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Book part

Ayana Kee Campoli and Dyanis Conrad-Popova

The shortage of teachers of color, specifically Black female teachers, is a problem that detrimentally impacts students in US public schools. The high turnover of Black…

Abstract

The shortage of teachers of color, specifically Black female teachers, is a problem that detrimentally impacts students in US public schools. The high turnover of Black teachers may be caused by the poor working conditions they experience in their schools. However, the literature lacks a broad overview that gives a national perspective on how working conditions in general, and interpersonal relationships in particular, affect the retention of Black female teachers. For this study, we analyzed data from a nationally representative sample of over 1,000 Black female teachers who participated in the 2007–2008 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS). We addressed two main research questions. First, how do the working conditions in schools where Black female teachers are employed relate to their retention? Second, does the quality of the interpersonal relationships between Black female teachers and others at their schools predict career decisions? Our findings have implications for policymakers and school leaders who seek to improve teacher retention in US public schools.

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Book part

Edward J. Fuller, Liz Hollingworth and Michelle D. Young

This chapter analyzes 2011 survey data from a sample of Texas principals who were asked about their perceptions of their working conditions such as: support and…

Abstract

This chapter analyzes 2011 survey data from a sample of Texas principals who were asked about their perceptions of their working conditions such as: support and facilities; salary; resources; autonomy to make decisions; testing and accountability pressures; and relationships with supervisors. Respondents were also asked about their intentions to stay or leave their particular school. Researchers and policymakers agree effective and stable school leadership is critical to school improvement efforts, but we know little about how various working conditions impact principal effectiveness and turnover. This work is important because in-depth knowledge of the causes of principal turnover in general and how principal working conditions impact turnover in particular is a pre-requisite to creating policies and support mechanisms to support principals in small and mid-sized districts.

Details

Leading Small and Mid-Sized Urban School Districts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-818-2

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Article

Karolina Parding and Anna Berg-Jansson

This paper aims to examine and discuss learning conditions for teachers, in the context of choice and decentralisation reforms.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine and discuss learning conditions for teachers, in the context of choice and decentralisation reforms.

Design/methodology/approach

This article is based on analyses of 30 interviews with Swedish upper secondary teachers focusing on their experiences of their conditions for learning.

Findings

This paper shows how teachers at upper secondary level identify their subjects as the most important to learn more within. Secondly, we also show that spatial and temporal aspects of organisation of work seem to influence the conditions for subject learning, where the interviewees in many ways contrast their own view to how they describe their work being organised.

Research limitations/implications

Our findings may have currency for other professional groups with similar governance-contexts, and teachers in other similar governance-contexts.

Practical implications

These findings indicate the need to further develop workplace learning strategies founded upon the understanding of schools as workplaces, taking occupational values into account. Furthermore, these strategies should be seen as a core Human Resource Management issue, as they can potentially enhance the work environment, thus increasing the profession’s attractiveness.

Originality/value

We show that spatial and temporal aspects of organisation of work seem to influence the conditions for the sought after subject learning, and that the teachers and the school management seem to identify with different and clashing ideals in terms of what, when, how and with whom to learn.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article

Orit Avidov-Ungar and Rinat Arviv-Elyashiv

The purpose of this paper is to examine the perceptions of teachers toward national reform in education according to the reform stage (Initiation, Implementation or…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the perceptions of teachers toward national reform in education according to the reform stage (Initiation, Implementation or Institutionalization) attained in their school. The study aim to examined: How do teachers perceive the current reform?; Is there a correlation between teachers' perceptions and reform stage?; To what extent are teachers' perceptions affected by school's mechanisms and school's readiness?

Design/methodology/approach

The research methodology is quantitative. Teachers (N = 288) completed a written questionnaire. One-way ANOVA was used to investigate teachers' perceptions of the reform and its contributions to school effectiveness and to teachers' working conditions according to reform stage, while controlling for managerial position, teaching experience and school level. Multivariate modeling was used to examine the relationships between the variables.

Findings

Teachers' overall attitudes toward the changes associated with the education reform lay between moderately negative and neutral. Reform was perceived to have made a greater contribution to school effectiveness than to teacher working conditions. School readiness for reform and the presence of school mechanisms supporting reform explained much (41%) of the variance in teachers' attitudes. Teachers holding leadership roles and those whose schools were in the Institutionalization stage exhibited more positive attitudes toward the reform and perceived it as having improved their working conditions to a greater extent than those without leadership roles or whose schools were in the Initiation or Implementation stages, respectively.

Originality/value

Teachers' attitudes toward reform have not previously been examined in the context of reform stage.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Book part

Kristin Gordon

The most recent development in the accountability movement occurred in January 2002 when the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was signed into law. Surprisingly little work

Abstract

The most recent development in the accountability movement occurred in January 2002 when the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was signed into law. Surprisingly little work has illuminated how teachers experience standards-based accountability policy. Using survey data and interviews, this chapter explores the impact of NCLB requirements, namely adequate yearly progress and needs improvement status, on teacher perceptions of working conditions, especially the use of time and empowerment. I show how the policy has led to restructuring of classroom time and increases in collaboration and yet, simultaneously, a decrease in teachers’ perceptions of empowerment.

Details

Strong States, Weak Schools: The Benefits and Dilemmas of Centralized Accountability
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84663-910-4

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Article

Timothy G. Ford, Jentre Olsen, Jam Khojasteh, Jordan Ware and Angela Urick

The actions of school leaders engender working conditions that can play a role in positively (or negatively) affecting teachers’ motivation, well-being or professional…

Abstract

Purpose

The actions of school leaders engender working conditions that can play a role in positively (or negatively) affecting teachers’ motivation, well-being or professional practice. The purpose of this paper is to explore how leader actions might bring about positive teacher outcomes through meeting teachers’ psychological needs at three distinct levels: the intrapersonal, interpersonal and organizational.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a sample of over 1,500 teachers from 73 schools in a large, high-poverty, urban Midwestern school district, the authors applied a multilevel path analysis to the study of the relationships between the intrapersonal, interpersonal and organizational dimensions of teacher psychological needs and the teacher affective states of burnout, organizational commitment and intent to leave the school and/or profession.

Findings

Whereas the intrapersonal dimension works primarily through burnout, the findings suggest that the interpersonal dimension (teacher–principal interactions) primarily functions to cultivate organizational commitment among teachers. At the organizational level, cultivating a trusting, enabling work environment where teachers can build on existing knowledge and skills had a demonstrated relationship to collective teacher burnout and organizational commitment, but only to the degree that these actions serve to build collective teacher efficacy.

Practical implications

In addressing existing deficits in support for teachers’ psychological needs within a school, school leaders have a significant mechanism through which to affect the attitudes and emotions of teachers which precede turnover behavior. However, addressing teacher psychological needs should be thought of as multidimensional – no single dimension (either the intrapersonal, interpersonal or organizational) alone will be sufficient. Principals should expect to work both one-on-one as well as collectively with teachers to address school working conditions which support their psychological needs as learners.

Originality/value

Prior studies examining the various working conditions of schools have included many common constructs, but the authors demonstrate how self-determination theory could be used to unify these seemingly unique characteristics of school working conditions with respect to how they support (or thwart) the psychological needs of teachers. The authors also empirically test the relationship of these dimensions to a wide-range of commonly-used teacher affective outcomes.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 57 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article

Tanja Webs and Heinz Günter Holtappels

Teacher collaboration is regarded as a central feature of school quality that promotes students’ learning processes, teachers’ professional development, and school…

Abstract

Purpose

Teacher collaboration is regarded as a central feature of school quality that promotes students’ learning processes, teachers’ professional development, and school improvement. Although the phenomenon is complex, studies often use global constructs and measures. To meet the research demands, the purpose of this paper is to take a differentiated perspective on teacher collaboration, its particular school conditions and effects on instructional development.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected through a survey of 1,105 teachers at 36 secondary schools in North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany). Using multivariate analysis of variance and structural equation modeling, the occurrence of three different forms of teacher collaboration and their relations to activities of instructional development, structural and cultural working conditions, represented by appropriate scales and indexes, are analyzed.

Findings

The results show that teachers use less resource-intensive forms of collaboration more often and practice more demanding forms of collaboration less frequently. More demanding forms of collaboration not only depend on the working climate but also on individual self-efficacy, institutionalized teams, collaborative and instructional principal leadership and in turn promote the development of interdisciplinary curricula and concepts for individual support.

Originality/value

This study provides evidence for the importance of distinguishing different forms of teacher collaboration. Furthermore, by relating different collaborative activities of teachers to certain school conditions and instructional development, this study makes a contribution to research by emphasizing the relativity of teacher collaboration regarding its desired outcomes as well as its necessary requirements.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

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Article

Karolina Parding and Lena Abrahamsson

The aim of this article is to challenge the concept of “the learning organization” as unproblematic and inherently good.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this article is to challenge the concept of “the learning organization” as unproblematic and inherently good.

Design/methodology/approach

The research looked at how teachers – as an example of public sector professionals in a work organization that claims to be a learning organization – view their conditions for learning.

Findings

By using this approach, the normative values surrounding the concept of the learning organization were discussed. This approach identifies power‐relations: i.e. who has the priority of interpretation to define what learning is desired and considered relevant as well as when, how and where one learns. In addition, it gives indications to how and why the implementations of management concepts are not always successful.

Originality/value

This article shows how the implementation of a governance concept (learning organization) in fact can be seen as bringing with it unintended consequences for the organization as a whole – and especially for the professionals. Even within a work organization claiming to be a learning organization, learning gaps can be identified.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 22 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article

Y.L. Jack Lam

The present study attempted to explore the relationship between teacher learning and student learning under different school structural conditions.

Abstract

Purpose

The present study attempted to explore the relationship between teacher learning and student learning under different school structural conditions.

Design/methodology/approach

Some 1,330 teachers from 29 secondary schools of different community backgrounds and student academic abilities in Hong Kong were surveyed, using instruments from diverse conceptual sources.

Findings

Findings emerging from the data supported two propositions: First, high flexible structure fostered conditions that were more conducive to teachers' learning than working conditions which were perceived as “medium” or “rigid” structures. Second, the three structural conditions that elevated greater teacher learning as reported. i.e. having greater control, higher motivation and more collective learning opportunities, exerted a definitive impact on students' progress in diverse aspects of their development.

Originality/value

The results highlight the significance of structural impact on school performance. In so doing, it underscores the need for broadening the scope of investigation of other equally salient internal school environmental features for a better understanding of how school organizational self‐propelled improvement can be sustained.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 43 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Book part

Desiree Carver-Thomas and Linda Darling-Hammond

This study uses the most recent national data from the National Center for Education Statistics, Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), 2011–2012 and Teacher Follow-up Survey…

Abstract

This study uses the most recent national data from the National Center for Education Statistics, Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), 2011–2012 and Teacher Follow-up Survey (TFS), 2012–2013 to investigate attrition trends among Black teachers, and Black female teachers in particular, to inform a qualitative analysis of proposed and adopted teacher retention policy interventions. This study asks: Why do Black teachers report leaving, and what would bring them back to the classroom? What working conditions are associated with Black teacher attrition? What policy interventions can meet the needs of Black teachers in having successful and supported teaching experiences? How have these interventions been successful, and what are the considerations for applying them more broadly? We find that Black teacher turnover rates are significantly higher than those of other teachers and that there are several substantive differences in their preparation, school characteristics, and reasons for leaving. We describe policy interventions that target these conditions, such as teacher residencies, loan forgiveness, mentoring and induction, and principal training programs. We include in that discussion the relative benefits and challenges of each implications for policymaking.

Details

Black Female Teachers
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-462-0

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