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Craig, Pamela S.
A descriptive analysis of the relationship between specific teacher characteristics and teacher efficacy in Florida's low-performing public high schools
h [electronic resource] /
by Pamela S. Craig.
[Tampa, Fla] :
b University of South Florida,
ABSTRACT: This study was designed to collect data to determine the specific characteristics (gender, level and area of degree status, certification status, pedagogical training, gender, number of years of teaching experience, number of years teaching at the current school, and courses currently taught) of language arts teachers at Florida's low-performing pubic high schools and compare these characteristics to teachers' sense of efficacy (the extent to which teachers' believe they have the ability to bring about changes in student achievement independent of the student's background, behaviors, or motivation level). A total of 615 teachers representing 84 schools in 36 districts participated in the study. Teachers completed a researcher-created survey questionnaire and the Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale Long (Tschannen-Moran and Hoy, 2001). The data were collected and analyzed using descriptive and multiple regression statistics.The majority of the respondents meet the minimum re quirements of highly qualified teachers as defined by NCLB. However, only 37% of responding language arts teachers at Florida's low-performing public high schools have degrees in English education, and only 15% of responding reading teachers have degrees in reading or reading education. Additionally, the majority of the responding teachers have been only been teaching at the school site for five or fewer years.Although the majority of responding teachers reported moderate to high sense of classroom management and instructional practice efficacy, over 43% reported low sense of student engagement efficacy, suggesting the teachers do not believe they possess the skills or knowledge necessary to engage students in learning. The study suggests that improving student achievement for our lowest-performing students may require more than providing students with highly qualified teachers defined by NCLB. Districts and schools must examine more closely the characteristics of highly effective teac hers in order to recruit and retain teachers who can truly impact student achievement for students who have previously demonstrated a lack of success. Additionally, schools would benefit from professional development designed to provide teachers with classroom strategies that engage students in learning and which helps develop a school-wide literacy culture reflecting high expectations for student achievement.
Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2006.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic dissertation) in PDF format.
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Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 120 pages.
Adviser: Jane Applegate, Ph.D.
Highly qualified teachers.
x Interdisciplinary Education
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
4 0 856
A Descriptive Analysis of the Relationship Between Specific Teacher Characteristics and Teacher Efficacy in Floridas Low-Performing Public High Schools by Pamela S. Craig A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Interdisciplinary Education College of Education University of South Florida Co-major Professor: Jane Applegate, Ph.D. Co-major Professor: Joan Kaywell, Ph.D. Jeffrey Kromrey, Ph.D. Roger Brindley, Ed.D. Date of Approval: October 27, 2006 Keywords: education, language arts, English teachers, read ing teachers, highly qualified teachers, secondary schools Copyright 2006, Pamela S. Craig
Dedication This dissertation is dedicated to my hus band, Randy, without whom I could never have achieved so much, and to my children, Steven, Laurie, and Brandon, who encouraged me to reach beyond my expectations.
Acknowledgments I wish to express my appreciation fo r the time and support allotted me by my dissertation committee. Each member afforded me the opportunity to discuss my research and provided me with valuable insigh t which allowed me move forward. I appreciate Dr. Kaywells thought-pr ovoking questioning, always examining the language while pushing me forward with my conc lusions. I am grateful to Dr. Brindleys enthusiasm and drive which allowed me th e opportunity to express my conclusions without hesitation. Without Dr. Applegate s continual nudge to push myself beyond my comfort zone, this dissertation would never have been completed. Because of her high standards of expectation, I have grown as a professional and as a researcher. I am especially grateful to Dr. Kromrey for hi s patience in helping me through the data analysis process. His willingness to respond to my every cry for help, and his ability to help me move forward from my own starti ng point was essential in completing this dissertation. Finally, I would like to ac knowledge Mark L. Spearman, Ph.D. for his ability to help me see the data, so that I could eventually write about it.
i Table of Contents List of Tables .....................................................................................................................iv List of Figures ....................................................................................................................vi Abstract .............................................................................................................................vi i Chapter One ........................................................................................................................1 Introduction .............................................................................................................1 Background of the Study ........................................................................................3 School Accountability .................................................................................3 Reading Achievement .................................................................................5 Teacher Quality ...........................................................................................8 Teachers Sense of Efficacy ......................................................................12 Purpose of the Study .............................................................................................15 Research Questions ...............................................................................................20 Definition of Terms ...............................................................................................21 Assumptions, Delimitations, and Limitations .......................................................24 Significance of the Study ......................................................................................27 Chapter Summary .................................................................................................29 Chapter Two ......................................................................................................................31 Introduction ...........................................................................................................31 Effective Teachers ................................................................................................33 Historical Perspectives ..............................................................................33 The Current Debate ...................................................................................36 Content Area Degree and Student Achievement ......................................38 Pedagogical Knowledge and Student Achievement .................................44 Teacher Certification and Student Achievement ......................................47 Teacher Quality and Student Equity .........................................................50 Summary ...................................................................................................52 Teacher Efficacy ...................................................................................................54 Historical Context .....................................................................................54 Construct Validity and Measurement Instruments ...................................55 Working Definitions .................................................................................65 Efficacy and Student Achievement ...........................................................66 Efficacy and Certification .........................................................................74 Efficacy and Number of Years Teaching ..................................................74 Efficacy and Low Achieving Students.....................................................77 Collective Efficacy: A Brief Discussion ...................................................78
ii Summary ...................................................................................................79 Chapter Summary .................................................................................................81 Chapter Three ....................................................................................................................82 Purpose of the Study and Research Questions ......................................................82 Population .............................................................................................................84 Study Design .........................................................................................................86 Survey Instrument .....................................................................................86 Survey Research ........................................................................................87 Data Collection .....................................................................................................90 Survey Distribution ...................................................................................90 Time Line ..................................................................................................92 Incentives ..................................................................................................94 Data Analysis ........................................................................................................94 Chapter Summary .................................................................................................96 Chapter Four .....................................................................................................................98 Descriptive Statistics .............................................................................................99 Participating Schools ................................................................................99 Teacher Degrees ......................................................................................100 Years Teaching .......................................................................................103 Certification ............................................................................................106 K-12 Reading Endorsement....................................................................108 Courses Taught and Highly Qualified Teachers .....................................109 Gender.....................................................................................................112 Efficacy Means ...................................................................................................112 Multiple Regression ............................................................................................114 Correlation Matrix ..................................................................................114 Regression Models ..................................................................................121 Chapter Summary ...............................................................................................128 Chapter Five ....................................................................................................................131 Introduction .........................................................................................................131 Research Question One Teacher Characteristics .............................................134 Degree Status ..........................................................................................134 Number of Years Teaching .....................................................................137 Certification and Endorsement Status .....................................................138 Highly Qualified Teachers ......................................................................139 Courses Taught .......................................................................................140 Gender.....................................................................................................141 Conclusions .............................................................................................141 Research Question Two Unweighted Means for Efficacy ...............................143 Research Question Three The Direc tion and Strength of the Relationship between Teacher Characteristics and Teacher Efficacy .....................................148 Student Engagement Efficacy .................................................................148 Instructional Strategies Efficacy .............................................................149
iii Classroom Management Efficacy ...........................................................151 Collective Efficacy ..................................................................................151 Conclusions .............................................................................................153 Conclusions .........................................................................................................155 Highly Qualified versus Highly Effective Teachers ...............................155 Recruiting and Retaining Highly Qua lified, Highly Effective Teachers 156 Emphasis on Reading Instruction ...........................................................157 Creating a Culture of Literacy and High Expectations ...........................158 Recommendations for Future Research..................................................160 Chapter Summary ...............................................................................................161 References .......................................................................................................................162 Appendices ......................................................................................................................173 Appendix A: Letter to Principals ........................................................................174 Appendix B: Principal s Return Post Card .........................................................175 Appendix C: Letter to Department Chairs ..........................................................176 Appendix D: Letter to Teachers ...........................................................................177 Appendix E: English/Language Arts/Reading Teacher Questionnaire .................178 Appendix F: Teachers Sense of Efficacy Scale .....................................................180 Appendix G: School Site Survey Return Post Card ...............................................181 Appendix H: Instructions for Facilitating Surveys ..............................................182 About the Author ...................................................................................................End Page
iv List of Tables Table 1 Factor Loadings for the Ostes (study 3)..............................................................64 Table 2 Validity Correlations for the OSTES* ................................................................65 Table 3: Participating and N on-Participating School Data ...............................................89 Table 4 Research Time Line ............................................................................................93 Table 5: Participating Schools Reading Achievement, Free and Reduced Lunch Rates, and Minority Rates ...............................................................................................100 Table 6 Type of Bachelor's Degrees Obtained ..............................................................101 Table 7 Type of Master's Degrees Obtained ..................................................................102 Table 8 Types of Advanced Degrees Obtained .............................................................102 Table 9 Comparison of Teacher Degree Levels to 2005-2006 SPARS .........................103 Table 10 Years Teaching ...............................................................................................104 Table 11 Years at Current School ..................................................................................104 Table 12 Comparison Years Teach ing and Years at Current School ............................105 Table 13 Years Teaching Language Arts .......................................................................105 Table 14 Comparison of Years Teaching, Year s Teaching at Current School, and Years Teaching Language Arts .......................................................................................106 Table 15 Type of Certification .......................................................................................108 Table 16 Reading Endorsement Status for Reading Teachers .......................................109 Table 17 Comparison of HQT for Florida and Sample Population ...............................110 Table 18 Courses Currently Taught ...............................................................................111 Table 19 Comparison of Efficacy Means ......................................................................113 Table 20 Percent of Teachers with High, Medium, and Low Efficacy Means ..............114 Table 21 Correlation Matrix: Depend ent and Independent Variables ............................115 Table 22 Independent Variables Correlation Numbers ..................................................117 Table 23 Correlation Matrix Independent Variables ...................................................118 Table 24 Student Engagement Efficacy Regression Model ..........................................121 Table 25 Student Engagement Efficacy Parameter Estimates ........................................122
v Table 26 Instructional Strate gies Efficacy Regression Model .......................................123 Table 27 Instructional Strategies Efficacy Parameter Estimates ....................................124 Table 28 Classroom Management Efficacy Regression Model .....................................125 Table 29 Classroom Management Efficacy Parameter Estimates ..................................126 Table 30 Partial Regression F Values .............................................................................127
vi List of Figures Figure 1 Comparison Years Teachi ng and Years at Current School .............................105 Figure 2 Comparison of Years Teaching, Years Teaching at Current School, and Years Teaching Language Arts .......................................................................................106 Figure 3 Number of Year s Teaching by Courses Taught ..............................................112 Figure 4 Courses Taught by Number of Years Teaching ..............................................112 Figure 5 Efficacy Scores Frequency Chart ....................................................................114
vii A Descriptive Analysis of the Relationship Between Specific Teacher Characteristics and Teacher Efficacy in Floridas Low-Performing Public High Schools Pamela S. Craig ABSTRACT This study was designed to collect data to determine the specific characteristics (gender, level and area of degree status, certification st atus, pedagogical training, gender, number of years of teaching experience, number of years teaching at the current school, and courses currently taught) of language arts teachers at Floridas low-performing pubic high schools and compare these characteristics to teachers se nse of efficacy (the extent to which teachers believe they have the ability to bring about ch anges in student achievement independent of the students background, behaviors, or motivation level). A total of 615 teachers representing 84 schools in 36 districts particip ated in the study. Teachers completed a researcher-created survey questionnaire and th e Teachers Sense of Efficacy Scale Long (Tschannen-Moran and Hoy, 2001). The data were collected and analyzed using descriptive and multiple regression statistics. The majority of the respondents meet th e minimum requirements of highly qualified teachers as defined by NCLB. However, only 37 % of responding language arts teachers at Floridas low-performing public high schools have degrees in English education, and only 15% of responding reading teachers have de grees in reading or reading education. Additionally, the majority of the responding tea chers have been only been teaching at the school site for five or fewer years.
viii Although the majority of responding teacher s reported moderate to high sense of classroom management and instructional practi ce efficacy, over 43% reported low sense of student engagement efficacy, suggesting the tea chers do not believe they possess the skills or knowledge necessary to engage students in learning. The study suggests that improving student achievement for our lowest-performing students may require more than providing stud ents with highly qualified teachers defined by NCLB. Districts and schools must examine more closely the characteristics of highly effective teachers in order to recruit and retain teachers who can truly impact student achievement for students who have previously de monstrated a lack of success. Additionally, schools would benefit from professional devel opment designed to provide teachers with classroom strategies that engage students in learning and which helps develop a school-wide literacy culture reflecting high expectations for student achievement.
1 Chapter One Whenever a solution appears so simp le and straightforward, the cynical among us can expect it to fail. It has ac hieved the status of a self-evident truth, yet it may only be a collecti vely held myth. Indeed, the common wisdom is that the simple solutions have thus far not bor ne the anticipated results. Shulman, 1983. Introduction Raising standards, eliminating the achievement gap, and assessing student achievement are the current buzz words in public education. Concer ned with declining test scores, the federal government pa ssed the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). As a result, states began imposing rigorous accountability measures on schools that did not demonstrate improved student performance on state-mandated tests. Pressured by state mandates, districts pl aced the burden on individual schools which ultimately placed the burden on individual teach ers. Increasingly, teacher performance is measured by student performance on state-ma ndated tests (K-20 Education Code). The pressure on teachers to produce increased st udent achievement on state-mandated tests increases each year as does the call to ensu re that all students have access to highly qualified teachers -those who have a minimum of a bachelors degree in their area of responsibility, have passed a content area test, and hold an educators certificate.
2 Few will argue the need to make certain th at all students receive instruction from qualified teachers who have a positive imp act on student achievement; however, NCLBs narrow definition of highly qualified teacher s appears to ignore significant research indicating that other f actors are equally, if not more, important than credentials when it comes to improving student achievement. Effective teachers -thos e who positively impact student achievement -encompass a myriad of characte ristics in addition to degree and certification status. These characteristics include but are not limited to the number of years of teaching experience, number years of teaching at the current sc hool, pedagogical training, gender, and courses currently taught (Anderson, Greene, & Loewen, 1988; Berry, Hoke, & Hirsch, 2004; Darling-Hammond, 2000; Goldhaber & Ant hony, 2003; Hess, 2001; Ingersoll, 1996; Lankford et al., 2002; Moore & Esselma n, 1994; Raudenbush, Rowan, & Cheong, 1992). In addition, effective teachers report high levels of teacher e fficacy the extent to which teachers believe they have the ability to bring about changes in student change independent of the students background, beha viors, or motivation level (Ashton & Web, 1986; Denham & Michael, 1981; Guskey, 1994; Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001). If we recognize that effective t eachers positively impact student achievement (DarlingHammond, 2000; NCLB, 2001) and that teacher e fficacy also positively impacts student achievement (Ashton & Webb, 1986; Moore & Esselman, 1994) then it becomes useful to determine whether or not there is a re lationship between specific characteristics of effective teachers and teacher efficacy. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between specific teacher characteristics (level and area of degree status certification status, pedagogical training,
3 gender, number of years of t eaching experience, number of years teaching at the current school, and courses currently taught) and t eacher efficacy. High school language arts teachers teaching at Floridas D and F pub lic high schools were surveyed to identify whether or not they possess the specific char acteristics listed a nd whether or not a relationship exists between those ch aracteristics and teacher efficacy. Background of the Study School Accountability In 2001, President George W. Bush signed Public-law 107-110, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). NCLB narrowly define s successful and unsuccessful schools based on a rigid accountability system fo cusing on student test scores. It rewards those schools defined as successful and provides sanctions for those defined as unsuccessful. Beginning in 2001, all states except Iowa and Nebraska began imposing statewide assessments in reading and mathematic s (Goertz & Duffy, 2003). Thirty-five states currently use state-mandated testing to iden tify underperforming schools with 18 states providing for state takeover of under-perfor ming schools and 16 states allowing for the replacement of principals and teachers at under-performing schools (McDermott, 2003, p. 10). Several states, including Alabama, Calif ornia, Illinois, Kentucky, and New Jersey, have taken over local school districts in an attempt to improve student achievement. In 2000, Maryland seized control of three elementary schools (Montbello, Gilmore, and Francis L. Templeton) in Baltimore City Public Schools due to persistent academic problems. The state hired Edison Schools, In c., a private company, to run these three schools (Ziebarth, 2002). Many other cases exist where the state has assumed
4 responsibility for local schools through takeovers. Wh ile little research exists examining whether or not these have been successful take overs, the threat of state takeover remains. Schools across the nation are bei ng held to state-defined standards and are threatened with sanctions should they fa il to meet those standards. In response to NCLB requirements, Florida implemented the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT), a statewide test given to students from the 3 rd through 10 th grades, to assess student progress in reading, writing, mathematics, and science. The results are reported to the public and schools receive a grade of A, B, C, D, or F based on 1) student perf ormance on the FCAT in reading, math, and writing, 2) the percentage of students who de monstrate gains in reading and math from one year to the next, and 3) the percenta ge of the lowest 25% of all students who demonstrate gains in reading achievement. Additionally, when less than 50% of the lowest performing 25% of all students fail to demonstrate improvement in reading achievement, the school grade is lowered by one letter. Finally, grades are affected by the percentage of eligible students who take the tests (Grading Florida Public Schools 20022003). Students success on the FCAT determines their progression through grades 3-12 and determines school funding. Schools that re peatedly report low scores on the FCAT face consequences which can translate into lost funding. Furthermore, students who attend schools that receive an F two year s in a row are eligible for vouchers which allow them to attend private schools. The underlying principle behind this system suggests that competition between schools to raise student achievement will im prove student achievement and hold schools
5 accountable to a predetermined set of standa rds. Schools that report adequate student achievement will receive monetary rewards wh ile schools that report insufficient student achievement will be provided with additional state support provided they demonstrate improvement in student scores in the following years. Schools that con tinue to report low achievement will lose money through vouchers for students to attend private schools. Failing schools are required to hire hi gh quality educators prior to the beginning of the next school year. Flor ida defines highly qualified educators as those who are certified in their area of res ponsibility and who have demonstrated success as determined by student gains in previous years. Faili ng schools must also provide an incentive program to retain highly qualified educators. Sc hools that earned an F for two years in a row must also notify parents that their child ren are eligible for oppor tunity scholarships and public school choice. These two programs allow parents to send their students to other schools in the district or use vouchers to send their children to private schools. No specific sanctions are listed for Floridas D schools ( 2004-2005 District Action Plans for Assistance Plus Schools). For the 2004-2005 school year, 93 public hi gh schools in Florida received Ds and 7 received Fs from the Florida Depart ment of Education. Four of the 7 schools earning an F designation are repeating F schools (2004-2005 School Accountability Report). Reading Achievement Historically the attention on student achievement rested primarily on the areas of math and science; however, a growing con cern about student reading achievement has risen as student performance on state-mandate d standardized reading tests continues to
6 decline at the secondary level. This concern has shifted the focus away from the math and science classes towards the language arts classes and language arts teachers. The 1996 International Association fo r the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) compared the reading achieve ment of students in the United States to students in 30 other countries (Brinkley, M. & Williams, T, 1996). Interestingly, the IEA reports that the United States ranked 2 nd for 4 th grade students reading achievement, surpassed only by Finland. However, by 9 th grade, United States students rank 9 th out of 31. Berliner and Biddle (1995) suggest these scor es are more representative of the United States goal to provide educatio nal opportunity to all students than they are of a deficient educational system. They maintain that Eu ropean countries limit access to education beyond middle school; therefore, their scores are not indicative of the same population as United States scores. However, Irvin, Buehl, and Klemp (2003) provide an alternative theory. They suggest the drop in reading achievement from elementary to high school is the result of inadequate read ing instruction beyond the 5 th grade. They argue that reading achievement drops from elementary to high school because as a nation, we do not continue to teach our students how to read more and more complex text. Alternatively, Deborah Meier (2002) and Richard Allington (2002) suggest that the gap in reading achievement between high and low achievers is more a reflection of poverty than of ability. Both of these authors point to the inconsistencies that exist between upper socioeconomic schools and lower socioeconomic schools. They argue that it is not the students who need changing, but the whole educational system that provides different levels of educational support to students from high socioeconomic status than to students from low socioeconomic status that needs changing.
7 Whatever the reason for the gap betw een United States students reading achievement from elementary to high school, it becomes apparent that changes need to occur. Schools in the United States must not only provide opportunities for students to attend schools, they must provide instruction that helps students achieve. If, as Irvin, Buehl, and Klemp (2003) suggest, teachers can change instructional practices to help improve student achievement in reading, then it would seem that the pol itical pressure to improve secondary reading achievement is worthy of investigation. It also seems reasonable to suggest that identifying eff ective teachers who are capable of raising student reading achievement fo r our lowest level students needs to become priority in order to improve overall student achievement. A recent study of Florida students indicates that 60% of Florida secondary students are performing below Level 3 (the passing point) on the FCAT in reading. Additionally, 50% of Florida high school students rank below the national median on the FCAT Norm Referenced Test (Chatterji, 2004). Compared to student performance in math and writing, Florida high school student s are not improving in reading, and this single factor is having a negative influence on the ability of high schools to demonstrate successful student achievement. Of the 100 D and F public high schools in Florida, 78 schools reported that fewer than 50% of their lowest achieving students reported reading gains (2004-2005 school accountability re port). The need to address literacy at the secondary level is becoming more apparent as elementary school students demonstrate success on FCAT reading tests while secondary students continue to lag behind.
8 Teacher Quality Although the FCAT is used to determin e whether or not Florida schools are successful, it is important to note that high-st akes testing does not measure the myriad of other factors that affect student performance. In order to truly measure a schools success, it is imperative that we identify those fact ors that are dependent on school and teacher performance and separate them from those factors that cannot be controlled (Committee for Economic Development, 2000; Grobe & McCall, 2004; Koper, 2001). For example, considerable research exists suggesting that teacher quality affects student performance (Darling-Hammond, 2000; Darling-Hammond, 1996; Good, Biddle, & Brophy, 1975; Ingersoll, 2002; Langford, Loe b, & Wyckoff, 2002; Sanders & Rivers, 1996). Unfortunately, defining teacher quality is a tricky task. Darling-Hammond (2000) and others suggest that effective teach ers demonstrate characteristics beyond credentialing, specifically arguing that eff ective teachers must demonstrate a deep knowledge of their subject matter, st udent learning, and teaching methods. Three organizations attempting to more clearly define this concept are the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTA SC), the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Educa tion (NCATE). All of these organizations maintain that good teachers understand how children learn and develop, have a deep understanding of their content area, and are refl ective practitioners. In addition, these teachers are able to share this understandi ng with students and engage them in the study of their content, manage and monitor student lear ning, and forge relationships with other professionals in an attempt to promote student learning (Goldhaber & Anthony, 2003). Of these five
9 major areas defined by INTASC, NBPTS, a nd NCATE, only one is addressed by NCLB: the requirement that teachers have a deep understanding of their content area. The emphasis on content knowledge over pedagogical knowledge has opened the door to multiple certification paths. Unfo rtunately, certification requirements are not equivalent throughout the na tion (Darling-Hammond & Inge rsoll, 2001; Goldhaber & Brewer, 1999). Traditional certif ication meant that the teacher had earned a bachelors degree in his/her content area and had also ta ken education courses to prepare the teacher for the classroom. Today, teachers who gra duate from accredited schools of education, indicating they have content knowledge as well as learning theory and classroom methods knowledge, can receive th eir certification af ter passing a state certification test. However, teachers can also receive certification if they have a bachelors degree (major or minor) in their subject area and they pass the state content certification test. Some states, Florida included, provide a temporary certificate that qualifies the teacher to teach for two years while the teacher enrolls in the courses required to obtain a permanent certificate. The status of highly qualified teacher is granted to anyone who has a minimum of a bachelors degree in his/her content area, has passed a state content area exam, and who has received state certification. Thes e requirements may include educational coursework received at an accredited college or university, but they may also include local training provided by di strict personnel. The bottom lin e is that the designation of highly qualified teacher is determined not by a teachers performance in the classroom nor by student achievement; rather it is determ ined solely based on academic credentials and state-mandated criteria testing.
10 If it is true that student achievement is affected more by teacher quality than demographics, language barriers, or cl ass size (Darling-Hammond, 2000; Sanders & Rivers, 1996), then we must identify those characteristics that define quality teachers beyond those characteristics defined by No Child Left Behind. According to DarlingHammond (2000), effective teachers are not si mply those who possess certification but are those who possess specific characteristics linked to improving student achievement. Fully certified teachers -those who posse ss content knowledge as well as those who have a clear understanding of how student s learn and who possess effective teaching methods -have a more positive effect on student achievement than teachers who are not fully certified. Darling-Hammonds considerable research suggests th at it is not enough to simply list credentials; we must examine more closely the type of credentials and the learning history that led to the accumulation of the credentials. Credentialing is not the only measure of effective teaching. Teacher turn-over and number of years in the classr oom affect student performance (Hess, 2001; Lankford et al., 2002). These studies suggest that experienced teachers have a more positive effect on student achievement than less experienced teachers. In addition, schools with a high teacher turn-over rate tend to produce students with lower student achievement than schools with a more stable faculty. Accordi ng to NCLB, a highly qua lified teacher might be a beginning teacher with no experience who holds the necessary credentials. Not only is this beginning teacher trying to adapt to the new school culture, but he/she is also learning the craft of teaching. According to Langford and Hesss research, a beginning teacher may not improve student learning, so while the beginning teacher meets the
11 requirements of a highly qualified teacher as defined by NCLB, he/she does not necessarily demonstrate the characteristics of an effective teacher defined in research. Goldhaber and Anthony (2003) argue that teacher quality is measured by a teachers ability to produce growth in stude nt achievement (p. 6). They specifically argue that teachers holding advanced degrees in their subject areas have the most positive impact on student achievement; however, their research also indicat es that certification alone is not sufficient to determine teacher quality. They suggest the number of years teaching and the number of years teaching at th e same school are also factors that affect student achievement. While Goldhaber and Anthonys research related to degree status is some of the most cited research supporting the NCLB legislation, lit tle is mentioned of their findings relate d to experience. Finally, research seems to indicate that low-performing schools traditionally hire less qualified teachers than high-performing schools. Low-performing schools are often assigned teachers with less experience and ones who do not possess degrees in their area of responsibility (Darling-Hammond, 2000; Ingersoll, 2002; Ingersoll, 2000; Lankford et al., 2002). Darling-Hammond (2000) reports that some districts hire uncertified teachers even when certified teachers are availabl e, and schools with a majority of low socioeconomic students tend to hire teachers wh o either do not hold certifications or who are not certified in thei r teaching area. Ingersoll (1996) re ports that English classes in high-poverty schools are taught by out-of-field teachers more often than English classes in low-poverty schools. Lankford et al. (2002) found non-white, poor students and limited English proficient students were more often assigned to less skilled teachers than white, middle class students. Effective teach ers are more likely to leave poor, low-
12 performing schools than less-qualified teacher s (Lankford et al., 2002), contributing to the teacher turn-over factor. Hess (2001) bemo ans the fact that the most experienced teachers tend to be assigned to upper-level st udents and advanced classes rather than to low-performing students. It would seem that low-performing schools are most often filled with low-performing teachers as opposed to e ffective teachers and that effective teachers at low-performing schools are more likely to be assigned to the adva nced classes rather than the struggling classes. Teachers Sense of Efficacy The construct of efficacy is one that has been examined throughout the years by many researchers. Most research on efficacy is based on Banduras (1977) theories of self-efficacy. Bandura determined that peoples be havior is affected by their belief that their actions will have an impact on the out come. People who believe their behavior will have a positive effect on the outcome are sa id to have a high sense of efficacy, while people who believe their behavior will have no effect or a negative effect on the outcome are said to have a low sense of efficacy. Bandura linked this res earch to the idea of motivation. People who believe they can positiv ely affect the outcome are motivated to proceed while those who do not tend to shy away from action. Early research focused on how teacher e xpectations impacted student learning. Rosenthal and Jacobson (1968) discovered th at when teachers were told that their students were identified as low achievers, they responded to their students differently than teachers who were told that their students had been identified as having exceptional intellectual ability. The students randomly c hosen and identified as being exceptional excelled while those randomly chosen and identified as be ing low-performers struggled
13 to achieve. The study revealed a self-fu lfilling prophecy phenomenon which confirmed teachers attitudes towards students influenced student achievement. Rosenthal and Jacobsons historical research demonstrated that teachers who were told their students were incapable of achieving produced student s who did not learn, while those teachers who were told their students were capable of high achievement produced students with high achievement regardless of th e students past achievement. Rosenthals research led to further research by Good and Brophy (1971) who found teachers had a tendency to treat low expectation students differently than high expectation students. High expectation stude nts received praise more often than low expectation students, even when low expectation students succeeded, and high expectation students received less criticism when they failed as compared to low expectation students. Conversely, Brophy (1983) also discusses that student reaction to teachers behaviors varies resulting in different outcomes dependent upon the situation. He concludes that teacher expectation effects on students are much more complex and difficult to conceptualize, let alone predic t, (p. 653) than previously expected. In spite of the complexity revolving around teacher expectation research, research in the area continued. Langer (2001) found t eachers who believed their students were capable of success and who believed that they, as teachers, were capable of influencing student success produced higher student achie vement than did those who believed their students were incapable of su ccess. Other studies indicate teachers who believe they can affect student achievement are less likely to blame student attributes for low student performance (Hall, B. et al., 1992). These te achers tend to reexamine their own teaching
14 as a means of improving student achievement ra ther than blame the students for their low performance. More recently, Thompson, Warren, and Ca rter (2004) surveyed 121 high school teachers in southern California and found near ly 60 percent of the participants blamed students for their underachievement (p. 11). Teachers who believe their students cannot achieve tend to blame the students rather th an to look deeper into their own teaching methods as reasons for low student performance. Based on Banduras research, Ashton a nd Webb (1986) set out to develop a teachers sense of efficacy scale. According to Ashton and Webb, teachers sense of efficacy is defined as teachers situation spec ific expectation that th ey can help students learn (p. 3). They further define two elemen ts of teacher efficacy: teaching efficacy and personal efficacy. Teaching efficacy refers to the belief that teaching can influence student learning. Teachers with a high sense of efficacy believe that all students can learn. Teachers with a low sense of efficacy be lieve that students cannot or will not learn in school and there is nothing any teacher can do to alter this unhappy reality (p. 4). Personal efficacy refers to the individual teachers belief that he/she can influence student learning. Personal teaching efficacy is essentia lly a belief in ones own competence as a teacher. Identifying whether or not teachers possess both teaching efficacy and personal efficacy is important in examining the eff ect of efficacy on student performance. Raudenbush, Rowan, and Cheong (1992) argue th at high school teachers sense of personal efficacy, the belief that they can us e their training to motivate student learning under specific circumstances, is adversely affected when they are placed in low-level classrooms. Well-trained, highl y qualified teachers who prev iously felt successful in the
15 classroom often feel unsuccessful when pl aced in classrooms filled with struggling students. These teachers often believe they are ineffective when placed with low-level students and do not believe they have the nece ssary skills to improve student learning for struggling students. Personal efficacy can also be affected by the number of years a teacher has been teaching (Pigge & Marso, 1993). Beginning teac hers often believe that teachers in general can affect student achievement but may believe that they pers onally will not be able to positively affect student achievement because of their (teachers) lack of experience. Highly qualified, credentialed teachers may be ineffective if they believe they do not possess the necessary skills to improve student achievement. Teachers beliefs about their ability to in fluence student achievement affect their practices and interactions with students and determine whether or not classroom innovations are successful (Behar-Horenst ein, Pajares, & George, 1996; Cabello & Burstein, 1995; Davis & Wilson, 1999; Fa ng, Z., 1996; Muijs & Reynolds, 2002; Olson & Singer, 1994; Pajares, 1992; Prawat, 1992; Stodolsky & Grossman, 2000; Stuart & Thurlow, 2000; Taylor & Sobel, 2001; Warren, 2002; Zohar, Dengani, & Vaaknin, 2001). Teachers who do not believe they possess the skills necessary to improve student achievement will more often place the blame on their students rather than reexamine their own teaching methods in an attempt to improve student learning. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study is to exam ine the degree of relationship between specific teacher characteristics and teachers sense of efficacy as determined by the Teachers Sense of Efficacy Scale (see Appendi x F). Research indicates that students at
16 low-performing high schools are most often ta ught by inexperienced te achers who tend to possess fewer qualifications than students at high-performing high schools. Therefore, the study will focus on Floridas low-performi ng public high schools specifically. While NCLBs initiative to close the achievement gap and improve student reading achievement is a worthy goal, as is its mandate that all schools in the United States must employ highly qualified teachers for all academic classes, NCLB narrowly defines highly qualified teachers as those who hold a minimum of a bachelors degree and certification in their area of responsibilit y. However, research also indicates that student achievement is affected by other factor s as well, including teacher efficacy. It is the premise of this researcher, that in or der to accomplish the goa l of raising student achievement, schools must also seek to employ effective teachers who believe that they have the ability to raise student achievem ent and who are not hi ndered by preconceived ideas that their students are incapable of achieving. The purpos e of this study then is to provide additional knowledge to further th e discussion surrounding highly qualified teachers. Floridas D and F high schools have been identified as under-performing schools. Students at these schools are not meeting state and national achievement standards as evidenced by their scores on the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test (FCAT) given to 9 th and 10 th grade students. The Florid a Department of Education requires that highly qualified teachers be as signed to all of these schools and classes. Teachers at these schools recognize that their students have previously received low scores on the state-mandated tests and are in danger of not graduating. Additionally, these teachers are under considerable pressure to raise student achievement and raise the
17 schools grade to reflect student growth in achievement. It is of interest then to examine the characteristics of teachers teaching at these under-performing schools as well as their sense of efficacy regarding their ability to im prove student achievement in light of past student performance on state-mandated tests. Florida high school language arts teachers were chosen for this study because they are the primary sources of read ing instruction at the high scho ol level. The Sunshine State Standards lists reading as one of five strands for language arts clas srooms. Language arts teachers are expected to prepare students to meet these standards that are measured on the FCAT. Additionally, Florida high school teachers were chosen because of the research indicating that Florida high school students are not achievi ng high levels of reading achievement despite of the fact that elemen tary students have shown significant gains (Chatterji, 2004). If teacher quality is related to student achievement, as indicated in previously cited studies, then schools must clearly defi ne what constitutes an effective teacher. The first step is to identify who is teachin g our students in our low-performing schools. Recognizing that teacher quality is determ ined by factors extending beyond certification, the study utilized teacher surveys to collect da ta relating to teacher certification, years of experience, educational background, and number of years teaching at the current school in an attempt to identify the characteristics of language arts teach ers currently employed at D and F Florida schools. Specificall y, the survey collected the following data: Content area degree NCLB emphasizes the im portance of content area knowledge as the primary indicator of highl y qualified teachers. Thus, the survey
18 included data indicating the degree obtain ed and the content area in which it was obtained as part of this study. Pedagogical training. Darling-Hammond (2000) suggests in her research that pedagogical training is equally importan t when determining whether or not a teacher is highly qualified. The survey collected data identifying those teachers who earned a degree in education from an accredited institution as well as the level of educational degree obtained. Level of degree Some studies suggest that stud ents benefit from teachers who hold masters degrees and above in th eir content areas (Goldhaber & Anthony, 2003). Johnson (2000) found that this was mo re important at the secondary level than at the elementary level. The survey collected data identifying the level of degree and the content area. Number of years teaching. Student achievement has been linked to teacher experience (Hess, 2001; Lankford et al ., 2002). Additionally, some research indicates that low-performing schools of ten are staffed by beginning teachers or teachers with limited number of years teaching (Darling-Hammond, 2000; Ingersoll, 2002). The survey collected data identifying the number of years participants have been teaching. Number of years teaching at the school. Teacher turnover and the number of years teaching at the same school aff ect student achievement (Hess, 2001; Lankford et al., 2002). The survey collected data identifying the number of years participants have actually taught at the school.
19 Type of certification obtained. With the influx of multiple certification paths, collecting data identifying the certification route of the participants is useful. The survey collected data to determine the t ype of certification he ld by participating teachers. The following certification types were identified: fully certified, temporarily certified, non-certified, and out-of-field. Goldhaber and Brewer (1999) indicate that teachers who hold a standard certification, suggesting they have met all of the state requirements for certification, have a significantly positive impact on student achievement when compared to teachers who are noncertified or who are certified out-of-field (p. 94). Specific courses currently taught. The survey collected data identifying which courses in language arts the teacher is currently teaching. Some research suggests that teachers with more experience and higher degrees are assigned to highperforming students rather than to low-performing students (Ingersoll, 1996). Efficacy studies suggest teachers assigne d to low-performing students are more likely to demonstrate a lower sense of efficacy (Moore & Esselman, 1994). The survey collected data re lating to these factors. Gender. Anderson, Greene, and Loewen (1988) suggest that female teachers tend to yield higher teacher efficacy sc ores than male teachers. Raudenbush, Rowan, and Cheongs research (1992) also suggests that females report higher efficacy scores than males. The surv ey collected gender data to determine whether or not gender is rela ted to teacher efficacy for teachers in low-performing schools.
20 Teachers chosen for this study are faced w ith the daunting task of raising student achievement for students who have previ ously demonstrated low achievement. Determining teacher efficacy in low-performi ng schools and examining its relationship to teacher characteristics provides valuable knowle dge for future studies as well as provides guidance for principals and di strict personnel in selecti ng future teachers for lowperforming schools. The study utilized the Teachers Sense of Efficacy Scale long form (TSES Long) to measure teacher efficacy (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001). The results were compared to teacher characteristics using multiple regression analysis to determine whether any relationships exist. Research Questions In particular, the research attempted to identify specific characteristics of English language arts teachers at Floridas D and F public high schools and examined whether or not there is a relationship between teacher characteristics and teacher efficacy. The questions guiding this research follow: 1. What is the distribution of demographic, educational preparat ion, and professional experience factors (gender, level and type of degree, pedagogical training, type of certification, years of experience, and courses taught) among language arts teachers at low-performing Florida public high schools? 2. Based on the Teachers Sense of Efficacy Scale (see Appendix F), what is the unweighted mean of the items loading on each factor for language arts teachers teaching at low-performing Florida public high schools? a. student engagement,
21 b. instructional strategies, and c. classroom management 3. What is the direction and strength of the relationship between these specific teacher characteristics and teacher efficacy for language arts teachers teaching at low-performing Florida high schools? This study is designed to collect data from the high schools identified as lowperforming high schools by Floridas school acco untability program in order to determine the characteristics of language arts teacher s teaching at these school s. In addition, the study is designed to compare th e relationship between the char acteristics defined in the study and the teachers sense of efficacy as determined by the TSES Long. Definition of Terms Several terms are used frequently in this study, and thus it is e ssential that their definitions be clearly defined to avoid confusion. Certification Status: Fully Certified Teachers: Fully certified teachers are defined as those Florida high school language arts teachers who hold a Florida Professional Certificate in English 6-12 or Reading K-12 (Educator Certification). This full certification is renewable every five years and is Floridas highest teaching certification. In order to receive a Florida Professional Certificate, teachers must hold at least a bachelors degree and demonstrate mastery of subject area knowledge, general knowledge, and profe ssional preparation and educational competence.
22 Non-Certified Teachers: Non-certified teachers are defined as those Florida high school language arts teacher s who do not hold a Professional Certification or a Temporary Certification. Out-of-field: Out-of-field teachers are those teachers teaching language arts or reading who hold a Florida Professional teaching certificate in an area other than English 6-12 or Reading K-12. Temporarily Certified Teachers: Temporarily certified teachers are defined as those Florida high school language arts teachers who hold a Florida Temporary Certificate. This certifica tion is non-renewable and is valid for three years. During this time, temporar y certified teachers are expected to complete the requirements for full certification. Requirements for the temporary certificate are that the appli cant must hold at least a bachelors degree and demonstrate mastery of subj ect area knowledge or meet subject specialization with a 2.5 GPA for the requested subject area. Degree Status Content Area Degree: The content area degree is defined as the specific content area in which the participant ear ned a bachelors and/or a masters degree. Level of Degree: The level of degree is defi ned as the level of degree obtained from a university or college. Education Degree: The education degree is defined as bachelors and/or a masters degree in education. Teacher s with an education degree have
23 received instruction in their conten t area as well as pedagogical training defined as specific curriculum, in struction, and methods courses. High School Language Arts Teachers: This study focuses on teachers teaching English language arts classes in grad es 9-12 and reading classes grades 9-12. Language arts classes are t hose listed in the Florida Department of Education Course Descriptions for language arts c ourses. The study is limited to teachers teaching English I, II, III, and IV as we ll as Honors English I, II, III, and IV; Advanced Placement Language and Compos ition; Advanced Placement Language and Literature; Remedial Intensive Langua ge Arts; Intensive Reading; Intensive Basic Skills; Reading I, II, III; and Advanced Reading. Highly Qualified Teachers: For the purposes of this study, highly qualified teachers refers to the definition define d in NCLB. Highly qualified teachers are those who hold at least a bachelors de gree from a four-year institution, have received full state certifi cation, and demonstrate compet ence in their subject area demonstrated through a state subject-area test. Low-Performing Schools: Low-performing schools are defined as those public high schools earning a D or F based on Floridas Accountability Plan for the 2004-2005 school year. High schools are de fined as Florida public schools encompassing grades 9-12. Charter schools, technical schools, and specialized schools were not included. Teacher Efficacy: Teacher efficacy is defined as the extent to which teachers believe they have the ability to bri ng about changes in student achievement
24 independent of the students background, behaviors, or motivation level. The construct of efficacy is further defined in the review of literature. Assumptions, Delimitations, and Limitations The study is designed to collect data from language ar ts teachers assigned to Floridas D and F public high school s. Several assumptions, delimitations, and limitations must be considered when analyzing the data. The schools chosen for this study were id entified by the State of Florida as lowperforming schools based on Floridas Account ability Program. This determination is dependent upon student performance on the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test (FCAT) which purports to measure student pe rformance in math a nd reading. This study does not attempt to validate the reliability of the FCAT nor does it promote the idea that the FCAT is a true measure of student progress. However, research indicates that teachers assigned to low-performing students often exhibit lower efficacy scores than do teach ers assigned to high-achieving students. The schools and students in this study have been labeled as under-performing students based on Floridas accountability system; therefore, examining the efficacy scores of teachers assigned to these specific schools and student s who have been publicly identified as lowperforming is useful in determining whether or not they demonstrate low efficacy scores. These particular schools were also chosen because they are often the most highly criticized schools. Their scores are published in newspapers across the state, and pressure is applied to the schools to improve thei r scores. The premise behind the accountability program is that schools with low grades will feel pressured to improve. Examining the efficacy scores for teachers assigned to Flor idas low-performing schools provides insight
25 into how the accountability system affects te acher perceptions. The accountability system itself may function as a sel f-fulfilling prophesy rather than as a catalyst for improvement. It must be noted that this study is descri ptive and not evaluativ e. As such, the study does not purport to examine the effect of teacher efficacy on student achievement. Thus, student achievement data for the schools pa rticipating in the study were not collected. Rather, the study seeks to determine the charact eristics of teachers who are assigned to schools and students that have been publicly labeled as lo w-performing and to determine whether or not teacher efficacy is also affect ed by the perception that these teachers are working with low-performing schools and students. The study also does not examine the demographic data of students enrolled at the schools participating in the study. Again, the pu rpose of the study is to determine which teachers are teaching at these schools and th eir perceptions of th eir ability to be successful in improving student achievement. Public policy through NCLB makes the assumption th at appointing highlyqualified teachers who meet the speci fic degree and cont ent area knowledge requirements guarantees improved student ach ievement on the FCAT Little research exists focusing on these particular circumstan ces. Therefore, measuring the direction and strength of the relationship between teacher characteristics and teacher efficacy provided additional data to add to the discussi on surrounding highly qualified teaches and identifying the most effective teachers for students at Floridas low-performing schools. Teacher efficacy is a relatively new constr uct. Although research indicates it is a predictor of student achievement, some res earchers are hesitant to acknowledge the
26 validity of the construct. A full discussion of the construct is included in Chapter Two. While public policy limits the definition of highly qualified teach ers to more easily measured teacher characteristics: teac her degree, content area knowledge, and certification, teacher efficacy is one indicator that has consistently been connected to student achievement. Several studi es indicate all three of th ese indicators are linked to student achievement individua lly, yet no studies have been conducted examining their relationship to each other. The researcher makes the assumption that a positive relationship should exist between these factors, and thus th e research is designed to measure that assumption. Surveys by nature are subject to teacher perceptions. While it is assumed that all teachers responded to the surveys accurately, some teachers may have responded to the survey questions as they imagined they s hould rather than as they actually believe. Moreover, some research indicates what teacher s claim to believe is not always reflected in their practices (Kane, Sa ndretto, & Heath, 2002). The questionnaire has been reviewed by the researchers doctoral committee and adjusted as advised. Questions that may lead to bias or misrepresentation were removed. Access to language arts teachers at Floridas public D and F high schools was, in some cases, inhibited by the research process. Prior to contacting teachers, attempts were made to obtain permission from the principals and/or district office. Due to the political nature of school accountability as well as th e pressure placed on these schools to improve their school grades, access to the schools was denied by some schools, limiting access to all language arts teacher. Multiple attempts were made to gain access to the teachers, including a direct mailing to all teachers at Floridas public D and F high schools
27 who did not respond to the origin al inquiry. Inevitably, it is r ecognized that some teachers were not given the option of participating in the study. Identifying the specific characteristics of teachers that ensure improved student achievement is a difficult task. Despite consider able research indicati ng the complexity of the task, public debate conti nues in hopes of discovering th e right formula for success. Many studies exist which examine each of the characteristics described in this study; however, little research examining the relationship between the various factors exists. This study attempts to examine those relationships. Significance of the Study The rhetoric surrounding NCLB implies a sincere desire to improve student achievement by providing quality teachers for every classroom; ho wever, the definition of highly qualified teachers has been limited to easily identifiable credentials such as level of degree, area of degree, and state certificat ion. NCLB further seeks to ensure that all students receive quality instruction by linking student performance on state-mandated testing to teacher quality. Unfortunately, NCLB does not attempt to identify other factors that impact student learning. While there is significant research describing the relationship between quality teachers and student achievement as well as research describing the relationship between teacher efficacy and student achievement, there is limited research examining the relationship between the characteristics of teachers and teacher efficacy. Moreover, there is considerable research indicating that identifying the qualities of highly effective teachers is a difficult, complex task. Begi nning with the Second Report of the Committee on Criteria on Teacher Effectiveness (Barr et al., 1953) and con tinuing through todays
28 on-going debate, researchers, policy-makers, a nd the general public have been struggling to identify and define the qualities which gua rantee effective teaching. In spite of this vast body of research, there is virtually no curr ent research that desc ribes the relationship between teacher quality with its various interp retations and teacher efficacy. Therefore, examining whether or not there is a relations hip between specific teacher characteristics and teacher efficacy provides additional knowle dge to further the discussion about how to ensure quality teachers for low-performing students. This knowledge is useful to districts, principals, and policy makers in determining more adequately who should be assigned to low-performing schools in order to ra ise student readi ng achievement. Recent studies such as Thompson, Warren, and Carter (2004) suggest pre-service, beginning, and experienced teachers benefit fr om staff development and training to help improve their beliefs about low-performing students. Teachers who do not have a strong sense of teaching efficacy benefit from additi onal staff development in methods designed to improve reading instruction and student le arning theory. Therefore, data from this research provide guidance relating to future staff development for teachers. Additionally, studies indicate that teachers sense of efficacy a ffects their ability to improve student achievement. Examining the data collected from teachers assigned to low-performing schools may help educators im prove teacher education to better prepare teachers to understand low-performing student s needs and developmental level and may suggest factors other than cr edentialing need to be identified when choosing the best teacher for struggling students. The results of this study provide knowledge that can be used in a myriad of ways to improve teacher education and educationa l policy to further improve student learning.
29 Chapter Summary With the current trend towards standard ization and accountabilit y, it is important to examine public schools in order to make changes that directly affect student achievement. Prior to determining cause and e ffect, data must be collected to identify specific teacher characteristics prevalent in the schools. This study is designed to co llect data related to high school language arts teachers who are currently teaching at Florida pub lic high schools identified as D and F schools. Florida schools have been chosen becau se they are representative of other states which have responded to NCLB with simila r accountability policies. While Florida currently measures school success solely based on student scores as measured by the FCAT, it is evident from the research that st udent performance is directly correlated to teacher quality. The research is clear that effective teacher s are the most important factor affecting student achievement (Sanders & Rivers, 1996). However, defining the characteristics of effective teachers is a difficult task and is under considerable deba te by policy holders as well as educational researchers. No Child Le ft Behind limits the definition of highly qualified teachers to those who hold a minimu m of a bachelors degree and certification in their subject area. Other research indicates that teachers need more than credentials to ensure student achievement. Significant research also indicates that teacher efficacy has a strong positive relationship to student achievement. Teachers who believe they are capable of impacting student achievement tend to produce positive re sults compared to teachers who believe they cannot improve student learning.
30 The acquisition of credentials qualifying te achers to teach does not necessarily indicate that these same teachers believe they can positively impact student learning. Thus, this study seeks to determine the leve l of teacher efficacy for highly qualified teachers as well as the relationship betw een teacher efficacy and other specific characteristics linked to positive student achieve ment in hopes that the results will further the debate surrounding effective teachers. If the national goal of NCLB is to imp rove student achievement, then it is essential that all factors related to studen t achievement be iden tified. Certainly both teacher quality and teacher efficacy are importa nt factors. Highly qualified teachers who do not believe they can influence student ach ievement either because their students are incapable of achieving or because the teachers do not believe they have the necessary skills to improve learning will not be successf ul in the classroom. The purpose of this research is to provide additional data to fu rther the discussion of what truly constitutes quality teaching.
31 Chapter Two Literature Review Introduction Determining what constitutes an effe ctive teacher has been debated and researched for years. The difficulty of iden tifying specific measurable variables which can be used in scientific research to id entify effective teacher s combined with the difficulty of identifying appropriate stude nt outcomes needed to measure teacher effectiveness hinders the process and clouds the discussion. Recent research supports the hypothesis that teachers have greater impact on student achievement than other factors such as socioeconomic status, gender, race, etc. (Sanders & Rivers, 1996), yet despite this research, identifying the specific teacher ch aracteristics that impact student outcomes remains elusive. What we do know is that for decades, researchers have attempted to identify specifically what distinguishes an effective teacher from an ineffective teacher with mixed results. In the midst of the research on what constitutes an effective teacher, considerable research has been conducted on teacher effi cacy: a teachers belief or conviction that he/she can influence or change student perf ormance and achievement independent of the students background, behaviors, or motivation level. Teacher efficacy, like teacher effectiveness, has been researched for decades, beginning with Bandura (1977) and continuing through to Tschannen-Moran and Hoy (2001). Teachers who believe they can
32 positively impact student achievement have been shown to produce higher student achievement than those who do not (Anders on, Greene & Loewen, 1988; Armor et al., 1976; Ashton & Webb, 1986; Denham & Mich ael, 1981; Moore & Esselman, 1994;). Based on teacher efficacy research, it seems reasonable to suggest a relationship exists between specific teacher characteristics linked to improved student achievement and teacher efficacy which is also linked to student achievement. Currently, there exists an on-going debate between rese archers in education and policy makers focusing on defining highly quali fied teachers. NCLB legislation limits the definition of highly qualified teachers to specific, easily measurable teacher characteristics linked to educational cred entials and certification while educational researchers (Feiman-Nemser, 1990; Crui ckshank et al., 1996; & Darling-Hammond, 1996) suggest that effective te achers require more than simp le credentials to ensure students receive quality teaching. Thus, the debate surrounding what constitutes an effective teacher rages on even today. Historically, research indicates that eff ective teaching is a highly complex task affected by multiple factors. Therefore, limiting the definition of highly qualified or effective teachers to a few factors seems to be a risky business. It is hoped that the results of this study further the conversation surr ounding highly qualified teachers and provide additional data to help policy makers and e ducators guarantee that all students have access to effective teachers. With this in mind, the purpose of this study is to identify specific characteristics which have been linked to student achievement in research and in NCLB and determine the strength of the re lationship between these characteristics and teacher efficacy.
33 Effective Teachers Historical Perspectives The Second Report of the Committee on Crit eria of Teacher Effectiveness (Barr et al., 1953) focused on the complexity of id entifying the specific characteristics of effective teachers and linking those characte ristics to student outcomes. The authors reported the need to examine effective teacher characteristics from several perspectives: experienced teachers, beginning teachers, preservice teachers, and prospective teachers. They surmised the characteristics demonstr ated by prospective teachers vary from the characteristics demonstrated by experienced te achers. However, they maintained that the ultimate goal of defining effective teachers mu st rest with student outcomes. Recognizing the complexity of defining teacher effectiv eness as measured by changes in student behavior, the authors held out little hope for resolving the dilemma surrounding identifying specific teacher characteristics that guarantee effective teachers for American students. And thus began the conundrum surrounding teacher effectiveness research. Biddle (1964), recognizing the inability of researchers to define, prepare for, or measure teacher competence (p. 3), proposed a seven variable model for identifying effective teachers. He identified three i ndependent teacher variables: formative experiences, teacher properties, and teacher behaviors; two dependent student variables: immediate effects and long term consequences; and two additional variables that influence both the dependent and independe nt variables: school and community and classroom situations. Based on these seven variables, Biddle proposed ongoing research to determine teacher effectiveness and argued that measuring teacher effectiveness was possible. Biddle included teacher education a nd certification as part of his research;
34 however, he also included the concepts of t eacher attitudes and behaviors as measurable factors affecting student outcomes. Additionall y, he included student outcomes from both immediate and long-term aspects. Finally, Biddle recognized th at the relationship between teachers and students was ultimat ely affected by the school, community, and classroom environments. Included in the res earch on teacher effectiveness was the need to collect data through various means: obser vational data, objective instruments, rating forms, self-reports, records, a nd a priori classifications. Biddle effectively devised a rather compli cated research model to measure teacher effectiveness that required multiple indicator s, multiple forms of data collection, and multiple years to complete. In spite of his pr oposal and the research that ensued, 40 years later we are still attempting to determine the characteristics of effective teachers. The problem may rest, as Gage (1972) sugge sted, in the idea th at little research exists focusing on the theory of teaching, or it may rest in research methods which avoid teacher observation as a means for collecting da ta and thus ignore the process of teaching (Good, Biddle, & Brophy, 1975). It could be a result of researchers who rely upon a priori measures of teachers personal at tributes (p. 220) while ignoring outcome measures (McNeil & Popham, 1973). Howeve r, we do know that research on teacher effectiveness continued well into the 70s producing mixed results and raising more questions than answers. As Dunkin a nd Biddle (1974) lamented, What do we really know about teaching? (p. 11). Citing many st udies linked to teacher effectiveness, Dunkin and Biddle identified inconsistencies in the research, faults in the data collection instruments, and inconsistencies in the th eories surrounding the research. They argued that while most of the results of these st udies may indeed be found, through subsequent
35 research, to be valid; the research practices of the 60s and 70s left room for doubt as to the conclusions drawn. Ultimately, researchers in the 70s reported the same dilemma as previous researchers: teaching is a highly complex process affected by a myriad of factors difficult to separate. The 1980s proved to be a decade of reflect ion on teacher research with some researchers positing specific conclusions about effective teachers. More importantly, it reflected research focusing not only on teacher attributes but on student outcomes as well. Rosenshines (1983) review of studi es from 1977 through 1982 led him to identify six teaching functions which app ear to be related to improved student achievement: daily review and reteaching if necessary, presentation of new material, guided student practice, feedback and corre ctives, independent student practice, and weekly and monthly reviews. According to Rosenshine, identifying these six functions opened the door to further research on how to implement these functions effectively in the classroom. Goods (1983) review of research on classroom teaching concluded that teachers can and do make measurable differences in stud ent learning. Further, he identified several teacher strategies and beliefs which can also impact student learning: teacher expectations, classroom management, active teaching, frequent feedback, and providing opportunities for student success. What these researchers seem to have in common is the belief that teachers do make a difference in student achievement but that effective teaching can only be measured through careful observation of the teaching process (Brophy & Good, 1984). However, in spite of the many characteristics of effective teachers identified in research,
36 it was still impossible to provide a prescr iptive formula for succe ss (Brophy, 1987). This is because most research on teacher beha viors and their relationship to student achievement report correlational data rath er than causal data. Although the results indicate a relationship between the teacher behavior and student outcomes, there is no direct evidence of causation. In essence, considerable rese arch on the effectiveness of teacher behaviors and their relationship to student achievement produces principles of teaching that are beneficial for all teachers in the classroom; however, researchers are unable to determine which of these teacher e ffects do, indeed, result in increased student achievement (Brophy & Good, 1984; Brophy, 1987). The Current Debate Basically, the current debate revolves around two points of view. One view espouses that highly qualified teachers are those who have content knowledge and have studied instructional ideas and practices that increase student lear ning while the other claims that highly qualified teachers are those who exhibit strong content knowledge without regard to other factors (Kaplan & Owings, 2002). One side argues that teachers need more than content knowledge; they need to know how to teach the content to the students (Berry & Hirsch, 2004). The other side argues that content knowledge is the single most important factor in determining whether or not a teacher is highly qualified and urges states to adopt high standards refl ecting teacher content area knowledge while lowering the barriers relating to pedagogy (U.S. Department of Education, 2003). Proponents for stronger content area teacher standards claim th at sound statistical research linking student achievement to sp ecific teacher traini ng, degree, or teacher preparation program is limited. The U.S. Secretary of Education in his Annual Report on
37 Teacher Quality (2002) cites research by the Ab ell Foundation which reviewed approximately 175 studies covering 50 year s of research. The Abell Foundation concluded that, although the st udies indicate a relationship between teacher certification and student achievement, these studies are seriously flawed and do not reflect the rigorous scientific study expected by the Department of Educa tion. Research supported by those calling for stronger content area teacher standards suggests a relationship exists between teachers who hold advanced degrees in specific academic subjects (specifically math and science) and student achieveme nt (Goldhaber & Anthony, 2003; Goldhaber & Brewer, 1996). These researchers argue that t eachers with advanced degrees can have a positive impact on student learning in specific circumstance. In contrast, Barnett Berry, Executive Di rector for the Southeast Center for Teaching Quality, (2001) argues that no re search exists indicating that content knowledge alone is significant enough to ensure student achievement. He calls for states to develop teacher preparation programs th at address content as well as pedagogical knowledge. Kaplan and Owings (2002) define th ese two factors as teacher quality and teaching quality. Teacher quality refers to the academic knowledge that the teacher holds while teaching quality refers to the skills and strategies the teacher possesses that improve instruction. Cruickshank et al. (1996) and Feiman-Nemser (1990) also maintain that teacher content knowledge alone is not sufficient to guarantee student achievement. They argue that in order for teachers be able to teach the content to their students, they must have pedagogical knowledge as well as content knowledge. These researchers argue that content knowledge alone does not guarant ee teacher quality. They do not argue that
38 one is more important than the other; rather they argue that both are necessary to make certain that all students ha ve access to quality teaching. Darling-Hammond (1996) provides the most significant current research relating to teacher characteristics and student achievement. She maintains that effective teachers must demonstrate a deep knowledge of th eir subject matter along with knowledge of student learning and teachi ng methods. According to Darling-Hammond, effective teachers are defined not only by th eir content area degree, but by their ability to teach the content to student in a manner that allows them to learn the content. Ultimately, teachers require not only content area tr aining, but they also require training in how students learn and what methods are successful in order to ensure that students learn the content. The current debate surrounding teacher quality and effectiveness is a reflection of the 70s research indicating the difficulty of establishing causal relationships between teacher behaviors, attitudes, characteristics, etc. and student outcomes. The complexity of narrowing the relationship of specific student outcomes to specific teacher behaviors while maintaining control of a myriad of variab les inhibits a researchers ability to define distinctively what merits effective teaching. Content Area Degree and Student Achievement One side of the current debate surrou nding teacher quality focuses on teachers degree status as a significant factor affec ting student achievement Proponents of this concept argue that highly effective teachers are those who have a degree in their area of teaching. Further, they reason that not only wi ll students benefit from teachers who hold a degree in their content area, but that students will benefit even more if teachers hold a
39 degree beyond a bachelors degr ee in their content area. A re view of current literature surrounding this supposition follows. Goldhaber and Brewers (1996, 1999) an alysis of data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS) is perhaps one of the most cited studies advocating increasing standards for teacher content area degrees. Their research indicates a positive relationship between student ma th and science achievement outcomes and teacher degree status. They argue teacher de gree subject-specific training is more indicative of student outcomes than teacher ability, and they promote increasing the requirements for teacher trai ning in science and math. Johnson (2000) conducted a study for the Her itage Center, utilizing data from the 1998 National Assessment of Educational Pr ogress (NAEP) reading test and the 1996 NAEP math test to determine whether or not student achievement was related to teachers with advanced degrees. Johnson collected data identifying whether teachers held a bachelors degree in educati on, advanced degree in educa tion, bachelors degree in subject area, advanced degree in subject area, bachelors degree in another subject, or advanced degree in another subject area. Usi ng regression analysis, he found that fourth grade students of teachers who hold degrees in English or math do not score higher on the reading or math exams than fourth graders taught by teachers with advanced degrees in education (p. 7). However, fourth grade st udents who were taught by teachers holding a bachelors degree in subjects ot her than English, language arts math, or education show a significant negative difference in achievement from students who ha ve teachers who hold advanced degrees in educa tion (-6.1% for English and -5.5% for math) (p. 8).
40 For eighth grade students the results were different. Students of teachers who held an advanced degree in English or language arts showed a positive significant difference in achievement from students of teachers with advanced degrees in education (2.7%); similarly, students of teachers who held a b achelors degree or advanced degree in math or science showed positive significant differences in achie vement (2.2% for bachelors and 3.4% for advanced degree) from student s of teachers with advanced degrees in education. Johnson concludes that elementary stude nts are more successful when their teachers hold advanced degrees in educa tion, but eighth grade students are more successful when their teachers hold a bachelo rs or advanced degree in math or English as opposed to an advanced degree in educat ion. Johnson rationalizes the difference in outcomes by suggesting that eighth grade stude nts require teachers with stronger content area knowledge due to the nature of their teaching position; whereas, fourth grade elementary teachers require le ss rigorous content area knowledge. Okpala, Smith, Jones, and Ellis (2000) coll ected data on fourth grade students in a North Carolina county during the 1995-1996 sch ool year. They wanted to determine whether or not a relationship exists between school characteristics, teacher characteristics, and student/family demogra phics and student achie vement on reading and mathematics. The study included 4,256 students in 42 public elementary schools. Using a Pearson correlation coefficient, their data indicated a positive correlation between teachers with mathematics masters degrees and math achievement (.379). However, they reported no significant correlation between teac hers with English masters degrees and
41 reading achievement. Teachers with 10 or mo re years of experience were significantly correlated to student achievement in both math (.0404) and reading (0.366). Wenglinsky (2000) also used NAEPs 1996 data to examine the relationships between teacher characteristics and student achievement. Wenglinsky focused on three measures of teacher quality: t eacher education levels and y ears of experience, classroom practices, and professional development. Using data fr om 7,146 eighth grade students who took the math assessment and 7,776 eight grade students who took the science assessment, Wenglinsky concluded that, Stude nts whose teachers majored or minored in the subject they are teaching outperform their peers by about 40% of a grade level in both math and science (p. 9). Additionally, he notes that on the average, all students benefit from teachers with advanced degrees in any s ubject compared to teachers with bachelors degrees. On the other hand, Wenglinsky also repor ts in the same study that increased student achievement can be li nked to classroom practices a nd professional development. Utilizing a multilevel structural equation model designed to isolate the influence of any given factor on an outcome (p. 21), he reports that classroom activit ies and professional development designed to enhance classroom activities have a great er impact on student achievement than does teacher degree. Teach ers who promote hands-on activities and focus on higher-order thinking skills, specifica lly strategy skills, te nd to produce students who perform better on math assessments. Students who receive hands-on learning opportunities on a weekly rather than a monthly basis de monstrate a 72% increase in mathematics and 40% increase in science in grade level from those who do not (p. 27).
42 Wenglinsky maintains that determining highl y qualified teachers must focus not only content area knowledge but on cl assroom practices as well. Both Johnson and Wenglinsky report relati onships between teachers content area degree and student achievement, indicating that content area de gree is an important factor in determining teacher quality. However, Weng linskys data also reinforces the concept that classroom practices a nd professional development fo cusing on classroom practices have a stronger relationship with studen t achievement than educational degree. Wenglinskys research seems to indicate that what the teacher does in the classroom is a better indicator of student achievement than th e teachers subject area and degree status. Wayne and Youngs (2003) reviewed 21 studies examining the relationship between teacher characteristics and student achievement. They f ound 4 studies yielding conflicting data pertaining to the relationshi p between teacher degrees or coursework and student achievement: Ferguson and Ladd (1996), Eberts and Stone (1984), Ehrenberg and Brewer (1994), and Kiesli ng (1984). Of these 4 studi es, only one (Ferguson & Ladd, 1996) reports a positive relationship between teacher degree and student achievement. Although Ferguson and Ladds stud y yields convincing data, there exists a degree of uncertainty as they do not differentiate betw een a mathematics degree and a mathematics education degree. Participants were expected to choose betw een a degree in mathematics and a degree in education. Wayne and Youngs suspect teachers with mathematics education degrees may have been unclear as to whether they should select mathematics degree or education degree, thus the re sults reported in this study may not be conclusive.
43 Rice (2003) supports Wayne and Youngs conclusions linking teachers with mathematics degrees to increased student ach ievement as well as a link between science degrees and increased student achievement. Her review of literature focusing on the relationship between teacher a ttributes and teacher effec tiveness, however, reveals a negative or no relationship betw een history and English degr ees and student achievement. What all of these studies and reviews have in common is the supposition that students benefit from teachers who hold degrees in math or science, but may not show the same benefit from teachers with degrees in other areas. While a positive relationship exists between teachers who hold a minimum of a bachelors degree in math with increased student achievement in math, as Wayne and Youngs report, there is some confusion concerning the difference between a mathematics degree and a math education degree due to study design which clouds the discussion. It is important to note, however, that while proponents of stronger educational requirements for teachers dismiss the need for pedagogical training, those who support the need for pedagogical training do not di smiss the need for strong content area knowledge. Based on the research available, it is difficult to understand the reasoning behind limiting the distinction of highly quali fied teachers to those who possess a degree in their content area. It may simply be a ma tter of practicality as Fabiano (1999) argues: measuring teacher qualifications is conceptua lly and practically more approachable than defining and measuring teacher quality (p. 1). With that in mind, a discussion of the research surrounding the relationship be tween pedagogical tr aining and student achievement will be presented.
44 Pedagogical Knowledge and Student Achievement On the other side of the debate reside those who argue there is a need for all teachers to engage in pedagogical training as well as content area training. These researchers maintain that it is not enough fo r teachers to have content area knowledge; rather, they must also understand student lear ning and instructional practices that promote student learning in order to gua rantee that students are able to learn the content. The following is a review of current l iterature focusing on this theory. Guyton and Farokhi (1987) conducted a study of Georgia State University graduates utilizing the Regents Test wh ich measures basic skills, the Teacher Certification Test (TCT) which measures subject mater knowledge, the participants grade point averages (GPA), and the T eacher Certification Teacher Performance Assessment Instrument (TPAI). They comput ed two GPAs. The first was the Sophomore GPA (SGPA) which included all 100 and 200 level courses, and the second was the Upper Level GPA (ULGPA) which included all 300 and 400 level course. The TPAI measures teacher performance based demons tration of 14 competencies as evidenced through a teaching portfolio and classroom pe rformance. Georgia requires all beginning teachers to pass this assessment within thr ee years. Guyton and Farokhi used the data from the participants firs t assessment for this study. Guyton and Farokhi found that while high performance on the basic skills test was a good indicator of high performance on th e subject-matter tests, neither of these measures were good indicators of on-the-job performance as measured by the TPAI. They also report that the ULGPA had a much stronger correlation with teaching performance (.34) than did the SGPA (.18) (p. 40). They suggest that ULGPA is a better
45 predictor of teacher performance than subjec t matter tests surmising that ULGPA reflects students performance in education courses, and thus indicates that teachers who do well in education courses are better prepared to be successful cl assroom teachers than teachers who do poorly. Finally, they suggest that teach er quality implies a firm grounding in the content area and pedagog ical skills (p. 41). Ferguson and Womacks (1993) research at Arkansas Tech University supports Guyton and Farokhis researc h. Using ANOVA and a step-wise regression model, they examined 266 secondary student teachers over a seven-semester period (1988-1991) by comparing their grade point averages in c ontent and education c ourses to evaluations using a 107 Likert-response survey. Their resu lts indicate that education coursework GPA is a better indicator of teacher performance than content area coursework GPA. They report a 3.4% variance in teaching perf ormance for content area coursework GPA compared to a 19% variance in teaching performance for educational coursework. Wilson, Floden, and Ferrini-Mundy (2002) were asked by the Office of Educational Research and Improvement and the U.S. Department of Education to conduct a review of high-quality research relating to teache r preparation (p. 190). Their review focused on empirical research on U.S. teacher education, published in the past two decades. While acknowledging that some research supports the connection between subject-area knowledge and student achievement, they also ex plain that most of these studies are dependent upon p roxies for subject matter know ledge, such as majors or coursework (p. 191). When GPAs and scores on National Teachers Examinations are used, there is very little variance in teaching performance.
46 On the other hand, when GPAs based on education coursework are used, they noted a variance in teaching performance between 48% and 39%. It seems a relationship exists between pedagogical coursework and student achievement, although the researchers acknowledge the n eed to more clearly define which specific pedagogical practices are most important. Further, they stress that teaching credential is a crude indicator of professi onal study (p. 193). Rices (2003) review of literature concludes that no strong evidence exists linking teacher education coursework to teache r performance. According to Rice, limited research has been conducted in this area, and that which has been conducted provides little evidence as to the degree in which these programs impact teacher effectiveness. Rices review speaks to the same dilemma as reported in the earlier studies during the 70s. It is difficult to determine which teach er characteristics and behaviors are learned through coursework and which are learned th rough experience on th e job. While volumes of studies exist analyzing teacher education programs and offering suggestions for further studies (Feiman-Nemser, 2001, 1989; Goodl ad, 1994; Wilson, Floden, & Ferrini-Mundy, 2002), little research specifi cally linking teacher educa tion coursework to student achievement exists. Perhaps this is because th e focus of most of these studies is on how to improve teacher education with little emphasis on how teacher education impacts student learning. More specifi cally, the studies focus on how teachers learn specific behaviors which, through different studies have been shown to impact student achievement. Fabiano (1999) suggests that pe dagogical knowledge is more difficult to measure than content knowledge because of the subjective nature of measuring the
47 impact of pedagogical knowledge on student achievement. Thus, it is difficult to link the chain between teacher education, teacher ch aracteristics, and student achievement. Just as it seems ill-advised to limit the status of highly qualified teachers to those who possess content-area degrees, it also s eems ill-advised to limit the status of highly qualified teachers to those who have graduated from a teacher education program. What research seems to indicate across the board is that teaching is a highly complex task requiring expertise not only in content but in pedagogy as well. Teacher Certification and Student Achievement Teacher certification is the remaining factor to be considered in the current debate surrounding highly qualified, effective teachers. Traditional certifica tion routes focused on teachers who earned a degree from an accred ited teaching college and passed a state licensing exam. Today, that route may enco mpass a variety of paths which include teacher programs and alternative routes as well. The following review focuses on research linking teacher certification to student achievement. Darling-Hammond (1996) examined teacher data from the 1993-1994 Schools and Staffing Surveys (SASS) and stude nt data from 1990, 1992, 1994, and 1996 NAEP assessments in reading and mathematics to determine whether a relationship exists between student achievement and teacher qualif ications. Utilizing regression analysis, her research suggests that teacher preparation and certification hold the strongest correlations to student achievement after controlling for other factors such as student socioeconomic and language status. Darling-Hammond reports that while there is strong evidence suggesting that student achievement is linked to socioeconomic status, language status, and minority status of students, there is also considerable evidence that students who live
48 in poverty, are non-English speakers, or are mi norities are most often taught by teachers with the least qualifications. This indicates th at student achievement may be related more to teacher qualifications than social status Her research is supported by Ingersoll (1996) whose analysis of data from the 1990-91 School s and Staffing Survey (SASS) indicates a higher percentage of out-of-field teachers in schools serving minority and high poverty students than schools serving predominantly white, middle-class students. Darling-Hammond also reports a significant relationship between teacher characteristics such as certification and c ontent area degree to student achievement. She defines certification status as a measure of teacher qualifications that combines aspects of knowledge about subject mater and about te aching and learning (2000, p. 7). Students who are taught by teachers who are fully cer tified and hold a degree in the subject area outperform students who are ta ught by teachers who do not ha ve these qualifications. Highly qualified teachers, then, are those who have mastered both their subject area as well as those who have a clear unde rstanding of teaching and learning. Goldhaber and Anthony (2003) also report a link between teac her certification and student achievement. Citing their 2000 st udy, they indicate that teachers with certifications in math and science report higher student achievement scores than teachers who hold standard state certifi cations (non-content specific ce rtifications). However, the data also indicate that when comparing student growth from one year to the next, there is no difference between students who are assigne d to teachers with math or science certifications versus students assigned to teachers with emergency certifications. According to Wilson, Floden, and Ferrini-M undys (2002) review, little research examining alternative certification paths exist and the research that does exist yields
49 mixed reports. However, they report that states requiring full certification and a major in their field (p. 192) yield hi gher student achievement scores in mathematics and reading than do states with less rigorous requirements. Rices (2003) review indicates a link between teachers with mathematics certification and increased student math ach ievement. However, this finding does not generalize to other content areas. Qu and Beckers (2003) meta-analysis reve als that traditionall y and alternatively certified teachers produce higher student ach ievement results than teachers with emergency certificates. Qu and Becker (2003) identify three major certification types: traditional, alternative, and emergency. Traditional certification is defined as those who have earned a bachelors degree in educati on and have completed student teaching under the direction of a mentor or supervisor. Alte rnatively certified teach ers hold a bachelors degree in an area other than education and may or may not have been required to complete student teaching. Emergency certificates are the least specific certificates and can vary from state to state. Qu and Becker report that while teachers with traditional certifications tend to outperform teachers with alternat ive certifications in some states, this did not seem to be the case across all states. Furt her, their analysis suggest s that a certain amount of educational coursework and training on teach ing skills improves the quality of teaching outcomes (p. 38). They draw this conclu sion based on the limited requirements for emergency certification. Finally, they report that teachers with full-traditional certification outperform teacher s who are teaching out-of-field. Ultimately, they argue
50 that traditional and alternative routes to certification appear to be equally effective and both are more effective than emergency certifications. Wayne and Youngs (2003) suggest the only significant research linking student outcomes to teacher certification are the studies conducted by Goldhaber and Anthony (2003). While this research might indicate that all students in all core subject areas might benefit from teachers who hold subject matter ce rtification in their ar ea of teaching, when examining student gains as opposed to student scores, the data becomes less convincing. However, most studies conc lude that student achieveme nt is linked to teacher certification and that traditional and alternativ e certification routes are better for student than emergency routes. Teacher Quality and Student Equity In light of the difficulty of narrowing the definition of effective teachers to easily measurable factors, why do we continue to try? As Dunkin and Biddle lamented in 1974, What do we really know about teaching? (p. 11). Well, after 50 years of research, we actually know quite a lot. Current research ha s, in fact, been successful in measuring teacher effects on student achievement (What Matters Most, 1996). Additionally, Sanders and Rivers (1996) value-added re search reveals a difference in student achievement of 50 percentile points as a result of teacher sequence after only three years. Further, they found that low achieving st udents benefit the most from teacher effectiveness. Armed with the knowledge that teachers do make a difference, the goal now is to continue the resear ch to determine which characteristics are prevalent in those teachers who improve student achievement.
51 This leads us to the next dilemma: if low achieving students benefit the most from teacher effectiveness, then it would seem n ecessary to ensure that these students have access to the most effective teachers. Further revi ew of the research i ndicates that this is often not the case. The National Commission on Teaching and Americas Future (What Matters Most, 1996) reports shocking st atistics related to teachers assigned to disadvantaged schools: 23% of all secondary teachers at disadvantaged schools do not hold a college minor in their main teaching field; 56% of high school students taking physical science are taught by out-of-field teachers; 21% of hi gh school students taking English are taught by out-of-field teachers; 50% of math students in the highest minority schools are taught by teachers who do not hold a license or degree in mathematics. Ingersolls (2002) analysis of data fro m the Schools and Staffing Survey reveals that fewer teachers at disadvantaged schools (poor/minority/urban schools) hold advanced degrees than do teachers at adva ntaged schools. They also tend to be less experienced than teachers at advantaged sc hools. Finally, disadvant aged schools report more teachers teaching out-of-field than a dvantaged schools. The data indicate that students at the most needy sc hools are assigned the least experienced teachers with the least training who are ofte n teaching subjects for wh ich they are unprepared. Darling-Hammond (2004) reports on Californias educational system which has a history of hiring under-qualified teachers for schools serving disadvantaged students. She identifies several factors related to this tr end: noncompetitive salaries across districts, poor working conditions in disadvantaged school districts, elimina tion of undergraduate teacher education in California, limiting teacher certification reciprocity with other states,
52 lack of recruitment incentives, over relian ce on emergency and short-term certification routes, inadequate teacher support, personnel practices that hinder teacher retention, and lack of accountability to make certain that qualified teachers are hired when available. It seems reasonable to suggest that if we are going to successfully close the achievement gap between white students a nd minority students and between advantaged students and disadvantaged stude nts, then we need to guarantee that all students have access to highly qualified, effective teachers. This is even more important for lowperforming students who historically have re ceived the least qualified teachers. Perhaps more importantly, it becomes necessary to identify the characteristics not only of effective teachers, but of teachers who are effective with students at disadvantaged schools. Summary Beginning with the Coleman Report (1966) which reported that schools had little effect on student outcomes; rather, that soci oeconomic status was the key indicator of student success, policy makers and educationa l researchers have attempted to determine who and what has the most positive impact on student learning. This report generated considerable research on teacher effectivene ss and eventually resulted in wide-spread consensus that teachers do impact st udent achievement (Brophy, 1987; Brophy & Good, 1984; Goldhaber & Anthony, 2003; Rosenshine 1983). While there is widespread consensus that teacher quality is the most im portant factor affecti ng student achievement, defining quality or effective teachers has been the focus of much debate and continues to dominate the discussion today.
53 Based on current research, it is difficu lt to determine whether just holding a degree in a subject area constitutes a highly qua lified teacher. At the same time, the research is inconsistent when it comes to measuring pedagogical sk ills, those defined by Darling-Hammond as student learning and teaching skills, because the items of measurement are somewhat vague. Having a degree in science is not necessarily an indicator of how much scien ce knowledge the teacher holds. Content area GPA may be a better indicator of teacher e ffectiveness, yet research indicates when focusing on GPA, educational course work GPA is a better indi cator of teacher success than content area coursework GPA. Some research indicates that secondary math and science students benefit from teachers who hold degrees in their subject ar eas, but the research is less clear with relationship to English teachers. This may be due to the dear th of research examining the relationship between reading achievement and either subject area knowledge or pedagogical knowledge. Politically, the tendency is to designate subject area knowledge as more valuable than pedagogical knowledge, yet numerous studies indicate teachers need to know how to teach the subject area and must also have an understanding of how students learn in order to facilitate student lear ning. As reported by the National Commission on Teaching and Americans Future (Darling-Hammond, 1996), t o be effective, teachers must know their subject matter so thoroughly that they can present it in a ch allenging, clear, and compelling way (p. 6). Based on the research reviewed in this section, it would seem reasonable to expand the definition of highly qualified teachers to include factors in addition to content knowledge when de termining teacher effectiveness.
54 Teacher Efficacy Historical Context Banduras (1977) early research in persona l efficacy led to the study of teachers sense of efficacy. Bandura hypothesized that the ab ility to cope in spec ific situations is determined by a sense of self-efficacy. People with a high sense of efficacy tend to persevere when faced with obstacles while people with a low sense of efficacy tend to avoid difficult situations. Additionally, peop le with a high sense of efficacy who persevere and succeed will realize a strength ening sense of efficacy while those who already suffer from low efficacy and who avoi d difficult situations will reinforce their low self-efficacy resulting in conti nuing to avoid demanding situations. Bandura found that efficacy can be aff ected by four factors: performance accomplishments, vicarious experience, ve rbal persuasion, and emotional arousal. Performance accomplishments are personal ex periences in which a person masters or succeeds in specific situations. Vicarious experience is linked to observation either through observing others in a similar situat ion or someone modeling a given behavior. Verbal persuasion is simply when people ar e influenced by others who convince them that they have the necessary traits to be su ccessful in a given situation. Finally, emotional arousal is related to a persons response to a stressful situa tion. All of these factors can have either a positive or negative effect on self-efficacy. Bandura also posits that efficacy can be enhanced through behavior intervention. Based on individual needs, psychologists can improve self-efficacy through behavioral modification techniques. He also maintains that self-efficacy is an accurate predictor of performance. Thus, Banduras research indicates that self-efficacy is a measurable
55 construct that can be influen ced through various factors and is situation specific. While strength of self-efficacy is a predictor of success in specific situations, it is not stagnant. Self-efficacy can be enhanced through behavioral modifications, resulting in improved performance. Construct Validity and Mea surement Instruments The Rand Corporation published a study in 1976 that examined the effects of specific reading programs and interventions on student reading achievement (Armor et al., 1976). The Rand study was developed ba sed on the work of Rotter (1966) which focused primarily on the psychological concept of locus of control. Included in the Rand study were two questions purporti ng to measure teacher efficacy: 1. When it comes right down to it, a teach er really cant do much because most of a students motivation and performance depends on his or her home environment. 2. If I really try hard, I can get th rough to even the most difficult or unmotivated student. Teachers who strongly agree with the fi rst question believe that the results of their teaching rest externally, outside their locus of control. These teachers do not believe that teaching alone can affect student learning, nor do they believe that they personally are capable of influe ncing student achievement. These teachers believe that student achievement is dependent upon the learner. Alternatively, teachers who strongl y agree with the second question believe the results of their teaching rest in ternally, within their locus of control. These teachers believe that teaching im proves student learning and that they
56 personally possess the necessary skills to improve student learning. These two questions formed the basis for most subse quent teacher efficacy research and led to the development of more sophistic ated efficacy measurement tools. Denham and Michael (1981) ar gue that teacher efficacy not only affects student outcomes, but student outcomes affect teacher efficacy. In keeping with other researchers, Denham and Michael argue th at the relationship between efficacy and student outcomes is reciprocal Teachers beliefs th at they can affect student achievement results in improved student ach ievement, while improved student achievement reinforces teachers sense of efficacy. The reverse is equally true. Poor pe rforming students can negatively affect teachers sense of efficacy and teachers with a low sense of efficacy negatively affect student achievement. Efficacy can change depending on the circumstances. While teachers may have a stro ng sense of efficacy with regard to their ability to improve student learning, in some sp ecific circumstances that sense of efficacy may diminish. Efficacy is affected by various variables such as teacher training, teaching experience, system variables, personal vari ables, and causal attr ibutions. Additionally, Denham and Michael acknowledge that some st udies indicate that teacher efficacy is adversely affected when teachers are wo rking with poor, minority students. Gibson and Dembo (1984) conducted research to 1) determine the construct validity of both teaching and personal efficac y, 2) develop an instrument to measure teacher efficacy (Teacher Efficacy Scale), and 3) examine the relationship between teacher efficacy and teacher behaviors. Utili zing three different da ta collection methods, the researchers concluded that teacher e fficacy is multidimensional, encompassing both
57 professional and personal dimensions. Additi onally, they assert that teacher efficacy influences teacher behaviors that ulti mately influence student achievement. Gibson and Dembo used factor analysis to determine internal consistency of the Teacher Efficacy Scale and to identify th e dimensions of teacher efficacy. The researchers then implemented a multitrait-multim ethod analysis of data to determine if evidence of teacher efficacy was present in th e data collected from different sources and whether or not teacher efficacy could be iden tified separately from other constructs. Finally, they used classroom observation to determine differ ences in teacher behaviors between teachers who demonstrated high-effi cacy ratings as compared to teachers who demonstrated low-efficacy ratings. Gibsons Teacher Efficacy Scale wa s completed by 208 elementary school teachers from 13 different elementary schools. The researchers were interested in three research questions: What are the dimensions of teacher efficacy? How do these dimensions relate to Banduras theory of se lf-efficacy? What is the internal consistency of the teacher efficacy measure? (p. 573). Ba sed on the factor analysis, the researchers were able to identify two dimensions: teacher s sense of personal efficacy and teachers sense of teaching efficacy. Cronbachs alpha wa s used to examine internal reliability yielding an internal consistency reliability of .75 for personal teaching efficacy and .75 for teaching efficacy. However, the data also indicated that only 16 of the 30 items yielded a reliability of .79 leading Gibs on and Dembo to suggest possibly limiting the original items to between 16 and 20 instead of the original 30. After determining the reliability of the instrument, Gibson and Dembo then conducted a multitrait-multimethod analysis to determine whether or not the dimensions
58 of teacher efficacy can be differentiated from other constructs and if the evidence of teacher efficacy converges when gathered from two different sources. The researchers used the Teacher Efficacy Scale along with an open-ended survey to measure convergent validity. Additionally, participants were given the Beginning Teacher Evaluation Study, Phase 2, 19761976, the Verbal Facility Test, the C ontrolled Associations Test, the Finding Useful Parts, and the Planning Test. These tests were included to measure both verbal ability and flexibility and to determine whether or not teacher efficacy can be differentiated from other constructs. Part icipants included 55 teachers enrolled in a graduate education course. The convergent validity results correlating the Teacher Efficacy Scale with the open-ended survey yielded a .42 (p < .001) pos itive correlation for teacher efficacy. Additionally, further analysis of the data conf irmed discriminate validity when efficacy is compared to verbal ability and flexibility. Gibson and Dembos rese arch indicates that teacher efficacy, both teaching efficacy a nd personal teaching efficacy, are valid constructs that can be identified th rough the Teacher Efficacy Scale. Subsequent research confirms Gibson a nd Dembos position that efficacy can be divided into two dimensions: teaching effi cacy and personal teaching efficacy. However, the research identifies some questions about the reliability of the Teacher Efficacy Scale. Tschannen-Moran and Hoy report that some items on the Teacher Efficacy Scale load on both factors (2001, p. 789) yielding inconsistent result s. These concerns have opened the door to additional attempts to more tightly define efficacy and its dimensions. Ashton and Webbs (1986) definition of efficacy also includes two dimensions: teaching efficacy and personal teaching efficacy. They developed the Webb Efficacy
59 Scale to further measure teachers sense of teaching efficacy. They found that the Webb Efficacy Scale correlated positively with the two Rand questions. The researchers concluded that two dimensions of efficacy exist: teaching efficacy and personal teaching efficacy. According to Ashton and Webb, teachers with a high sense of teaching efficacy believe that teaching can positively influence student achievement despite student demographics. Teachers with a high sense of personal teaching efficacy believe their own personal skills as a teacher can positiv ely influence student achievement. Ashton and Webb maintain that it is impor tant to differentiate between the two dimensions in order to determine specific in terventions to improve efficacy. For instance, if teachers sense of teaching efficacy is low because they believe their students are incapable of achieving, then they must be prov ided evidence that th eir students can, in fact, learn. However, if teacher s sense of personal teaching efficacy is low, then they need training in strategies that have been shown to improve student learning. Accordingly, Ashton and Webb maintain that identifying the levels of both teaching efficacy and personal teaching efficacy become s important in order to determine possible teacher interventions to promote student le arning and change teachers preconceptions about students and th eir ability to learn. Ashton and Webbs construct of efficacy is also useful in defining efficacy. According to their research, efficacy is multidimensional and affected by both generalized and specific beliefs. Teachers ge neralized beliefs about response-outcome contingencies relate to their generalized beliefs that student outcomes are affected by specific teacher actions. In other words, st udent achievement is contingent upon teacher intervention. Teachers generalized beliefs a bout perceived self-efficacy relates to their
60 generalized beliefs about their own abilities as teachers to positively influence student behavior. Alternatively, specifi c beliefs about both teachers ability to influence student achievement (response-outcome contingencies) and personal competence (perceived selfefficacy) in motivating students is related to teachers personal expe riences in specific situations. According to Ashton and Webb s multidimensional model, efficacy is dependent on all four dimensions (Ashton & Webb, 1986, p. 5). Based on this model, teachers sense of efficacy is generally affected by their beliefs about students as well as their beliefs about their own abilities to influence student behavior. However, those beliefs are influe nced by specific personal experience which can either raise or lower the sense of efficacy. While Ashton and Webb (1986) and Gibson and Dembo (1984) confer on their findings that efficacy can be measured by two dimensions: teaching efficacy and personal efficacy, Guskey and Passaro (1994) yielded di fferent results. They compared the results from Woolfolk and Hoys re search (1990) with Gibson a nd Dembos (1984) and noticed some confusion relating to whether or not a true difference actually exists between teaching and personal efficacy. They argue that items loading on personal teaching efficacy all contain I which carries with it a perception of I can while items loading on teaching efficacy all contain teachers which carries the perception of teachers cannot. Thus, they maintain that rather th an demonstrating a cl ear difference between teacher efficacy and personal teaching efficac y, the scales measure a difference between internal and external locus of control. Guskey and Passaro designed a study to compare the two scales. Their study included 283 experienced classroom teachers an d 59 pre-service teachers. They utilized a
61 16-item scale taken from Gibson and Dembos (1984) original study that had also been included in Woolfolk and Hoys (1990) extend ed study. They also included 3 additional items from the Woolfolk and Hoy study as well as the two original Rand items. Of these 21 items, 12 had previously been shown to load on the personal efficacy dimension and 9 on the teaching efficacy dimension. Guskey and Passaro then randomly chose 7 of the 12 personal efficacy items and reworded them, ch anging the personal I to the generic the teacher. Similarly, they randomly selected 4 of the 9 teaching efficacy items and reworded them, replacing the teacher with I. The results of the factor analysis le d Guskey and Passaro to confirm earlier studies indicating that teacher efficacy is a multidimensional construct (Ashton & Webb, 1986; Gibson & Dembo, 1984; Woolfolk & Hoy, 1990); however, Guskey and Passaro maintain that the dimensions relate more to internal and external locus of control than they do to either teaching efficacy or pers onal teaching efficacy, in keeping with the original Rand study (Armor et al., 1976) and Rotters (1966) theories. Guskey and Passaro argue that this bipolar relationship (internal/external) more adequately reflects the differences teachers feel between their ability to influence student achievement and the outside forces that infl uence student achievement. T eachers who possess a strong sense of efficacy, the belief that they can influence student achievement, are not influenced by outside factors that may or may not affect student achievement as much as teachers who possess a weak sense of efficac y. Thus, teachers with a strong sense of efficacy believe they can improve student achieve ment in spite of outside factors such as low socioeconomic status, parental involve ment, student motivation, etc. Teachers who
62 possess a weak sense of efficacy are more lik ely to blame external factors for their students lack of achievement rather than re-examine their own in fluence on students. Concerns about construct validity led to further research by Tschannen-Moran et al. (1998) which led to the proposal of a ne w, integrated model of teacher efficacy. Recognizing that teacher efficacy is c ontext specific, dependent upon the specific teaching situation, Tschannen-Moran et al. proposed that teacher efficacy must be measured in context with the specific task at hand. Beginning with the four factors influencing efficacy as described by Bandura (1 977), Tschannen-Moran et al. factored in task and context. Their model proposes that e fficacy is affected not only by the sources of efficacy information examined by Bandura, but it also is affected by the specific teaching situation. Teachers who have high efficacy in some situations may exhibit low efficacy under different circumstances. Efficacy then, as defined by Tschanne n-Moran et al. is determined by multiple factors, is situation specific, and is reciprocal in nature. Tschannen-Moran and Hoy (2001) expanded their efficacy research to develop a new efficacy scale, the Ohio State Teacher Efficacy Scale (OSTES). Recognizing that teacher efficacy is context and task specific, Tschannen-Moran and Hoy set out to design an instrument that would balance the need fo r specificity with the need for generalization in order for the instrument to maintain its ab ility to predict. Their model defines teacher efficacy within three dimensions rather than two. Their model does not distinguish between personal efficacy and teaching efficacy. Instead, it defines teacher efficacy as the belief that the teacher can impact student learning in relationship to the three dimensions: efficacy for instructional strategies, efficacy for classroom management, and efficacy for student engagement.
63 The scale originally consisted of 19 items with each item scored using a 9-point Likert-scale. After developing the scale, the instrument was examined through two separate studies. The two studies resulted in an 18-item instrument identifying three dimensions previously stated. TschannenMoran and Hoy recognized a weakness in the instrument relative to efficacy for classroom management, which they attributed to the fact that only 3 items were included in the instrument relating to classroom management. Hensons (2001) research of the 18-item OSTES scale confirmed this weakness and recommended the items removal. However, Tschannen-Moran and Hoy decided instead to include more items related to classroom ma nagement in order to counter the original concerns. They expanded the 18-item instrument to a 36-item instrument. A third study was conducted which include d 410 participants comprised of preservice teachers (103), in-service teachers ( 255), and 38 who did not identify their level of teaching experience. The researchers used principal-axis factoring with varimax rotation of the 36-items. After analysis, they reduced the 36-item instrument into a 24item instrument that included 8 items for each of the three dimensions: instructional strategies, classroom management, and st udent engagement. From this 24-item instrument, they choose 4 items with the highe st loadings for each of the 3 dimensions and created a 12-item instrument. Both forms, the 24-item and the 12-item, were subjected to further factor analyses (see Table 1 ). Finally, in order to determine construct validity, correlation studies between the OSTES and other efficacy scales were conducted. The results are reported in Table 2
64 Table 1 Factor Loadings for the Ostes (study 3) Factor loadings for the OSTES (study 3) Ohio State teacher efficacy scale (OSTES) 24 items 12 items Factor 1: Efficacy for in structional strategies 1. To what extent can you use a va riety of assessment strategies? 2. To what extent can you provide an alternative explanation or example when students are confused? 3. To what extent can you craft good questions for your students? 4. How well can you implement alternative strategies in your classroom? 5. How well can you respond to difficult questions from your students? 6. How much can you do to adjust your lessons to the proper level for individual students? 7. To what extent can you gauge student comprehension of what you have taught? 8. How well can you provide appropriate challenges for very capable students? 0.72 0.70 0.68 0.66 0.66 0.59 0.57 0.55 0.73 0.75 0.63 0.73 Factor 2: Efficacy for classroom management 9. How much can you do to control disruptive behavior in the classroom? 10. How much can you do to get children to follow classroom rules? 11. How much can you do to calm a student who is disruptive or noisy? 12. How well can you establish a classroo m management system with each group of students? 13. How well can you keep a few problem students from ruining an entire lesson? 14. How well can you respond to defiant students? 15. To what extent can you make your e xpectation clear about student behavior? 16. How well can you establish routines to keep activities running smoothly? 0.78 0.69 0.66 0.66 0.62 0.61 0.53 0.50 0.83 0.66 0.63 0.61 Factor 3: Efficacy for student engagement 17. How much can you do to get students to believe they can do well in schoolwork? 18. How much can you do to help your students value learning? 19. How much can you do to motivate students who show low interest in schoolwork? 20. How much can you assist families in helping their children do well in school? 21. How much can you do to improve the understanding of a student who is failing? 22. How much can you do to help your students think critically? 23. How much can you do to foster student creativity? 24. How much can you do to get through to the most difficult students? 0.75 0.70 0.66 0.63 0.57 0.56 0.50 0.47 0.75 0.69 0.64 0.62 Long form Short form Eigenvalue Cum % Eigenvalue Cum % Factor 1 Factor 2 Factor 3 10.38 2.03 1.62 43.25 51.72 58.47 5.68 1.51 1.11 47.30 59.89 69.10
65 Table 2 Validity Correlations for the OSTES* OSTES Instruct Manage Engage Rand 1 Rand 2 GTE PTE OSTES 0.89** 0.84** 0.87** 0.18** 0.53** 0.16** 0.64** Instructional Strategies 0.84** 0.60** 0.70** 0.07 0.45** 0.06 0.62** Classroom Management 0.79** 0.46** 0.58** 0.29** 0.46** 0.30** 0.45** Student engagement 0.85** 0.61** 0.50** 0.11* 0.47** 0.06 0.58** Rand 1 0.18** 0.08 0.26** 0.11* 0.23** 0.65** 0.12* Rand 2 0.52** 0.45** 0.39** 0.45** 0.23** 0.13* 0.65** General Teaching Efficacy 0.16** 0.08 0.26** 0.06 0.65** 0.13* 0.07 Personal Teaching Efficacy 0.61** 60 0.37** 0.56** 0.12* 0.65 0.07 Above diagonal, long form (24 items); below diagonal, short form (12 items); ** p <0:01 (2-tailed); p <0:05 (2-tailed). At the request of the researchers, from this point on, the OSTES Long Form will be referred to as the Teachers Sense of Efficacy Scale Long Form (TSES Long). The TSES Long will be used for this study (see Appendix F). Working Definitions Denham and Michael (1981) define teacher efficacy as the extent to which teachers believe they personally can affect changes in studen t achievement as well as by the extent to which teachers believe that teaching can bring about changes in student achievement. Ashton and Web (1986) define efficacy as teachers expectations that they can influence student learning in specific situ ations. They identify two dimensions of efficacy: personal teaching efficacy and teachin g efficacy. Teaching efficacy refers to
66 teachers expectations that te aching can influence student learning (p. 4) while personal teaching efficacy refers to teachers exp ectations that they personally possess the necessary skills to influence student learning. Guskey (1994) defines efficacy as teachers belief or conviction that they can influence how well students learn, even thos e who may be considered difficult or unmotivated (p 628). Finally, Tschannen-Moran and Hoy (2001) define teacher efficacy as teachers beliefs that they can bring about desired outcomes of student engagement and learning, even among those students who may be diffi cult or unmotivated (p. 783). They posit that teachers sense of efficacy is related to both student and teacher behaviors which ultimately affect student achievement. All these definitions maintain that efficacy is a teachers belief or conviction that he/she can influence or change student perf ormance and achievement independent of the students background, behaviors, or motivation level. Efficacy can be measured as either positive or negative, dependent upon the te achers beliefs. Teachers who possess a positive sense of efficacy believe they can improve student achievement while teachers with a negative sense of efficacy believe they are incapable of influencing student achievement. For purposes of this study, teacher efficacy will be defined as the extent to which teachers believe they have the ability to bring about changes in student achievement independent of the students background, behaviors, or motivation level. Efficacy and Student Achievement Having examined the construct of efficacy and defined efficacy as it will be used in this research, the relationship between e fficacy and specific teacher characteristics will
67 be now be examined, focusing primarily on research examining teacher efficacy and its link to student achievement. Perhaps the most widely quoted research on the relationship between teachers sense of efficacy and student achievement is that conducted by Ashton, Webb, and Doda (1983). Their research yielded interesting resu lts relating to student outcomes and teacher classroom behaviors. They conducted multiple studies incorporating multiple methods of data collection. Ashton, Webb, and Dodas middle school teachers study utilized the two Rand efficacy items and a questionnaire. After scorin g the Rand items, four teachers (two with high efficacy scores (one social science and one language arts) and two with low efficacy scores (one social science and one language arts)) were chosen for additional study. Those teachers were observed teaching two of their classes, four to five times over a six week period, followed by an interview. The final research was conducted on another four teachers and included observation and interviews over the period of a year. The high school study focused on basic sk ills mathematics and communications teachers. Forty-eight teachers averaging 10 years of classroom experience participated in this portion of the study. Student achievement data were measured using the Mathematics, Language, and Reading s ubtests of the 1980 and 1981 Metropolitan Achievement Tests. The researchers chose ba sic skills classes becau se the students had been identified as low performers and the curriculum was basically consistent across classrooms. Teacher attitudes were measured using the two Rand efficacy items as well as two additional efficacy scales, two items assessing teacher stress, and a question regarding the degree of responsibility the te acher assumed for stude nt learning. Finally,
68 classroom observations were conducted us ing the Climate and Control System, an instrument which measures classroom orga nization, teacher control strategies, pupil response to teacher control, and teacher res ponse to pupil reaction to control strategies. Additionally, the researcher s conducted an interview study of 23 high school and 10 middle and junior high school teachers, a nd they conducted a teacher change study on the 48 teachers of basic skills mathematics and communication who participated in the high school study. Based on the data collected, Ashton, We bb, and Doda concluded that student achievement in high school basic skills classe s was significantly related to teachers sense of efficacy. They also determined that efficacy is situation specific. This was especially noticeable when the researchers used regres sion analysis to examine the relationship between efficacy and mathematics achievement and efficacy and language achievement. When teachers sense of efficacy scores were added to the regression equation, the variance between students prior achievem ent and students current achievement increased by 24% in mathematics and 46% in language. However, in the same study, the researchers found no relationship between students reading achievement and teachers sense of efficacy. These results are contrary to the Rand Corporation study (Armor et al., 1976) which reported that teachers sense of efficacy was strongly correlated to increased student achievement in reading. Ashton and Webb attribute the lack of relationship between reading achievement and efficacy in their study to the design and purpose of the communications skills classes. These classe s were focused on specific language skills rather than on reading skills and thus may not be indicative of the results that might be expected in future studies where th e focus is on reading instruction.
69 Furthermore, they surmise that teachers with a high sense of efficacy tend to maintain high academic standards and create classrooms supportive of those standards. Perhaps more importantly, teachers with low ef ficacy scores tend to sort and stratify their classes according to ability and give preferential treatment to high ability students. Ashton and Webbs research supports the hypothe sis that teacher effi cacy is situation specific. It also raises some interesting questions that hopefully will be addressed in this study. Although efficacy is linked to increased student achievement in math, there seems to be no relationship between efficacy and student achievement in language arts. This study will focus specifically on the efficacy le vel of language arts teachers assigned to low-performing schools and will hopefully yield data to further the discussion concerning teacher efficacy and language arts achievement. Anderson, Greene, and Loewen (1988) studied the relationship among teachers and students thinking skills, sense of effi cacy and student achievement. The study included 24 teachers who taught grades 3 and 6 in Canada. Teachers were selected for the study based on their sense of personal and teaching efficacy scores. Originally, 65 teachers participated in the study by taki ng the Teacher Efficacy Scale (Gibson & Dembo, 1984). The researchers reported some interesting results. They found no correlation between teacher efficacy a nd personal efficacy scores among their participants, supporting Ashton and Webbs 1984 rese arch. They also report that efficacy scores were significantly related to gender with females demonstrating higher efficacy scores than males. Finally, they reported a statistically significant relationship between teacher efficacy and positive student achieveme nt for grade 3 teachers, but they did not find a significant similar relations hip for grade 6 teachers.
70 The researchers conclude that more research needs to be conducted to more clearly define the relationships based on the sm all number of participants in this survey. However, their research does provide poi nts of interest for further study. Teachers perceptions about their ability to influence student behaviors also affects teachers perceptions concerning why some students achieve. Hall, Hines, Bacon, and Koulianos (1992) examined teachers assigne d to grades 1 12 in order to determine if there were differences in teacher efficacy based on student attribut ions (characteristics of students) which teachers believed were linked to academic success. Using random sampling, 262 teachers in a Florida school dist rict were surveyed using the Teacher Attributions for Academic Performance S cale (TAAPS) and two items adapted from Berman and McLaughin (1977). The TAAPS scal e identified specific attributes which teachers assigned to students focusing on inte rnal influences, such as students ability, effort, ability to concentrate, and subject-matte r interest, and external influences, such as task difficulty, teacher influence, peer influe nce, and home influence. The two items from Berman and McLaughlin were designed to measure personal teacher efficacy and teaching efficacy. Results were analyzed usi ng descriptive statistics and two-factor MANOVAs. The results indicated that teachers with high efficacy scores tended to place more significance on their own ability to impact student achievement than teachers with low efficacy scores. High-efficacy teachers took more responsibility for student failure than low-efficacy teachers. Martin, Crossland, and Johnsons (2001) yi elded similar findings. They examined 271 classroom teachers at small and mid-sized Midwestern school dist ricts in order to
71 determine whether or not relationships exis t between teachers perceived levels of empowerment in the workplace, teachers perc eived levels of responsibility for student learning, and levels of student success. Partic ipants were administered the Responsibility for Student Achievement Scale (RSA) and the School Participant Empowerment Scale (SPES). The researchers did not report how they determined student achievement, but they did report student achievement in math and reading. The results of this study indicate that teachers were more willing to accept credit for student success but were less willing to accept responsibility for student failure. In spite of this generalization, the study did re veal that teachers with a higher perceived level of empowerment (which included a se nse of efficacy) tended to express a higher degree of responsibility for student success th an their counterparts. However, the study also reported no significant difference in student achievement between teachers who exhibit high levels of empowerment as comp ared to those who exhibit low levels of empowerment. While there are problems in the design of the study and some lack of information reported in the study, it is inte resting to note the finding that teachers who believe they are empowered tend to take mo re responsibility for student learning than those who feel powerless. Whet her this is a causal relations hip or not is undetermined; however, it does support other research indicating teachers who strongly believe they can influence student achievement take on more responsibility for student achievement and are less likely to blame their students for low achievement. Tournaki and Podells (2005) research supports the findings of Halls research. In a study examining 384 general education middl e school and elementary teachers in the New York metropolitan area, the researchers co ncluded that teachers with a high efficacy
72 score tend to make less negative predictions about student performance than do teachers with a low efficacy score. Each particip ant was randomly assigned to read 1 of 32 versions of a case study developed by the authors and complete a 9-item predictor of student success survey. Participants were also asked to complete a 16-item short version of the Gibson and Dembo Efficacy Scale. Based on their analysis of the data, the researchers indicate that teach ers with high efficacy scores tend to rely less on student characteristics as a predictor of student su ccess than do teachers with low efficacy scores. Ultimately, teachers with high efficacy scores have higher expectations for their students than teachers with low efficacy scores. Moore and Esselman (1994) conducted a multi-year study of nearly 1,500 elementary teachers designed to measure teach ers perceptions of efficacy, power, and school climate and their relationship to st udent achievement. They focused on the constructs of teaching efficacy and personal efficacy. Their research indicated that reading achievement was signifi cantly related to teachers sense of personal efficacy (r=.35; p=.03) but was not significantly rela ted to teaching efficacy (r=.22; p=.17). These results indicate that teachers sense of personal efficacy impacts student achievement. Teachers with a high sense of personal effi cacy produce students who demonstrate higher reading achievement than do teachers with a low sense of personal efficacy. Of equal importance is the link between teacher efficacy and student reading achievement. While previous studies have reported no relations hip between teacher efficacy and student reading achievement, Moore and Esselm an report a significant relationship. Moore and Esselman also found that student academic history had an effect on teacher efficacy. Teachers sense of efficacy re mained lower for teachers assigned to low-
73 performing students and higher for teachers assigned to high achieving students. Moore and Esselman conclude that past student performance has a signi ficant impact on both personal and teaching efficacy as it relates to the school context. They suggest that teachers in low-achieving schools may report lo wer efficacy scales than teachers in highachieving schools. The results of their study also indicated that teaching and personal efficacy remain unchanged over the course of one academic year. They further suggest that while teacher efficacy, both personal a nd teaching, is influenced by prior student performance and does not change throughout th e course of the year, it can be can be mitigated through changes in school atmosphere such as changing the instructional focus and allowing teachers to have a positive role in making curricular decisions. The link between teacher efficacy and stude nt achievement is reciprocal. Teachers who possess a high sense of efficacy behave differently toward their students than do teachers with a low sense of efficacy and tend to produce higher student achievement scores than low efficacy teachers. However, it must also be noted that teachers who are confronted with low-achieving classrooms tend to lose their sense of efficacy. In other words, teachers who strongly believe they can impact student achievement may find their beliefs wavering when expected to raise the achievement of students who have previously been unsuccessful. The implication here is th at teacher efficacy can change dependent upon situation. Thus, if teacher efficacy is a predictor of student achievement, and if teacher efficacy is affected by prior student achievement, then it becomes important to measure teacher efficacy in context w ith specific teaching situations.
74 Efficacy and Certification Few studies exist examining the relationship between teacher efficacy and teacher certification. However, Flores et al. (2004) designed a study to determine whether or not a relationship exists between teacher efficacy and teacher preparation/ certification routes. They surveyed 162 public school teachers in a predominantly minority study district. They classified 103 of the participants as non-traditional or alternatively certified teachers. The remaining 59 were classified as traditional teachers, teachers who were university-prepared and held educational related bachel ors degrees and teaching certificates. The results of the study indicated that traditional teachers had greater sense of self-efficacy than non-traditional teachers. Th ey concluded that while non-traditional teachers, especially beginning non-traditional teachers, may show evidence of a lower sense of efficacy than traditional teachers, this can change over time. These results are in keeping with efficacy research that indicates that personal experience plays a role in teachers sense of efficacy. Efficacy and Number of Years Teaching Pigge and Marso (1993) surveyed approximately 300 outstanding pre-service and in-service teachers to determine whether or not teacher efficacy levels changed with experience. They reported that no significant statistical differences in teacher efficacy levels existed between the teachers they surv eyed. They divided the teachers into four categories: pre-service teach ers, early career teachers (5 19 years), middle career teachers (20 29 years), and late career teach ers (30+ years). Teach ers were selected based on criteria established the Jennings Sc holars Superintendents Advisory Committee.
75 Teachers were surveyed using the Teach er Efficacy Scale (Gibson and Dembo, 1984) which reports both personal teaching efficacy and teaching efficacy. The researchers used a one-way ANOVA to determin e whether or not stat istically significant mean differences existed betw een the teachers responses and the four groups of teachers. Although there was no significant st atistical differences between four groups total scores (p < .05), they did report some differen ces on 5 of the 16 individual items. These differences revealed that pre-service teach ers demonstrated a lower sense of personal teaching efficacy than in-service teachers, but they demonstrated a higher sense of teaching efficacy than in-service teachers. Th ere were no significant differences on any of the items between the th ree in-service teacher groups. Previous studies indicate that efficac y increases with positive experiences (Bandura, 1997, 1977; Denham & Michael, 19 81; Ashton & Webb, 1986). However, this study would indicate otherwise. It is important to note, however, that the study was limited to teachers who were labeled out standing teachers which may have some bearing on the results. Outstanding teacher s are those who have shown success in the classroom. These particular teachers had previously demonstrated success in the classroom or were identified by their sc hools as high performers; thus, their prior experiences would seem to be positive. As the study did not include other teachers, it is difficult to determine whether or not signifi cant changes in efficacy would be reported among all teachers as opposed to limiti ng the study to outstanding teachers. Hoy (2000) conducted a longitudinal study of 53 teachers enrolled in a Masters of Education program. She followed the pre-se rvice teachers through their first year of teaching. The teachers were randomly assigned to two cohorts. Of the 53 teachers who
76 began the study, 29 completed it. The partic ipants completed the Gibson and Dembo short form, Banduras Teacher Self Efficacy Scale, and the OSU Teaching Confidence Scale. Data were collected in three phases: 1) during the first quart er of their teacher preparation, 2) at the end of their participation in the teach er preparation program, and 3) at the end of their first year of teaching. Th eir results were quite interesting. They found that teachers sense of efficacy rose from the first to the second phases. However, their levels of efficacy fell after their first year of teaching. Hoy indicates that the results may be a factor of the nature of the graduate program. Teachers enrolled in the program were provided with ample support during their year-long internship. Once this support was remove d, when they entered the classroom as teachers, their sense of efficacy diminished. Parker and Guarino (2001) studied 196 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate education programs at a university lo cated in the southeastern United States. Of the participants, 60 were pre-service student s enrolled in their final semester, 50 were interns who had just completed their student teaching experience, and 86 were in-service teachers (mean number of years teaching = 5.51, SC = 3.83). Utilizing the Teacher Efficacy Scale Short Form (Hoy & Woolfol k, 1993), they surveyed the teachers to determine the sense of efficacy. The results i ndicate that pre-service teachers and those who had just completed their intern experience scored significantly higher on general teaching efficacy than in-service teachers. A dditionally, they found that personal teaching efficacy remained high for all three groups. Th e researchers attribut e the data indicating personal efficacy does not change over time is a result of the sample selection and may
77 not be generalized to all t eaching s. All of these teachers were pursuing education to further their teaching careers, which ma y have an effect on the outcomes. Theoretically, teachers sense of e fficacy should improve with time and experience. However, as noted in Hoys study, if the experience is not positive, efficacy can decrease. On the other hand, Parker and Guarino (2001) indicate no significant differences in efficacy exist between pre-serv ice and in-service teachers. Some research examining pre-service and beginning teachers sense of efficacy exists, but little exists focusing on the number of years teaching and its relationship to teachers sense of efficacy. While this study will not attempt to measure how efficacy levels change over time, it will attempt to determine whether or not there is a statistically significant difference in level of efficacy between in-ser vice teachers at different stages of their careers. Additionally, this study will be lim ited to teachers in low-performing schools, which differs from some of the previous studies. Efficacy and Low Achieving Students Raudenbush, Rowan, and Cheongs (1992) resear ch suggests that teacher efficacy varies between males and females with ma les showing significantly lower self-efficacy than females (b = -.185, t = -2.75). Additionally, their study indicates that teachers sense of efficacy changes depending on the classroom They collected data from 16 different high school teachers, limiting their sample to academic teachers (math, science, social studies, and English). Teachers reported a high er sense of efficacy when teaching honors classes and a lower sense of efficacy when teaching regular classes. Their sense of efficacy was even lower for vocational and general tracked students. This research reinforces the concept that efficacy is situa tion specific while at the same time raising an
78 interesting element suggesting that efficacy can differ within the same year dependent upon each classroom make-up. Ross, Cousins, and Gadalla (1996) support this concept and report that teachers percep tion of student engagement is a significant predictor of teacher efficacy. Collective Efficacy: A Brief Discussion Collective efficacy is defined as the expect ations of the effectiveness of the staff to which one belongs (Ross, Hogaboam-Gra y, & Gray, 2003). This is different from teacher efficacy which refers to teachers beli efs that they personally can affect student outcomes. Recently, more researchers have begun to examine the relationship of collective efficacy to student achievement (Goddard & Goddard, 2000; Ross, HogaboamGray & Gray, 2003). While this study will not at tempt to ascertain the collective efficacy of the participating schools, it is important in relationship to the types of schools chosen for the study. This study will focus on low-performing schools, those who have received a D or and F based on Floridas school accountability formula. Thus, the concept of collective efficacy may have some b earing on the results of the study. Goddard and Goddard (2000) examined 452 teachers in 47 elementary schools in a large urban school district to determine whet her or not collective e fficacy was related to teacher efficacy. The results of their study indi cate that teacher efficacy varies dependent upon school context. Teachers in schools that report a high collective effica cy score tend to report high teacher efficacy scores. The reverse is equally true. Ross, Hogaboam-Gray, and Gray (2003) report that student academic history affects collective efficacy. In a study of 2170 teachers in 141 elementary schools, they found that prior school achievement was a pred ictor of collective efficacy. However, they
79 also report that historically low-performi ng schools can overcome the tendency towards a low collective sense of efficacy through the creation of a positive school climate and culture. Summary Based on the research, teacher efficacy can be defined as the extent to which teachers believe they have the ability to bring about changes in student achievement independent of the students background, beha viors, or motivation level. Efficacy is situation specific, indicating that a teachers sense of efficacy is dependent upon the specific teaching situation. More importantly, significant rese arch links teacher efficacy to student achievement. Tschannen-Moran and Hoy (2001) have developed the Teacher Efficacy Scale which measures efficacy based on instructi onal strategies, classr oom management, and student engagement. This was developed in resp onse to concerns that other scales yielded inconclusive results. Therefore, the Teacher Efficacy Scale Long Form will be used in this study. Some research indicates th at teachers in low-performing schools may demonstrate a lower sense of efficacy than teachers in hi gh-performing schools. This tendency may, in fact, have an impact on research that indicates that students benefit from low teacher turnover. If teachers who remain in low-perf orming schools exhibit low efficacy which is related to low student perfor mance, perhaps these student s would benefit more from teachers who are new to the school who demonstrate a high se nse of efficacy. Additionally, teacher efficacy has been s hown to be related to student academic achievement. Teachers with a high sense of efficacy have a positive effect on student
80 achievement while teachers with a low sense of efficacy have a negative effect on student achievement. There is also some indication th at collective efficacy is related to prior student achievement. Teachers in high-per forming schools report a higher sense of efficacy than teachers in low-performing schools. This study will not attempt to determine the collective efficacy of the pa rticipating schools; how ever, it will examine the relationship between teacher efficacy and number of years teaching at the participating schools. It is also unclear from curre nt research whether teacher efficacy is related to the number of years teaching. Some studies indica te that efficacy remains stagnant over time, while others suggest that it may change de pending on teacher experiences. It will be interesting to examine whether or not a rela tionship exists between the number of years teaching and teacher efficacy for teachers at low-performing Florida high schools. Florida recommends that all F schools be sta ffed with experienced teachers who have demonstrated past success at raising st udent achievement. However, some studies indicate that beginning teachers have a hi gher sense of efficacy than experienced teachers. The collection of data relating to numbers of years taught and efficacy will provide more knowledge to help further the discussion. Clearly, teacher efficacy is a factor rela ted to student achievement. Identifying specific characteristics of teachers at low-performing schools and their relationship to teacher efficacy will provide data to drive fu rther research to help districts and schools define highly qualified teacher s for low-performing schools.
81 Chapter Summary With the national focus on education and specifically on insuri ng that all students have access to highly qualified teachers by the end of the 2005-2006 school year, the need to clearly define highly qualified teach ers becomes more apparent. The debate over subject area knowledge versus teaching methods and student learning knowledge wages on without a clear, definitive solution in si ght. However, the relati onship between teacher efficacy and student achievement seems to be more clearly defined. The purpose of this study is to widen the definition of highly qualified teachers to include teacher efficacy as a predictor of improved student achievement. In order to accomplish this task, more research must be conducted to determine wh ether a relationship exists between these variables.
82 Chapter Three Method The purpose of this chapter is to explain the research design and methodology. Surveys were sent to 1434 language arts teachers at Florida public high schools designated as D and F based on Floridas A Plus Plan. A total of 615 surveys were returned. Multiple regression and descriptiv e analyses were conducted using the SAS System. Purpose of the Study and Research Questions The purpose of this study was to exam ine the relationship between specific teacher characteristics (level and area of de gree status, certifica tion status, pedagogical training, gender, number of years of teaching experience, number of years teaching at the current school, and courses currently taught ) and teacher efficacy. High school language arts teachers teaching at Floridas D and F public high schools were surveyed to identify whether or not they possess the specif ic characteristics liste d and whether or not a relationship exists between these ch aracteristics and teacher efficacy. Current public policy based on the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001 defines highly qualified teachers as those who hold a minimum of a bachelors degree from a four-year institution, have received fu ll state certification, and have demonstrated competency in the subject area they are te aching. These three easily measurable factors are linked to research indicating that student achievement is linked to teacher subject
83 matter knowledge, certification, and level of degree obtained (Goldhaber & Anthony, 2003). Current educational research on teacher effectiveness indicates that student achievement is affected by a complex combinati on of factors. Some factors that have also been linked to increases in student achievem ent include specific teacher characteristics such as pedagogical training (Darling-H ammond, 2000), number of years teaching and number of years teaching at the same school (Hess, 2001; Langford et al., 2002), type of certification held (Goldhaber & Brewer, 1999) ; specific courses taught (Ingersoll, 1996; Moore & Esselman, 1994), and gender (Ande rson, Greene, & Loewen, 1988). None of these factors are included in the public policy definition of highly qualified teachers, yet research indicates they are also predictors of increased student achievement. Finally, significant research suggests that teacher efficacy is a reliable predictor of student achievement (Ashton, Webb, & D oda, 1983; Behar-Horenstein, Pajares, & George, 1996; Cabello & Burstein, 1995; Davis & Wilson, 1999; Fang, Z., 1996; Muijs & Reynolds, 2002; Olson & Singer, 1994; Pa jares, 1992; Prawat, 1992; Stodolsky & Grossman, 2000; Stuart & T hurlow, 2000; Taylor & Sobel, 2001; Warren, 2002; Zohar, Dengani, & Vaaknin, 2001). Teachers who believe they have the ability to improve student achievement have a positive effect on student achievement. Therefore, it seems prudent to widen the scope of the convers ation beyond the limits set by public policy to include additional variables found in educational research that are also linked to student achievement, including teacher efficacy. A review of the literature suggests that little re search has been conducted examining the characteristics of teachers in relationship to teache r efficacy. Questions
84 such as which teacher characteri stics are predictors of teacher efficacy scores still remain unanswered. Therefore, this study examines the relationship between specific teacher characteristics identified in research that aff ect student achievement to teachers sense of efficacy in student engagement, instructional practices, and classroom management. The study was designed using a teacher su rvey to collect the data. Simple statistics along with multiple regression statisti cs were used to analyze the data based on the following guiding questions: 1. What is the distribution of demographic, educational preparat ion, and professional experience factors (gender, level and type of degree, pedagogical training, type of certification, years of experience, and courses taught) among language arts teachers at low-performing Florida public high schools? 2. Based on the Teachers Sense of Effi cacy Scale (see Appendix F), what is unweighted mean of the items that load on each factor for language arts teachers teaching at low-performing Florida public high schools? a. student engagement, b. instructional strategies, and c. classroom management 3. What is the direction and strength of the relationship between these specific teacher characteristics and teacher efficacy for language arts teachers teaching at low-performing Florida high schools? Population The population for this study included all language arts teachers teaching during the 2005-2006 school year Florida public high schools designated as D and F based
85 on Floridas A Plus Plan. Names and addresses for these teachers were collected from the Florida Department of Education and from the individual school websites. A total of 1434 teachers were identified. Language arts teachers are those teachers defined by the Florida Department of Education who teach English I, II, II, and IV Honors English I, II, III, and IV, Advanced Placement Language and Composition, Advanced Placement Language and Literature, International Baccalaureate Language Arts, re medial intensive language arts; intensive reading; intensive basic skills, readin g I, II, III; and advanced reading. These teachers were chosen because they are required to teach reading to high school students. Recent data suggest that st udents are failing to achieve in reading (Chatterji, 2004) while at the same time ma king gains in math achievement. Both NCLB as well as the Florida Department of Education (DOE) have made the teaching of reading a primary goal. No Child Left Behind and the Florida DOE also direct schools to provide highly-qualified teachers for all st udents in all academic areas. Schools were selected based on the 20042005 school grades they received from the Florida DOE. Schools in Florida are grad ed based on 1) student performance on the FCAT in reading, math, and writing, 2) the pe rcentage of students who demonstrate gains in reading and math from one year to the next, and 3) the percenta ge of students scoring in the lowest 25% of all students who demons trate gains in student achievement in math and reading. Additionally, grades are affected by the percentage of eligible students who take the tests (Grading Florida Public Sc hools 2002-2003). Public high schools identified as receiving a D or an F, based on Fl oridas grading policy, were chosen for the
86 study. For the 2004-2005 school year, 90 public hi gh schools in Florida received grades of D and 7 received F based on the Florida DOE scoring system. These schools were chosen because they are identified as low-performing schools. Research indicates that teachers who are as signed to low-performing schools have lower efficacy scores than teachers assigned to high-performing schools (Raudenbush, Rowan, & Cheong, 1992). While it is impossible to cont rol for all variables in the study, limiting the study to teachers assigned to low-perf orming schools will control for teacher perceptions of their students past performance. Study Design Utilizing survey data, an attempt was made to survey all language arts teachers at Floridas D and F public high schools. Of the 1434 surveys sent out, 615 were returned (43%). Survey Instrument Teachers were asked to complete the English/Language Arts/Reading Teacher Questionnaire (see Appendix E) which includes closed response questions relating to the specific teacher characteristics identified in this study. The characte ristics were chosen based on research indicating these characterist ics are correlated to effective teachers. A pilot test was conducted prior to beginning the final study. The purpose of the pilot was to provide feedback on the questionnaire. This questionnaire was created by the researcher with input from four professors at the University of South Florida. Data from the questionnaires were analyzed using descriptive analysis. Additionally, the teachers were asked to co mplete the Teachers Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES Long) (see Appendix F). Analysis of the means and standard deviations
87 were conducted based on the research by Tschannen-Moran and Hoy (2001), the creators of the scale. According to their research, teachers sense of efficacy can be reported through three distinct factors: student engagement, instructio nal strategies, and classroom management. Items loading on each factor are as follows: Efficacy in Student Engagement: Items 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 14, 22 Efficacy in Instructional Strategies: Items 7, 10, 11, 17, 18, 20, 23, 24 Efficacy in Classroom Management: Items 3, 5, 8, 13, 15, 16, 19, 21 According to Tschannen-Moran and Hoys research (2001), teachers demonstrating high teacher efficacy for student engagement and instructional strategies are those with mean scores higher than 8.4 on a 9.0 Likert scale. Teachers demonstrating medium teacher efficacy for student engageme nt and instructional strategies are those with scores ranging from 6.2 to 8.4, and teacher s demonstrating low teacher efficacy for student engagement and instru ctional strategies are those with scores less than 6.2. For classroom management, high efficacy scores are those higher than 7.8, medium scores are those ranging from 5.6 to 7.8, and low efficacy scores are those below 5.6. The results from both the teacher questi onnaire and the teacher efficacy scale were analyzed using multiple regression analysis to determine whether or not a relationship exists between the level of teacher efficacy for each of the three factors and the specific teacher characteristics defined in this paper. Survey Research Surveys are often used by researchers to collect information because of the low cost involved and the ease of distribution. However, several potential errors exist when conducting survey research: sampling error, non-coverage error, non -response error, and
88 measurement error (Cui, 2003). Steps were taken in the research design to limit the possibility of these errors. Sampling Error : Every attempt was made to contact all language arts teachers at all low-performing schools in the state of Florida. However, some schools and/or teachers chose not to respond to the survey which li mited the sample size, and, thus, may have contributed some sampling error. Of the 100 original schools id entified in the study, 84 part icipated in the actual study (84%). Table 3 reports the comparison of reading achievement data, free and reduced lunch percentages, and minority rates for pa rticipating and non-pa rticipating schools. Forty-five percent of the participating sc hools report a minority popul ation of more than 50% compared to 63% of the non-partic ipating schools. The percentage of nonparticipating schools reporting 50% or more of their students qualifying for free and reduced lunch is 50% compared to 33% of th e participating schools. The percentage of non-participating schools reporti ng more than 50% of the lo west 25% of their students are making gains in reading is 12% compared to 24% of the participating schools. Five of the non-participating sc hools (31%) are located in the same district. It appears that th e non-participating schools have higher minority populations, more students on free and reduced lunch, and fewer of their lowest 25% of all students are making learning gains in reading. Howeve r, both the non-participating and the participating schools report that 50% of their students are not meeting the state standards for reading achievement.
89 Table 3: Participating and No n-Participating School Data % of Schools % of Students Students Meeting High Standards in Reading Lowest 25% of students making learning gains in reading Free and Reduced Lunch Minority Rate NP P NP P NP P NP P 0-25% 56.00% 32.00% 0.00% 1.20% 0.00% 4.80% 31.00% 19.05% 2650% 44.00% 68.00% 88.00% 75.00% 50.00% 63.10% 6.00% 35.71% 5175% 0.00% 0.00% 12.00% 23.80% 50.00% 22.60% 19.00% 19.05% 76100% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 9.50% 44.00% 26.19% Total 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% NP = Non-participating Schools P=Participating School Of the 1434 surveys sent out, 615 were returned (43%). Non-coverage Error : Non-coverage errors are ofte n the result of excluding some portion of the population. This study incorporat ed all teachers of language arts at all Florida public high schools scoring a D or F under Floridas acc ountability program. The study was not intended to collect data from other teachers or from other schools. Every attempt was made to provide access to the study for all identified teachers. For those schools that agreed to serve as a study site, the surveys were mailed to the school for data collection. Some teachers may have been absent during the data collection process and, therefore, not included in the study. Additionally, the majority of surveys were mailed to individual teachers whose names were obtained from the Florida Department of Education through th e Office of Education Information and Accounting Services and from individual school websites. While it is hoped that these lists incorporat ed all language arts teachers at D and F schools in the state of Florida, it is acknowledged that the lists may, in fact, be inaccurate. Some
90 teachers may have transferred to other sites or changed course assignments. Teachers assigned after the web-page was created may not have been listed on the site. Non-Response Error: In spite of the precautions taken to ensure that all members of the population had an equal opportu nity to respond to the su rvey, it is re cognized that some chose not to respond or may not have had the opportun ity to respond. Measurement Error: Measurement error occurs when respondents do not answer the survey appropriately. They may not respond to some of the questions or they may provide inadequate answers to open-ended questions. These errors also occur when respondents respond in the wrong order. Precau tions have been taken to address these errors. The surveys were printed on one piece of 11 x 14 paper which was be printed front and back and folded in a book format. Additionally, the survey does not provide for open ended responses. Finally, the survey was limited to three pages to eliminate time constraints and was printed on colored pape r with the follow-up surveys printed on a different color paper. According to Cui (2003) and Aiken (1988), these modifications to the survey delivery and presentation often result in higher response rates. Data Collection Survey Distribution The purpose of the study was to collect da ta from all language arts and reading teachers at Floridas D and F public high schools who were teaching during the 2005-2006 school year. While the Florida Depa rtment of Educati on listed 1,272 language arts teachers who were teaching at Floridas D and F schools, it is recognized that some teachers teaching language arts classes are not certified as language arts teachers and are, in fact, primarily assigned to anothe r content area and, therefore, were not listed
91 on the Florida DOE list of language arts teachers. Additionally, during the data collection process, it was noted that not all schools identified as D and F high schools reported accurate data to the Florida DOE. Some schools and districts were missing from the Florida DOE list. Therefore, all attempts were made to identify language arts teachers by finding the schools web page s and creating a more up-to-d ate list from these sites by comparing the websites to the Florida DOE list. The first two attempts to collect data focused on contacting principals and language arts department chairs who would be able to distribute the surveys to all teachers at their schools teaching language arts classes. Unfortunately, of the 100 high schools identified as rece iving grades of D or F, onl y 18 agreed to participate as a school in the study (18%), four schools dec lined (4%), and the remaining schools did not respond after two attempts (78%). The four schools that refused to participate in the study are not included in the study. Three districts asked that the researcher obtain approval from th e district office prior to conducting research in their schools. All three dist ricts gave approval; however, once district approval was given, the principals were still the fina l source of approval prior to conducting the st udy at the school site. For schools that did not res pond to the first two attempts to collect data, letters were sent to indivi dual teachers who were listed with the Florida Department of Education as language arts teachers at Flor idas D and F schools and/or listed as language arts and reading teachers from th e individual school websites. Eight schools were missing from the Florida DOE list a nd did not have websites with teacher information. Those schools were not included in the study.
92 Surveys were sent to 1434 teachers. A total of 615 teachers returned completed surveys. Time Line September 12, 2005 : Letters were sent to all prin cipals at Floridas D and F public high schools seeking permi ssion to visit their schools to conduct the research or to mail the surveys to their schools (see Appendix A). Principals were asked to return a stamped, addressed post card indicating whethe r or not they woul d allow the study to take place at their school (see Appendix B). Fo llow-up letters and return post cards were sent to schools not responding within th ree weeks of the original mailing. Some principals requested that permi ssion be granted from district level personnel. In this case, the specified district personnel were cont acted in order to ob tain permission. October 15, 2005: A pilot study was conducted by choosing two schools not on the list of D or F public high school s. Each school was contacted to obtain permission and to determine how many survey s were required. The researcher took the surveys to each language arts department a nd facilitated the comple tion and collection of the surveys. The data were reviewed to determine if adjustme nts needed to be made prior to sending out the remaining documents. Afte r consulting with my major professor, it was decided that no changes to the survey were necessary. January 30, 2006 through May 30, 2006: Surveys were sent using the following methods: Schools that agreed to participate in the survey were contacted by the researcher to determine how many surveys they need ed. Each school was mailed a packet containing a cover letter (see Appendix C), a post card (see Appendix G), and a
93 stamped, addressed envelope to allow for the return of the surveys. They also received enough of the survey instrume nts for all of their teachers. Follow-up letters were sent to non-responding schools two weeks after the surveys have been mailed to the schools. For schools that did not respond to the original request to participate, teacher lists for each school were created by combining the information from Floridas DOE Information and Accounting Services a nd from individual school websites. Letters were sent to those teachers requesting their partic ipation in the study. Each teacher received a letter aski ng him/her to participate in the study (see Appendix D), a copy of the survey instrument, and a stamped, addressed envelope in which to return the survey. Informed consen t was documented by the return of the completed survey. Follow-up letters were sent to non-respondents three weeks after the first mailing. June 15, 2006: Analysis of data began. Table 4 Research Time Line Date Activity Time Allowed 9-12-05 Mail letters to principals requesting permission to conduct research at their school sites. 3 weeks 10-4-05 Mail follow-up letters to principals requesting permission to conduct research at their schools sites. 2 weeks 10-15-05 Pilot Study 2 schools sites chosen from schools not included in the study. 2 weeks 11-15-05 Obtain teacher names and addresses at schools not responding to the survey. 2 months 1-30-06 Study Letters and survey instruments sent to all schools sites that have given permission to conduct research at their school sites and to individual teachers at non-participating schools. Follow up letters sent in rotations of 3 weeks after original letters sent. 4 months 6-15-06 Data Analysis 2 months
94 Incentives Recognizing that monetary incentives often improve the return rate of surveys (Hopkins & Gullickson, 1992), five incentives $20.00 gift certificates to Barnes and Noble were offered to schools returning the completed surveys. Five schools were selected to receive the gift certificates. Data Analysis The data from this study were analyz ed using the SAS System (SAS version 9.1.3). The data collected from the E nglish/Language Arts/Reading Teacher Questionnaire were analyzed us ing descriptive statistics. The data collected from the TSES Long were calculated by computing the unweighted means of the items that load on each factor, yielding i ndividual scores for each factor: student engageme nt, instructional strategies, and classroom management. Based on Tschannen-Moran and Hoys data ( 2001), items for each of the three factors load as follows: Efficacy in Student Engagement Items 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 14, 22 Efficacy in Instructional Pract ices Items 7, 10, 11, 17, 18, 20, 23, 24 Efficacy in Classroom Management Items 3, 5, 8, 13, 15, 16, 19, 21. The sample mean and standard deviation scores for each factor are reported. The percentage of teachers who report means falling within the high, medium, and low ranges for each of the factors was also computed and reported. The results from the questionnaire and the TSES Long were correlated using multiple regression analysis to determine wh ether or not relationships exist between teacher characteristics and efficacy scores.
95 Multiple regression analysis is widely used in educational research to determine correlations between multiple predictor variable s and one criterion variable (Gall, Gall, & Borg, 2003). In this case, the criterion variables are student engagement, instructional strategies, and classroom mana gement scores, and the pred ictor variables are teacher characteristics. Some of the predictor variab les were grouped to compensate for possible problems with collinearity which may occur when there is very little difference in correlation between the predictor variables. The following predictor variables were grouped accordingly: Bachelors Degrees: Teachers with Bachelors Degrees in English/Language Arts/Reading Teachers with Bachelors Degrees in Other Content Areas. Masters Degrees: Teachers with Masters Degrees Teachers without Masters Degrees Advanced Degrees: Teachers with Advanced Degrees Teachers without Advanced Degrees Years Teaching: 0-5 years 6-10 years 11-20 years 21+ years Years Teaching at this school: 0-5 years 6-10 years 11-20 years 21+ years
96 Years Teaching English/Language Arts/Reading: 0-5 years 6-10 years 11-20 years 21+ years Certification: Certification in English/Language Arts/Reading Temporary Certification in English/Language Arts/Reading Certification in another Content Area Reading Endorsement: Teacher has a reading endorsement Teacher is seeking a reading endorsement No reading endorsement Certification Route: Traditional Non-Traditional Courses: Regular classes (English I, II, III, & IV) Honors classes (English I Honors, II Honors, III Honors, and IV Honors Advanced classes (AP Language & Composition and AP Language and Literature, and International Baccala ureate Language Arts Classes) Remedial Classes (Remedial Intensive Language Arts and Intensive Basic Skills) Reading Classes (Reading I, II, III, Intensive Reading, and Advanced Reading) Dummy variables were created for each of the categorical variab les listed above and used for the multiple regression statistics. Chapter Summary This study utilized a rese archer-developed survey to collect demographic, educational preparation, and professional expe rience data of language arts and reading teachers at Floridas D and F public hi gh schools. Additionally, teachers responded to the Teachers Sense of Efficacy Scale to determine their sense of efficacy in three
97 areas: student engagement, inst ructional practices, and clas sroom management. The data were analyzed using descriptive and multiple regression analysis. Teachers were selected from the Florida Department of Education data based and from the individual school websites. A total of 1434 surveys were se nt to language arts and reading teachers at Floridas D and F public high schools. Six hundred and fifteen surveys were returned a nd used in the data analysis. The results of the data are reported in Chapter Four.
98 Chapter Four Results This study examined a possible rela tionship between specific teacher characteristics and teacher efficacy. Surveys were sent to language arts and reading teachers at Floridas public high schools that had been designated as low-performing high schools. Specifically, 1434 surveys were sent to language arts and r eading teachers at 89 schools receiving grades of D and F based on Floridas school accountability program. Six hundred and fifteen survey s were returned from 84 schools. The study was guided by the following research questions: 1. What is the distribution of demographic, educational preparat ion, and professional experience factors (gender, level and type of degree, pedagogical training, type of certification, years of experience, and courses taught) among language arts teachers at low-performing Florida public high schools? 2. Based on the Teachers Sense of Efficacy Scale (see Appendix F), what is the unweighted mean of the items that load on each factor for language arts teachers teaching at low-performing Florida public high schools? a. student engagement, b. instructional strategies, and c. classroom management
99 3. What is the direction and strength of the relationship between these specific teacher characteristics and teacher efficacy for language arts teachers teaching at low-performing Florida high schools? Descriptive Statistics Although 615 surveys were returned for th e study, in some instances, respondents failed or chose not to complete each question on the survey. In this case, the SAS System did not include the non-response as part of the statistical analysis. The data contained in the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) School Public Accountability Reports 2005-2006 (SPARS) for Florida were compared to the data collected from the study in order to measure the percentage of teachers at Floridas D and F public high schools in relationship to all teachers in Flor idas public schools. Most of the data included in the SPARS relates to student demographics and assessments; however, the SPARS does report data relate d to the highest degree level obtained by teachers within the state, each district, a nd each school. Additionally, it compares the percentage of highly qualified teachers in the state, each district, a nd each school as well as the percentage of teachers teaching in-field in Florida, each district, and each school. It does not report national data on these same characteristics. Participating Schools Eighty-four schools participated in the st udy. Seven of the schools were labeled as F schools (8%), and 77 of the schools we re D schools (92%). Within this sample, 100% of them reported 50% or fewer of their students were meeting the state requirements for high standards in reading w ith 32% reporting fewer than 25% of their students meeting the state requirements for hi gh standards in reading. Additionally, 24%
100 of the schools reported that 51% or more of the lowest 25% of their students were making learning gains in reading, while 76% reported fewer than 50% of their lowest 25% of their students were making learning gains in reading. Thirty-two percent of schools reported 51% or more of their students we re on free and reduced lunch. Sixty-three percent of the schools reported between 25% and 50% of their students were on free and reduced lunch. Forty-five percent of the schoo ls reported 51% or more of their students were minority students. An additional 36% reported a minority rate between 26% and 50% (see Table 5 ). Table 5: Participating Schools Reading Achievemen t, Free and Reduced Lunch Rates, and Minority Rates % of Schools % of Students Students Meeting High Standards in Reading Lowest 25% of students making learning gains in reading Free and Reduced Lunch Minority Rate 0-25% 32.00% 1.20% 4.80% 19.05% 26-50% 68.00% 75.00% 63.10% 35.71% 51-75% 0.00% 23.80% 22.60% 19.05% 76-100% 0.00% 0.00% 9.50% 26.19% Total 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% Teacher Degrees Data was collected to examine the type of degree as well as the level of degree obtained by the teachers participating in the study. The results follow. Bachelors Degrees Forty-one percent of the respondents re ported holding a bachelors degree in English with 22% holding a bachelors degr ee in English education. Only 0.33% of the respondents reported holding a degree in readi ng, and 0.65% reported ho lding a degree in reading education. The remaining 35% reporte d holding a bachelors degree in another content area (See Table 6 ).
101 Table 6 Type of Bachelor's Degrees Obtained Bachelors Degree % Sample BA or BS in English 250 40.65% BA or BS in English Education 137 22.28% BA or BS in Reading 2 0.33% BA or BS in Reading Education 4 0.65% BA or BS in another content area 215 34.96% Non-response 7 1.14% Total No. Teachers with Bachelors Degrees 608 98.86% TOTAL 615 100.00% The data were recoded for the multiple re gression statistics to reflect those teachers who reported holding any type of bachelors degree in English, language arts, or reading compared to those teachers who re ported holding a bachelors degree in another content area. Of the 615 teachers returni ng surveys, 393 (64%) reported holding a bachelors degree in English, language arts, or reading, and 215 (35%) reported holding a bachelors degree in another content area. Masters Degrees Six percent of the responde nts reported holding a maste rs degree in English and 13% reported holding a masters degree in Eng lish education (this in cludes those teachers holding an M.A.T in English education). The percentage of responding teachers who reported holding a masters degree in read ing education is 6%. The remaining responding teachers reported holding an M.A. or M.Ed. in other content areas (22%). The total number of teachers who reported hol ding a masters degree is 285 (46%) (See Table 7 ).
102 Table 7 Type of Master's Degrees Obtained Masters Degree % Sample MA in English 37 6.02% M.Ed. or M.A. in English Education 71 11.54% M.Ed. or MA. Reading Education 37 6.02% M.A.T in English Education 6 0.98% M. A. in another content area 89 14.47% M.Ed. In another content area 45 7.31% Non-response 330 53.66% Total No. Teachers with Masters Degrees 285 46.35% TOTAL 615 100.00% The data were recoded for the multiple re gression statistics to reflect those teachers who reported holding any type of mast ers degree in English, language arts, or reading compared to those teachers who re ported holding a masters degree in another content area. Of the total number of t eachers returning surveys, 151 (25%) reported holding a masters degree in English, langua ge arts, or reading and 134 (22%) reported holding a masters degree in another content area. Advanced Degrees Two percent of the respondents report ed holding an Educational Specialist Degree, 2% reported holding an Educational Doctorate Degree, fewer than 1% reported holding a PhD in Curriculum and Instructi on, and 2% reported holding a doctorate in another content area (See Table 8 ). Table 8 Types of Advanced Degrees Obtained Advanced Degree % Sample Ed.S 12 1.95% Ed.D. 13 2.11% Ph.D. Curriculum and Instruction 2 0.33% Doctorate in another area 12 1.95% Non-response 576 93.66% Total No. Teachers with Advanced Degrees 39 6.34% TOTAL 615 100.00%
103 The total number of teache rs who reported holding a sp ecialist or doctorate degree is 39 (6%). Comparison of Teacher Degree Levels to SPARS Teacher degree level data were compared with the data reported in the 2005-2006 SPARS for Florida. The percentage of re sponding teachers who report their highest obtained degree is a bachelors degree 53% compared to the state percentage of 65% for all teachers. The percentage of responding teachers who report their highest obtained degree is a masters degrees is 41% compared to the state percentage of 32% for all teachers, and the percentage of responding teachers who report their highest obtained degree is specialist or doctorate degree is 6.5 % compared to the state percentage of 3% for all teachers (see Table 9 ). Table 9 Comparison of Teacher Degree Levels to 2005-2006 SPARS Survey Data 2005-2006 SPARS Bachelor 52.9% 65.2% Master 40.6% 32.1% Advanced 6.5% 2.7% Years Teaching Data was collected to examine the nu mber of years respondents had been teaching, the number of years teaching language arts and/or reading, and the number of years teaching at the current school. The results follow: The results indicate 15% of the respondi ng teachers have been teaching for 0-2 years, 17% for 3-5 years, 16% for 6-10 y ears, 20% for 11-20 years, 20% for 21-30 years and 12% for more than 30 years (See Table 10 ).
104 Table 10 Years Teaching Years Teaching % Sample 0-2 years 90 14.63% 3-5 years 104 16.91% 6-10 years 102 16.59% 11-20 years 121 19.67% 21-30 years 122 19.84% 30+ years 73 11.87% Non-response 3 .49% Total 615 100.00% Years at the Current School The results indicate 36% of the respondi ng teachers were new to the school (0-2 years), 26% had been at the school for 3-5 years, 13% for 6-10 years, 12% for 11-20 years, 9% for 21-30 years and 3% for more than 30 years (see Table 11 ). Table 11 Years at Current School Years at School % Sample 0-2 years 224 36.42% 3-5 years 162 26.34% 6-10 years 82 13.33% 11-20 years 73 11.87% 21-30 years 52 8.46% 30+ years 20 3.25% Non-response 2 .33% Total 615 100.00% The majority of responding teachers (63%) have been teaching at the school for five years or less. Of the 63% of the respondi ng teachers who have been at the school site for 5 years or less, 15% have been teaching for 0-2 years, and 17% have been teaching for 3-5 years. These results demonstrate that 32% of the responding te achers at Floridas D and F public high schools have taught for 5 years or fewer at the school site and have 5 years or fewer years teaching experience (see Table 12 and Figure 1 ).
Figure 1 Comparison Years Teaching and Years at Current School 0.00% 5.00% 10.00% 15.00% 0-2 YrsSch 3-5 YrsSch 6-10 YrsSch 11-20 YrsSch 21-30 YrsSch 30+ YrsSch 0-2 YrsTch 3-5 YrsTch 6-10 YrsTch 11-20 YrsTch 20-30 YrsTch 30+ YrsTch Table 12 Comparison Years Teaching and Years at Current School Years at Current School Years Teaching 0-2 3-5 6-10 11-20 21-30 30+ 0-2 14.63% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 3-5 6.02% 10.89% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 6-10 6.02% 5.04% 5.53% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 11-20 4.39% 6.18% 3.25% 5.85% 0.00% 0.00% 20-30 3.58% 3.09% 2.93% 4.07% 6.02% 0.00% 30+ 1.79% 0.98% 1.46% 1.79% 2.44% 3.09% Years Teaching Language Arts The results indicate 20% of the sample ar e inexperienced language arts teachers (0-2 years), 19% have been teaching language arts for 3-5 years, 17% for 6-10 years, 18% for 11-20 years, 16% for 21-30 years and 9% for more than 30 years (See Table 13 ). Table 13 Years Teaching Language Arts Years Teaching English/LA/Reading % Sample 0-2 124 20.16% 3-5 115 18.70% 6-10 106 17.23% 11-20 111 18.05% 21-30 99 16.10% 30+ 58 9.43% Non-response 2 0.33% TOTAL 615 100% 105 The data for number of years teaching, number of years teaching at the current school, and number of years teaching language arts were collapsed and recoded into 4
categories for the multiple regression stat istics. The data indicate 39% of responding teachers who have been teaching at the school for 5 or fewer years have been teaching language arts and/or reading cla sses for five or fewer years (see Figure 2 ). Figure 2 Comparison of Years Teaching, Years Teaching at Current Scho ol, and Years Teaching Language Arts 106 0.00% 10.00% 20.00% 30.00% 40.00% 50.00% 60.00% 70.00% 0-5 YRS6-10 YRS11-20 YRS21+ YRS Years Teaching Years Teaching at School Years Teaching LAR Table 14 Comparison of Years Teaching, Years Teaching at Current Scho ol, and Years Teaching Language Arts Number of Years Teaching School Language Arts Years Teaching % % % 0-5 194 31.54% 386 62.76% 239 38.86% 6-10 102 16.59% 82 13.33% 106 17.23% 11-20 121 19.67% 73 11.87% 111 18.05% 21+ 195 31.71% 72 11.71% 157 25.53% Non-Response 3 .49% 2 .33% 2 .33% TOTAL 615 100% 615 100% 615 100% Certification Data was collected to determine the type of certification held by the respondents as well as whether or not the respondents obtained certification th rough traditional or non-traditional routes. The results follow.
107 The results indicate 68% of the responde nts report holding a Florida Professional Certificate in Language Arts, 6% report holding an Florida Professional Certificate in Reading K-12, 12% report holding a temporary certificate in Language Arts, less than 1% report holding a temporary cer tificate in Reading K-12, 9% re port holding a professional certificate in another area, 4% report holding a temporary certificate in another area, and less than 1% report not hold ing any certificate. The data were collapsed and recoded for the multiple regression statistics to reflect those teachers who are certified in la nguage arts and/or reading, those teachers who hold a temporary certificate in language ar ts and/or reading, and teachers who hold a professional or temporary certi ficate in another content area. The results indicate 434 (74%) report holding a Florida Professional Certificate in English, language arts, or reading, 76 (12%) report holding a Florida Te mporary Certificate in English, language arts, or reading, and 79 (13%) report hol ding a Florida Professional or Temporary Certificate in another content area (See Table 15 ). The SPARS indicates that 93% of all teachers in all grades in Florida public schools are teaching in-field. Florida defines out-of-field teachers as those who are assigned teaching duties in a cla ss dealing with subject matter that is outside the field in which the teacher is certified, outside the fi eld that was the applicants minor field of study, or outside the field in which the appli cant has demonstrated sufficient subject area expertise, as determined by district school boa rd policy in the subject area to be taught ( No Child Left Behind (NCLB) School Public Accountability Reports 2005-2006 ). The study indicates 86% of respondents report hold ing professional or temporary teaching certificates in reading or language arts (See Table 15 ).
108 Table 15 Type of Certification Type of Certification Held % Sample Florida Professional Certificate Language Arts 6-12 417 67.80% Florida Professional Certificate Reading K-12 37 6.02% Florida Temporary Certificate Language Arts 6-12 72 11.71% Florida Temporary Certificate in Reading K-12 4 0.65% Sub Total 530 86.18% Florida Professional Certificate in another area 52 8.45% Florida Temporary Certificate in another area 27 4.39% Not certified 3 .49% Non-Response 3 .49% Total 615 100% The results indicate 436 (71 %) of responde nts reported earning their certification through traditional procedures and 176 (29%) re ported earning their certification through non-traditional procedures. K-12 Reading Endorsement Data was collected to determine the pe rcentage of respondents who have earned the K-12 Reading Endorsement as well as the percentage of respondents who were seeking the endorsement and the percentage of teachers who were teaching reading but not seeking either endorsement or certification. The results follow. Of the 229 teachers who reported t eaching reading, 24% are K-12 reading endorsed and 48% are seeking endorsement. The percentage of teachers who reported teaching reading classes but who are not certif ied, are not endorsed, and are not seeking endorsement is 21% (see Table 16 ).
109 Table 16 Reading Endorsement Status for Reading Teachers Reading Endorsement Status # Teachers % Teachers Not Certified but Endorsed 34 14.85% Certified & Endorsed 20 8.73% Total Endorsed 54 23.58% Certified & Seeking Endorsement 3 1.31% Certified but Not Endorsed 12 5.24% Total Certified 15 6.55% Temp. Certified in K-12 Reading & Seeking Endorsement 2 0.88% Not Certified but seeking Endorsement 108 47.16% Total Seeking Endorsement 110 48.04% Not Endorsed & Not Seeking 47 20.52% Non-Response 3 1.31% TOTAL 229 100% Courses Taught and Highly Qualified Teachers NCLB defines highly qualified teachers are those that hold at least a bachelors degree from a four-year institution, have receiv ed full state certific ation, and demonstrate competence in their subject area, demonstrated through a state subject-area test. In order to determine the percentage of highly qualified teachers t eaching specific courses, the data were sorted into three categories: teachers teaching English courses, teachers teaching only reading courses, and teachers t eaching reading in combination with other courses. Additionally, the data were further delineated to determine the percentage of teachers who have a degree in the content area as well as the percentage of teachers who have an educational degree in the content ar ea and the percentage of teachers who are certified in the content area. The percentage of teachers who meet th e definition of highly qualified teachers as defined by NCLB was th en calculated and compared to the SPARS report. The results are reported in Table 17
110 Table 17 Comparison of HQT for Florida and Sample Population 2005-2006 SPARS Sample Highest Degree Level Obtained Bachelor 65.20% 52.90% Master 32.10% 40.60% Advanced 2.70% 6.50% Teachers Teaching English (481) English Degree (194) 40.33% English Education Degree (178) 37.01% Other (108) 22.45% No Response (1) 0.21% Temp or Prof. Certificate LA (438) 91.06% NCLB HQT* (441) 89.60% 91.68% Teachers Teaching Reading Only (126) Reading/Reading Education Degree (28) 22.22% Temp or Prof. Certificate Reading (34) 26.98% K-12 Reading Endorsement (36) 28.57% NCLB HQT** (50) 89.60% 39.68% Teachers Teaching Reading (229 ) Reading/Reading Education Degree (35) 15.28% Temp or Prof. Certificate Reading (37) 16.16% K-12 Reading Endorsement (54) 23.58% NCLB HQT** (71) 89.60% 31.00% *Bachelors and Temporary or Professional Certificate in Language Arts 6-12 **Bachelors and Temporary or Professional Certificate in K-12 Reading and/or Endorsed in K-12 Reading HQT = Highly Qualified Teacher The number of teachers who reported teach ing English courses and who reported holding at least a bachelors degree, fu ll state certificati on, and who reported demonstrating competence in their subject ar ea is 441 (92%). Of these same teachers, only 37.01% reported holding a bachelors and/or masters degree in English education. The SPARS report indicates the percentage of all teachers at all Florida public schools who are highly qualified is 90%. The designation of highly qualified teacher does not address whether or not the teacher holds a degree in education.
111 The percentage of responding teachers w ho are only teaching reading courses in who reported holding at least a bachelors de gree, are fully certified, and demonstrate competence in their subject area is 30 (31%). The number of all teachers teaching reading who report holding at least a bachelo rs degree, who are fully certified in K-12 reading, and who demonstrate competence in their subject area is 31 (40%). Many teachers (46%) reported teaching more than one course during the year while 25% reported teaching only English cour ses, 21% reported teaching only reading courses, 2% reported teachi ng only honors English courses, and 1% reported teaching only remedial English Courses. The total percentage of teachers who reported teaching at least one reading course is 78% (see Table 18 ). Table 18 Courses Currently Taught Courses Taught # Teachers % Sample Reading Only 126 20.49% English Only 154 25.04% Remedial English Only 8 1.30% Advanced Courses Only 15 2.44% Honors Courses Only 24 3.90% Mixed Courses 280 45.53% Non-response 8 1.30% TOTAL 615 100.00% Figure 3 and Figure 4 represent the number of y ears teaching compared to the courses taught. The majority of teachers re ported teaching English classes, followed closely by English honors classes. However, there is little difference within each course pertaining to the number of years teaching.
Years Teaching and Courses Taught Figure 3 Number of Years Teaching by Courses Taught 0 20 40 60 80 EnglishEnglish HReadingAdvancedRemedial 0-2 3-5 6-10 11-20 21-30 30+ Figure 4 Courses Taught by Number of Years Teaching 0.00% 2.00% 4.00% 6.00% 8.00% 10.00% 12.00% 14.00% 0-23-56-1011-2021-3030+ English English H Reading Advanced Remedial Gender Data was collected to determine the percen tage of female and male language arts and reading teachers. Of the 608 teachers who responded to this question, 476 (78.29%) were female and 132 (21.71%) were male. Efficacy Means In order to compare the sample data to Tschannen-Moran and Hoys data (2001), the efficacy means for student engagement instructional practices, and classroom management were computed. Effect sizes were also computed using the following 112
113 formula to examine the differences between the sample means and Tschannen-Moran and Hoys means: _ X TSES X Sample Effect Size = _________________ SD The sample mean for student engagement is 6.4 (see Table 19 ). TschannenMoran and Hoy (2001) report a mean for student engagement of 7.3 in their research with a standard deviation of 1.1. The effect size for student engagement is large (-.81). The sample mean for instructi onal practices is 7.4. The mean reported by Tschannen-Moran and Hoy is 7.3. The effect size for instruc tional practices is sm all (.09). Finally, the sample mean for classroom management is 7.4. The mean reported by Tschannen-Moran and Hoy is 6.7 with a standard deviation of 1.1. The effect size is medium (.64). Table 19 Comparison of Efficacy Means Student Engagement Instructional Strategies Classroom Management Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD TSES 7.3 1.1 7.3 1.1 6.7 1.1 Sample 6.4 1.2 7.4 0.9 7.4 1 Figure 5 and Table 20 examine the frequency distribution for teachers efficacy scores on all three factors. While the mean scor es of all teachers in the sample on all three factors are within the average range for each factor as reported by Tschannen-Moran and Hoy, the frequency table indicates that 43% of teach ers in the sample report low efficacy means for student engagement while 52% re port average student engagement efficacy means with only 5% reporting high efficacy m eans. Over three-fourths of the teachers report average efficacy means for instructiona l strategies (79%) with an additional 13%
reporting high efficacy means and only 6% reporting low efficacy means. The percentage of teachers reporting high efficacy means for classroom management is 41% with an additional 53% reporting average means and only 6% reporting low efficacy means. Figure 5 Efficacy Sc ores Frequency Chart 0.00% 10.00% 20.00% 30.00% 40.00% 50.00% 60.00% 70.00% 80.00% 0-6.16.2-8.48.5-9.0 Student Engagement Instructional Strategies Classroom Management Table 20 Percent of Teachers with High, Medium, and Low Efficacy Means Efficacy Means Student Engagement Instructional Strategies Classroom Management 0.0 6.1 6.2 8.4 8.5 9.0 0.0 6.1 6.2 8.4 8.5 9.0 0.0 5.5 5.6 7.8 7.9 9.0 43.27% 52.19% 4.55% 8.44% 78.54% 13.01% 6.02% 53.35% 40.64% Multiple Regression Correlation Matrix Examining the correlation between variable s is useful in determining relationship. Preferably, all of the predicto r (independent) variables should be significantly correlated with the dependent variables and uncorrelate d with each other (Stevens, 1999). Using the SAS System, a correlation matr ix was generated examining the relationship between the dependent variables and the independent variables (see Table 21 ). The data indicate the 114
115 majority of predictor variables are not significantly correlated to the dependent variables (p > .05). Table 21 Correlation Matrix: Depe ndent and Independent Variables Variables Student Engagement Instructional Strategies Classroom Management Student Engagement *1.00 *0.67 *0.59 Instructional Strategies *0.67 *1.00 *0.61 Classroom Management *0.59 *0.61 *1.00 Bachelor's Degree 0.06 0.02 0.06 Master's Degree -0.04 -0.08 -0.05 Advanced Degrees 0.00 0.02 0.00 Teaching 0-5 Year s 0.00 -0.07 0.00 Teaching 6-10 Y ears 0.01 0.06 0.05 Teaching 11-20 y ears 0.03 0.04 0.09 Teaching 21+ year s -0.10 0.05 0.01 Teaching at Current School 0-5 years 0.02 0.00 0.06 Teaching at Current School 6-10 years -0 .04 0.02 0.02 Teaching at Current School 11-20 years 0. 05 *0.09 *0.09 Teaching at Current School 21+ years *-0. 08 0.02 0.03 Teaching Language Arts 05 years 0.00 -0.05 0.01 Teaching Language Arts 6-10 years 0. 02 0.06 0.04 Teaching Language Arts 11 -20 years 0. 04 0.07 *0.11 Teaching Language Arts 21+ years 0. 05 0.06 0.04 Professional Certificate Language Arts/Reading -0.04 0.00 -0.02 Temporary Certificate Language Arts/Reading -0.02 -0.03 -0.02 Certified in Another Content Area 0.00 0.00 0.04 No Certification 0.02 -0.01 0.01 K-12 Reading Endorsement 0.00 0.02 -0.01 Pursuing K-12 Reading Endorsement 0.02 -0.02 0.01 Traditional Certification Route 0.03 *0.11 *0.11 Teaching English Course s -0.07 *-0. 09 -0.07 Teaching Honors English Co urses -0.03 -0.01 -0.05 Teaching Advanced Englis h Courses 0.02 0.05 0.04 Teaching Remedial Englis h Courses 0.06 0.06 0.02 Teaching Reading Cour ses 0.01 -0 .01 0.01 Gender 0.08 0.09 0.02 *p < .05
116 While the majority of predictor variab les are not correlated to the dependent variables, a few are correlated. The follo wing predictor variable s are significantly correlated to the dependent va riables (p < .05): Teaching at the current school for 21 or more years has a negative co rrelation (-0.08) to student e ngagement efficacy. Teaching at the current school for 11-20 years (0.09), and obtaining certification through traditional means (0.11) have significant positive correl ations to instructional strategies efficacy while teaching English courses (-0.09) has a negative correlation to instructional strategies efficacy. Finall y, teaching at the current schools for 11-20 years (0.09), teaching language arts fir 11-20 years (0.11) obtaining certification through traditional means (0.11) have significant positive corr elations to classroom management efficacy. Multicollinearity can be a problem in multiple regression statistics because it limits the size of R, increases the difficulty in determining the importance of specific predictor variables, and increa ses the variances of the regr ession coefficients (Stevens, 1999). The correlation matrix ( Table 23 ) reports the correlatio n between all of the variables. Many of the predictor variables are significantly correlated to each other (p < .05). There are 28 possible predictor vari ables. Possessing a bachelors degree and teaching language arts for 1-5 years are significantly correlated to 17 of the 28 independent variables. Teaching at the current school for 11-20 years, teaching advanced language arts classes, and certification rout e are correlated to 15. All variables are correlated to 1 or more of the predictor variables (see Table 22 ).
117 Table 22 Independent Vari ables Correlation Numbers Independent Variable # Correlated Variables Independent Variable # Correlated Variables Bachelor's Degree 17 Teaching LA for 20+ years 13 Master's Degree 4 Certified in LA/R 9 Advanced Degrees 3 Temporary Certification in LA/R 1 Teaching 1-5 years 13 Other Area Certification 7 Teaching 6-10 years 9 No certification 1 Teaching 11-20 years 9 K12 Reading Endorsed 8 Teaching 21+ years 13 Pursuing K-12 Reading Endorse 12 Teaching at school 1-5 year s 6 Certification Route 15 Teaching at school for 6-10 years 7 Teaching Language Arts Courses 8 Teaching at school for 11-20 years 15 Teaching L/A Honors Courses 14 Teaching at school for 21+ years 13 Teaching Advanced L/A Courses 15 Teaching LA for 1-5 years 17 T eaching Remedial L/A Courses 5 Teaching LA for 6-10 years 11 Teaching Reading 13 Teaching LA for 11-20 years 10 Gender 1
Table 23 Correlation Matrix Independent Variables Bach Mstr ADV Beg Exp Exp1 Exp2 Sch Sch1 Sch2 Bachelors Degree 1.00 *0.08 -0.06 *-0.09 0.01 -0.01 *0.12 -0.03 *0.09 *0.13 Master's Degree *0.08 1.00 *-0.14 0.04 -0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 -0.04 -0.05 Advanced Degrees -0.06 *-0.14 1.00 *0.09 -0.02 -0.02 -0.01 -0.02 -0.02 -0.01 Teaching 0-5 Years *-0.09 0.04 *0.09 1.00 *-0.20 *-0.22 *-0.17 *0.39 *-0.18 *-0.17 Teaching 6-10 Years 0.01 -0.01 -0.02 *-0.20 1.00 *-0.22 *-0.16 0.04 *0.26 *-0.16 Teaching 11-20 years -0.01 0.01 -0.02 *-0.22 *-0.22 1.00 *-0.18 0.06 0.05 *0.27 Teaching 21+ years 0.12 0.01 -0.01 -0.17 -0.16 -0.18 1.00 -0.15 -0.01 0.04 Teaching at Current School 0-5 years -0.03 0.01 -0.02 *0.39 0.04 0.06 *-0.15 1.00 *-0.23 *-0.22 Teaching at Current School 6-10 years *0.09 -0.04 -0.02 *-0.18 *0.26 0.05 -0.01 *-0.23 1.00 *-0.14 Teaching at Current School 11-20 yrs *0.13 -0.05 -0.01 *-0.17 *-0.16 *0.27 0.04 *-0.22 *-0.14 1.00 Teaching at Current School 21+ years *0.10 -0.02 -0.01 *-0.08 *-0.08 *-0.09 *0.50 *-0.11 -0.07 -0.07 Teaching Language Arts 0-5 years *-0.10 -0.04 -0.02 *0.77 *-0.09 *-0.14 *-0.15 *0.43 *-0.11 *-0.12 Teaching Language Arts 6-10 years 0.03 -0.02 -0.02 *-0.21 *0.80 *-0.11 *-0.14 0.01 *0.26 *-0.14 Teaching Language Arts 11-20 years 0.06 0.02 -0.02 *-0.21 *-0.21 *0.74 *-0.13 0.07 0.04 *0.31 Teaching Language Arts 21+ years *0.18 0.04 -0.02 *-0.20 *-0.20 *-0.19 -0.08 *-0.13 0.04 *0.10 Professional Certificate LA/R *-0.16 -0.01 -0.01 0.01 -0.08 0.06 *0.10 0.03 -0.04 -0.05 Temporary Certificate LA/R -0.07 0.02 0.00 -0.04 0.07 -0.04 -0.03 0.00 -0.03 -0.03 Certified in Another Content Area *-0.39 -0.03 -0.01 -0.04 0.07 0.06 -0.08 -0.02 -0.07 -0.04 No Certification 0.00 0.02 0.00 -0.03 -0.03 0.02 -0.03 -0.04 -0.03 -0.03 K-12 Reading Endorsement *-0.09 -0.07 -0.01 0.04 0.00 0.04 0.02 0.02 -0.03 *-0.09 Pursuing K-12 Reading Endorsement *-0.20 -0.02 -0.02 0.09 0.00 -0.07 *-0.17 0.01 *-0.08 -0.07 Traditional Certification Route *0.26 0.03 -0.06 *-0.16 -0.04 *0.15 *0.19 0.00 0.06 *0.14 Teaching English Courses *0.23 -0.05 0.03 0.05 0.01 -0.03 -0.02 0.04 0.07 0.03 Teaching Honors E nglish Courses *0.24 0.05 -0.03 -0.07 -0.02 -0.01 *0.08 -0.03 0.07 *0.15 Teaching Advanced English Courses *0.21 *0.09 -0.02 -0.07 -0.04 0.03 *0.13 -0.06 0.03 *0.21 Teaching Remedial English Courses *-0.10 -0.06 *0.16 0.01 0.07 -0.02 -0.05 0.03 0.00 -0.03 Teaching Reading Courses *-0.24 *-0.09 -0.03 0.07 0.00 0.01 -0.06 0.06 *-0.09 *-0.13 Gender 0.01 -0.02 0.02 0.02 -0.03 0.00 0.04 -0.04 -0.02 0.03 *p < .05 118
Table 23 Continued Sch3 TchLA ExpLA ExpLA1 Exp LA2 LAR Temp LAR Certoth NoCert Bachelor's Degree *0.10 *-0.10 0.03 0.06 *0.18 *-0.16 -0.07 *-0.39 0.00 Master's Degree -0.02 -0.04 -0.02 0.02 0.04 -0.01 0.02 -0.03 0.02 Advanced Degrees -0.01 -0.02 -0.02 -0.02 -0.02 -0.01 0.00 -0.01 0.00 Teaching 0-5 Years *-0.08 *0.77 *-0.21 *-0.21 *-0.20 0.01 -0.04 -0.04 -0.03 Teaching 6-10 Years *-0.08 *-0.09 *0.80 *-0.21 *-0.20 -0.08 0.07 0.07 -0.03 Teaching 11-20 years *-0.09 *-0.14 *-0.11 *0.74 *-0.19 0.06 -0.04 0.06 0.02 Teaching 21+ years *0.50 *-0.15 *-0.14 *-0.13 -0.08 *0.10 -0.03 -0.08 -0.03 Teaching at Current School 0-5 years *-0.11 *0.43 0.01 0.07 *-0.13 0.03 0.00 -0.02 -0.04 Teaching at Current School 6-10 years -0.07 *-0.11 *0.26 0.04 0.04 -0.04 -0.03 -0.07 -0.03 Teaching at Current School 11-20 years -0.07 *-0.12 *-0.14 *0.31 *0.10 -0.05 -0.03 -0.04 -0.03 Teaching at Current School 21+ years 1.00 *-0.09 *-0.08 *-0.09 -0.08 -0.01 -0.01 -0.06 -0.01 Teaching Language Arts 0-5 years *-0.09 1.00 *-0.22 *-0.23 *-0.21 0.00 -0.04 -0.03 0.03 Teaching Language Arts 6-10 years *-0.08 *-0.22 1.00 *-0.21 *-0.20 -0.02 0.07 0.00 -0.03 Teaching Language Arts 11-20 years *-0.09 *-0.23 *-0.21 1.00 *-0.21 0.04 -0.04 -0.04 -0.03 119 Teaching Language Arts 21+ years -0.08 *-0.21 *-0.20 *-0.21 1.00 0.00 -0.04 -0.05 -0.03 Professional Certificate LA/R -0.01 0.00 -0.02 0.04 0.00 1.00 -0.02 -0.08 -0.02 Temporary Certificate LA/R -0.01 -0.04 0.07 -0.04 -0.04 -0.02 1.00 -0.02 -0.01 Certified in Another Content Area -0.06 -0.03 0.00 -0.04 -0.05 -0.08 -0.02 1.00 -0.02 1.00 No Certification -0.01 0.03 -0.03 -0.03 -0.03 -0.02 -0.01 -0.02 K-12 Reading Endorsement -0.06 0.08 0.00 0.02 -0.05 *0.36 0.04 0.03 -0.02 Pursuing K-12 Reading Endorsement *-0.09 *0.12 -0.05 *-0.08 -0.07 *-0.11 0.04 *0.20 0.01 Traditional Certification Route *0.12 *-0.19 0.00 *0.19 *0.20 *0.07 *-0.13 0.07 *-0.11 Teaching English Courses 0.02 -0.02 0.04 0.00 0.00 *-0.33 0.02 *-0.21 0.00 Teaching Honors E nglish Courses 0.06 *-0.09 -0.01 0.04 *0.17 *-0.14 0.03 *-0.18 -0.05 Teaching Advanced English Courses *0.17 *-0.08 -0.02 0.07 *0.08 *-0.10 -0.03 *-0.12 -0.03 Teaching Remedial English Courses -0.01 0.05 *0.08 -0.07 -0.06 -0.06 0.06 *0.12 0.08 Teaching Reading Courses *-0.08 *0.11 -0.02 -0.02 *-0.08 *0.30 0.02 *0.18 -0.05 Gender -0.03 -0.01 -0.01 0.00 0.04 0.07 0.00 0.04 -0.02 *p < .05
120 Table 23 continued e 23 K12 K12 K12pur K12pur rt rt Eng Eng EngH EngH AdvCrs AdvCrs Remd Remd Read Read G G continued Bachelor's Degree *-0.09 -0.20 *0.26 *0.23 *0.24 *0.21 *-0.10 *-0.24 0.01 Master's Degree -0.07 -0.02 0.03 -0.05 0.05 *0.09 -0.06 -0.09 -0.02 Advanced Degrees -0.01 -0.02 -0.06 0.03 -0.03 -0.02 *0.16 -0.03 0.02 Teaching 0-5 Years 0.04 *0.09 *-0.16 0.05 -0.07 -0.07 0.01 0.07 0.02 Teaching 6-10 Years 0.00 0.00 -0.04 0.01 -0.02 -0.04 0.07 0.00 -0.03 Teaching 11-20 years 0.04 -0.07 *0.15 -0.03 -0.01 0.03 -0.02 0.01 0.00 Teaching 21+ years 0.02 *-0.17 *0.19 -0.02 *0.08 *0.13 -0.05 -0.06 0.04 Teaching at Current School 0-5 years 0.02 0.01 0.00 0.04 -0.03 -0.06 0.03 0.06 -0.04 Teaching at Current School 6-10 years -0.03 -0.08 0.06 0.07 0.07 0.03 0.00 *-0.09 -0.02 Teaching at Current School 11-20 yrs *-0.09 -0.07 *0.14 0.03 *0.15 *0.21 -0.03 *-0.13 0.03 Teaching at Current School 21+ years -0.06 *-0.09 *0.12 0.02 0.06 *0.17 -0.01 *-0.08 -0.03 Teaching Language Arts 0-5 years 0.08 *0.12 *-0.19 -0.02 *-0.09 *-0.08 0.05 *0.11 -0.01 Teaching Language Arts 6-10 years 0.00 -0.05 0.00 0.04 -0.01 -0.02 *0.08 -0.02 -0.01 Teaching Language Arts 11-20 years 0.02 *-0.08 *0.19 0.00 0.04 0.07 -0.07 -0.02 0.00 Teaching Language Arts 21+ years -0.05 -0.07 *0.20 0.00 *0.17 *0.08 -0.06 *-0.08 0.04 Professional Certificate LA/R *0.36 *-0.11 0.07 *-0.33 *-0.14 *-0.10 -0.06 *0.30 0.07 Temporary Certificate LA/R 0.04 0.04 *-0.13 0.02 0.03 -0.03 0.06 0.02 0.00 Certified in Another Content Area 0.03 *0.20 0.07 *-0.21 *-0.18 *-0.12 *0.12 *0.18 0.04 No Certification -0.02 0.01 *-0.11 0.00 -0.05 -0.03 0.08 -0.05 -0.02 K-12 Reading Endorsement 1.00 *-0.21 0.06 *-0.17 *-0.15 *-0.12 0.05 *0.33 0.05 Pursuing K-12 Reading Endorsement *-0.21 1.00 *-0.18 *-0.12 *-0.22 *-0.16 0.03 *0.37 0.05 Traditional Certification Route 0.06 *-0.18 1.00 -0.05 *0.12 *0.13 -0.06 -0.01 *0.08 Teaching English Courses *-0.17 *-0.12 -0.05 1.00 *0.11 *-0.11 -0.02 *-0.40 0.00 Teaching Honors E nglish Courses *-0.15 *-0.22 *0.12 *0.11 1.00 *0.14 *-0.12 *-0.30 0.03 Teaching Advanced English Courses *-0.12 *-0.16 0. 03 *0.13 -0 .06 *-0.11 -0 .02 *0.14 *0.12 1.00 0. 08 -0.08 1. 00 *-0.27 -0 .04 -0.06 -0 .03 Teaching Remedial English Courses 0.05 *0.33 *-Teaching Reading Courses *0.37 -0.01 *-0.40 *-0.30 *-0.27 -0.04 1.00 0.05 Gender 0.05 0.05 *0.08 0.00 0.03 -0.06 -0.03 0.05 1.00 *p < .05
Regression Models Multiple regression analysis was computed for each of the dependent variables: student engagement, instructional strategies and classroom management. The purpose of the analysis was to determine whether or not any of the indepe ndent variables were predictors of the dependent variables. The fo llowing tables reflect the results for each of the three dependent variables: Student Engagement, Instructional Strategies, and Classroom Management. Student Engagement Efficacy: The multiple regression analysis for stude nt engagement reports an R-square of 0.06 (p < .05). This suggests that the independent variable s are not predictors of the dependent variable (see Table 24 ). Table 24 Student Engagement Efficacy Regression Model Sum of Mean Source DF Squares Square F Value Pr > F Model 28 46.63 1.67 1.19 0.23 Error 555 775.27 1.40 Corrected Total 583 821.90 The parameter estimates indicate holding an advanced degree (b = 0.74, t= 2.06) and teaching English courses (b= -0.31, t= 2.48) are significant predictors (p< .05) of student engagement efficacy when contro lling for the remaining variables (see Table 25 ). Teachers who hold an advanced degree (specialis t or doctorate) are more likely to report a mean student engagement efficacy score near ly 3/4 of a point higher than those without advanced degrees after contro lling for all of the other pr edictors. However, teachers teaching English courses are more likely to report a mean student engagement efficacy
score nearly 1/3 of a point lower than teach e rs teaching other courses after controlling for all of the other predictors. Table 25 Student Engagement Efficacy Parameter Estimates Parameter Standard Standardized Variable DF Estimate Error t Value Pr > |t| Estimate Intercept 1 6.47864 0.27530 23.53 <.0001 0.00000 Bachelor's Degree 1 0.19302 0.12677 1.52 0.1284 0.07748 Master's Degree 1 -0.23232 0.19416 -1.20 0.2320 -0.05115 Advanced Degree 1 0.73855 0. 35930 2.06 0.0 403 0.08832 Teaching 0-5 Years 1 0.10468 0.24137 0.43 0. 6647 0.03363 Teaching 6-10 Years 1 0.03953 0.26311 0.15 0. 8806 0.01260 Teaching 11-20 Years 1 0.07113 0.21095 0.34 0. 7361 0.02392 Teaching 21+ Years 1 -0.25410 0. 22448 -1.13 0.2581 -0.06645 At School 0-5 Years 1 0.00775 0.14596 0.05 0.9577 0.00288 At School 6-10 Years 1 -0.23320 0.17190 -1.36 0.1755 -0.06687 At School 11-20 Years 1 0.04895 0.18995 0.26 0.7968 0.01323 At School 21+ Years 1 -0.24967 0.33445 -0.75 0.4557 -0.03827 Certified LA/R 1 -0.41784 0.24791 -1.69 0.0925 -0.08471 Temporary Cert. LA/R 1 -0.14418 0.60767 -0.24 0.8125 -0.01002 Other Certification 1 -0.15143 0.21122 -0.72 0.4737 -0.03539 No Certification 1 0.07193 0.70903 0.10 0.9192 0.00433 Teaching LA 0-5 Years 1 -0.04287 0.23797 -0.18 0. 8571 -0.01427 Teaching LA 6-10 Years 1 0.13444 0.26324 0.51 0. 6098 0.04319 Teaching LA 11-20 Years 1 0.068 35 0.23494 0.29 0. 7712 0.02213 Teaching LA 21+ Years 1 0.190 98 0.18875 1.01 0. 3121 0.05813 K-12 Reading Endorsed 1 0.06086 0.18941 0.32 0.7481 0.01603 Pursuing K-12 Rdg. End. 1 0.04068 0.13584 0.30 0.7647 0.01544 Traditional Certification 1 0.09196 0.12855 0.72 0.4747 0.03521 Teaching English Courses 1 -0.31461 0.12675 -2.48 0.0134 -0.12643 Teaching English H Crs. 1 -0.11769 0.11783 -1.00 0. 3183 -0.04581 Teaching Adv. English Crs. 1 0.0 1311 0.16708 0.08 0.9375 0.00380 Teaching Remdial Eng. Crs. 1 0.2 3176 0.21506 1.08 0.2817 0.04637 Teaching Reading Crs. 1 -0.04417 0.14034 -0.31 0. 7531 -0.01803 Gender 1 0.18710 0.11984 1.56 0.1190 0.06561
Instructional Strategies Efficacy The multiple regression analysis for instructional strategies reports an R-square of 0.08 (p< .05). This suggests that the independent variables are predictors of the dependent variable (see Table 26 ). Table 26 Instructional Strategies Efficacy Regression Model Sum of Mean Source DF Squares Square F Value Pr > F Model 28 36.46 1.30 1.62 0.02 Error 555 445.67 0.80 Corrected Total 583 482.13 The parameter estimates indicate holding a masters degree (b = -0.30, t = -2.01), teaching English courses (b= -0.26, t= -2.69), and teaching language arts for 21 or more years (b= 0.38, t= 2.63) are sign ificant predictors (p< .05) of instructional strategies efficacy when controlling for the remaining variables (see Table 27 ). Teachers who hold a m asters are more likely to report an inst ructional strategy mean efficacy score nearly 1/3 of a point lower than teachers who do not hold a masters degree. Teachers teaching English courses are more likely to report an instructional strategy me an efficacy score of approximately 1/4 of a point lower than t eachers teaching other courses, and teachers who have been teaching language arts for 21 or more years report an instructional strategy mean efficacy scores of nearly 2/5 higher than language arts teacher with fewer years of experience.
Table 27 Instructional Strategies Efficacy Parameter Estimates Parameter Standard Standardized Variable DF Estimate Error t Value Pr > |t| Estimate Intercept 1 7.47518 0.20873 35.81 <.0001 0.00000 Bachelor's Degree 1 -0.03832 0.09611 -0.40 0.6903 -0.02008 Master's Degree 1 -0.29640 0.14721 -2.01 0.0445 -0.08520 Advanced Degree 1 0.51960 0.27242 1.91 0.0570 0.08113 Teaching 0-5 Years 1 0.1 0685 0.18300 0.58 0.5595 0.04482 Teaching 6-10 Years 1 0.2 0483 0.19949 1.03 0.3050 0.08526 Teaching 11-20 Years 1 0.0 9490 0.15994 0.59 0.5532 0.04167 Teaching 21+ Years 1 0.3 2509 0.17020 1.91 0.0566 0.11099 At School 0-5 Years 1 0.05716 0.11067 0.52 0.6057 0.02772 At School 6-10 Years 1 -0.04433 0.13033 -0.34 0.7339 -0.01660 At School 11-20 Years 1 0.15341 0.14402 1.07 0.2872 0.05416 At School 21+ Years 1 0.06149 0.25358 0.24 0.8085 0.01231 Certified LA/R 1 -0.27186 0.18796 -1.45 0.1486 -0.07196 Temporary Cert. LA/R 1 -0.25581 0.46074 -0.56 0.5790 -0.02322 Other Certification 1 -0.15595 0.16015 -0.97 0.3306 -0.04759 No Certification 1 -0.08922 0.53758 -0.17 0.8683 -0.00702 Teaching LA 0-5 Years 1 0. 03533 0.18043 0.20 0.8448 0.01536 Teaching LA 6-10 Years 1 0. 23688 0.19959 1.19 0.2358 0.09936 Teaching LA 11-20 Years 1 0. 23699 0.17813 1.33 0.1839 0.10016 Teaching LA 21+ Years 1 0.37589 0.14311 2.63 0.0089 0.14937 K-12 Reading Endorsed 1 0.08213 0.14361 0.57 0.5676 0.02823 Pursuing K-12 Rdg. End. 1 0.04453 0.10300 0.43 0.6657 0.02206 Traditional Certification 1 0.12535 0.09747 1.29 0.1989 0.06267 Teaching English Courses 1 -0.25831 0.09610 -2.69 0.0074 -0.13554 Teaching English H Crs. 1 -0. 09379 0.08934 -1.05 0.2943 -0.04766 Teaching Adv. English Crs. 1 -0 .05069 0.12668 -0.40 0.6892 -0.01918 Teaching Remdial Eng. Crs. 1 0.21786 0.163 06 1.34 0.1821 0.05691 Teaching Reading Crs. 1 -0. 10084 0.10641 -0.95 0.3437 -0.05373 Gender 1 0.14367 0.09086 1.58 0.1144 0.06578 Classroom Management Efficacy The multiple regression analysis for classroom management reports an R-square of 0.09 (p< .05). This suggests that the inde pendent variables are predictors of the dependent variable (see Table 28 ).
Table 28 Classroom Management Efficacy Regression Model Sum of Mean Source DF Squares Square F Value Pr > F Model 28 56.58 2.02 1.89 0.004 Error 555 594.29 1.07 Corrected Total 583 650.87 The parameter estimates indicate teaching for 21 or more years (b= 0.41, t= 2.06), teachers teaching langu age arts/reading fo r 11-20 years (b= 0.46, t= 2.23), teaching language arts/reading for 21+ years (b= 0.53, t= 3.20), teaching English courses (b = 0.27, t= -2.45), and teaching honors English courses (b= -0.24, t= -2.34) are significant predictors (p< .05) of classroom management efficacy when controlling for the remaining variables (see Table 29 ). Teachers who have been teaching for 21 or more years are more likely to rep ort mean classroom management efficacy scores 2/5 of a point higher than teachers who have been teaching for fewer years. Teachers who have been teaching language arts and/or reading for 11-20 years are more like to report a mean classroom management efficacy score nearly 1/2 of a point higher than teachers who have been teaching for fewer or more years, while teachers teaching language arts and/or reading for 21 or more years are more likely to report a mean classroom management efficacy score over 1/2 of a point higher than teachers who ha ve been teaching for less than 21 years. However, teachers who are teaching regular or honors English courses are more like to report mean classroom efficacy scores approximately 1/4 of a point lower than teachers teaching other courses.
Table 29 Classroom Management Efficacy Parameter Estimates Parameter Standard Standardized Variable DF Estimate Error t Valu e Pr > |t| Estimate Intercept 1 7.26979 0.24104 30.16 <.0001 0.00000 Bachelor's Degree 1 0.11155 0.11099 1.01 0.3153 0.05032 Master's Degree 1 -0.23817 0.16999 -1.40 0.1618 -0.05892 Advanced Degree 1 0.36629 0.31458 1.16 0.2448 0.04922 Teaching 0-5 Years 1 0.38941 0.21133 1.84 0. 0659 0.14059 Teaching 6-10 Years 1 0.38637 0.23036 1.68 0. 0941 0.13842 Teaching 11-20 Years 1 0.26653 0.18469 1.44 0. 1496 0.10073 Teaching 21+ Years 1 0.40536 0.19654 2.06 0.0396 0.11912 At School 0-5 Years 1 0.08279 0.12779 0.65 0.5173 0.03456 At School 6-10 Years 1 -0.05153 0.15050 -0.34 0.7322 -0.01660 At School 11-20 Years 1 0.13049 0.16631 0.78 0.4330 0.03965 At School 21+ Years 1 0.26037 0.29283 0.89 0.3743 0.04485 Certified LA/R 1 -0.36221 0.21705 -1.67 0.0957 -0.08252 Temporary Cert. LA/R 1 0.13570 0.53204 0.26 0.7988 0.01060 Other Certification 1 0.04620 0.18493 0.25 0.8028 0.01213 No Certification 1 0.40511 0.62078 0.65 0.5143 0.02743 Teaching LA 0-5 Years 1 0.108 26 0.20835 0.52 0. 6035 0.04051 Teaching LA 6-10 Years 1 0.23102 0.23048 1.00 0. 3166 0.08340 Teaching LA 11-20 Years 1 0.45886 0.20570 2.23 0.0261 0.16691 Teaching LA 21+ Years 1 0.52926 0.16526 3.20 0.0014 0.18101 K-12 Reading Endorsed 1 -0.06357 0.16584 -0.38 0.7016 -0.01881 Pursuing K-12 Rdg. End. 1 0.04779 0.11894 0.40 0.6880 0.02038 Traditional Certification 1 0.12619 0.11255 1.12 0.2627 0.05430 Teaching English Courses 1 -0.27147 0.11097 -2.45 0.0147 -0.12260 Teaching English H Crs. 1 -0.24181 0.10317 -2.34 0.0194 -0.10577 Teaching Adv. English Crs. 1 -0.101 78 0.14629 -0.70 0.4869 -0.03315 Teaching Remdial Eng. Crs. 1 0.0 5077 0.18830 0.27 0.7875 0.01141 Teaching Reading Crs. 1 -0.03784 0.12288 -0.31 0. 7582 -0.01735 Gender 1 0.02250 0.10492 0.21 0.8303 0.00887 Partial Regressions The number of years teaching, number of years teaching language arts/reading, num ber of years at the current school, and courses taught ar e independent variables which were each divided into smaller categories for purposes of data collection. These categories are reported in the multiple regression statistics. In order to determine whether or not the each of the whole ca tegorical variable is a predic tor of teacher efficacy, partial
regression models were create d to exam ine the predictability of the number of years teaching, number of years teaching at the cu rrent school, and number of years teaching language arts, and courses taught on each of the dependent variables (see Table 30 ). The results ind icate the number of years teachi ng, teaching language arts, and years teaching at the current school are significant predictors of both instru ctional practices efficacy and classroom management efficacy. Additionally, the courses taught is a significant predictor of classroom management efficacy. None of these variables are significant predictors of student engagement efficacy (p< .05). Table 30 Partial Regression F Values Removed Variables R-Square F Value Student Engagement Teaching Experience 0.05 1.32 Teaching LA Experience 0.05 1.34 Years at School 0.05 1.29 Courses Taught 0.04 1.04 Instructional Practices Teaching Experience 0.07 1.76* Teaching LA Experience 0.06 1.56* Years at School 0.07 1.81* Courses Taught 0.06 1.50 Classroom Management Teaching Experience 0.08 1.93* Teaching LA Experience 0.06 1.68* Years at School 0.08 2.09* Courses Taught 0.07 1.77* *p < .05 Generalizability of Results In order to determine the generalizability of the results the data were randomly split using the RANUINI and Proc Rank functions in SAS. The purpose was to determine the ability of the model to predict the sa me results on an independent data sample (Stevens, 1999, p. 271). Multiple regression anal ysis was then computed for each of the
dependent variables: student engagement, instructional strategies, and classroom management. The F-Value for the sample population for student engagement is 1.04 with an Rsquare of .0473 (p = .4109). The split sam ple re ports an F-Value of 1.04 with an R-square of 0.0935 (p = 0.4106). Both sets of data indi cate there is no si gnificant relationship between the predictor variables and the dependent variable. The F-Value for the sample population for in structional strategies is 1.58 with an R-square of 0.0703 (p = .03). The sp lit data sa mple reports an F-Value of 1.18 with an Rsquare of 0.1043 (p = 0.2518). The sample data indicate a significant predictor relationship between the indepe ndent variables and the depe ndent variable; however, the split data indicate no significant relationship exists between the independent variables and the dependent variables. The F-Value for the sample population for classroom management is 1.81 with an R-square of 0.0794 (p < .01). The split data sa mple reports an F-Value of 1.21 with an Rsquare of 0.1066 (p = .2235). The sample data indicate a significant predictor relationship between the independent variab les and the dependent variab le; however, the split data indicate no significant relationship exists between the independent variables and the dependent variables. Chapter Summary The data from this survey were analyzed using the SAS System Both descriptive and m ultiple regression analysis data were reported.
The descriptive analyses indicate a higher percentage of teach ers at Floridas D and F public high schools hold masters and advanced degree than the average for all teachers in Florida. The majority of the sample (74%) holds a Florida professional teaching certificate in languag e arts/and/or reading. However, th e percentage of teachers who teach reading classes and who also are either certified in K-12 reading or are endorsed in K-12 reading is only 31%. The majority of teachers in th e sample earned tradit ional certifications (71%) The percentage of teachers teaching mo re than o ne course is 45%. The percentage of teachers teaching English courses only is 25%, and the percentage of teachers teaching reading courses only is 21%. The mean efficacy scores indicate that wh ile all three efficacy m eans fall within the mean averages reported by Tschannen-Mora n and Hoy (2001), there are variations in the means. The sample mean for student engagement efficacy is lower than the mean reported by Tschannen-Moran and Hoy (effect size = -.81), while the sample mean for instructional strategies is similar to Tschannen-Moran and Hoy (effect size = .09). The sample mean for classroom management is higher than the mean reported by TschannenMoran and Hoy (effect size = .64). A correlation matrix was run using the SAS System The data indicate significant correlations (p < .05) between all three dependent variables as well as significant correlations between the dependent variables and the independent variables resulting in multicollinearity.
The multiple regression analysis indicates no predictive relationship exists between the dependent v ariable student e ngagement efficacy and the 28 independent variables; however, predictive relationships ex ist between instructional strategies efficacy and classroom management efficacy and the independent variables. The data indicate that while multicollinearity is a problem, some of the independent variables are significant predictors This is true f or teaching regular English courses for all three dependent variables. Much can be learned from the data colle cted in this study. F urther discussion of the implication and suggestions for further research are contained in Chapter Five.
Chapter Five Discussion Introduction Helping students achieve their full pote ntial and insuring they have the most qualif ied teachers to reach this goal are the und erlying currents driving research into what determines teacher quality. The initiatives set forth in No Child Left Behind (NCLB) attempt to address the need for improving te acher quality by defining highly qualified teachers as those who hold at least a bachelo rs degree from a four-year institution, have received full state certifica tion, and demonstrate competence in their subject area. NCLB bases its definition of highly qua lified teachers on research indicating a relationship exists between student achievement and teacher degree status and content area knowledge (Goldhaber & Anthony, 2003; Goldhaber & Brewer, 1996). On the other hand, considerable research also suggests that identifying highly qualified teachers is an exceeding ly co mplex task extending beyond the limitations defined in NCLB (Anderson, Greene, & Loewen, 1988; Berry, Hoke, & Hirsch, 2004; Darling-Hammond, 2000; Goldhaber & Ant hony, 2003; Hess, 2001; Ingersoll, 1996; Lankford et al., 2002; Moore & Esselm an, 1994; Raudenbush, Rowan, & Cheong, 1992). Student achievement is linked in educati onal research to a myriad of teacher characteristics including teaching experience, gender, pedagogical training, length of service at the specific school site, type of certificati on held, and courses taught.
In addition to specific teacher characte ristics linked to student achievem ent, considerable research also i ndicates teachers sense of e fficacy is related to student achievement (Behar-Horenstein, Pajares, & George, 1996; Cabello & Burstein, 1995; Davis & Wilson, 1999; Fang, Z., 1996; Muijs & Reynolds, 2002; Olson & Singer, 1994; Pajares, 1992; Prawat, 1992; Stodolsky & Grossman, 2000; Stuart & Thurlow, 2000; Taylor & Sobel, 2001; Warren, 2002; Zohar, Dengani, & Vaaknin, 2001). Efficacy is defined as the extent to which teachers beli eve they have the ability to bring about changes in student achievement independent of the students bac kground, behaviors, or motivation level. Teachers with a strong sens e of efficacy have a strong relationship to higher student achievement than teac hers with a low sense of efficacy. Most importantly, research indicates teach er effectiven ess has a greater impact on student achievement than other factors such as socioeconomic status gender, race, etc. (Sanders & Rivers, 1996). Determining which teacher characteristics are predictors of improved student achievement, recruiting teachers who demonstrate those predictive characteristics, and retaining them in the schools requiring the most help should be the priority of every district and school administrator. This study was designed to identify specifi c characteristics of language arts and reading teachers at F loridas D and F public high schools to determine who is teaching the students (identified by Florida s accountability system) requiring the most academic help. The specific characteristics identified in this study are degree status, number of years teaching, number of years teaching at the current school, number of years teaching language arts/reading, certification status, reading endorsement status, certification route, language arts courses taught, and gender.
Additionally, the study was designed to dete rm ine whether or not a relationship exists between these specific characteris tics and teacher efficacy. There is limited research examining the relationship between t eacher characteristics and teacher efficacy. While we have research indicating that teach ers with a high sense of efficacy are related to improved student achievement, few studies examine the factors that may predict high efficacy. Therefore, this st udy was designed to examine the relationship between teacher characteristics and teachers efficacy. The study is guided by the following research questions: 1. What is the distribution of de mographic, educational preparat ion, and professional experience factors (gender, level and type of degree, pedagogical training, type of certification, years of experience, and courses taught) among language arts teachers at low-performing Florida public high schools? 2. Based on th e Teachers Sense of Effi cacy Scale (see Appendix F), what is unweighted mean of the items that load on each factor for language arts teachers teaching at low-performing Florida public high schools? a. student engagem ent, b. instructional strategies, and c. classroom management 3. What is the direction and streng th of the relationship between these specific teacher characteristics and teacher efficacy for language arts teachers teaching at low-performing Florida high schools?
Research Question One Teacher Characteristics This study collected data using a teac her questionnaire to determ ine the distribution of demographic, educational pr eparation, and professi onal experience factors (gender, level and type of degree, pedagogi cal training, type of certification, years of experience, and courses taught) among language arts teachers Floridas low-performing public high schools. These specific characteri stics were chosen because of research indicating a link between each of these factors and student achievement. The schools identified in this study ar e all low-perfor ming schools based on Floridas accountability program. Fewer th an 50% of all stud ents in all schools participating in the study are meeting high standards in reading as de fined by the state of Florida. Eighty-two percent of the schools repo rt that more than 60% of their students are not achieving high standards in reading. Thir ty-two percent of th e schools report more than 50% of their students meet the federa l guidelines for free and reduced lunches. Forty-five percent report more than 50% of their students are minority students. Past research indicates low-performi ng schools tend to hire under-qualified teachers. Su bsequently, one might expect to find fewer teachers with advanced degrees, fewer teachers with teaching experience, and more out-of-field teachers at the schools participating in this study. Therefore, the fi rst step of the research was to determine whether or not this is the case for Fl oridas D and F public high schools. Degree Status Based on the requirements of NCLB and the data collected through the teacher surveys, it appears low-perform ing public hi gh schools in Florida are staffed with highly
qualified language arts teachers for the English classes. However, for teachers assigned to teach read ing classes, the percentages are quite dismal. After collecting data indicating that 40% of the responding language arts and reading teachers at F lorida s D and F high schools have earned masters degrees and an additional 6.5% have earned advanced de grees, the data was compared to the 20052006 SPARS reports ( NCLB School Public Accountability Reports 2005-2006). The percen tage of teachers in the study with maste rs and advanced degrees is higher than the percentage of all teachers with masters or advanced degrees at all public schools in Florida. It is important to remember that the SPA RS provides data relating to all teachers in Florid a, not just language arts and readi ng teachers and not just secondary teachers. The SPARS data is not disaggreg ated to allow a true comparison of the results of this study to either public high school teachers or secondary language arts teachers. However, when compared to all schools and all teacher s in Florida, Florid as D and F public high schools appear to be meeting and exceed ing the minimum expectations for degree status. Based on the research linking student achie vement to teacher degree lev el, one would expect to find higher student achievement in these schools. Instead, the study suggests staffing low-performing schools with high percentages of teachers with bachelors, masters, and advanced degrees may be insufficient to ensure improved student achievement. More importantly, the study suggests more attention needs to be placed on type of degree rathe r than simply examining the level of degree. Nearly 23% of low-performing students enrolled in English classes in Fl orida are taught by te achers who do not hold
degrees in either English or English education. S ixty-thr ee percent of responding teachers do not hold degrees in English education. For re ading classes, the percentage of teachers who do not hold degrees in reading is even higher (85%). Only 37% of the teachers in this study hold degrees in English education. This num ber becomes more signifi cant when we examine student achievement. Over 50% of the students enrolled in th e participating schools are not meeting state standards in reading. With 82% of the schools reporting that 60% or more of their students are not meeting high standards in reading, it becomes imperative that we provide these students with teachers who have been trained in how to teach students rather than simply relying on teachers who demonstrate English conten t area knowledge but who do not have the necessary pedagogical training required to help these students learn. Seventy-three percent of their teachers do not have traini ng in language arts pe dagogy, suggesting these teachers may be ill-prepared to serve the needs of these struggling students. The study clearly implies the need to readdress what constitutes a highly qualified teacher, moving beyond identifying degree level and fo cusing more on the degree type. For reading, the numbers are increasingl y dism al. Only 15% of teachers teaching reading courses have any trai ning in reading. Florida now re quires all stude nts identified as Level 1 and Level 2 on the reading portion of the FCAT to be enrolled in some type of a reading course. For schools identified in this study, the need for reading teachers who are highly qualified, who understand not only the reading process but who also understand how to help students who have e xperienced years of low achievement is significant. When 60% of the students at a school require reading remediation and only 15% of the teachers at the school have degr ees in reading, the expectation that placing
students in a reading class will result in in c reased reading achievement seems impossible to achieve. Simply placing students in readi ng classes will not en sure improved student reading achievement. Instead, the teachers assi gned to reading classes must be highly qualified, highly effective teachers who are prepared to meet the diverse and serious needs of these particular students. Number of Years Teaching Current research concludes that lowperform ing schools tend to employ fewer experienced teachers than high-performing sc hools (Ingersoll, 2002). The majority of teachers in this study report having taught fo r more than 5 years (68%) with over 50% reporting they have taught for more than 10 years, yet 63% of the teachers have been teaching at the current school for 5 years or less. The percentage of teachers who have been at the school for 2 or less years is 36%. The SPARS reports indicate the state percentage for newly hired teachers is 21%. Once again, the data indicate a need to exam ine further the relationship between teacher experience and student achievement, but instead of focusing on longevity of teaching experiences, studies should examine th e characteristics of teachers who choose to stay at or move to low-performing sc hools and compare these characteristics to teachers who choose to leave these schools. What are the characteristics that are different about the teachers who teach at low-performi ng schools compared to the teachers at highperforming schools? Perhaps longevity is not as important as teaching methods and teacher attitudes towards students when it co mes to impacting student achievement for low-performing students. These data suggest a need to examine teacher performance in the classroom rather than rely on years of t eaching experience as a reliable predictor of
improved student achievement. It is the quality of teaching that matters more than the length of service. Certification and Endorsement Status The data from this study conclude th at 91% of the responding language arts teachers at Florid as D and F public high schools who are teaching English courses hold a professional or temporary teaching cer tificate in language arts 6-12. For teachers teaching reading, only 16% of the responding t eachers hold a profe ssional or temporary teaching certificate in K-12 reading. An additional 24% hold the K-12 Reading Endorsement. The 2005-2006 SPARS report indicates 93% of all Florida teachers are teaching in-field, defined by SPARS as holding a cer tif icate in their area of responsibility. Compared to the state percentages for in-fie ld teachers in all public school classrooms, the percentage of in-field language arts teach ers in this study is nearly equal. The same cannot be said for the percentage of reading teachers, which is considerably lower than the state percentage of all teachers. Once again, it appears Florid as D and F public h igh schools are staffing their English classrooms with highly qualified teacher s who are, for the most part, certified in their content area. However, w ith all of the schools in the st udy reporting that fewer than 50% of their students are meeting state read ing achievement standards, the need to examine the link between certification status and student achievement becomes more apparent. While the percentage of teachers ce rtified in 6-12 language arts is quite high, the percentage of these same teachers who hol d any type of degree in English education is considerably lower, indi cating once again a need to examine the relationship between
the type of degree compared to certifica tion status. Does certi f ication indicate an understanding of how to motivat e and engage students, or is certification simply a reflection of the teachers content area knowledge? Is content area knowledge enough to ensure improved student achievement? For the reading classroom, the numbers ar e less encouraging. The total percentage of reading teachers who are e ither K-12 reading certified or endorsed is thirty-one percent. Of that 31%, only 16% have actual degrees in readin g or reading education. This raises into question the K-12 Reading Endorse m ent process. It is too early and the percentage of teachers who have obtained this endorsement is too few to determine the fidelity of the endorsement process. With an additional 47% of the respondents reporting they are seeking the K-12 Reading Endorseme nt, it is imperative that future studies examine the effects of requiring students who demonstrate low readi ng achievement to be placed in reading classrooms staffed by teachers who have gone through the K-12 Endorsement in order to determine the effectiveness of this endorsement process and its impact on student reading achievement Qu and Becker (2003) report that traditionally certified teachers tend to outperform alternatively certifi ed teachers in some states This study does not compare student achievement outcomes for teachers; how ever, it does conclude that 71% of the teachers in this survey received their cer tification through traditional means while 29% earned certification through alternative means. Highly Qualified Teachers NCLB defines highly qualified teachers as those who hold at leas t a bachelors degree from a four-year institution, have receiv ed full state certific ation, and demonstrate
competence in their subject area. Of the te acher s participating in this study, 92% of English teachers meet the minimum requireme nts defined in NCLB. The percentage of highly qualified teachers at Floridas D and F public high schools exceeds the state percentage of all teachers at all public high schools reported in the 2005-2006 SPARS (90%). For reading teachers, the results are not as promising. Only 31% are qualified under NCLB guidelines to receive stat us as highly qualified teachers. The results from the data analysis suggest that Floridas D and F public high schools are staffed by highly qualified Eng lish teachers based on NCLBs policy. However, based on this sam e policy, these schools are staffed by under-qualified reading teachers. Future studies focusing on the re lationship between highly qualified teachers and student achievement gains might provide better insight on the impact of highly qualified teachers on impr oved student achievement. Courses Taught The study concludes that 46% of teachers at Floridas D and F public high schools are teaching m ultiple language arts courses. Only 25% are teaching regular English only, and 20% are teacher reading only. A comparison of the number of years teach ing and the cours es taught reveals that each course is taught by a wide range of teachers with different levels of experience. For instance, for teachers teaching English, 10.24% have 0-2 years experience, 11.87% have 3-5 years experience, 10.89% have 6-10 y ears experience, 12.20% have 11-20 years experience, 12.03% have 21-30 years experien ce and 7.48% have 30 or more years of experience. Based on this data, it appears that for the particip ating schools, assigning courses to teachers has not been de termined by teacher experience.
Gender The study concludes that the m ajority of language arts teachers at Floridas lowperforming public high schools are female ( 77.40%). Although some research indicates differences in efficacy scores based on gende r, the data in this study indicate little differences in efficacy scores exist between males and females. Conclusions The dem ographic data from this study indicate that the most significant areas of concern for Floridas low-performing public high schools rests in the areas of degree status and years teaching at the current schoo l. This is especially true for secondary reading teachers. While some might argue that content area knowledge is the prim ary goal of the language arts curriculum, the data suggest schools might benefit from increasing the percentages of teachers trained in improving st udent reading ability both in the English as well as the reading classrooms. A closer look at the course de scriptions for 9-12 language arts classrooms, both the regular a nd the honors courses, indicates the purpose of the curriculum is to help students develop reading stra tegies, acquire an extensive vocabulary, use speaking, listening, and viewin g strategies, unders tand and respond to a variety of literary forms, and understand and utilize language effec tively. As the students progress through the four required courses, li terature analysis becomes part of the coursework, but is never the primary goal of the c oursework. It is essent ial to note that at no place in the course descriptions is there a listing of specific literature that must be addressed in the language arts classroom. Th e focus is clearly on the reading and writing processes, with an emphasis on vocabulary ac quisition and the development of an ability
to analyze more and more complicated text of all genres at increasingly complex levels as students progress through their studies. (Florida Departm ent of Education, Senior High and Adult Grades 9-12. Language Arts). Based on the course descriptions, those teachers who have not received pre-service training on how to teach reading and writing skills might find themselves ill-prepared to meet the demands of the language arts classroom. It is clear from the data that sta ffing schools with teachers who possess a minimum of a bachelors degree and who are cer tified in their area of responsibility does not guarantee improved student achievement The schools in the study appear to be staffed by teachers who exceed the minimum requirements of NCLB and who exceed the state percentages for teacher degree level; how ever, over 50% of students at these schools are not meeting the reading achievement sta ndards measured on the FCAT. These data suggest a need to provide th ese students with teachers w ho have received appropriate pedagogical training designed to teach students how to read a nd write rather than relying on teachers whose pre-service training was primarily focused on literature or other content areas. The data also suggest a need to examine why fe wer than 40% of the teachers have been at the school for more than 5 years. Only 15% of the responding teachers are beginning teachers who have taugh t for 1 or 2 years. The remaining teachers have been teaching for 3 or more years with 68% teaching for 5 or more years. It appears these schools are staffed with a signi ficant number of experienced teachers, but with teachers who have not remained at the school for more than 5 years. These data raise some interesting questions such as: why is there such a large attrition rate for teachers at these schools. Since the majority of teachers are not beginning teachers, what factors
contributed to the experienced teachers de cis ions to come to these schools? What factors resulted in the decision by experienced te achers to stay at the school for more than 5 years? How do these teachers compare to teachers at high-performing schools with equal experience? Further research in both the area of degree s tatus, specifically examining the impact of education degrees versus conten t area degrees on student reading achievement in secondary schools, and in the area of t eacher retention, specifically identifying the teacher characteristics of experienced teachers at low-performing schools, is necessary in order to provide more accurate conclusions as to the impact of these two factors on student achievement. Research Question Two Unweighted Means for Efficacy Efficacy is defined as the extent to which teachers believe th ey have the ability to bring about changes in student achievemen t independent of the students background, behaviors, or motivation level. Using the Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale Long (Tschannen-Moran and Hoy, 2001), teachers were asked to respond to 24 questions on a 9 point Likert Scale. The dire ctions ask them to indicate [their] opinion about each of the statements. The TSES yields efficacy means for thee efficacy categories: student engagement efficacy, instructional practi ces efficacy, and classroom management efficacy. The results of the questionnaire sugg est the respondents in this study are more comfortable with their ability to control th e classroom and provide adequate instruction than they are with their ability to engage students in learning. The factors loading on to classroom management efficacy ask the teachers to report how they f eel about their ability to manage student behavior. Over 50% report
average classroom management efficacy with an additional 4 1% report high classroom management efficacy. Clearly 91% of the res ponding teachers are comfortable with their ability to control the classroom. They can get students to follow the classroom rules, and they know how to calm the disruptive stude nt. They are comfortable managing the classroom environment when it comes to routines and behaviors. The statistics for instructional strategies are even higher. Seventy-nine percent of the respondents report average m eans for in structional strategies efficacy with an additional 13% reporting high efficacy means. Teachers in the study overwhelmingly believe they can implement instructional st rategies in their classroom (92%). These teachers believe they can use a variety of assessment strategies and provide alternative explanations or examples when students ar e confused. They are comfortable crafting good questions and responding to difficult stude nt questions. They feel capable of implementing alternative strategies for different students and are able to adjust the lesson for differences in student levels. They are comfortable gauging student comprehension and providing challenging curriculum for capable students. The challenge for the respondents rests within student engagement efficacy. Over 43% are uncom fortable when it comes to he lping students believe they can do well in school. They dont believe they can help st udents value learning or motivate student interest in school. They dont be lieve they have the ability to help students think critically or foster student creativity. They are at a loss as to how to motivate the most difficult students. It would seem that responding language arts teachers at F loridas D and F public high schools are confident in their own knowledge and skills when it comes to
managing student behavior and providing instruction but do not believe they have the knowledge or skills necessary to m otivate st udents to achieve success. These teachers seem to believe that student achievement is dependent upon the learner rather than on the teacher. Efficacy research indicates teachers with a high sense of efficacy tend to take on more respon sibility for student achievement than teachers with low sense of efficacy (Hall, Hines, Bacon, & Koulianos, 1992; Martin, Crossland, & Johnson, 2001; Tournaki & Podell, 2005). The results of this study indicate 43% of the responding teachers are blaming students lack of motivation to learn as a reason for low achievement. The respondents do not believe they can motivat e students who show low interest in schoolwork. Nor do they believe they can im prove the understanding of a student who is failing. This, then, changes the classroom cultu re from one of inquiry to one of crowd control. The successful teacher is the one who is able to maintain control and continue to provide instruction not depende nt upon engaging students in the learning process. The teachers may feel they do not have the ability or power to engage students, thus, it no longer remains an objective. All of the teachers in this study are working in schools reporting that m ore than 50% of their students are not able to meet the state read ing achievement standards. Teachers sense of efficacy is influenced by past student performance (Denham & Michael, 1981). If teachers are confident they have the knowledge and skills necessary to teach the students and manage the classroom, but do not feel they have the ability to engage the students in learning, then it seems reasonable to examine further the type of learning experiences the teachers are provi ding the students. If teachers emphasis
remains on classroom management, and if teach ers are prov iding independent seat work designed to keep the students busy and, ther efore, not disruptive, then the purpose of classroom instruction remains on student cont rol rather than stude nt learning. Engaging activities that allow students to discuss higher level concepts re quire that teachers relinquish control of the classroom with the expectation that stude nts can learn through this process. Teachers who have no confidence in their students ability to learn and who feel a need to manage the classroom do not provide interesting, st udent centered, highly engaging activities for the students. The da ta represented in this study might suggest teachers are not creating cl assrooms supportive of high achievement and are instead creating classrooms focusing on classroom management. An examination of the relationship between teachers sense of student engagem ent efficacy and the low percenta ge of teachers with English education background may suggest a need to provide te achers with specific training designed to help them engage students in learning. T eachers who have not received pedagogical training provided through edu cation coursework may not have the prerequisite skills necessary to understand how to engage stude nts in meaningful learning experiences. Wenglinsky (2000) reports that classroom activities and professional development designed to enhance classroom activities have a greater impact on student achievement than does teacher degree. Providing teacher s with professional development supporting engaging students in learning as well as pr oviding teachers with age and interest-level appropriate materials might serve to help teachers feel more effective in engaging students.
The data also raise questions relating to the construct of teacher efficacy. If, as research sug gests, higher efficacy scores are predictors of higher student achievement (Denham & Michael, 1981), and, if efficacy is delineated into thr ee categories, then which of these three efficacy ca tegories is a better predictor of student achievement? In this study, low student engagement efficacy seem s to be the predominant efficacy factor preventing the responding teachers from fee ling successful with their students. Further studies examining the link betw een student achievement and student engagem ent efficacy may provide more insight into these results. Studies specifically examining the type of activities afforded students in low-performing schools may afford insight and direction for the future Questions to consider include: How do teachers beliefs that they can cont ro l the student population but that they cannot impact student engagement af fect the classroom environment? If the classroom becomes focused on behavior control and not on engaging students, does student learning suffer? How comfortable are teac hers in providing opportunities for students to participate in student-led discussion? How comf ortable are teachers in teachi ng students how to read text and then allowing students to discuss their learning with other students? How comf ortable are teachers in limiti ng the amount of lecture and allowing students learning to be more self-directed? What are the elem ents that one would exp ect to observe in a classroom promoting student engagement in learning?
Research Question Three The Direction a nd Strength of the Relatio nship between Teacher Characteristics and Teacher Efficacy Multiple Regression analysis was conducted on the data using the SAS System. The depend ent variables were teachers se nse of efficacy for student engagement, instructional practices, and classroom management. The in dependent variables were characteristics of teachers participating in th e study (bachelors degree, masters degree, advanced degree, number of years teaching, number of years teaching at the current school, number of years teaching English/langua ge arts/reading, type of certificate held, status of K-12 reading endorsement, certification route, courses taught, and gender). The correlation matrix indicat es all of the independent variables are correlated to som e degree. Multicollinearity increases the difficulty in determining the importance of specific predictors on the depende nt variables and limits the size of R. Such is the case in this study. However, a closer look at the pr edictor variab les indicates some of the independent variables are significant predicto rs of teacher efficacy when controlling for all independent variables (p < .05). Student Engagement Efficacy Teachers who hold advanced degrees (speci alist and doctorate degrees) tend to report h igher efficacy means for student engagement than teachers who do not. Unfortunately, only 6% of the teachers in this study hold advanced degrees. Their scores tend to be 3/4 of a point higher than teacher s without advanced degrees. This data is interesting in light of the efficacy mean da ta indicating 43% of respondents do not feel they have the ability to impr ove student engagement. It might be worthwhile to examine
the differences in classrooms taught by teach ers with advanced degrees com pared to other classrooms. Unfortunately, teachers who are teaching English courses tend to report lower student engagement efficacy means than t eachers teaching other courses. This is important because 70% of the teachers in the study are teaching English courses. What is different about the regular Engl ish class from other courses th at results in lower student engagement efficacy for teachers? One would expect teachers teaching reading and remedial classes to have low efficacy scores ; however, there does not appear to be a significant link between low student engagement efficacy scores and reading or remedial courses. Keeping in mind that all of these teachers are assigned to schools with 50% or more of their students reporting low-achieve ment in reading, further research seems necessary to determine the factors affecti ng teachers sense of student engagement efficacy in the English classroom. Instructional Strategies Efficacy Teachers with masters degrees and who are teaching English courses tend to report lower efficacy means for instructional stra tegies than other teachers. This data is interesting because overall, t eachers in the study report fee ling comfortable about their ability to employ effectiv e instructional strategies in the classroom. Teachers with a high sense of instructional strategies efficacy tend to believe they are skilled at im plementing alternative strategi es to help students learn, they are capable of gauging student comprehension of what has been taught, and they can provide alternative explanations or ex amples when student are confus ed. They also believe they
are able to provide appropriate challenges for very capable students. This leads to som e interesting questions for future research: What is different about teaching stud ents assigned to regular English courses in low-performing schools than teaching regular English courses in high-performing schools? What is different about teaching reg ular English courses in low-performing schools compared to other language arts courses in low-performing schools? What factors result in teachers with m ast ers degrees feeling less confident about their ability to employ appropriate instruc tional strategies than other teachers? To what degree does s tudent past performance affect teachers beliefs that they can, in fact, impact student learning using the instructional strategies skills they have developed? Teachers with masters degrees have spen t add itional time fine-tuning their craft as language arts teachers. Of the 481 teacher s teaching English courses, only 169 (39%) have masters degrees. Only 55 (11%) of the teachers teaching English courses have earned masters degrees in education. Examin ing the type of masters degree as well as the academic focus of the degree might provide us with some insight. It is not surprising that te achers who have been teaching language arts for 21 or more years a re comfortable with their ability to effectively utilize instructional strategies. However, the percentage of teachers with 21 or more years teaching language arts is only 20%. While they may be more comfortable with their content area knowledge and their ability to teach that knowledge, 43% still remain uncomfort able with their ability to motivate and engage students. Once again, the need to examine the classrooms of
experienced teachers compared to inexperi enced teachers a t both high-performing and low-performing schools is needed to better determine the significance of this data. As with previous results, the data indi cate a need to exam ine the classroom both to discover the instructional practices im plemented and to determine why teachers are feeling less successful in the E nglish classroom environment. It is also imperative that future studies measure the impact of degr ee type on student achievement rather than simply measuring the level of degree. Classroom Management Efficacy Finally, teachers who have taught language arts for 11 or m ore years tend to report higher mean efficacy scores for clas sroom management. Conversely, teachers who teach English and honors English courses tend to report lower efficacy mean scores for classroom management. It seems appropriate that teachers with m ore experience in the language arts classroom are more comfortable managing the classroom than teachers with less experience. However, the lower scores repor ted by teachers teaching English and English honors is more puzzling, especially as it rela tes to classroom management. For the most part, teachers reported medium to high classroom management efficacy scores. One might expect lower classroom management scor es in remedial or reading courses, but that is not the case. More observational data needs to be collected in order to better define the differences in efficacy means. Collective Efficacy Goddard and Goddard (2000) suggest teacher efficacy is related to school context. The teachers at these sch ools are all employe d at schools which have been identified
through Floridas school accountability system as low-perform ing schools. Fifty percent or more of their students have been identif ied as low-performing st udents in the area of reading achievement. All of the teachers in this study have been assigned to improve the reading achievement of their students. Ross, Hogaboam-Gray, and Gray (2003) s uggest student acad emic history affects collective efficacy. Rosenthal a nd Jacobsons research (1968) i ndicates teachers attitudes towards students past achievement influences future student achievement. This seems to be the case for teachers who are teaching English courses in this study. These teachers report lower efficacy means in all three categories than teachers teaching other courses. Additionally, teachers teaching English honors courses report lower efficacy means for classroom management which seems somewhat paradoxical in light of the concept that these should be the most motivated and successful students. Perhaps these statistics are a result of collective efficacy which implies th at teachers perceptions are influenced by the context within which they are teaching. Another area of concern for future resear ch res ts with the pe rcentage of teachers teaching multiple courses (46%). If, as suggested by Ross, Cousins, and Gadalla (1996), efficacy is affected by the proportion of cla sses taught within whic h the teacher believes he/she is able to engage students, the lo w student engagement efficacy means reported by 43% of sample population may reflect a genera lized school culture perception (collective efficacy) rather than a course context perception. Teachers beliefs that they can impact student engagement may be diminished due to the number of low-performing students placed in their classes. Future studies that a llow for teachers to report efficacy relevant to the different classes they teach may yield more conclusive results.
Conclusions It is interesting to note th at teaching English course s is a significant negative predictor for all three efficacy factors. The data raise questio ns relating to the nature of teaching English courses compared to teaching other courses. One might expect teachers who are teaching remedial and/or reading cla sses to have lower sense of efficacy than teachers teaching regular or honors cla sses (Ashton, Webb, & Doda, 1983; Moore & Esselman, 1994); however, the resu lts indicate that teaching regular English classes is correlated to lower sense of efficacy while teach ing remedial and/or reading classes is not significantly related to efficacy at all. Examining the factors affecting the E nglish classroom might yield more conclusive results. For instance, the teachers in this study indicate a low percentage have received pedagogical training. The study also indicates a large percentage of teachers report low student engagement efficacy. T eachers who have received little or no pedagogical training may not possess the necessary skills to engage st udents in learning. They may have the academic knowledge they need to teach the required course; they may have the classroom management techniqu es necessary to manage student conduct, but they do not have the teaching knowledge to enable them to provide classroom instruction that meets the n eeds of their learners. Providi ng school-based instructional support to help teachers learn how to modify their lessons to include more activities designed to engage students in learning may pr ove beneficial. Also of interest are the data indicatin g that teach ing honors English classes is a significant negative indicator fo r classroom management. Previ ous research indicates that teacher efficacy is positively related to previous student performance (Moore &
Esselman, 1994; Raudenbush, Rowan, Cheong, 1992). Teachers sense of efficacy increases w hen they are teaching students who demonstrate prior positive achievement; yet the data from this study suggest the oppos ite. Questions for fu ture studies include: What is different in low-perform ing sc hools that might yield these results? Are students enrolled in honors course s at D and F public high schools perceived differently than students enroll ed in honors courses at high-perf orming schools? Further research to determine why teaching honors courses is a significant negative predictor of class room management efficacy may provide some answers. Previous research indicates teaching e xperience is not a pred ictor of teacher efficacy (Hoy, 2000; Pigge & Marso, 1993). Ho wever, the data indicate teaching language arts/reading for 11 or more years is a significant positive predictor of classroom management efficacy while teaching language arts/reading for 21 or more years is a significant predictor of instructional strategi es efficacy. Additionally, teaching in general for 21 or more years is a significant positive predictor for classroom management. Questions for future studies might include: Why is the num ber of years teaching language arts positively correlated to instructional strategies and classroom management efficacy when the number of years teaching at the same school is not co rrelated to instruc tional strategies and classroom management? Does teachers sen se of efficacy change over time when they are teaching lowperforming students?
Do teachers who are teaching low perfo r ming students tend to measure their teaching success based on student behavior rather than on student learning outcomes? To what degree does teacher efficacy cha nge when experienced teachers who feel successful at high-perform ing schools are moved to low-performing schools? The results of the data collected in this study raise m ore questions than answers. It becomes clear to the researcher that the an swers are not readily available, yet finding the answers is necessary if th ere is truly to be significant changes in the academic achievement of our most needy students. Conclusions After examining all of the data, it becomes clear to the researcher th at recruiting and retaining highly qualified, highly effective teachers combined with a concerted effort to raise the expectati ons of achievement for all student s at Floridas D and F public high schools are the prerequisites for success. The follow suggestions may provide guidance in achieving this goal. Highly Qualified versus Highly Effective Teachers Currently the designation of highly qualif ied te acher is determined by academic credentials and state-mandated testing and certification. The re sults of this study clearly indicate credentials alone are insufficient to provide the classroom environment necessary to raise student achievement. Teachers mu st also have the skills and pedagogical knowledge necessary to engage students in learning activities that support achievement. The designation of highly qua lified teacher needs to be modified to include documentation of highly effective teaching.
Recruiting and Retaining Highly Qua lified, Highly Effective Teach ers According to Kaplan and Owings (2002), teacher quality is the academic knowledge a teacher holds and teach ing quality is the skills and strategies a teacher possesses that improve instruction. If we are to truly address the needs of our lowest performing students in Floridas D and F public high schools, we need to address both teacher quality and teaching quality. The majority of teachers at these schools have been at the sites for 5 or fewer years. The reasons for this statistic are unclear, but it becom es apparent there is a need to examine who is staying at the schools and who is leaving the schools. Incentives need to be implemented to recruit and retain highly qualified, highly effective teachers who are committed to improving student achievement for these particular students. Policy changes may be needed to ensure ineffec tive teachers are removed from these schools and replaced with teachers who are effective. The results of this study indicate that fewer than 40% of the responding teachers have received pedagogical training, and over 43% do not believe they have ability to engage students in learning. Inst ituting hiring practices that give priority to teachers with previous pedagogical training, w ho express a desire to work with low-achieving students, and who believe they have the ability to im pact student achievement may help overcome this trend. In order to achieve the goal of providi ng our students with highly qualified, highly effective teachers, serious attention must be given to pre-service education program s for language arts teachers to ensure pre-service teachers now how to incorporate secondary literacy strategies in the classroom that im prove student reading achievement. The focus
on teaching needs to shift from content to pro cess. Highly effective language arts teach ers not only understand the l iterature content, they understa nd how to help students read the content. Teachers need to be prepared to utilize a wide variety of text genres in combination with reading strategy instructi on intended to help st udents comprehend more and more complex text. Additionally, schools and districts must inco rporate site-based teacher professional development and support designe d to provide pedagogical training to help existing teachers learn how to teach and engage the students in their classrooms. This can be accomplished by utilizing the literacy coach es assigned to the schools more effectively and by incorporating professional development at the school site that is embedded in the school day and which provides classroom strategies to improve student learning. Emphasis on Reading Instruction All of the schools identified in this study report low student reading achievem ent scores on Floridas FCAT. The data clearly demonstrate a significant need to provide well-trained language arts teachers for both the English classroom and the reading classroom. Included in this provision is the need to ensure thes e teachers understand not only the reading process but how to engage students who have been unsuccessful for many years. The K-12 Reading Endorsement process is a step in the right direction. However, the im plementation of this process is dependent upon individual c ounties to provide the endorsement instruction and to ensure the fi delity of the endorsement instruction. The increased pressure to staff the growing nu mber of intensive reading classrooms with highly qualified teachers could lead some districts to lower th e standards of the
endorsement process in order to recruit and train large num bers of teachers. Procedures must be in place to determine the effectiveness of the district plans and the implementation of the endorsement training to ensure quality teaching occurs in the classroom. Schools and districts need to review the language arts curriculum to determine whether or not teachers are providing reading and writing instruction as opposed to literature analysis instruction. The Florida Department of Ed ucation course descriptions for English courses clearly states the expectation for 9-12 English classrooms is that students are engaged in activities designed to improve reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. Students need to be exposed to and instructed in st rategies designed to help them comprehend increasingly complex. For this to occur, teachers must be provided with engaging texts, including young adult literature, to encourage student engagement. Classroom instruction should be driven by student pr ogress monitoring data rather than by text lists. Assessments s hould address reading achie vement gains rather than content area knowledge. Creating a Culture of Literacy and High Expectations Infusing our language arts classrooms with highly qualifie d, highly effective teachers will go a long way towards improving th e reading achievement for all students. However, creating pockets of highly effectiv e teaching within a school culture of low student expectations is not sufficient to m eet the challenges faced by our most struggling schools. Improving teacher efficacy and rais ing teacher expectations of student achievement is also essential in raising student achievement. High schools must begin to work towards a goal of creating a school-wid e literacy culture that supports all students
and is firmly grounded in the belief that al l students are capable of learning growth. Suggestions for achieving this goal include: Placing adm inistrative emphasis on the cl assroom instruction. Administrators need training to help them identify and support effective teaching. They must be given authority to remove ineffective t eachers and replace them with effective teachers. Providing professional developm ent de signed to help teachers implement effective classroom instruction that enga ges students in the learning. Schools and districts need to restructure the school day to allow more time for teachers to engage in on-going professional developm ent reflecting the needs of the school, its teachers, and its students. Effectively utilizing literacy coaches. The K-12 Comprehensive Research-based Reading Plan supports the inclusion of r eading coaches at all schools; however, reading coaches are not required to be e ither certified or endorsed in K-12 reading. Reading coaches need to de monstrate a clear understanding of the reading process and how to improve adoles cent literacy prior to serving as the reading coach for the school. In addition, reading coaches need to spend more time in the classroom supporting the teachers and providing professional development to improve reading in struction in all classrooms. Examining school culture and providing pr ofessional developmen t to improve the culture are necessary to create positive learning environments for all students. Floridas K-12 Comprehensive Research-b ased Reading Plan requires all schools to implement reading leadership team s, develop action plans determined by
school-based student data, and create a li teracy culture within the school that raises teacher expectations for im proved student achievement. More time must be devoted by schools, administrators, read ing coaches, and teachers to develop these teams in order to impact the whole school. Recommendations for Future Research Identifying the specific characteristics of teachers that ensure improved student achievement is a difficult task. Despite consider able research indicati ng the complexity of the task, public debate continue s in hopes of discovering the right formula for success. The data collected in this study raises more questions than it provides answers. However, the need to determine effective teaching for our most struggling students remains clear. Some questions for future research that addresses this need includes the following: What is the strength and direction of th e relationship betwee n holding a masters degree in English education from an accredited institution and student achievement? What factors contribute to teacher attri tion at Floridas D and F public high schools? What factors contribute to the percentage of reading teachers who are not certified or endorsed in K-12 reading? What changes at the school site m ust be made in order to recruit and retain highly qualified, effective language arts and reading teachers? How do teachers beliefs that they can cont ro l the student population but that they cannot impact student engagement af fect the classroom environment? To what degree does classroom manageme nt impact student engagement?
What is the strength and direction of the relationships between classroom m anagement and student engageme nt with student achievement? Why do language arts teachers at Florid a D and F public high schools report a negativ e correlation between teachers sense of efficacy teaching English and honors English courses? What is the strength and relationship betw een teachers perceived sense of student engagement efficacy and student achievement? Chapter Summary Identifying the characteristics of teachers in Floridas D and F public high schools is the first step in determ ining which teachers are most effective for our most needy students. It now becomes necessary to recruit and retain highly qualified, highly effective teachers along with a concerted effo rt to address the sc hool culture and raise expectations for student achievement. The solutions are not simple, nor are the clearly defined; however, this study supports the need to continue the dial ogue and the research in order to better serve all students. Th e combination of employing highly qualified, highly effective teachers a nd creating a school-wide literacy culture focused on improving the reading achievement for all stude nts along with a belief that all students are capable of learning will go a long way to wards improving student achievement for all students.
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Appendix A: Letter to Principals September 12, 2005 AddressBlock GreetingLine I am a doctoral candidate at the University of South Florida conducting research for my dissertation. I am seeki ng your help in collecting data concerning language arts teachers at low-performing Florida high schools. Your response, along with the responses of the members of your English department, will form the basis for my study. The purpose of this research is to determine whether or not a relationship exists between teacher cha racteristics and teacher efficacy. The surveys are being distributed to all language arts teachers at all D and F Florida high schools. Responses will be kept confidential an d no teachers, schools, or districts will be identified. The data will be used to provide knowledge to principals to help them identify highly qualified, effective teachers needed for students at low-perf orming schools. You may request a copy of the results of this research by sending a stampe d, self-addressed envelope to Pam Craig, return address. Your schools participation is essential in order to report the bes t results for this study. As such, I am offering an incentive. Every school that returns the surveys will have its na me placed in a drawing for a $20.00 gift certificate to Barnes and Noble. Five schools will be selected to receive the gift certificates. In order to begin my research, I need a response fr om you indicating that you give me permission to contact your English Department Chairperson and arrange a time for me or a representative to come by your school and deliver the surveys. It should take approximately 30 minutes to meet with the English Department and facilitat e the completion of the surveys. Participation is completely voluntary. No teachers will be coerced into participating in the survey. If you would prefer, I can mail the surveys to you to be distributed to your Eng lish Department and returned to me via mail. I am enclosing a copy of the survey for your review. I am also enclosing a post card for you to return which indicates that you give your permission for me to conduct this research at your school. Please sign the attached stamped addressed post ca rd and return i t to me. Your willingness to participate in this research will ensure a more accurate reporting of the relationship between teacher characteristics and teacher efficacy and aid in the continuing discussion concerning highly qualified teachers for our most needy students. Thank you for your time and consideration. If yo u hav e any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me at e-mail address I appreciate your participation in this study. Sincerely, Pamela S. Craig Ph.D. Candidate University of South Florida Department of Secondary Education
Appendix B: Principals Return Post Card Dear Ms. Craig: I hereby give you permission to contact my English Department Chairperson to conduct the survey research focusing on relationship between te acher chara cteristics and teacher efficacy. I understand that participation is voluntar y and that no names of teachers, schools, or districts will be used in the publication of the study results. Sincerely, AddressBlock
Appendix C: Letter to Department Chairs October 15, 2005 Dear Language Arts Department Chair: I am a doctoral candidate at the University of South Florida, conducting research for my dissertati on. I am seeking your help in collecting data pertaining to language arts teachers at schools identified as D and F public high schools based on Floridas Accountability program. Your principal and/or your district have given me permission to contact your pertaining to this study. The purpose of my research is to examine the relationship between teacher characteristics and teach ers sense of efficacy to provide additional knowledge to districts and administrators in order to guide decisions re lated to teachers at low-performing schools. Your departments response, along with the resp onses of language arts teachers from across the state, will form the basis for my study. Responses will be kept confidential and no teachers, schools, or districts will be identi fied. The data will be used to further discussion concerning identifying highly qualified, eff ective teachers needed for students at lowperforming schools. You may request a copy of the results of this research by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Pam Craig, return address. Participation in this study is completely voluntary. No one will have access to your responses except me, and no personal identification information is being requested on the surveys. Your departments participation is esse ntial in order to report the best results for this study. As such, I am offering an incen tive. Every school that returns the surveys will have its name placed in a drawing for a $20.00 gift certificate to Barnes and Noble. Five schools will be selected to receive the gift certificates. I am enclosing a post card for you to return which will be used in the drawing. Pl ease complete and return the post card along with the surveys indicating that your school has returned the completed surveys. Please indicate whether or not you would like a copy of the executive summary of the results of this study. Please distribute these surveys to ALL teachers who are teaching language arts classes as listed in Floridas Course Code Directory, even if the teacher is not a member of your department. Ask the teachers to complete the surveys and place them in the attached envelopes, seal them, and return them to you. Once you have received the surveys, please place them in the enclosed stamped, return envelope to be mailed to me Your participation in this research is sincerely appreciated. If you have any questions, please feel free to conta ct me at e-mail address Sincerely, Pamela S. Craig Ph.D. Candidate University of South Florida Department of Secondary Education
Appendix D: Letter to Teachers Dear Language Arts Teacher: I am a doctoral candidate at the University of South Florida, conducting research for my dissertati on. I am seeking your help in collecting data pertaining to language arts teachers at schools identified as D and F public high schools based on Floridas Acco untability program. The purpose of my research is to examine the relationship between teacher characteristics and te achers sense of efficacy to provide additional knowledge to districts and administrators to guide decisions related to teachers at low-perfor ming schools. Your re sponse, along with the responses of language arts teache rs from across the state, will fo rm the basis for my study. The surveys are being distributed to language arts teachers at all D and F Florida public high schools. Responses will be kept confidenti al and no teachers, schools, or districts will be identified. The data will be used to further discussion concerning identifying highly qualified, effective teachers needed for students at low-perf orming schools. You may request a copy of the results of this research by sending a stamped, self-addressed enve lope to Pam Craig, return address. Participation in this study is completely volu ntar y. No one will have access to your responses except me, and no personal identification information is being requested on the surveys. Place your completed survey in the attached enve lope, seal it, and place it in the return envelope. Completion and return of the survey will serve as your informed consent to participate in the study. Your participation in this researc h is sincerely appreciated. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at e-mail address Sincerely, Pamela S. Craig Ph.D. Candidate University of South Florida Department of Secondary Education
Appendix E: English/Language Arts /Reading Teacher Questionnaire Circle the letter of all responses that apply to you for each of the following statements. 1. Indicate the type of bachelors degree obtained: a. B.A. or B.S. in English b. B.A. or B.S. in English Education c. B.A. or B.S. in Reading d. B.A. or B.S. in Reading Education e. B.A. or B.S. in another content area Please state your content area here _____________________ 2. If applicable, indicate the type of masters degree obtained: a. M.A.. in English b. M.Ed. or M.A.. in English Education Please state your degree here __________________________ c. M.Ed. or M.A. in Reading Education Please state your degree here __________________________ d. M.A.T. in English Education e. M.A. in another content area Please state your content area here _____________________ f. M.Ed. in another conten t area 3. If applicable, indicate the type of ad vanced degree(s) obta ined and list the degree where indicated: a. Ed.S. ______________________ b. Ed.D. _____________________ c. Ph.D. Curriculum and Instruction d. Ph.D. in another area _____________________ 4. Indicate how many years you have been teaching: a. 0-2 years b. 3-5 years c. 6-10 years d. 11-20 years e. 21-30 years f. 30 + years 5. Indicate how many years you have been teaching at this school: a. 0-2 years b. 3-5 years c. 6-10 years d. 11-20 years e. 21-30 years f. 30 + years 6. Indicate how many years you have been teaching English/Language Arts/Reading: a. 0-2 years b. 3-5 years c. 6-10 years d. 11-20 years e. 21-30 years f. 30 + years
Appendix E: (Continued) 7. Indicate the type of certificate you currently hold: a. Florida Professional Certificate in Language Arts 6-12 certification b. Florida Professional Certificate in Reading K-12 c. Florida Temporary Certificate in Language Arts 6-12 certification d. Florida Temporary Certificate in Reading K-12 e. Florida Professional Certificate in another content area f. Florida Temporary Certificate in another area g. no certification 8. Indicate whether or not you currently hold a K-12 reading endorsement: a. Yes, I have a K-12 Reading Endorsement b. No, I do not have a K-12 Reading Endorsement c. No, but I am pursuing my K-12 Reading Endorsement 9. Indicate the route you took to ea rn your teaching certification: a. Traditional route: indicated by completing bachelors or masters degree in a university based teacher preparation program. b. Non-traditional route: indicated by any other process other than a university based teacher preparation pr ogram that led to state cer tification 10. Indicate the courses you are currentl y te aching. If you are teaching more than one course, circle all that apply: a. English I b. English II c. English III c. English IV d. English Honors I e. English Honors II f. English Honors III g. English Honors IV h. AP Language & Composition i. AP Language & Literature j. International Baccalaureate Language Arts k. Remedial Intensive LA l. Intensive Reading m. Intensive Basic Skills n. Reading I o. Reading II p. Reading III q. Advanced Reading 11. Indicate your gender: a. female b. male
Appendix F: Teachers Sense of Efficacy Scale
Appendix G: School Site Survey Return Post Card FRONT Pamela S. Craig Address BACK School: _____________________________________________ Number of Surveys and Questionnaires Returned: ____________ Number of teachers teaching language arts classes at your school: _____________ I would like a copy of the executive summary of the results of this study _____ yes _____ no
Appendix H: Instructions for Facilita ting Surveys Dear Volunteer: Thank you for agreeing to participate as a vol unteer to help me collect data for m y dissertation. The following instru ctions are intended to guide you as you contact schools that have agreed to participate in my study. Please follow the instruct ions as closely as possible to ensure fidelity in the study. Prior to you being assigned to a school, th e principal and/or the district have given perm ission to conduct the study at the sc hool site. The English/Language Arts Department Chair is expecting you to contac t him/her. Please read the following script when you contact the department chair: Hello. My name is: Your principal has given me permission to contact you to set up a time for me to come by and deliver surveys rela ted to a doctoral dissertation being conducted by Pam Craig, a doctoral c andidate at the University of South Florida. I am helping collect the surveys for Pam. I would like to attend one of your department meetings to have your teachers complete a short questionnai re relating to their professional characteristics and their sense of ef ficacy. The questionnaires only take about 15 minutes to complete. The in formation will be used in a study to examine the relationship between teacher beliefs and teacher characteristics. No names of teachers or schools will be reported. The results will be entirely confidentia l and participation in the study is completely voluntary. All teachers at your school who te ach any language arts classes are encouraged to attend and par tic ipate in the study. Additionally, as a small incentive for your time, your school will have its name placed in a drawing to recei ve a $20.00 gift certificate to Barnes and Noble. When might be a good time for me to drop by your school? --Set up a time : If the departm ent chair does not allow you time to come by and visit, ask him/her if you can drop by th e school and drop off the surveys at the school. The surveys can then be mailed directly to Pam Craig. When the departm ent chair asks you to drop off the surveys instead of meeting with the department, make sure you set up a time to drop them off at the school. After dropping them off, allow approximately one week before calling the department chair
to find out if the surveys have been returned or if he/she needs additional infor mation or materials. Follow-up conversation fo r surveys that have been dropped off: Hello. My name is: Last week I dropped off a set of surveys to be co mpleted by your teachers. I was wondering if you were able to co llect them and return them. I want to make sure that your name is included in the drawing for a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble? If they answer yes ask them if th ey have any questions and remind them they can contact Pam Craig for additi onal information or agree to send their suggestions and concerns to Pam Craig for them. If they answer no ask them if there is anything you can do to help them collect th e surveys. Remind them that you will be happy to come by and facilitate the survey collection during one of their regularly scheduled department meetings. Department Meetings: When you have been given permission to attend a department meeting, set up the time and be sure to arrive on time. Read the following script as you facilitate the collection of the surveys. Hello. My name is ______________ I am here today to ask you to take pa rt in a survey that is part of a doctoral dissertation. The researcher, Pam Craig, is a doctoral candidate at the University of South Florida. She is conducting research to determine whether or not a relations hip exists between specific teacher characteristics and teacher efficacy. The survey will not take long to complete, perhaps 15 minutes. Participation in this survey is entire ly volunta ry. No participant name or schools names will be included in the research report. Your participation in this survey will help further the discussion pertaining to what it really means to be a highly qualified teacher. Pass out the survey packets and allow approximately 15 m inutes to complete them. Thank the participants and remind them if they have any questions, they should feel free to contact Pam Craig. Return the surveys in the envelope to Pam Craig. Thank you for volunteering to help in this study.
About the Author Pamela S Craig is a doctoral candidate at the University of South Florida. She began her career as a high school language arts teach er. She has taught reading, English, English honors, Advanced Placement, and In ternational B accalaureate courses. She obtained her National Board Certification in Adolescence and Young Adulthood English Lan guage Arts in 1999 and was name d the Florida Council English Teacher of the Year in 2001. Pamela is currently employed by the Florida Literacy and Reading Excellence Center located at the University of Central Florida. She works with K-12 Florida public schools providing professional developm ent in literacy and coaching.