Date of Award

1988

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Higher Education Administration PhD

First Advisor

Edward A. Streeter

Second Advisor

W. William Hughes III

Third Advisor

Bernard M. Lall

Abstract

Problem. It was not known to what extent groups associated with Adventist education supported the professional role orientation of teaching which in turn affected the work behavior and morale of teachers.

Method. A Professional Role Orientation Scale (PROS) was responded to by 701 randomly selected subjects. The scale contained four criteria identifying professional aspects of teaching as a profession. Responses to the instrument were item weight analyzed and judged for point multiserial reliability before insertion into a BMDP statistical program. Four null hypotheses were tested using two-way ANOVA with the Scheffe test for multiple mean comparisons. Stepwise multiple regressions were conducted on 13 demographics. Ranked and proportional scoring for maximum agreement or disagreement to PROS-items by groups and school levels was performed. Responses to three critical issue questions involving group recognition of teacher professionalism were analyzed.

Results. (1) There was no significant difference (P < 0.7156) between the attitudes of elementary- and secondary-school groups to teacher professionalism recognition. (2) There was a significant difference (P < 0.0005) between the groups attitudes toward recognition of teacher professionalism. (3) There was no significant interaction (P < 0.5013) between the four groups and their related school levels. Comparative studies with proportional scoring indicated pastors and principals had less positive attitudes toward recognizing teacher professional status as colleagues with dual-parallel roles. (4) Of the four PROS-categories, the most disagreed with were: (1) professional colleague association, and (2) decision-making authority over work-related teaching activities. (5) Group responses were significantly influenced (P < 0.05) by: (1) Income (Pastors), (2) Race (Principals), (3) Occupation, Age, Gender, Income, Marital Status (Teachers), and (4) Race, Occupation, Locale, Marital Status (Parents). (6) Professional role recognition of teachers was influenced by: (1) teacher mobility, (2) pastoral support and recognition, and (3) positive student attitudes and achievement.

Conclusions. (1) Fear of union-related association with loss of traditional control over decision-making authority was evident, particularly among church school pastors and principals, but not among parents and teachers. (2) Job insecurity, due to short-term hiring practices, was related to increased deprofessionalization of the teacher's role in the Adventist Church organization. (3) Church pastors must recognize and respond positively to distinctive role of Adventist teachers as co-professional.

Subject Area

Seventh-day Adventist teachers, Seventh-day Adventist elementary schools, Seventh-day Adventist secondary schools

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