Dynamics of job satisfaction and retention of special needs education teachers in southern Ghana
Kumedzro, Felix Kwame
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The study aimed at investigating dynamics of job satisfaction and retention of special needs education teachers in Southern Ghana. Specific objectives included identifying the relationship between compensation and retention, establishing the correlation between leadership styles and retention, describing the extent to which interpersonal relationship predicts retention, finding out any differences in perception of the teachers and investigating problems facing the special needs schools in relation to teachers’ job satisfaction and retention. In an attempt to focus the study, four null hypotheses were formulated and tested and one research question was posed. The study was based on Herzberg’s Two-factor Theory that explains the determinants of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction of employees. This study adopted descriptive correlational survey method, utilizing mixed methodologies in data collection and analyses. The target population for the study was 375 teachers and 14 head teachers drawn from 14 schools within the study area. The study was however conducted in 9 schools which consisted of 5 schools for the Deaf, 3 schools for the Intellectually Challenged and one school for the Blind. Out of 150 sampled teachers, 140 of them and all the 9 head teachers participated in the study with a return rate of 93.3% for the teachers. Multiple sampling techniques were applied to select the sample schools and the respondents. The main instruments for the data collection were questionnaire and interview schedule. Experts reviewed the teachers’ questionnaire to ensure validity whilst pilot testing of the teachers’ instrument yielded a reliability of 0.77. Quantitative data was analyzed descriptively and inferentially and inferential statistical tools such as Pearson Moment Correlation, Simple Linear Regression and One-Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) were used to test the null hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. Answers to the research question were qualitatively analysed using thematic approach. The findings of the study revealed that there was positive and statistically insignificant relationship between compensation and retention. Also a statistically significant relationship was found between leadership styles and retention of special needs education teachers in Southern Ghana. The study also found that interpersonal relationship was a significant predictor of special educators’ retention. Further findings revealed that there were no statistical significant differences among the three different categories of teacher types in relation to perception about their job satisfaction and retention. Finally, the study discovered that head teachers of special needs schools in Southern Ghana are faced with numerous administrative and management challenges which negatively impact on job satisfaction and retention of special education teachers in Southern Ghana. The study recommended that policy makers and stakeholders take actions aimed at ensuring that special educators are compensated accordingly by instituting differentiated financial and non-financial incentive packages for them. The study also recommended that the Ghana education service should be organising frequent in-service training for head teachers to update their knowledge on contemporary leadership styles that are considered to increase retention.