Date of Award
Doctor of Education
Dr. Harold W. Boles
Dr. Uldis Smidchens
Dr. Ernie Stech
The purposes of the study were: (a) to determine the types of professional development in which elementary teachers voluntarily participated and the extent of that participation, and (b) to investigate the relationships between school climate and teachers' participation, enrollment size and teachers' participation, and enrollment size and school climate.
The survey included all of the 356 regular elementary school teachers in two southwestern Michigan school districts who each held a tenured position and was assigned to a building with the same principal for at least the 1980-81 and 1981-82 years. The number of schools was 15 in District A and 18 in District B.
Two questionnaires were used to gather data: (1) Halpin and Croft's (1963) Organizational Climate Description Questionnaire (OCDQ), and (2) The Professional Development Survey (PDS) developed by this researcher. Usable returns included 62% (93 teachers) in District A and 75% (155 teachers) in District B.
The individual school was considered the unit of analysis. Spearman rho correlation coefficients were used to determine the associations between the variables in the hypothesized relationships.
Positive relationships (significant at the .05 level) were found in District B between each of the OCDQ subtests "Disengagement" and "Esprit," and teachers' participation scores as measured by the PDS. No support was found for the major hypotheses which predicted relationships between: (a) "Openness" of climate and teachers' development activity, (b) school enrollment size and teachers' development activity, or (c) school enrollment size and climate.
Of the 40 types of development options listed on the PDS, "Professional Readings" accounted for the greatest number of reported instances of development activity. The category "Inservice Participation/Attendance" was responsible for the largest percentage of total activity. Different percentages of enrollment in course-work were reported by teachers in the two districts.
The PDS appears to be a viable tool for measuring regular elementary teachers' voluntary professional development activity. The lack of support for the major hypotheses of this study indicates the need for further investigations regarding the reasons teachers engage in renewal.
Birch, Louise, "Teachers' Growth/Development and the Organizational Climate of Elementary Schools" (1982). Dissertations. 2516.