The meaning in work is predicted to increase a person's commitment and quality. Teachers with high work commitment are the main predictors of the quality of learning and school organization, while those with low commitment and quality increases cases of teacher turnover. This research aims to explore how private teachers in Indonesia analyze meaning in work and its impact on their work commitment. The phenomenological approach was used in this study to explore the essence of the participants' experiences. Semi-structured interviews were carried out to collect data on 15 private primary and secondary school teachers in Indonesia that have worked for more than five years. The subjects were chosen based on their initial research, which has a high meaning in work. The results showed that the meaning in teachers work is formed because it is driven by (1) the feeling of having the opportunity to self-actualize, (2) pride of their work, and (3) high religious attitude. These three factors ultimately encourage teachers’ commitment to work. The research recommends the importance of the principal's policy to support the formation of teacher meaning in work. Furthermore, teachers can also take advantage of these findings by maximizing antecedent factors to increase meaning in work.


Indonesian teacher, meaning in work, phenomenological research, teacher commitment

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Suyatno is an Associate Professor in Universitas Ahmad Dahlan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. His research interests include values education, Islamic education, educational management, and teacher professionalism development in Indonesia. Please direct correspondence to suyatno@pgsd.uad.ac.id.

Dr. Enung Hasanah is a researcher and a lecturer at the Educational Management of Universitas Ahmad Dahlan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. She received her Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Sciences – Social Science Education from Yogyakarta State University, Indonesia. Enung Hasanah also a member of BAN SM Propinsi Yogyakarta (National Accreditation Council for School/Madrasa Special Region of Yogyakarta). Her major research interests include social science, educational psychology, educational science, and culture. Please direct correspondence to enung.hasanah@mp.uad.ac.id.

Dr. Wantini is an Assistant Professor in Department of Islamic Education, Universitas Ahmad Dahlan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Wantini’s research interests include inclusive education, Islamic education, and early childhood education. Please direct correspondence to wantini@mpai.uad.ac.id.

Dholina Inang Pambudi, M.Pd. is an Assistant Professor in Department of Primary Teacher Education, Universitas Ahmad Dahlan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Pambudi’s research interests include teaching and learning at elementary school, disaster risk education, and social studies learning. Please direct correspondence to dholina.pambudi@pgsd.uad.ac.id.

Dr. Supardi is a senior lecturer and researcher at the Faculty of Social Science, Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He received his Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Sciences from Yogyakarta State University, Indonesia. His major research interests include educational sciences, philosophy of education, history, social science, and culture. Please direct correspondence to pardi@uny.ac.id.


The authors are grateful to the Directorate of Research and Community Service (DRPM) of the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture in the form of a Higher Education Excellence Basic Research Grant (Penelitian Dasar Unggulan Perguruan Tinggi/ PDUPT) for funding this research. The authors are also grateful to the DRPM and Ahmad Dahlan University for providing infrastructure support in writing and processing the research data.

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