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Teachers' sense of efficacy and its relationship to selected workplace variables in Colorado high schools

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Title:
Teachers' sense of efficacy and its relationship to selected workplace variables in Colorado high schools
Creator:
Palmer, Jesse Dean
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English
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xi, 187 leaves : illustrations, forms ; 29 cm

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Subjects / Keywords:
Motivation in education ( lcsh )
Self-efficacy ( lcsh )
Teacher effectiveness ( lcsh )
Teachers -- Attitudes ( lcsh )
Teachers -- Psychology ( lcsh )
Motivation in education ( fast )
Self-efficacy ( fast )
Teacher effectiveness ( fast )
Teachers -- Attitudes ( fast )
Teachers -- Psychology ( fast )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 184-187).
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Doctor of Philosophy, Educational Leadership and Innovation.
General Note:
School of Education and Human Development
Statement of Responsibility:
by Jesse Dean Palmer.

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University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
37143111 ( OCLC )
ocm37143111
Classification:
LD1190.E3 1996d .P35 ( lcc )

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Full Text
TEACHERS SENSE OF EFFICACY AND ITS RELATIONSHIP
TO SELECTED WORKPLACE VARIABLES
IN COLORADO HIGH SCHOOLS
by
Jesse Dean Palmer
B. A., Fort Lewis College, 1977
M. A., Northern Arizona University, 1980
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Educational Leadership and Innovation
1996


This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy
degree by
Jesse Dean Palmer
has been approved

Dale T. Gasser

Date
ii


Palmer, Jesse Dean (Ph.D., Educational Leadership and Innovation)
Teachers Sense of Efficacy and its Relationship to Selected
Workplace Variables in Colorado High Schools
Thesis directed by Dr. Michael J. Murphy
ABSTRACT
The principal is viewed as one of the most important
factors in school improvement. Practicing high school principals
continue to search for ways to improve their schools and improve
student achievement. One area that has been shown to be related
to student achievement is teachers sense of efficacy.
This study added to the research on teacher efficacy and the
school as a workplace. The purpose of the study was to discover
the relationship between teachers sense of efficacy and selected
workplace variables. These were Shared School Goals,
Teacher Collaboration, and Teachers Learning Opportunities.
Factor analysis indicated Teacher Efficacy consisted of four
factors, Home Environment, Teacher Effort, Teacher Ability
and General Ability. The workplace variables were also
subjected to factor analysis which resulted in ten factors being
identified.
Teachers sense of efficacy was shown to have weak or no
relationship with any of the ten workplace factors identified in
the study. When a comparison of results was made between the
responses to the intrument by elementary teachers and high


school teachers responses indicated a fundamental contradiction
of perceptions of efficacy between elementary and high school
teachers. The findings indicate a need for an instrument to be
developed at the secondary level to more accurately measure high
school teachers sense of efficacy so further relationships may
be examined.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the
candidates thesis. I recommend its publication.
IV


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
My mother and father taught me to value my education and
to help others. I wish to thank them for all their support during
this project. There has never been a day I didn't feel their love.
My wife Ruthie was my rock during this project. She
supported my work, understood the amount of time I needed, and
never asked, When are you going to finish this thing? I thank
you for all your love and support. I thank Amber and Ashlyn who
were willing to stuff and lick envelopes and always understood
when I had to be gone.
I thank Dr. Michael J. Murphy for guiding me through this
project and never giving up on me. I also wish to thank Dr. Nancy
Sanders who, more often than anyone, got me off center to write.
A special thanks to Dr. David Melendez and Dr. Dale T. Gasser for
their willingness to help in this project, offer suggestions, read,
and support my work. I can never thank all those who helped, but
wish them all to know I appreciate all they have done for me.


CHAPTER
CONTENTS
1. INTRODUCTION..............................................1
Quality of Work Life....................................4
Teacher Efficacy........................................7
The Gap.................................................9
Purpose of the Study...................................11
Research Questions....................................12
Methodology............................................13
Definition of Terms....................................15
2. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE.................................16
Quality of Work Life..................................17
Quality of Worklife Activities...................20
Historical Perspective...........................21
Quality of Work Life and Educational Reform .. 24
School As A Workplace..................................26
Conditions of Teachers Work.....................26
Work Conditions and Quality of Work Life........30
Dimensions of Quality of Work Life.....................32


Work Life Features......................................40
Shared School Goals.....................................40
Teacher Recruitment..............................41
Teacher Socialization............................42
Teacher Evaluation...............................43
Teacher Isolation/Cohesiveness...................44
Managing Student Behavior........................45
Teacher Collaboration...................................46
Teacher Certainty About Instructional and.......46 .
Cultural Practices
Team-Teaching....................................47
Involvement in Decision Making...................48
Teachers Learning Opportunities........................49
Teacher Efficacy........................................52
Components of Efficacy...........................55
Organizational Efficacy..........................58
Factors that Affect Teacher Efficacy.............60
Conclusion..............................................62
vii


3. METHODOLOGY
64
Rationale for Qualitative Research......................66
Sample..................................................68
Survey Procedure........................................69
Unit of Analysis........................................70
Instrumentation.........................................71
Quality of Workplace Instrument...................71
Teacher Efficacy Instrument.......................72
Statistical Tests.......................................74
Research Questions......................................74
Limitations of the Research Design......................76
Human Resource Protection...............................77
4. FINDINGS...................................................78
Findings Concerning Instrumentation.....................81
Factor Analysis of Teacher Efficacy...............85
Factor Analysis of Workplace Variables.......... 89
Population of the Study.................................94
Demographics............................................94
Descriptive Data........................................95
viii


Correlations Between Demographic Variables.............96
Summary of Data Regarding Teacher Efficacy.............98
Home Environment.................................98
Teacher Effort................... .............100
Teacher Ability.................................100
General Ability.................................101
Summary of Data Regarding Workplace Variables .. 103
Shared School Goals.............................103
Teacher Collaboration.................................106
Teachers Learning Opportunities................109
Estimates of Reliability..............................110
Data Analysis.........................................111
Correlations Between Teacher Efficacy and
Workplace Variables...................................112
Summary of Findings for Teacher Efficacy and
Workplace Variables...................................115
Discussion of the Findings............................116
Research Question #1............................117
Research Question #2............................122
Research Question #3............................129
ix


I
Summary of Major Findings..........................131
5. SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, IMPLICATIONS, AND
RECOMMENDATIONS....................................133
Summary of the Study.........................133
Sample.......................................135
Research Questions and Methods...............136
Plausible Explanations of Results..................139
Effective School Research..........................143
Conclusions........................................151
Implications.......................................158
Recommendations for Future Research................161
Summary............................................163
Reflections........................................165
APPENDIX
Appendix A.........................................170
Appendix B.........................................176
Appendix C.........................................177
Appendix D.........................................178
Appendix E.........................................179
x


I
Appendix F........................................180
Appendix G.......................................182
Appendix H.......................................183
BIBLIOGRAPHY...........................................184
xi


I
I
CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
During the last decade of educational reform, researchers
have studied numerous variables in various areas, all with
aspirations of ultimately improving the quality of schools and
increasing student achievement. These studies have focused on
variables that increase student learning, develop self-esteem,
and improve teaching methods. Not to be ignored in the reform
movement are the numerous studies examining the area of school
administration. Much of the literature points to principal
leadership as one of the primary foundations for making schools
more effective. Principal leadership areas such as instructional
leadership, management, leadership styles and characteristics,
behaviors and practices are cited frequently. While there is
evidence to support the need for leadership, the literature is not
clear as to the type or style of leadership that is needed. It is
clear about the fact that leadership must exist in the school.
(Purkey and Smith,!983; Bossert, Dwyer, Rowan, & Lee, 1982;


Corcoran, 1985). It would therefore, follow that in order to be
able to provide that leadership, a principal must be familiar with
and use results of the above mentioned studies and their
ramifications for the school environment.
Along with the standard categories of study, additional
topics have been identified as "effective" in the current
literature of which the principal needs to be aware. These
include areas such as shared decision making and site-based
management, and principal effects on schools; all sharing the goal
of improving schooling and increasing student achievement.
While it is true that much of the research on effective schools
has been completed at the elementary level, research in effective
secondary schools has provided similar findings (Newman, Rutter,
& Smith, 1989; MacKenzie, 1982). These findings seem to
emphasize Cocoran's (1985) belief that "the policies formed, and
organizational characteristics of schools affect the behavior of
their students and the levels of their academic achievement"
(p.86). These pieces, when used by the principal, all have
contributed to a foundation that builds more effective schools.
A relatively new area of emphasis in school reform
2


affecting principal leadership focuses attention on the school as
a workplace. The emphasis includes practices or conditions that
exist in schools and the effect of those conditions on the quality
of work life (QWL). The topic of quality of work life (QWL) is no
stranger to the world of business and industry, but it has been a
relatively untouched area of exploration in the educational arena.
Most of the existing literature about QWL concentrates on
elementary schools. (Rosenholtz & Simpson, 1989). Recently,
however, additional contributions by Newman, Rutter and Smith
(1989) and Louis (1990) have helped identify organizational
factors that affect teachers quality of work life at the
secondary level. This work bridges the gap between elementary
and secondary schools and has certainly brought the area of
teachers quality of work life to the forefront of the second wave
of educational reform. The intent is to shed additional light on
issues that will enhance teacher professionalism, help schools
become more effective and ultimately increase student
achievement in schools throughout the country. With this
sentiment taken into consideration, the focus of attention for a
high school principal should be on how quality of work life
3


features affect the organization of a school, its staff, and
ultimately its students.
Quality of Work Life
Quality of work life studies are nothing new to business and
industry. Industry has studied factors that will affect many
different aspects of work in general. There have been several
studies that have focused on quality of work life issues. These
studies have shown a relationship between cooperative labor
relations, productivity, safety, and processes for facilitating
change within organizations (Goodman, 1979; Kochan & Gobeille,
1983; Schuster, 1983). Bushe (1988) concluded that for QWL
projects to be successful, attention must be focused on the
structure of relationships among union officials, workers, and
managers who interact on a daily basis.
Only recently have QWL issues been identified in the
effective schools research. The literature in this area is
relatively limited at the high school level. The evidence that is
present suggests several dimensions of the quality of work life.
The literature offers a caveat however, that factors be
interpreted not as fixed, objective criteria, but as social-
4


psychological perceptions of the work environment (Louis &
Smith, 1990). These dimensions include: 1) respect from relevant
adults, 2) participation in decision-making, 3) frequent and
stimulating professional interaction, 4) a high sense of efficacy,
5) use of skills and knowledge, 6) resources to carry out the job,
and 7) goal congruence (Johnson, 1990; Louis and Smith 1990).
Certainly an argument can be made that practicing
administrators have a direct role in what conditions exist in
their buildings and that they play an integral part in any changes
that occur in the school. The literature in the area of school
leadership is quite clear on the paramount role of the principal in
providing the impetus for effective change. If administrators had
a source of information available to them that would identify
work conditions that contributed to teachers quality of work life
as well as helped to create more effective schools, then perhaps
they would plan even more carefully the policies they supported,
the practices in which they were engaged and how they perceived
changes and their implementation in the future.
While the important role of the principal has been noted in
the effective schools literature, two major points are
5


emphasized that may have a direct bearing on this research.
First, the literature points to the building principals, and their
leadership as the determining factor in building effective
schools. (Bossert, Dwyer, Rowan, &Lee, 1982; Clark, Lotto, &
Astuto.l 984; Newman, Smith, & Rutter, 1989 ) While this is
obviously an important finding, the literature fails to offer a
definitive suggestion as to the most effective style of leadership
to be used and, in fact, emphasizes that no one style is more
effective than another. Secondly, the literature also indicates
that effective practices engaged in by principals have not been
shown to a have a direct effect on the most important factor in
schools, student achievement. With these points in mind, perhaps
practicing administrators should ask the question, Are there
conditions that, when present in teachers workplaces, have a
direct or indirect relationship to student achievement?"
One possible solution to this question may be found in the
literature on effective leadership and the quality of work life.
One of the several variables that has been shown to have a direct
effect on student achievement is that of teachers sense of
efficacy (Ashton & Webb, 1986; Gibson & Dembo, 1984; and
6


Chubb, 1988). This variable has also been identified as one of the
seven indicators of a quality work place and contributes to
making teaching more engaging and more effective (Rosenholtz,
1985; Johnson, 1990). These findings make the area of teachers
sense of efficacy one of particular interest. If one were to
examine other conditions that contributed to the quality of the
work place and those conditions then could be linked to teachers
sense of efficacy, practicing administrators would have
additional resources available to them that would help them to
select specific areas to concentrate on when examining work
place conditions in their own buildings or districts.
Teacher Efficacy
Teacher efficacy is a construct taken from the social
psychological literature based on Banduras (1981) concept of
locus of control. Teachers sense of efficacy is defined as a
situation-specific expectation that a teacher can help a student
learn. The expectation rests on the assumptions of how much
students are capable of learning what schools have to teach
(Ashton & Webb, 1986). Teachers efficacy expectations
influence their thoughts and feelings, their planning and choice of
7


activities, the amount of effort they are willing to expend, and
the extent of their persistence in the face of adversity or
obstacles (Bandura, 1981).
Teachers' sense of efficacy has been shown in several
studies (Ashton & Webb, 1986; Gibson & Dembo, 1984, 1985;
Fuller, Wood, Rapoport, and Dombusch, 1982) to have positive
effects on student achievement, school improvement and success
for schools. The research on the topic identifies it as a
significant area for further study. However, until recently,
research in the area of teacher efficacy has focused on
elementary level teachers in math and remedial reading
classrooms.
Presently, there is research available in the area of the
school as a workplace that identifies several factors that may
have a direct effect on teacher efficacy (Metz, 1988; Tyre, 1988).
8


The Gap
Several individuals have brought the quality of workplace to
the forefront of school reform (Johnson, 1990; Rosenholtz and
Simpson, 1985 &1989; and Seashore-Louis, 1990). The issues
compel one to examine first the conditions that contribute to the
quality of the workplace and, second, the effects, if any, of these
conditions on student achievement. While a direct relationship
between QWL features and student achievement has not been
shown, there may be variables that are related to work place
conditions that have an indirect effect on student achievement.
Because teachers sense of efficacy has been shown to be
directly related to student achievement at the elementary level
(Ashton & Webb, 1986; Gibson & Dembo, 1984), and has also been
identified as one of the seven indicators of work life quality
(Rosenholtz, 1985; Louis, 1988, and Johnson, 1990) that
contributes to teacher engagement, it presents itself as a worthy
variable to be examined at the secondary level.
Teachers' sense of efficacy is certainly deserving of further
study, since it has been shown to have significant effects on
students learning (Ashton & Webb, 1986; Gibson & Dembo, 1984;
9


Chubb, 1988). The opportunity to examine more closely
organizational factors that effect teachers sense of efficacy
could provide valuable feedback for teachers and practicing
administrators. This feedback could contribute to the quality of
teachers work life and could provide an opportunity for them to
become even more effective and to have perhaps an even greater
impact on student learning. If there are organizational factors
that can be shown to have an effect on a teacher's sense of
efficacy, then practicing administrators could focus on these
conditions with reasonable certainty that their practices are
effective toward improving teachers' sense of efficacy and
producing a more effective school and having an indirect positive
effect on student achievement.
It would seem that if certain organizational factors were
identified as having a direct effect on teachers' sense of efficacy
(and therefore an indirect effect on student achievement), then
the results of this study would make a definite contribution to
the body of knowledge in educational administration.
10


Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to discover specific work life
features and determine their effect on teacher's sense of
efficacy at the high school level. It is believed that if significant
effects of such organizational features could be linked to
teachers' sense of efficacy, practicing administrators might
focus their attention on such processes to enhance these
conditions, thus improving the quality of schools as
organizations.
11


t
Research Questions
The study was designed to gather relevant data concerning
the relationships between perceptions of quality of work life
features and the sense of efficacy in high school teachers in the
state of Colorado. Teachers sense of efficacy was indicated by
responses to a 16 item efficacy instrument. The area of quality
of work life was broken into three categories. Included in this
area were Shared School Goals, Teacher Collaboration, and
Teacher Learning Opportunities. Teachers perceptions of
quality of work life features and teachers sense of efficacy
formed the questions that guided the research. Specifically three
questions guided the study:
1) What is the relationship between teachers sense of
efficacy and their perception of Shared School Goals in
their school?
2) What is the relationship between teachers sense of
efficacy and their perceptions of Teacher Collaboration in
their school?
3) What is the relationship between teachers sense of
efficacy and their perceptions of Teacher Learning
Opportunities in their school?
12


Methodology
The research questions were investigated by surveying
teachers in high schools with grades 9-12 and 10-12 in the state
of Colorado. Sixty three schools were chosen through random
sampling from the 284 high schools in the state. The survey used
collected relevant data concerning teachers perceptions of
quality of work life features and their sense of efficacy. The
items focusing on quality of work life features were developed by
Dr. Susan Rosenholtz (1985). The items examining teachers
sense of efficacy were developed by Dr. Sheri Gibson (1982). Both
had been used independently in previous studies, and findings are
discussed in more detail in Chapter Three.
An initial letter was sent to the principals of randomly
selected high schools in the state of Colorado describing the
intent of the study and requesting their assistance in distributing
the questionnaire. The questionnaire was then mailed to each of
the high schools with directions for its distribution to previously
selected numbers on the alphabetical teacher list. Teachers were
provided a cover letter describing the importance of the study and
13


requesting their participation. Respondents were asked to
provide specific demographic information such as age, gender,
teaching experience, level of educational training, and size of
school. The data collected from the instrument were then
subjected to statistical analysis addressing the research
questions posed earlier.
14


Definition of Terms
Quality of Work Life (QWL): Characteristics describing
or pertaining to the nature or conditions of a particular
workplace. For the purpose of this study, QWL was used to
describe schools as a workplace.
Self- Efficacy: originated by Bandura (1977, 1982), and
consists of two components 1 ).a belief that ones actions
will lead to desired outcomes (general outcome
expectancy) and 2). a belief that one has the skills to bring
about these outcomes.
Teacher Efficacy: a teachers expectation that in a
specific situation he/she can cause students to learn.
15


CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
The review of the literature will begin with a brief but
relevant overview of the quality of work life (QWL) movement.
Specific attention will be given to a working definition of quality
of work life offered by Nadler and Lawler (1983) who traced the
development of the quality of work life movement in the private
sector.
The review will then continue by examining the construct of
teacher's sense of efficacy. A construct definition will then be
formed based on research completed by Ashton and Webb (1986)
and Gibson and Dembo (1984). A psychological and sociological
framework will be identified to view the construct of efficacy.
An analysis will then follow of the studies performed in the area
of teacher efficacy particularly those that have been shown to
improve student achievement.
Lastly, the gap between conditions of the QWL and


teachers1 sense of efficacy will be described to better see the
purposes of this study and the value that such a study may have to
the body of educational knowledge. A description of the study will
be provided as well as implications for practicing secondary
school administrators.
Quality of Work Life
Quality of work life (QWL) has become a label used in
reference to an emerging body of knowledge concerning the nature
and conditions of the workplace. The literature surrounding QWL
embodies a philosophy, a set of values and an array of practices
and techniques for understanding, explaining and effecting how
work is organized and implemented (Pratzner, 1984).
Quality of work life issues are not new to the areas of
business and industry. During the 1960s and into early 1970s
when the QWL movement was still in its formative stages, there
were few compelling practical necessities and incentives to
bring work practices into alignment with democratic ideals. The
adage If its not broken, dont fix it was a generally accepted
rule by labor and management alike. During this period there
were few QWL activities that were actually undertaken. The few
17


successful activities that were implemented targeted two
primary characteristics of factories and offices. First was
improving worker morale and second was improving job
satisfaction. These activities virtually ignored issues of worker
productivity. These activities contained two major weaknesses.
The early advocates and developers of QWL exaggerated the
benefits to be gained by such activities, and their motives and
objectives were not persuasive with business executives whose
main concern was the short-term improvement in the bottom-
line. However, these weaknesses and concerns of QWL advocates
and business executives alike began to change during the early
1970s when the era of scientific management ended in the United
States (Pratzner, 1984; Reich 1980).
Major contributions to this change can be seen through
government economic documentation. Beginning in the 1970s,
the productivity growth rate in the United States began to
approach zero and continued that pace and direction throughout
the decade (United States Department of Labor, 1981). By the
latter part of the decade and into the early 1980s, other factors
had exacerbated the situation to near crisis proportion. Among
18


these were slow domestic economic development, higher
unemployment, high inflation, lower quality, higher prices for
goods and services, and and a toss of competitive position in
domestic and international markets (Pratzner, 1984;
Congressional Budget Office, 1981).
While business and industry struggled with the issues of
the economy and the previously mentioned factors contributing to
tower productivity in their workers, the human resources in the
country were also changing as a result of a better educated work
force (OToole, 1975) and an evolving attitude of workers with
rights and responsibilities stemming from a higher order of
values and expectations associated with working. As might be
expected, these values ad expectations were not well
accommodated under bureaucratic, hierarchical organizations of
work. Consequently, worker dissatisfaction was high, leading to
investigations of alternative models of work organization
(BusinessWeek, 1981).
Experimentation with alternative forms of work
organizations and quality of work life developments were already
being implemented while international competition and
19


productivity-related issues were reaching crisis stages. As
these two sets of economic and labor related developments
converged on one another, reports began to indicate that QWL
ideas and activities for improving productivity were not only
effective but also could improve the quality of working
conditions (Katzell & Guzzo, 1983; New York Stock Exchange,
1982; Tuttle, 1983).
Quality of Work Life Activities
Quality of work life activities include ways of structuring
jobs and organizing work and typically have a dual focus. The
first focus is to improve the economic viability of an
organization, and the second, is to make work a more satisfying
and rewarding experience for the worker. However, it should be
kept in mind that this focus is a combined effort to meet both
criteria. In other words, the focus should not be placed on the
productivity issues any more than the psychological rewards of
the work, but rather jointly improve both of these outcomes.
Quality of work life activities usually attempt to restructure
several aspects of an organization simultaneously, such as
decision-making, rewards, and communication systems rather
20


than just one area. The purpose of such implementation is
generally to provide greater democratization of the workplace,
greater control for workers over their environment and greater
joint problem-solving between labor and management (Pratzner,
1984; Goodman, 1979).
Historical Perspective
The historical development of the QWL movement has been
traced by Nadler and Lawler (1983). They offer a working
definition:
Quality of work life is a way of thinking about people, work,
and organizations. Its distinctive elements are (1) a concern
about the impact of work on people as well as on
organizational effectiveness, and (2) the idea if
participation in organizational problem solving and decision
making (p.26).
The critical aspect of the QWL approach is the
establishment of new cooperative diagnostic and problem-solving
bodies with, as Mills (1978) stresses "the authority to make
things happen (p.35). These bodies are often referred to quality
circles, QWL committees, or problem-solving task forces. The
importance of these groups is their purpose and underlying
rationale.
21


These QWL groups have been given the opportunity to seek
together, to identify barriers to the effectiveness of their work
organization, or their piece of the work, and through problem-
solving, eliminate those barriers. These groups are built upon the
idea that the individuals of the organization possess a wealth of
knowledge and creative expertise that can have a dramatic effect
on the conditions of the workplace but have been hidden in the
past by the bureaucratic structures of the organization. These
QWL groups provide an organized method of tapping the expertise
of the workers and putting it to work for the good of both the
individual and the organization. Among the benefits of such
groups include giving workers a better sense of what occurs for
the good of the group, as well as the good of the overall
organization (Mills, 1978).
There have been many field experiments that have been
performed using one or more of 11 psychological approaches to
improve employee productivity (e.g., work redesign, decisions
making techniques, and socio-technical systems redesign).
Katzell and Guzzo (1983) reviewed 207 of these experiments and
found that 87% of them resulted in improvement in at least one
22


concrete measure of productivity.
It is estimated that there are greater that 13 million
Americans involved in a variety of QWL and productivity
programs. The fastest growing programs in recent years were
quality circles (after the Japanese model), restructuring facility
and office space, job redesign, task forces, group incentive plans,
and productions teams. Several reasons have surrounded
decisions by corporate America to implement such programs.
Among them include, cost cutting measures (55% of all
corporations), improvement of worker attitudes and low morale
(46%), follow the example of positive reports from other
corporations (40%), improve productivity (58%), conform to
management philosophy (36%), improve product quality (24%), and
reduce high turnover rates (20%). While this is not an analysis of
ail the studies performed the area, the number should be
considered significant in generalizing to when considering
working conditions of employees in various fields of work. It is
also important to note that among all the companies surveyed by
the New York Stock Exchange concerning the implementation of
QWL activities, more than half of the corporations reported they
23


considered their programs successful or highly successful (New
York Stock Exchange, 1982).
As the business world focused on improving conditions of
the workplace, the rest of the country was faced with the 1983
report on A Nation at Risk. As a result of this report, many
state and local school districts moved to regulate many facets of
the world of teaching. While all were initiated with the intent
to improve productivity of teachers, a new layer of bureaucracy
was established for teachers to wade through (Johnson, 1990).
Quality of Work Life and Educational Reform
The first wave of reform followed A Nation At Risk, and
sought to improve teaching and schools through state and local
school district mandates intended to improve teacher
productivity. Discussions focused on how to improve either
structure (how to reorganize schools or the profession) or the
people ( how to change or motivate people in the system so they
are more able to bring about desired results) (Louis, 1988).
These mandates and prescriptions were seen as an infringement
of teachers working rights and were resisted in several
districts. In one Texas school district, eight teachers were so
24


I
l
outraged by the constraints placed on them through a packaged
curriculum that they resigned, taking with them their innovation,
creativity, and passion for teaching in the classroom. Implicit in
such regulation was the assumption that teachers could be made
more productive with standardized training, explicit directions,
and close supervision (Johnson, 1990).
As it became more apparent, the regulatory nature of the
first wave of reform not only angered teachers and caused much
resistance, but the intention of such regulation was not moving
toward its intended objective, that of improving test scores of
students. Schools had become disabled by the bureaucratic nature
of their work and this, teachers contended, kept them from doing
their work. This led policy makers and researchers to examine a
different path to help the schooling problem, one that focused on
teachers and their work (Walton, 1975; Johnson, 1990).
25


School as a Workplace
Today, an emerging area of study has focused attention on
schools as workplaces and has become an important piece of the
reform movement in public education- It consists of various
features that both contribute to and detracts rom teachers
satisfaction and productivity. Viewing schools as a workplace
has gained significant attention recently as a focus of study in an
effort to create more effective schools as well as to improve the
conditions of teaching, thus enhancing the professionalism of
teachers and improving learning for students. It addresses both
issues of productivity (student achievement) and psychological
reward (morale, and satisfaction) (Pratzner, 1984; Goodman,
1979). This piece of reform stems from the second wave of
reform, and it is intended to transfer authority for educational
design to teachers, making them the agents rather that the
objects of school reform (Johnson, 1990).
Conditions of Teachers Work
The school as a workplace is a demanding environment for
26


adults seeking to maintain some level of personal and mental
health. Teachers work under constant pressure within an
environment that produces anxiety and precludes time for
reflection and necessary planning for imaginative and effective
solutions to problems. There are few professions or occupations
that require workers to function amidst such deplorable working
conditions. In Stopskys overview of American education reform,
he points out that while all of us want the best possible
education for our children, we have failed to recognize that
exhausted workers cannot perform at a high level of
professionalism, nor can they be sensitive to the emotional
drives or needs of students on a daily basis (Stopsky, 1975). The
Carnegie Forum on Teaching and the Economy (1986) and the
Holmes Group Report (1986) supported these ideas when they
summarized that school life involves a standardization of
experience that limits teachers initiative, creativity, and
intellectual stimulation (Popkewitz & Lind, 1989).
In the past, teaching has most often been referred to as a
profession. However, in the last decade, recent examinations of
the actual conditions teachers work in and the manner in which
27


they perform their work has lead to a conclusion that schools
have become increasingly bureaucratic, and such conditions are so
regulated that real professionalism is something that is virtually
impossible to attain (Lortie, 1975; Darling-Hammond, 1984;
National Education Association, 1987; Sizer, 1985; Metz,
Hemmings, & Tyre, 1988). Issues such as equity of job
assignment, minimum standards, and concerns over avoiding legal
liability are all perceived to have de-skilled teachers by
squeezing tasks into units of curriculum often referred to as
teacher-proof. These perceptions have reduced the task of
instruction to nothing more than telling, and knowledge is seen as
the accumulation of facts, and learning is synonymous with recall
(Cohen, 1989; Wise, 1989, Louis & Smith, 1990). Todays
teachers work in hierarchical systems of state, district,
superintendent, and principal authority that define what
instruction is and how it should be carried out in the classroom.
Many of these systems of work include a description of where and
when teachers autonomy will be provided when and where
participation will be provided and accepted (Johnson, 1989).
These systems contribute to environments where teachers are
28


told they are to make decisions in their classrooms, while others
will make the decisions that affect the school and/or district
(Louis, &Smith, 1990).
Unfortunately, systems that so meticulously attempt to
define such boundaries of authority have failed to serve the
realities of contemporary schools and the outcomes demanded of
them. Teaching in todays schools is not marked with certainty.
Today, there is continuous debate focusing on pedagogy, learning
theory, curriculum, and academic goals. Teachers are expected to
accommodate a breadth and mix of students more demanding than
ever before in history and whose abilities, motivation, and
behaviors are not easily predictable. High school teachers,
particularly, face pressures involving balancing the needs of up to
130 students daily with the demands of their teaching discipline.
Perhaps more important, are the results of working in conditions
like these. These conditions have contributed to teachers
individual passions, talents, and creativity being squeezed out by
the overwhelming barrage of bureaucratic requirements. This
also leads to an alarming loss of focus in the organization. The
consequences of such symptoms are not an increased level of
29


effectiveness in the classroom but an ongoing compliance to
larger school routines. These day-to-day conditions have become
personally dispiriting, and teachers satisfaction, imagination,
creativity, and overall sense of efficacy have been severely
depleted (Johnson, 1987; Dariing-Hammonds, 1988; Louis &
Smith, 1990).
Work Conditions and Quality of Work Life
Notwithstanding the mandates and prescriptions of the
first wave of educational reform or the suggestions of the second
wave, one should recognize the need to explore alternatives that
move beyond teacher productivity and effective instructional
methodology. It should be recognized from businesses and
industrial example that there is a need to examine alternatives
that focus more intensively on how to design organizational
environments of schools. As Louis and Smith (1990) emphasize,
the quality of work life literature provides a viable alternative of
focus concerned with restructuring and enhancing teachers daily
experiences.
The quality of work life literature mentioned earlier draws
from the social psychological literature on quality of work life.
30


Its examples are taken from models of business and industry and
involve workers in a variety of levels of organization and in
different job specificity. This literature provides a supportive
foundation for educational reform since it is inherent in the
origin of QWL models that there is a need to improve performance
and satisfaction simultaneously, and when done so, both
productivity and satisfaction are affected (Goodman, 1979;
Pratzner, 1984). Another reason supporting the use of QWL
literature is that since, it is taken from private sector sources,
there is empirical data available on which to generalize, where
literature from professional models are theoretically detached
from individual performance issues (Louis & Smith, 1990).
Finally, Louis and Smith (1990) maintained that the current
school reform literature is consistent with the frameworks that
have been used to study QWL in a variety of organizational
settings (Lawler, Nadler, & Mirvis, 1980; Biderman, & Drury,
1976). Louis and Smith believed social science research on work
life also uses more complex models which relate organizational
contexts to quality of work life and other factors such as
individual and group attributes, attitudes, beliefs, and
31


expectations, the role external environments, and the commonly
shared explanations about how the organizations worked and why
(Louis & Miles, 1990). According to Louis and Smith (1990), the
most notable aspect of this literature is that it provides a more
detailed definition of quality of work life than does the
educational research and leads to greater specificity concerning
what kinds of school reform might promote working conditions
that contribute to the establishment of a better work place for
teachers.
Dimensions of Quality of Work Life
The quality of work life literature reviewed by Louis and
Smith (1990), Louis and Rosemiller (1988), and Rosenholtz (1985)
identified seven criteria that are consistent with the areas
expressed in the educational reform literature. Louis and Smith
recommended that under closer examination these criteria be
interpreted not as fixed, objective criteria but as social-
psychological perceptions of the work environment. They also
provided brief explanations of each criteria for better
clarification.
1. Respect from relevant adults. This includes teaching
32


peers, administrators, and the school and the district, parents,
and the community at large. Research in in education and other
settings indicate that this is paramount in the QWL movement.
Throughout the educational literature, authors point out that it is
the lack of respect from parents and administrators, along with
public discussions of poorly prepared teachers, that has
contributed the most to the demoralization of the teaching force
(Firestone, & Rosenblum, 1988; Kahn, 1974; Berry, McCormick, &
Bruxton, 1989).
2. Participation in decision making. Having influence over
decisions that affect the way in which the school operates and
work is carried out contributes to teachers control over their
work setting. Empowerment is relevant to the QWL
perspective. Research suggests that where workers professional
or otherwise are given the opportunity to make decisions about
how to organize and carry out their work, their perceived
satisfaction and engagement are increased. In most cases, there
is also a measurable increase in performance (Firestone &
Rosenblum, 1988; Sickler, 1988; Johnson, 1989).
3. Frequent and stimulating professional interaction.
33


Research has indicated that collaborative work with peers who
are within the school increases teachers sense of affiliation
with the school and their sense of mutual support and
responsibility for the effectiveness of instruction (Little, 1984;
Newman, Rutter, Smith, 1988).
4. A high sense of efficacy. Many have pointed out the
uncertainty of teachers work. Research by Rosenholtz, (1985,
1989) suggests that practices that permit teachers to obtain
frequent and accurate feedback about their performance as well
as the specific effects of students learning contributes directly
to teachers belief that they may have long-term effects on
students learning.
5. Use of skills and knowledge. The opportunity for
teachers to be able to grow within the job of teaching is
imperative. They must be allowed to experiment within their
classroom and stretch their abilities. It is important that
teachers see themselves as life-long learners as well as their
students (Newman, Rutter, &Smith, 1988).
6. Resources to carry out the job. A pleasant, safe and
orderly physical environment is necessary to maintain an even
34


minimal level of commitment. The absence of disruptive student
behavior is a particularly important aspect (Cohn, 1987, Newman,
Rutter, &Smith, 1989; Gaddy 1988).
7. Goal congruence. Teachers must feel that there is a
connection between their personal goals and those of the school
as a whole. Where goals are not congruent, alienation is likely to
result, leading to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness (Metz
et al, 1988; Louis, & Miles 1990, Dworkin, 1987).
In Johnsons (1990) study of teachers workplaces, she
contended that the workplace consists of a constellation of seven
features which contribute to or detracts from teachers
satisfaction and productivity. Johnsons study included in its
sample of respondents secretaries, veterinarians, steelworkers,
lawyers, and others. Regardless of the area of work, she
concluded they were all influenced by the array of political,
economic, physical, organizational, psychological, cultural, and
sociological features (p.12).These features included the following
characteristics:
1. Physical Features. The physical attributes of a
workplace are those that are immediately observed. Questions
35


that may be considered may include, Is the environment safe and
comfortable? Is there enough space available to work in, and are
there resources to do an effective job?
2. Organizational structures. These features determine the
workload, or, what work is done, how it is carried out and who
will do the work. They determine how authority is distributed,
and to what extent specialization is required, how much
discretion may be used, how performance will be assessed, and
the extent to which workers interact.
3. Sociological Features. From a sociological perspective,
workers ask how others expect them to behave. They are
concerned about what their role will be in the organization, what
their status in the organization is, or where do they fall on the
totem poll. They are concerned with what type of people they
will work.
4. Economic Features. Not surprisingly, workers carefully
calculate how much and when they will be paid. They ask if there
are good benefits, and if there are incentives for greater
productivity. They ask if they can count on holding the job over
time and establish some sort of job security. To many workers,
36


I
l
i
these concerns are crucial.
5. Political Features. Workers are often concerned about
the politics of the workplace. They are concerned if they will
have any influence and input in how the organization is run. This
voice in governance is often represented by the presence of a
labor union. In other organizations, workers are encouraged to
offer suggestions to better the organization. Within the
organization, workers are also concerned if they will be treated
fairly and given the opportunity to succeed and advance in their
position in the organization. This may be particularly true for
women and members of minority groups.
6. Cultural Features. Recent findings throughout corporate
America indicate that workers attend to the culture of the larger
organization. Studies have shown enthusiasm and commitment of
workers who are inspired by slogans, heroes, and rituals. In
workplaces with strong cultures, workers can expect find
explicit goals and purposes that give meaning and purpose to their
individual efforts. These cultures often model support for fellow
workers and expect workers to reciprocate, while others may
encourage a cut-throat competitive approach to production.
37


Conversely, workplaces with weak cultures are more likely to to
tolerate disengagement, self-interest, and apathy.
7. Psychological Features. These features are
characterized by a deeper intrinsic perspective of work. Workers
may be curious as to the larger meaning of their work. They
wonder if they will have the opportunity to learn and grow as a
person. They may ask how much stress will they be under, or will
they be able to meet their responsibilities to their families
(Johnson, 1990 pp. 12-21)?
Johnson (1990) emphasized that these constellations of
workplace features described influences over workers in all lines
of work. However, she maintained that certain variables may be
more prominent in one worker than another. She also pointed out
that the categories of workplace variables were intended to
suggest only how people perceive work, not to imply that a single
discipline had full claim on any one variable, and that even though
job security was primarily an economic feature, it was not
exclusive to that category.
Johnsons (1990) concepts present yet another model to
examine schools as a workplace. When compared to Louis and
38


Smiths (1990) work life indicators, the features constructed by
Johnson correspond to six of the seven indicators. As one
examines the similarities and the differences of these two
pieces, possible variables emerge for this study. While these
variables have been shown to effect the workplace, is there a
relationship between these variables and variables directly
related to student achievement? One of the variables shown to be
directly related to student achievement is teachers sense of
efficacy (Ashton and Webb, 1986). The following discussion is
intended to examine this construct variable more thoroughly and
determine whether or not further study will provide a meaningful
contribution to the body of knowledge in this area.
Johnson (1980) emphasized these constellations of
workplace features as influences over workers in all lines of
work. She maintained, however, certain variables may be more
prominent in one worker than another. She also pointed out that
the categories of workplace variables were intended to suggest
only how people perceive work, not to imply that a single
discipline had full claim on any one variable, and that even though
job security" was primarily an economic feature, it was not
39


exclusive to that category.
Rosenholtz (1989) identified seven areas of teachers work
lives corresponding with the findings of Johnson (1990). In
examination of elementary teachers in the state of Tennessee,
each of the seven work life features were separated into several
sub-groups.
Work Life Features
Five work life features were identified by Rosenholtz
(1989), Shared School Goals, Teacher Collaboration,
Teachers Learning Opportunities, Teacher Commitment, and
School Reform. Three of these features were chosen to as
variables for further study. These were Shared School Goals,
Teacher Collaboration, and Teachers Learning Opportunities.
The following explanation will provide a clearer description of
the characteristics of each of the variables and the sub-groups
contained therein.
Shared School Goals
Though goals of student learning may exist at the abstract
40


level in most schools, their application in classrooms is subject
to the perceptions of the teacher in a given circumstance. What
are creative activities to one teacher are chaos to another. What
is cheating to one is cooperation to another. Because there is
seldom agreement between teachers and principals about
outcomes sought, managerial activities of principals may have
only a marginal linkage to what or how teachers teach
(Rosenholtz,1989).
Rosenholtz continued by explaining that in contrast to such
schools, there were school where principals and teachers created
goals for students together and agreed on the level of mastery
and the procedures to attain those goals. The application of such
plans are subject to analysis and subsequently alteration. In
essence, goal setting is a purposive, reiterative activity that
orients teachers and administrators engaged in its process to the
school as a collective enterprise.
Teacher Recruitment
Rosenholtz (1985) contended another way to increase goal
consensus in school was to recruit like-minded staff. In the most
successful school, principals, with the help of teachers, recruit
41


new teachers that share prevailing attitudes, standards, and
values that fit or match those of the school staff. Schools that
are clear about recruitment emphasize how teachers and
principals collectively view their present school goals, what they
stand for, and what they aspire to become in the future
(Rosenholtz, (1989; p.16).
The importance of this concept can be seen in the failure of
the principal to recruit and keep good teachers. Principals
become overwhelmed with a series of conflicts they are expected
to solve, such as how large groups of new teachers will be
supervised, how to insure the quality of instruction with frequent
changes, and how to balance the organizational needs of the new
teachers with those of life-long veterans. Thus, teacher
recruitment is a priority for successful schools (Rosenholtz,
1985; 1989).
Teacher Socialization
Although selection of new teachers has been shown to be of
importance, working to ensure they fit is another issue. Teacher
socialization refers to the process whereby new teachers in the
school become accepted by their veteran colleagues and are made
42


aware of the goals that are important to the school. In schools
with agreed upon goals, principals and teachers alike socialize
new teachers into the school by modeling to them a unitary
purpose in their work. By eliminating competing bases for
performance, new teachers are more likely to internalize those
particular goals. In many schools,, Lortie (1975) noted, little or
no socialization was practiced. Thus, new teachers must
experience sink or swim socialization, becoming human litmus
and absorbing school impressions. It is for this reason
socialization of new teachers becomes of such importance.
Because socialization of new teachers can alleviate much of the
sink or swim experiences, principals who focus on such
positive measures may eliminate many of the pitfalls experienced
by their less socializing colleagues.
Teacher Evaluation
Performance evaluation, in most organizations, defines the
tasks of a job both socially and symbolically. Evaluation also
specifies relevant behaviors and outcomes. The lack of agreed
upon goals for teaching makes most schools an organizational
exception (Dornbusch and Scott, 1975). Natriello (1975) and
43


Rosenholtz (1985) both emphasized the point that when clear
criteria for performance expectations and evaluation itself was
not clear, teachers were allowed the latitude to define their own
performance. Under these unclear conditions, goal dissensus
rather than consensus was the result.
In contrast, when schools where principals consistently
focused on skill mastery and teachers efforts in the classroom,
gave teachers accurate feedback, and perhaps of greater
importance, set evaluative criteria collaboratively with teachers,
an internalization of goals should occur. Under these conditions,
greater agreement should be noticed about teaching goals,
beliefs, and values.
Teacher Isolation / Cohesiveness
Rosenholtz maintained that without the previously
mentioned features present in school, faculties fracture and
teachers become isolated from one another. This isolation causes
teachers to lose sight of their common goals and become less
concerned with their colleagues. The point to be emphasized is
not that teachers seldom talk, but rather that informal
conversations rarely focus on a common technical knowledge
44


(Rosenholtz, 1990).
At the same time, the less teachers talk professionally, the
less cohesiveness the faculty experiences. Cohesiveness is
relationship oriented. Interaction with organizational members
is rewarding in itself, so that failing to conform to a group means
a loss of such relationships that may have important to the
individual. More importantly, cohesiveness among teachers acted
as a social glue that strengthened the system of feedback to
teachers and pressed them to internalized goals, in short,
isolation and cohesiveness form a continuum that described
professional estrangement on one end and professional
involvement on the other.
Managing Student Behavior
Crucial to goal consensus concerning school purpose is the
issue of student misconduct. Where student misbehavior in
school becomes conspicuously pronounced, classroom order often
displaces learning as the definition of teaching success.
Competence in controlling students means that instruction
becomes oriented toward control than learning. Despite all this,
there is an absence of agreement of what should be enforced and
45


who should enforce rules, and in many case,s just what
constitutes a disciplinary infraction. (Blase, 1986; Metz, 1978;
Rosenholtz, 1989).
While it is common knowledge students are not always
willing parties in the instructional process, principals and
teachers in more successful school set goals on classroom
conduct and strategies to overcome such disruptive behavior.
When shared goals on student behavior are formed and enforced
consistently by principals and teachers, then issues of
instructional priorities can be pursued (Metz, 1978; Rosenholtz,
1985).
Teacher Collaboration
Teachers* Certainty about a Technical and Culture Practices
When there is a sense of ambiguity concerning goals,
socialization, evaluation, and no clear direction, teachers feel
uncertain about the technical culture and their own instructional
practice. (Azumi and Madhere, 1983; Glidewell et al, 1983). With
teacher uncertainty comes the need to avoid situations which
threaten to disclose that uncertainty. Teachers under conditions
of high uncertainty often perceive requests for help as evidence
46


t
i
of performance inadequacy (Glidewell, 1983).
In contrast, schools where teachers receive clear
performance feedback based on mutual goals, teachers may suffer
far less instructional uncertainty (Ashton and Webb, 1986). It
is also interesting the less the threatening their workplace
circumstances are perceived, the more readily teachers will ask
for and offer advice. Because of the difficulty of the work,
teachers tend to converse about management and instructional
procedures and outcomes, instead of workplace complaints and
non-performance related conversation (Rosenholtz, 1989).
Team-Teaching
Team-teaching is defined as an organizational arrangement
in which two teachers share the instructional responsibility of a
group of students. Rosenholtz (1989) cited Cohens (1981) review
of the literature that found team teaching was a vehicle for
greater instructional interaction as teachers discussed each
others ideas, groupings, curriculum, and classroom management.
Unlike isolated settings, work arrangements and communications
in team-teaching related directly to the nature of the instruction;
teachers held greater decision making opportunities, collaborated
47


more with principals about those decisions and received greater
guidance from them (Rosenholtz, 1989).
Involvement in Decision Making
Rosenholtz (1989) explained in a study of some 1200
elementary teachers in Tennessee that teachers involvement in
decision-making lends substance and structure to their
collaboration and draws the presumption that it also aids in the
implementation of school goals. Rosenholtz, however, continues
to conclude that the process of the inclusion in decision-making
may be in itself an instructional process for teachers. As
colleagues must wrestle with the issues of the process, they are
more likely to enhance their own classroom practices. These
activities may help teachers clarify instructional methods, and
purpose, and ultimately enhance their own learning opportunities,
as decisions become more conscious and well-reasoned choices
rather than arbitrary reactions (p. 73).
48


Teachers* Learning Opportunities
In more successful schools, principals and teachers agree
that learning is a life-long process and as professionals, they
must strive to adapt to ever-changing needs, find solutions to
new problems and develop an implement knew knowledge. In
short, more successful school organizations must have the
capacity for regulation and self-renewal. Organizational renew
results in large measure from contextual variables. These
variables, processes and structures set in place for a purposive
experimentation, change, and continuous growth. This can only be
accomplished with shared goals, on a collaborative, and
continuous basis. Even more importantly, it reflects the
perception that even for school organizations that are performing
adequately or even superbly, as conditions change, there is a
continuing need to change to meet the new challenge ( Rosenholtz,
19894).
Rosenholtz found in her study of Tennessee teachers that in
learning enriched schools, in those that provided multiple
opportunities for teachers to grow professionally, 80% of the
teachers responded, first, that their own learning was cumulative
49


and developmental in nature, and, second, that learning to teach is
a life long pursuit (p. 80). In schools where teachers
opportunities to learn were lessened, results showed that only
17% of the respondents expressed a sustained view of learning.
These teachers emphasized that teaching was a terminal activity,
one that, after a finite period of time one mastered. Rosenholtz
recorded an even lower percentage of responses in schools
providing no learning opportunities for teachers. Rosenholtzs
research concluded that teachers in learning enriched workplaces,
stressed curricular complexity while their counterparts in
learning-impoverished schools stressed curricular uniformity. In
learning-enriched schools teachers stressed curricular
complexity, while those in learning-impoverished schools
stressed curricular simplicity. Rosenholtz noted the self-
fulfilling prophecy created by such organizations, The more
impoverished the schools opportunities to learn, the less about
teaching there is to know, and the less time it takes to learn it.
(p. 83)
Rosenholtz, Louis and Smith, and Johnson all present a
working model of what teachers workplaces should look like.
50


I
When the many different aspects of that workplace are examined,
one is able to identify pieces worthy of further study.
When comparisons are made between the works of
Rosenholtz, Johnson, and Louis and Smith, areas of similarity can
be seen. These overlapping areas, as recommended, are in need of
greater exploration. Three of these areas include Shared School
Goals, Teacher Collaboration, and Teacher Learning
Opportunities, all described by Rosenholtz (1985 & 1989), but
also described as important areas of the workplaces by Louis and
Smith as well as Johnson. While these variables have been shown
to affect the workplace, is there a relationship between these
variables and variables directly related to student achievement?
One of the variables shown to be directly related to student
achievement is teachers sense of efficacy (Ashton and Webb,
1986). The following discussion is intended to examine this
construct variable more thoroughly and determine whether or not
further study will provide a meaningful contribution to the body
of knowledge in this area.
51


Teacher Efficacy
Efficacy has been identified as a social psychological
antecedent to many individual level outcomes, such as student
performance and teacher effectiveness (Fuller, Wood, Rapoport, &
Dornbusch, 1982). The concept of self-efficacy is not new to
these fields, but is a fairly new idea in the field of education and
specifically in teaching. The idea of self-efficacy was originated
by Bandura (1977, 1982), consisting of a two component concept
with a belief that ones actions will lead to desired outcomes
(general outcome expectancy) and a belief that one has the skills
to bring about these outcomes (sense of self-efficacy). The
concept of self-efficacy may originate from questions derived
from Rotter's (1966) work concerning locus of control.
Rotter (1966) defined "locus of control" as a generalized
expectancy for internal or external control of reinforcements.
Internal control refers to an individual's belief that an event or
outcome is contingent on his or her own behavior or on relatively
permanent characteristics such as ability. The belief that an
event is contingent upon other factors beyond personal control
such as random chance or difficulty in the task is termed
52


!
1
"externa! control". Social learning theorists suggest that
children's behavior in achievement situations is influenced by
their perceived locus of control. If the child believes that the
outcome of the situation is contingent on his or her behavior
(internal locus of control), then academic success will increase
the likelihood of a child's instrumental behaviors such as
attention or persistence at future tasks (Rotter, 1966; Stipek &
Weisz, 1981). Similarly, teachers who, believe that student
achievement in their classroom can be effected by such behaviors
may experience more success with their students than those
teachers who do not share the same belief.
The definition Rotter offers of internal control corresponds
with the definition of teacher efficacy given by Ashton and
Webb. Therefore, a teacher's belief that a teacher's behavior could
have a direct effect on a students achievement is a direct
application of the concept of internal locus of control. This
personal sense of control is referred to by Bandura (1982) as
self-efficacy and concerns itself with the judgments of how well
one can execute courses of action in given situations. Bandura
(1977) argued that although locus of control is primarily
53


concerned with causal beliefs about action-outcome,
contingencies or a person's estimate that a given behavior will
lead to certain outcomes, personal efficacy is concerned with the
conviction that one can successfully execute the behavior
required to produce the outcomes (Gibson & Dembo, 1984).
The application of Bandura's theory was first examined by
two Rand Corporation studies. In the first, an evaluation of a
reading programs, student increases in reading were reported to
be strongly related to their teachers sense of efficacy (Armor et
al., 1976). The second Rand study concluded that teachers'
attitudes toward their own professional competence have major
effects on learning outcomes (Berman, McLaughlin, Bass, Pauly, &
Zellman, 1977). The application of this argument seems
reasonable in the profession of teaching since the teacher must
not only have the belief that their action will bring about learning
in students, but also believe they have the necessary skills to
bring about the expected outcomes.
54


Components of Efficacy
Recent investigations by Ashton, Webb, and Doda (1982,
1983, & 1986), as well as Gibson and Dembo (1984), have
provided valuable quantitative data to support the argument that
teachers' sense of efficacy have a direct effect on student
achievement. These authors have been influenced primarily by
Banduras (1977) theory of self-efficacy.
Ashton and Webb (1986) define the construct of teachers'
sense of efficacy as a situation-specific expectation that they
can help students leam. The expectation rests on the
assumptions of how much students are capable of learning what
the schools have to teach. Teachers' efficacy expectations
influence their thoughts and feelings, their choice of activities,
the amount of effort the expend, and the extent of their
persistence in the face of obstacles (Bandura, 1981).
Ashton and Webb's (1986) multidimensional construct of
teachers' sense of efficacy consists of two distinct pieces: one, a
sense of teaching efficacy, and two, a sense of personal teaching
efficacy. Teaching efficacy "refers to teachers' expectations that
teaching can influence student learning". Teaching efficacy is
55


explained as the way teachers view the general relationship
between teaching and learning. Accordingly, teachers with a low
sense of teaching efficacy have come to believe that students
cannot or will not learn in schools no matter what a teacher says
or does to change this unfortunate reality. Conversely, teachers
with a high sense of teaching efficacy believe that all of their
students are capable of learning.
Personal teaching efficacy, however, is represented by the
integration of teaching efficacy and personal efficacy. This
dimension of the construct refers to the individual assessment of
their own teaching competence. Teacher's perceptions of their
own teaching abilities influence their choice of classroom
management and instructional strategies. Teachers generally
will avoid situations in which they doubt their ability to perform
successfully. Therefore, if a teacher feels threatened by
confrontations with students or parents, they will avoid
situations that might provoke such confrontations. Teachers who
doubt their ability to manage student behavior may ignore
students who disobey school rules. If they feel they cannot
motivate certain students, they may allow off-task students to
56


remain off task and refrain from pushing capable students to high
levels. Teachers who doubt their sense of effectiveness
experience debilitating stress (Ashton and Webb, 1986).
While both Ashton, Webb, and Doda (1983), as well as Gibson
and Dembo offer different descriptions of the construct, they do
however, share similar ideas concerning its importance and
relevance Gibson and Dembo (1985) describe teacher efficacy as
an integration of teaching efficacy and personal teaching
efficacy. Ashton and Webb, on the other hand, use the term
personal teaching efficacy to describe the integration of
teaching efficacy and personal efficacy (Ashton & Webb, 1986;
Gibson & Dembo, 1984).
While teaching efficacy refers to a teacher's expectations
that teaching can influence student learning, personal teaching
efficacy, on the other hand, refers to the teacher's individual
assessment of their own teaching competence. Judgments of this
construct are described in Bandura's (1982) work by the example
of a person beset with difficulties. The individual with a strong
sense of efficacy will endure and show a high level of
persistence, while the person with a low sense of efficacy and
57



having serious doubts about their capabilities will slacken their
efforts or abandon them altogether. Ashton, Webb, and Doda
(1983) consider personal teaching efficacy to be the best
predictor of teacher behavior.
Organizational Efficacy
There is evidence that teachers' sense of efficacy goes far
beyond their classroom or their students. It has been identified
as a key factor highly related to the effectiveness of the school
as an organization. Fuller, Wood, Rapoport, & Dornbusch (1982)
expand the construct of individual efficacy into an organizational
context. The authors separate the construct into "organizational
efficacy" and performance efficacy". While they draw attention
to the differences between the two, they admit that there is
considerable overlap depending on the involvement of individual
actors in the organization.
Organizational efficacy refers to an organizational actor
feeling efficacious in gaining valued outcomes by influencing
another person in a different level of the organization. Through
faculty committees or school site councils, staff members will
perceive varying levels of organizational efficacy, or the
58


degree to which social involvement is linked to sufficient
expectancy of obtaining valued outcomes (Fuller et al.. 1982).
"Performance efficacy", on the other hand, is indicated by
the perceived efficacy in performing one's own work tasks,
independent of social interaction with other staff members of the
school organization. Particularly in loosely coupled social
structures like schools, the individual teacher can choose to
remain isolated in the classroom where pursuit of valued
outcomes is viewed as more consistently rewarding (Fuller,
Wood, Rapoport, & Dombusch, 1982; Weick, 1969). The
individual's perception of performance efficacy" arises from
actual experiences with attempts to influence or to act
cooperatively with other staff members in the pursuit of meeting
organizational goals or expectations.
The importance of this view of efficacy is seen through the
actor's ability to preserve or increase their efficacy and the
effect that efficacy has on ensuring organizational stability or
severely hampering organizational change. Berman and
McLaughlin (1978) found that teacher efficacy, globally defined
(organizational efficacy), helped predict persistence of
59


organizational interventions. Within this context, practicing
administrators would be wise in determining the level of
organizational efficacy in their staff as they plan organizational
changes designed to improve their schools.
Factors that Affect Teachers' Efficacy
In determining which administrative practices to measure
against teachers' sense of efficacy, perhaps one area to start are
the recommendations for further research in the area. Ashton and
Webb (1986) suggest several areas within Bronfenbrenner's
(1976) "Mesosystem" of the school setting.
As a result of Ashton and Webb's investigations of teachers'
sense of efficacy and student achievement, they suggested
several variables that may have an affect on teachers' sense of
efficacy. These included the size and demographic
characteristics of the school, schools norms,school decision-
making structures, collegial relationships, principal-teacher
relationships, and teachers relationships with students'
families.
Two of the previously mentioned areas concerning school
decision-making structures and collegial relations seem to
60


overlap and point back to Purkey and Smiths research identifying
the Organizational-Structural Variables and Process variables.
Certainly the school decision-making process can be
considered a piece of the School-site Management variable
identified by Purkey and Smith (1982). If this is so, then one
could identify decision-making practices and examine their
relationship to teacher efficacy. While there may be many
processes to examine, if relationships could be drawn to teacher
efficacy, then this would be a significant contribution to the body
of knowledge in this area.
Another perceived area of overlap is the Process variable
identified by Purkey and Smith (1983) as Collaborative Planning
and Collegial Relationships and the collegial relationships
mentioned by Ashton and Webb in their recommendations for
further study. Practices in this area may also overlap into the
area of research on Schools as a work place being documented
by Seashore-Louis (1990). This may prove a possible area from
which to select further items.
61


t
Conclusion
Current literature offers several areas to practicing
administrators that may contribute to more effective schools.
However, throughout the literature, a pervasive insistence on the
focus on teachers and teaching is repeatedly offered as a focus of
needed and continued study. With teachers and teaching being
such a focal point, it seems only logical to examine the teachers
workplace to examine factors that enhance a teachers
performance. Factors have been identified by several
researchers ( Johnson, 1990; Rosenholtz and Simpson,1985;
Purkey and Smith, 1982) that may have a direct relation to how
teachers see their job and to what extent they can be effective in
the classroom.
Teacher efficacy has been identified as being directly
related to student achievement ( Ashton and Webb, 1986; Gibson
and Dembo, 1986). With that in mind, one must ask the question
Are there work life factors in schools that are related to
teachers sense of efficacy? If quality of work life features
were to be shown to be related to teachers of efficacy,
practicing administrators could make better choices of which
62


organizational or building features they may improve and thereby
affect teachers efficacy in the classroom. It is for this reason
this study was undertaken.
63


CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY
Teacher efficacy has been found to be directly related to
student achievement (Ashton & Webb, 1986; Gibson & Dembo,
1984). As high school principals consider practices and
conditions that contribute to the effectiveness of their school,
there is a need to determine if any of those conditions or
practices are related to teachers sense of efficacy. If
relationships between teachers sense of efficacy and workplace
variables were identified, principals could make more effective
decisions regarding conditions that affect teachers sense of
efficacy and thereby have and indirect effect on student learning.
The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship
between teachers sense of efficacy and specific workplace
conditions perceived by teachers in their schools.


Three questions guided the study:
1. What is the relationship between teachers sense
of efficacy and their perceptions of shared school
goals?
2. What is the relationship between teachers sense
of efficacy and their perceptions of teacher
collaboration in their schools?
3. What is the relationship between teachers sense
of efficacy and their perceptions of teachers learning
opportunity?
Demographic information was also sought to explain any
relationships that may exist between workplace variables and
teacher efficacy. Demographic data included: age, gender,
ethnicity, number of years teaching experience, area of teaching
content area, level of education, and size of school.
To determine the relationships that may exist, two
instruments were used. Three objectives were established for
the study: 1) to examine teachers perceptions of specific quality
of work life features present in their school; 2) to examine
teachers perceptions of their personal efficacy and teaching
efficacy; 3) to determine the relationship, if any, between
quality of work life features and teachers sense of personal
65


teaching efficacy. The dependent variable in the study was
identified as teachers sense of efficacy. The independent
variables were teachers perceptions of quality of work life
features.
Rationale for Quantitative Research
Quantitative analysis using survey data was chosen as the
most appropriate method of research for the problem defined in
this study. Several advantages justify this method. The first
advantage in using this method was that some information sought
in the questionnaire may have been perceived as threatening to
teachers. The use of a questionnaire did not require the presence
of another individual such as an interviewer, thus offering a less
threatening environment for teachers (Borg and Gall, 1989). This
opportunity would have been jeopardized through the use of face-
to-face interviews. A safe environment for responses was
important in obtaining reliable data from participants. In
addition, this method eliminated experimenter bias. By using a
questionnaire, a larger number of participants were made
available for the study. This resulted in a higher number of
responses and allowed for wider generalization among high school
66


teachers. A larger number of responses from high schools
increases generalization to the teacher population. Including a
larger number of high schools decreased the amount of error. By
limiting the participants to the high school level, the face
validity of the measures improved generalization to the
secondary level teacher population.
The last advantage in employing these methods was the
availability of existing instrumentation to measure teacher
efficacy through the use of a sixteen item instrument designed by
Gibson and Dembo (1984), and a 164 item instrument developed by
Rosenholtz (1985) to measure teachers perceptions of existing
quality of work life features in their school.
In conclusion, the researcher chose quantitative methods
because of the greater number of participants, a wider range of
generalization, and the availability of instrumentation. Because
this studys central aim was to determine relationships between
a number of different variables (Borg and Gall, 1989),
correlational statistics were employed.
67


Sample
The sample for the study was chosen from secondary
teachers employed in public high schools in the state of Colorado.
The Colorado Department of Education reported that the number of
teachers teaching in high schools in grades 9-12 and 10-12 in
Colorado for the 1992-93 school year was 6,921. There are 176
school districts in the state of Colorado and a total of 284 high
schools. It was from this group of teachers that a sample was
chosen for the study using enrollment figures from the Colorado
Department of Education for the 1991-92 school year.
A random sample of 63 high schools were selected using a
table of random numbers (Isaac and Michael, 1987). From this
group of schools, a random 10% sample of teachers was selected
from the alphabetical list of teachers in each school. This
sampling technique was used since a complete list of high school
teachers in Colorado was not attainable through the Colorado
Department of Education due to individual privacy policies within
the department.
68


Survey Procedure
Teachers were asked to identify their primary teaching
assignment from these academic categories: Language Arts, Fine
Arts, Social Sciences, and Math/Science. Earlier studies
examining teachers sense of efficacy have been performed at the
elementary level and focused in the areas of math and remedial
reading classes (Ashton & Webb, 1986; Gibson and Dembo, 1988;
and Rand, 1977). Because these earlier studies were limited to
the elementary level, and focused on only two areas of
instruction it was believed a more varied sample of subject areas
would provide more reliable data when generalizing to high school
teachers.
Cover letters were sent to principals prior to any mailings.
This cover letter included a description of the study and a request
for principals assistance in distributing and collecting
responses. Principals were asked to distribute questionnaire
packets to the predetermined, randomly-selected teachers from
their faculty rosters. Letters were also included to respondents
describing the study and soliciting their participation.
69


Anonymity was explained and guaranteed to teachers in the cover
letter. Teachers were given two weeks in which to complete the
instrument. It was also explained that questionnaires received
after this date would not be used in the final analysis of the data.
Questionnaires were distributed to schools in individual
envelopes with self-addressed envelopes for return mail. The
principals were asked to distribute the questionnaire packets to
teachers chosen randomly from alphabetical teacher rosters. The
random number was predetermined by the researcher. Principals
received 10 packets with the number of the teacher attached to
the packet. Each school received a minimum of two packets.
Questionnaires received after the deadline date were not included
in the final analysis of the study. Each respondents
questionnaire was coded for data analysis and then destroyed.
Unit of Analysis
Teachers were selected as the unit of statistical analysis.
Using teachers as the unit of analysis allowed the researcher to
examine relationships between teachers perceptions of work life
features and sense of efficacy.
70


Instrumentation
The questionnaire consisted of specific demographic
measures as well as measures of quality of work life features
and teacher efficacy. Self-reported perceptions of specific
workplace features were solicited; self-reported perceptions of
efficacy were also obtained. Descriptions of the instruments
used follow.
Quality of Work Life Instrument
The instrument used to gather quality of work life(QWL)
data was developed by Rosenholtz and Simpson (1989). The
foundation of the research performed by Rosenholtz was
completed as part of the Governors Task Force on Effective
Schools in Tennessee in 1985. This research was sponsored in
part by Vanderbilt University (Simpson, 1993). The original 164
item instrument measured 13 different quality of work life
variables in 78 elementary schools in eight Tennessee school
districts. There have been five requests to use this
instrumentation. However, none of the projects have been
published. This study examined three areas of the quality of work
71


life (QWL) features Rosenholtz (1989) measured. They were:
Shared School Goals, Teacher Collaboration, and Teacher
Learning Opportunities.
Teacher Efficacy Instrument
The research in this area has identified two dimensions of
teacher efficacy. The first is a teachers belief in his or her
ability to affect student learning, and the second is a teachers
belief in the ability of teaching to affect student learning. These
two dimensions were also recognized as being independent of one
another (Ashton and Webb, 1986; Gibson and Dembo, 1984).
Two instruments were available for this study to measure
teachers sense of efficacy. The first is a two item instrument
used by the Rand Corporation (1976; 1977) as well as by Ashton
and Webb (1986). The second instrument was developed and
tested by Gibson and Dembo (1984). Their instrument consisted
of 53 items based on efficacy research and teacher interviews
(1984). After employing a factor analysis of the items, Gibson
and Dembo reduced the instrument to a 30 item instrument. The
30 item instrument was also subjected to factor analysis and
yielded two substantial factors. Factor 1 represented teachers
72


sense of personal teaching efficacy, and factor 2 represented
teachers sense of general efficacy which corresponded directly
to the Rand measure. After further statistical analysis, Gibson
and Dembo adjusted the 53 item instrument to a 16 item
instrument. Employing Cronbachs alpha coefficients, Gibson and
Dembos analysis of reliability produced alpha coefficients of .78
for the Personal Teaching Efficacy" factor, .75 for the teaching
efficacy factor, and .79 for the total 16 items (1984) This helped
to establish better internal consistency in the instrument.
Ashton and Webb (1986) commented on the 16 item
instrument as giving further support to the two factor concept of
teachers sense of efficacy. This instrument can further be
viewed as a more sensitive instrument than the Rand instrument
to use in measuring teachers sense of efficacy. Because the
statistical analysis conducted by Gibson and Dembo shows
congruence with the findings of the Rand, and because in an
interview with Ashton (1992) it was recommended that because
of the length of the Gibson and Dembo instrument, it would be a
more sensitive measure than the items used by the Rand study,
Gibson and Dembos Teacher Efficacy Scale was chosen to
73


measure teachers sense of efficacy and to analyze the
relationship between teachers sense of efficacy and quality of
work life variables.
Statistical Tests
In addition to the information solicited in the two sections
of the questionnaire, other relevant data was also collected. This
included age, gender, teaching experience, level of education,
teaching assignment, and ethnicity. The Statistical Package of
Social Science (SPSS) (V3.0) was used to compute all statistical
tests for this study.
Research Questions
Because there is insufficient literature addressing the
relationship between quality of work life features and teachers
sense of efficacy at the high school level, it was prudent to form
research questions rather than attempt to test hypotheses.
Eichelberger (1989, pp.54) maintained the power of hypotheses
testing was in the researchers ability to pre-specify what
relationships would be present in a study such as this. He
continued by stating that in the absence of a well-delineated
synthesis of research, or existing theory, it would be more
74


beneficial to employ research questions. Because of the lack of a
well-delineated synthesis of the research in the area of quality
of work life or teachers sense of efficacy, specific hypotheses
would be born more of conjecture than of theory. Therefore, to
describe the relationships which may exist for teachers at the
secondary level, the use of research questions was a more
prudent path for analysis.
For analysis, three quality of work life variables were
selected. These were Shared School Goals", Teacher
Collaboration, and Teacher Learning Opportunities. The overall
concern was delineating the relationship between teachers sense
of efficacy and their perceptions of quality of work life features
present in their school. Three questions guided the study:
1. What is the relationship between teachers sense
of efficacy and their perceptions of shared school
goals?
2. What is the relationship between teachers sense
of efficacy and their perceptions of teacher
collaboration in their schools?
3. What is the relationship between teachers sense
of efficacy and their perceptions of teachers learning
opportunity?
75


Limitations of the Research Design
The design of this study contained several limitations. One
of the limitations was that since the study was designed to
examine the relationships between quality of work life features
and teachers sense of efficacy only effects could be shown. No
causal inferences were made. It may be reasonable, however, to
identify any linkage to the effects of quality of work life
features and teachers sense of efficacy.
Another limitation was the sampling group chosen for the
study. The volunteer nature of the study meant that respondents
may not have been ideally representative of the sample. Because
volunteers often seek social approval (Borg & Gall, 1983), and
support was solicited by the building principal, the respondents
may have been biased toward socially accepted responses. The
population of the study was limited to one geographic area
(Colorado). The respondents were teachers at the high school
level. This limited the ability to generalize any findings to a
broader population or to a different level of teaching beyond the
high school or beyond the state of Colorado. Since this
76


questionnaire was self-administered, there was no way to
control testing conditions. Variation of responses may also have
been possible because there was no opportunity given to clarify
directions for completing the questionnaire or to interpret each
item in the instrument.
Human Subject Protection
The subjects were not exposed to any known risks during
course of the study. Cover letters clearly stated, to both
principals and teachers the purpose and the voluntary nature of
the study. Anonymity was explained and guaranteed to all
participants. The questionnaires were coded by school by the
researcher so accurate tabulation could be accomplished. The
study was described and schools were informed that summary
data and results of the study would be made available at the
conclusion of the study if desired.
77


CHAPTER 4
FINDINGS
Teachers sense of efficacy has been directly associated
with student learning (Ashton & Webb, 1986; Gibson & Dembo,
1984). The school reform literature cites shared school goals,
teacher collaboration, and teacher learning opportunities as
features that contribute to the effectiveness of schools. Such
practices are not limited to strong principal leadership, teacher
efficacy, establishing school goals, or teacher collaboration
(Bossert Dwyer, Rapoport, and Lee 1982; Johnson, 1985,
Rosenholtz, 1985). The purpose of this study was to determine
the relationship between teachers sense of efficacy and specific
workplace conditions perceived by teachers in their schools.
Three questions guided the study:
1. What is the relationship between teachers sense
of efficacy and their perceptions of shared school
goals?
2. What is the relationship between teachers sense
of efficacy and their perceptions of teacher
collaboration in their schools?


3. What is the relationship between teachers sense
of efficacy and their perceptions of teachers learning
opportunity?
Data were collected and analyzed to study the relationship
between teachers sense of efficacy and identified workplace
variables, specifically Shared School Goals, Teacher
Collaboration, and Teachers Learning Opportunities. Johnson
(1990) cited organizational features that contributed to
effectiveness. These were school goal congruence, cultural
strength, supervision interaction, decision-making (p.22).
Rosenholtz (1986) identified several areas to be significant in
the effectiveness of schools in Tennessee. These included Shared
School Goals, Teacher Collaboration, and Teachers Learning
Opportunities and were supported in the literature to contribute
to the effectiveness of schools (Bossert Dwyer, Rapoport, and Lee
1982; Louis & Smith 1990).
This chapter presents the results of the study in four
sections. The first section begins with a brief discussion of the
instruments The second section continues with a summary of the
demographic characteristics of the respondents, and the third
79


section presents the data regarding themselves, teacher efficacy
factors and the selected workplace factors. The last section
presents a discussion of the findings as they pertain to the
research questions. Included in this section are the relationships
found between the demographic variables themselves, between
demographic variables and teacher efficacy, demographic
variables and workplace variables, and, finally.y between teacher
efficacy and workplace variables. The chapter concludes with the
major findings of the study.
80


Findings Concerning Instrumentation
The survey instrument used in this study consisted of three
different scales. These were teacher efficacy items, workplace
items, and demographic items. Both the efficacy and the
workplace instruments were tested and demonstrated to be
reliable by Gibson and Dembo (1984) and Rosenholtz and Simpson
(1985) respectively. Both instruments were designed to reflect
teachers perceptions regarding their sense of efficacy and the
presence of identified workplace features in their school. The
studies done by Gibson and Dembo as well as Rosenholtz, however,
were both done at the elementary school level. This study
focused on high school teachers. Demographic data included: size
of school, age, gender, ethnicity, number of years teaching
experience, area of teaching content area, and level of education.
A factor analysis of the efficacy variable and the workplace
variables were used to confirm item clusters and underlying
factors claimed by the authors. Factor analysis is essentially a
search for clusters of variables that are inter-correlated with
each other. Each cluster of items is called a factor". The factor
is represented as a score for each individual. Each item is then
81


correlated, and a coefficient is noted. The coefficient represents
the relationship between the items and the factor. The individual
coefficients are referred to as the factor loading. Ideally each
variable should have a high factor loading of (> .400) with one
factor and moderate to low loadings with others. The farther the
factor loading is from zero, the more one is able to generalize
from that factor to the variable. This indicates that a variable
shares variance with other variables in its factor, but its
variance is distinct from variables loading heavily on other
factors. By comparing factor loadings of the same variable it
becomes easier to generalize (Borg & Gall 1989; Smith &
Glass,!987, Gorsuch.1983;). Using factor analysis allowed the
researcher to identify the clusters of factors and thereby better
understand the construct of teacher efficacy. The factors were
identified as Home Environment, Teacher Effort, Teacher Ability,
and General Ability. The variables and factor loadings for each
sub-scale are listed in detail in the following discussion.
Cronbachs alpha coefficients were computed on each section of
both instruments and are also presented in this section.
Cronbachs alpha coefficients are psychometric rather than
82


statistical and are calculated to determine the internal
reliability of the instrument items. These calculations were
made to determine if the internal reliability of the instruments
used in the study were consistent with those done by prior
researchers.
Factor analysis was also used to produce the factors
contributing to Shared School Goals, Teacher Collaboration, and
Teachers Learning Opportunities. Factor analysis indicated
Shared School Goals consisted of five sub-scales. They were
Shared Goal Setting, Shared Teaching Goals, Teacher
Evaluation, Teacher Isolation / Cohesive ness, and Managing
Student Behavior. Teacher Collaboration was found to consist of
four sub-scales. These were identified as Collaboration, Team
Teaching, Decision-Making, and Teacher Certainty About
Cultural and Instructional Practices. Teachers Learning
Opportunities was found to consist of only one sub-scale,
identified as Teachers Learning Opportunities.
To differentiate between several factors, Shared Teaching
Goals is defined as instructional goals formed and carried out by
the entire faculty. This is substantially different from
83


Collaboration" or Team Teaching" in that the concern is for
what a faculty decides to implement and with Collaboration
teachers may share ideas that help fulfill the instructional goals
but are separate from each other in the classroom setting. Team
Teaching and Collaboration" differ in that while collaboration
may occur in several settings and may also seek to meet shared
instructional goals, collaboration may occur at different grade
levels, or between different content areas.
"Team Teaching" involves the active task of one or more teachers
jointly engaged in the instructional process with the same group
of students during the same period of time.
84


I
Factor Analysis of Teacher Efficacy
The results of the responses to the sixteen item efficacy
instrument (used by Gibson and Dembo,1984) were subjected to
principal axis factoring with varimax rotation. The total number
of respondents from this study numbered 370 and provided
sufficient numbers for the analysis procedures. According to
Ashton and Webb(1 994), the sixteen item efficacy instrument
was considered to be a more sensitive instrument, especially for
high school teachers, than the two item instrument and for that
reason was used for this study.
Only one of the sixteen questions did not load on one factor
and was deleted from the analysis. The factor loading is the
coefficient that represents the relationship of the item with the
factor that has been identified. Because the relationship was so
small, it was not considered in the analysis. Fifteen questions of
the original sixteen from Dembos (1984) for teacher efficacy
contributed to the four factors used in this study. Negatively
worded questions were corrected to indicate the proper direction
of the response. The factor analysis was also corrected for the
reversed scores. A low score, therefore, indicated a strong
85


agreement in the item statement while a high score indicated a
strong disagreement in the item statement.
The data from the efficacy instrument yielded four factors.
They were Home Environment, Teacher Effort, Teacher
Ability, and General Ability. Four factors with appropriate
loadings were acceptable for the study. Table 4.1 illustrates the
identified factors and their respective loadings.
86


Table 4.1
Items Comprising Teacher Efficacy and Their Loadings
Designation Item Factor Loading
PAF Variable HOME ENVIRONMENT
8. If a student in my dass becomes cfsruptive and .694
noisy, I feel assured that I know some techniques to
redirect him or her quickly.
3. A teacher is very limited in what he or she can .689
achieve because a students home environment is a
large influence on his or her achievement.
7. If students are not dsdpiined at home they .506
arent likely to accept any disdpline.
9. The hours in my class have little influence on .456
students compared to the influence of thar home
environment.
13. The influences of a students home experiences .391
can be overcome by good teaching.
11. The amount that a student can learn is primarily .317
related to family background
15. When a student gets a better grade than he or she .309
usually gets, it is usually because I have found a better way of
teaching that student.
PAF Variable TEACHER EFFORT
6. When a student does better than usual, many times .647
it is because I exerted a little extra effort.
4. When I really try, I can get through to most difficult .538
students.
PAF Variable TEACHER ABILITY
2. When the grades of my students improve, it is .737
usually because I found a more effective teaching
approach.
1 If students master a new concept quickly, this might .389
be because I knew the necessary steps in teaching that
concept.
16 Even a teacher with good teaching abilities may not .499
reach many students.
87


PAF Variable GENERAL ABILITY
12. When a student is having cSfficuity with an .692
assignment, I am usually able to adjust it to his or her
level of difficulty.
14. If parents would do more with their children, I .443
could do more.
5. If a student dd not remember information I gave in a previous .430
lesson, I would know how to increase his or her retention in the
next lesson.
Table 4.1 is organized to illustrate the order in which the
factor analysis of the variable Teacher Efficacy resulted. The
table represents how the items clustered and were then
correlated with the factor. The items were then examined to
determine the underlying factor running through the items. The
factor was then named according to the common strand running
through the items. The loading number indicated to what degree
the items were related to the factor. It was noted that two
items, 8 and 15, did not seem to fit with the Home Environment
factor. It was believed there must have been some relationship
the researcher was unable to identify that made the two items
load into this factor. Teachers may have perceived the home as a
possible remedy to the instructional concern. Regardless of the
reason, the items were included in the factoring to indicate how
each item was related to the factor.
88


To determine whether the relationships between teacher
efficacy and workplace variables were predictive, both variables
were subjected to a multiple regression analysis. The findings of
the multiple regression indicated no significant relationship
between efficacy and workplace variables. More specifically, it
was demonstrated that the multiple R (for the combined effects
of the workplace variables on the dependent variables, Home
Environment, Teacher Effort", Teacher Ability,and General
Ability) did not indicate a predictive relationship between the
variables.
Factor Analysis of Workplace Variables
Three workplace variables, Shared School Goals, Teacher
Collaboration, and Teachers Learning Opportunities were
represented by sixty nine workplace items on the instrument. The
instrument used to acquire data was tested and used by
Rosenholtz (1985). The items in this instrument were also
subjected to factor analysis with varimax rotation. Factors were
identified and labeled. Shared School Goals was shown to
consist of five factors. These were Shared Goal Setting,
89


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