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Title:A Study of Relationships Between Teacher Characteristics and Congruity, Incongruity, and Inconsistency With Policy Positions of Teacher Organizations
Author(s):Ade, William Ervin
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Administration
Abstract:The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationships between three types of responses that were assumed to effect group cohesion, and certain teacher characteristics. The types of responses consisted of congruent responses that reflected an agreement with the organization's position on certain policy issues; incongruent responses that represented a disagreement with the organization's position; and inconsistent responses that represented cognitive inconsistency in the respondent. Congruent responses were judged to enhance the cohesion of a group, while incongruent and inconsistent responses were judged to be detrimental.
The teacher characteristics consisted of age, education attainment, interest in politics, membership in teacher organizations (NEA or AFT) and level of participation with organization activities. The thrust of the research hypotheses was that these characteristics would be related to the frequency of occurrence of congruent, incongruent, or inconsistent responses.
One hundred and seven public school teachers from the northwest and east-central areas of Illinois were involved in the study. The teachers were given a survey instrument consisting of two parts. The first part noted information about each teacher's age, educational attainment, and membership in teacher organizations, and recorded the degree of interest in politics and level of participation in organization activities. The second part of the instrument consisted of 24 items on 22 policy issues relevant to teachers. Half of the items were supportive of the organization's position on these issues and the other half offered non-supportive stances on the same issues.
When a teacher agreed with the organization's position and disagreed with the nonsupportive position on an issue, it was judged as a congruent response. When a teacher disagreed with the organization's position and supported the opposing position, or when there was disagreement with both positions, it was judged an incongruent response. In the case where the teacher agreed with both positions, it was deemed an inconsistent response. Categorization of all responses in this manner generated the number of congruent, incongruent and inconsistent responses for each teacher.
A comparison of means for the frequency of congruent, incongruent, and inconsistent responses was made between different categories of the characteristics and analyzed with t-test and one-way analysis of variance procedures. The findings included several significant relationships (> .05): (a) middle-aged teachers (30 to 39 years) had more congruent responses than older teachers (40 to 52 years); (b) older teachers responded with a greater number of incongruent responses than middle-aged teachers; (c) nonmember teachers responded more frequently with congruent responses than member teachers; and (d) higher level of participation teachers had a greater number of congruent responses than lower level participation teachers.
The study concluded that relationships existed between teacher characteristics and the frequency of occurrence of factors effecting group cohesion, particularly for the characteristics of age, membership in organizations and level of participation in organization activities. It was felt, however, that the characteristics used were too broadly constructed to provide sufficient insight into many of the proposed relationships and it was suggested that future investigation focus on more meaningful constructs. For example, instead of simple age groupings, concentrate on adult development stages, or, instead of membership in teacher organizations, identify and measure need fulfillment associated with group membership. It was also noted that the inconsistent response rarely occurred and it was recommended that instead of considering three types of different responses, a congruent-incongruent measure be instituted.
Issue Date:1980
Description:121 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1980.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8108433
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-12
Date Deposited:1980

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