Date of Award

11-30-2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Degree Program

Global Leadership - with a specialization in Corporate and Organizational Management

Department

College of Business and Management

First Advisor

Valeria Fabj

Second Advisor

Cassandra Keller

Third Advisor

Adam Kosnitzky

Abstract

The teaching profession has been concerned within the past several years, with the preparation of traditional and alternative route teachers. Urban districts have been trying to address how effective teachers are in regards to their training and educational preparation.

The purpose of this study was to examine the differences in beginning teachers (those who have taught between one and three years) who chose the traditional route of teacher education and teachers who pursued an alternative route of teacher preparation in terms of educational background. personal characteristics, school characteristics, mentoring experience, and career adaptability and the relationship to job satisfaction and intention to leave their current job. A correlational research design was implemented in this investigation. Using a purposive sampling procedure, the sample was accessed from a list of 1-3 years beginning teachers in an urban school district in New Jersey. Participants (N = 89) completed self-reporting questionnaires developed by the researcher about their educational backgrounds, personal characteristics, school characteristics, job satisfaction, and intent to leave their current jobs. The Career Mastery Inventory (CMAS) (Crites, 1978) and the Alleman Mentoring Activities Questionnaire (AMAQ) (Alleman & Clarke, 2000) ascertained information about participants' career adaptability and mentoring experiences.

One research question was answered and two related hypotheses were tested. Data analyses consisted of descriptive statistics, confirmatory factor analysis, chi-square, t-tests for independent samples, and multiple regression. The researcher-developed scales of school characteristics, job satisfaction, and intention to leave were determined to have good reliability and construct validity. The standardized instrument, the Alleman Mentoring Activities Questionnaire was also determined to be highly reliable and valid for the sample of beginning teachers, who also had average mentoring experiences.

Findings indicated that the teachers in this study had significantly higher levels of career adaptability as measured on the Career Mastery Inventory than the average adult. There were no significant differences in educational background, personal characteristics, school characteristics, mentoring experience, career adaptability, job satisfaction, and intention to leave in beginning teachers relative to teacher preparation. Highest educational level achieved and school characteristics were significant explanatory variables of job satisfaction accounting for 14% of the variance. Specifically, as educational achievement increased, job satisfaction decreased. Favorable school characteristics were associated with increased job satisfaction. School characteristics were a significant explanatory variable of intention to leave the current job accounting for 11% of the variance. Favorable school characteristics were related to decreased intentions to leave the current job.

Among all the variables of interest in this study, the common denominator influencing teacher job satisfaction and retention was school characteristics. Themes assessed by the school characteristics instrument included degree of support teachers perceived for staff development programs, feeling appreciated, administrative support of innovative teaching and learning ideas, teamwork, and maintaining discipline. Based upon the current study, if school administrators can focus their efforts on improving these key areas, they will improve teacher job satisfaction and retention rates.

Recommendations for future studies include replicating the study with a larger sample size. This study might be expanded to other school districts within the state of New Jersey and to other states. Future studies should also incorporate the additional variable of pay to increase the explanatory power of the models tested, which seek to explain teacher job satisfaction and retention rates within the context of teacher preparation.

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