Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education


The purpose of this study focused on identifying the perceived factors needed for

maintaining and improving job satisfaction of K-5 teachers in Illinois. Determining how

school leaders can improve their understanding of all generations, and therefore work to

increase motivation amongst a growing age span of teachers, is of increasing importance. Increased legal and mandated demands in the field of education have made teaching and school administration more challenging. Based on what the field of education knows about motivation and research on generational intelligences this study answered questions about what building principals need to understand about Veterans, Baby Boomers, Generation Xers, and Millennials in order to increase job satisfaction, as defined by Daniel Pink (2009) as autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Implications for educational leaders as they attempt to attract, motivate, and retain a teaching faculty that potentially can represent a generational span of over 50 years were then established.

This qualitative study surveyed 435 K-5 teachers across a random sampling of Illinois

school districts. After the researcher received cooperation from their superintendents,

teachers anonymously and voluntarily responded to a Teacher Motivation Survey created by the researcher. Data collected during the study were analyzed through the theoretical framework of Daniel Pink (2009), author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.

This study concluded that the needs of each generation can vary with regard to generation, but do not identify great variation in the motivating factors that push teachers to become better or methods by which job satisfaction was impacted. What the generations indicated as a motivator does not necessarily equate to more job satisfaction (or reduced stress levels). Three major takeaways found in the research were the importance of administrative competency, levels of district support, and the high degree of student care, student concern, and hopefulness that existed from teachers in Illinois' school systems.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.