul Spector’s Job Satisfaction Survey (JSS), to determine educator satisfaction, and Wilfried Admiraal and Ditte Lockhorst’s Sense of Community in School Scale (SCSS) to identify educator’s perception of community. Data was gathered using SurveyMonkey. In addition, data was analyzed using an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) to determine if there were significant differences in job satisfaction between educator roles while controlling for the covariate, perceived sense of community.