Secondary Education Teachers
The purpose of this study was to empirically test if some leadership practices would moderate the potential negative relationships between standards-based education reform, teachers’ job perceptions, and career commitment.
The population consisted of 569 certificated elementary school teachers in 16 elementary schools in the Chino Valley Unified School District, from which 184 participated (32% response rate). The typical teacher was full-time (93%), female (87%), 40 years or older (67%), with 2-3 years experience with the current principal (50%). Participants completed the Leadership Practices Inventory, Extent of Standards-Based Implementation (Reeves, 2002), Job Characteristics Inventory (Sims, Szilagyi & Keller, 1976), the Job-Related Tension Index (Kahn, Wolfe, Quinn, Snock & Rosenthal, 1964), Career Commitment (Blau, 1985), and provided demographic information.
Internal reliability in this study for the LPI was all above 0.93. Enabling and Inspiring were the only two leadership practices of interest in this study and they were directly correlated with standards-based instruction, career commitment, job variety, job autonomy, and negatively related to stress. Neither leadership practice was correlated with age or gender. Neither Enabling nor Inspiring were found to moderate the effect of standards-based instruction, job stress, job autonomy and job variety on career commitment.
Post hoc analyses demonstrated that Encouraging the Heart and Modeling the Way did have a moderating effect on the relationships between the extent of implementation of standards-based instruction and job variety. Also, leadership had a strong direct effect on job perceptions. “Though the moderating effects were limited, leadership appears to be a strong influence on the job perceptions of employees. These post hoc findings are important as leaders continue to study how to help teachers through the change process of implementing standards-based education” (p. 101).