Examining the relationship between grade configuration and teachers' perceptions of working conditions in public K-8 schools and middle schools in North Carolina Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
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  • Cooper, Jason Brent
    • Affiliation: School of Education
Abstract
  • The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine if there were statistically significant differences in teachers' perceptions of working conditions between public K-8 and middle school teachers in North Carolina. Teacher working conditions subscale scores were calculated for the five, teacher working conditions domains (time; facilities and resources; leadership; teacher empowerment; and professional development) within the 2006 North Carolina Teacher Working Conditions Survey (NCTWCS) secondary data set for questions that teachers were provided with the same Likert scale responses. The researcher hypothesized that public K-8 school teachers would report greater satisfaction with working conditions in K-8 schools than public middle school teachers in middle schools in the state of North Carolina as measured by the 2006 NCTWCS. The sample included 13,433 public K-8 and middle school teachers who were selected from the 2006 NCTWCS data set. This study's sample included 10,520 6-8 middle school teachers, 1,813 K-8 teachers, and 1,100 other middle school configuration teachers. T-tests for independent samples were calculated to test for significant differences in teachers' perceptions of working conditions domain means by school type (also referred to as grade configuration in this study) for (a) Group 1, 6-8 middle school teachers and K-8 teachers, and (b) Group 2, all middle school configuration (AMS) teachers (6-8, 3-8, 4-8, and 5-8) and K-8 teachers. Correlations were also calculated to test for significant relationships among teacher working conditions domains and between teacher working conditions domains and school type. Further analysis was conducted which controlled for relevant teacher demographic and student/school characteristics variables. The results indicated significant differences in teachers' perceptions of working conditions by school type for all teacher working conditions domains except professional development. K-8 teachers reported more positive perceptions of all working conditions domains except time when compared to 6-8 middle school teachers. K-8 teachers reported more positive perceptions of all working conditions domains except time and professional development when compared to AMS teachers. Further discussion of this study's findings and potential rival hypotheses are discussed in chapter four. Implications and recommendations for future research are presented and discussed in chapter five.
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  • English, Fenwick
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