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Teacher job satisfaction and learner performance in South Africa


  • Chux Gervase Iwu
  • Henrie Olumide Benedict
  • Robertson Khan Tengeh


Against the backdrop of the dismal performance of a number of South African high Schools in recent years, this study investigates the relationship between poor performance of learners and teacher motivation in selected high schools in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Adopting an exploratory approach, a random sample of 279 educators was drawn from the database of the poorly performing high schools as provided by the Western Cape Department of Education. Using closed and open-ended questions, a survey questionnaire was utilized to collect data. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS version 21) was utilised to analyse the data. A number of descriptive statistical tests including Chi Square, and Spearman’s correlation were conducted on the data. The results suggest that highly motivated educators experience job satisfaction; and also perform better than their poorly motivated counterparts. In terms of motivation, the results further suggest that a mix of intrinsic and extrinsic factors tend to exert influence on the educators motivation. For instance, working conditions, job security, and perceived growth opportunities in order of importance were noted to be contributing factors. As far as the obstacles that these educators encounter, lack of resources, work over load and lack of recognition were noted in order of severity. A positive relationship between the factors that influence an educators’ motivation and the level of obstacles encountered was noted. The implication is that, notwithstanding the rankings of the two sets of factors, no factor should be addressed in isolation.

Suggested Citation

  • Chux Gervase Iwu & Henrie Olumide Benedict & Robertson Khan Tengeh, 2013. "Teacher job satisfaction and learner performance in South Africa," Journal of Economics and Behavioral Studies, AMH International, vol. 5(12), pages 838-850.
  • Handle: RePEc:rnd:arjebs:v:5:y:2013:i:12:p:838-850
    DOI: 10.22610/jebs.v5i12.457.g457

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Randall Eberts & Kevin Hollenbeck & Joe Stone, 2002. "Teacher Performance Incentives and Student Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 913-927.
    2. Dan Goldhaber & Michael Hansen, 2010. "Using Performance on the Job to Inform Teacher Tenure Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 250-255, May.
    3. Haroon Bhorat & Morne Oosthuizen, 2009. "Determinants of Grade 12 Pass Rates in the Post-Apartheid South African Schooling System," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 18(4), pages 634-666, August.
    4. Randall W. Eberts & Kevin Hollenbeck & Joe A. Stone, 2002. "Teacher Performance Incentives, collective Bargaining, and Student Outcomes," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers, in: Paula B. Voos (ed.),Industrial Relations Research Association (IRRA) Series, Proceedings of the 54th Annual Meeting, pages 180-192, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
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