Little research on the relationship between principals' leadership styles and teachers' job satisfaction has been conducted in the early childhood field. This study focused on the job satisfaction and dissatisfaction of early childhood teachers. This was done through in-depth individual interviews with both the working and exit early childhood teachers. Through reflection and evaluation, the teachers were able to voice out their experiences of working under different leadership styles of their principals. It was found that relationship between the principals' attitudes would have great effect on the teachers' job satisfaction as well as dissatisfaction. In the early childhood field, principals are taken as the sole managers of their respective kindergartens. They have the great opportunity either to empower their staff or to impede them from working creatively and energetically. From the reflection of teachers, it was revealed that the more progressive leadership styles were more supported by the teachers. During the interviews, the teachers expressed their grievance on the unfairness of authoritative leadership displayed by some of the principals. On the contrary, the humanistic approach of leadership had encouraged the staff to work more energetically and creatively. Effective communication between the leaders and the followers were taken as a critical element to support teachers' job satisfaction and thus their organizational commitment. Analysis of the thoughts of the teachers yielded implication vital for the future leaders in the field.
|Published - Nov 1999