Date of Award

12-1-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

School

School of Education

Degree Name

Ed.D.

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Moses Norman

Second Advisor

Dr. Barbara Hill

Third Advisor

Dr. Trevor Turner

Abstract

The traditional comprehensive high school model is facing overwhelming scrutiny as educational leaders and policy makers are deeming them ineffective. With the steady decline of standardized test scores and overall student achievement, school district administrators, with the assistance of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, began the daunting task of transforming these large comprehensive high schools into Small Learning Communities and Small Schools. These smaller learning environments are meant to provide a more specialized education for students that focus on specific learning pathways. The primary purpose of this study is to examine teacher self-efficacy, collective efficacy, and job satisfaction of teachers in the small learning communities and small schools in an urban, inner-city school district. The secondary purpose of this study is to examine the relationships among teacher self-efficacy, collective efficacy, job satisfaction, number of years in the profession, and type of transformation model. While high school transformation is seen as a way of improving student achievement, little research has been done to evaluate how transformation affects teachers’ sense of self and collective efficacy, and overall job satisfaction. The research sample included teachers from four public high schools located in an inner-city school district in the southeastern United States. This quantitative study uses the Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale, the Collective Efficacy Scale, and the Brayfield-Rothe Job Satisfaction Index as Modified by Warner to measure teachers’ self-efficacy, collective efficacy, and job satisfaction in Small Learning Communities and Small Schools. Responses from 109 teachers in small learning communities and small schools were used to examine teacher self-efficacy, collective efficacy, and job satisfaction and their relationship to professional experience. An analysis of differences between the perceptions of the teachers in the two transformational models found that teachers in small learning communities had higher perceptions of their ability to manage their classrooms than did teachers in small schools. A moderate, positive, statistically significant correlation between total experience in education and job satisfaction was found among the teachers in the small learning communities. Responses from teacher surveys supported prior research that there is a direct relationship between self-efficacy, collective efficacy, and job satisfaction. Recommendations for further research included that further study be conducted to single out characteristics of each transformation model that teachers feel are most important so that educational leaders and policymakers can focus directly on them to improve teacher job satisfaction in hopes of positively affecting student outcomes.

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