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Title:Teacher unionism and empowerment in rural Illinois school districts
Author(s):Dunn, Randy J.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Ward, James G.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Administration
Abstract:This study investigates the problem of how teacher unionism in rural school districts relates to teacher empowerment within those districts. Specifically, the study attempts to examine which variables describing teacher unions in rural unit school districts in Illinois influence union presidents', superintendents', and rank-and-file teachers' observed perceptions about teacher empowerment, as well as empowered-teaching-conditions contractual outcomes.
This study employs a two-stage design. First, the president of each local union selected (n = 53) was asked to complete a survey instrument designed to elicit variable data regarding the characteristics of teacher unionism. A second survey instrument was utilized with all respondents to measure the perceived degree of teacher empowerment within each sampled rural school district. In the second stage of the study, document analysis of the collective bargaining contract for each sampled district was undertaken to determine the degree to which each contract contained up to ten items that constitute a core set of necessary conditions for teacher empowerment. Multivariate regression analysis was then used to identify the most significant unionism variables influencing the likelihood that a rural school district would exhibit a high degree of teacher empowerment.
Among the findings of the study is that teacher empowerment in rural school districts would appear to be as much a product of shared perceptions of the respondent groups as a result of empowered-teaching-conditions provisions bargained into teacher union contracts. However, those contractual provisions present tend to reflect agreements on working conditions and professional status/career advancement, rather than on the nature of classroom instructional transactions. Environmental characteristics exogenous to rural school districts' control predict more empowered teaching conditions in rural contracts than any other category of unionism variables.
The study concludes that teacher unionism is associated to some extent with increased teacher empowerment in rural school districts. It is suggested that attempts at rural education reform should follow from an understanding of the role of teacher unions in setting the conditions within such reform takes place. Implications for administrative practice and rural education policy, and recommendations for further research are presented in the final chapter.
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 Dunn, Randy J.
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9210789
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9210789

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