01 SES 03 B, Professional Continuity and Teacher Learning
The proposal introduces research findings from the unique longitudinal research project focused on the basic school (ISCED 1 and 2) teaching staffs in the Czech Republic and the relationship between teacher fluctuation and social climate of the basic school teaching staffs as higher rate of teacher fluctuation is problematic for the macro-level of the educational policy as well as the micro-level of the school reality. The topic has a potential for comparison with other educational systems.
Partial objectives of the research were:
O1 Using available data, to construct and verify an overall pattern for calculating the stability rate, or the dynamics of the teaching staff ("enumeration" of the personnel turnover).
O2 To identify general characteristics of teaching staffs of Czech basic schools.
O3 To find and analyse socio-professional characteristics of teaching staffs of Czech basic schools (social climate, personnel turnover, and stability).
O4 To identify the relationship between the social climate of the teaching staff and the rate of teacher fluctuation.
Quantitative approach prevails in the applied mixed research design. The data were collected repeatedly from the same schools using the questionnaire measuring social climate in the staffs OCDQ-RS (Kottkamp et al., 1987) and the self-constructed questionnaire to get basic data as well as data on teacher fluctuation, in the years 2016 (N=125) and 2018 (N=124). More details on methodology are included in the respective chapter.
The space of this excerpt does not allow to introduce the whole of theoretical framework. Please view this section as incomplete because of the space limit. The outcomes of the teaching staff-focused research can give a more complex and contextual image of surveyed reality of the personnel potential of school work. Functioning of the teaching staff is complicated with many ambiguities. This can be one of the reasons why there is still lack of solid theoretical and fundamental research concept and grasp of this topic (not only) in the Czech Republic. Only few Czech studies focus directly on teaching staffs (e.g. Sekera, 1995; Urbánek, 2011). Some other studies deal with the topic only implicitly or marginally, and study for instance social climate (Lašek, 2012; Urbánek et al., 2014), mobbing in the school environment (Čech, 2011), teacher collaboration and intergenerational learning (Novotný, & Brücknerová, 2014), or teacher fluctuation (Rozkovcová, & Urbánek, 2017). To view the topic of the social climate of the teaching staffs in broader context, we studied foreign literature on teacher fluctuation and school leadership which were the closest and most studied topics by foreign theoreticians and researchers. Works by Ingersoll (2001, 2014 and other) on teacher fluctuation in the USA, very sophisticated national studies in Australia on teacher fluctuation and its causes (McKenzie et al., 2013) and teacher attrition (Mason, & Matas, 2015) or works dealing with teacher drop-out in their first years (Kartsenti, & Collin, 2013; Lindquist et al., 2014) bring a deep insight into the theory of teacher fluctuation and attrition as well as into the research methodology. Leadership theories help us understand partially why social climate of the teaching staffs in some schools show repeatedly very favourable parameters and vice versa. To name just a few authors, Harris or Lumby (Harris, 2004, 2005; Lumby, 2013) explain how distributed leadership supports efficiency of school work, authors on transformational leadership bring more knowledge about the process changes in school as organizations (e.g. Kirkbird, 2006; Leithwood, 2005; Vanblaere, & Devos, 2016).
The research framework worked with a mixed methodology. Stress was put on a quantitative research (OCDQ-RS staff social climate questionnaire) supplemented by qualitative procedures (analysis of school documentation, interviews, and focus groups with students). The research unit is a teaching staff of a basic school, the primary population for further selection consisted of teaching staffs of all basic schools in the Czech Republic with 5 and more teachers in the staff. In our research, we used a stratified, simple random sampling to select basic schools from all over the Czech Republic, where 2 strata were basic schools according to size and one stratum was special basic schools, altogether we gained N=125. This stochastic (random) selective procedure lead to the creation of a representative group of basic schools that enabled generalization of the findings on the basic school teaching staffs. These selections enable to set the size of errors caused by selection and make it possible to build mathematically statistical estimations and testing of hypotheses for the primary population. To verify the defined hypotheses, to evaluate dependencies and to generalize the gained results for the primary population, etc., we used mathematically statistical methods. The basic technique for the generalization of the conclusions from the selected group for the primary population is the Horvitz-Thomson estimation and interval estimations derived from hereof. As other research procedures to verify hypotheses and to further analyses, we used tests of relative percent occurrence, non-parametric tests for the analysis of ordinal data, tests of independence in contingent tables. To reduce data, to find relevant factors and to analyse their relationships, we used the method of main components, factor analysis, logistic regression, and other relevant procedures. While choosing the stochastic selection, we perceived certain risks of so-called non-response, which was finally very low in this research as we were able to gain repeatedly data from all selected schools, except from one. This fortunate terrain work saves the findings from a distinctive (systematic – non-selective) error and from a distinct distortion of gained results and conclusions. For qualitative research in 2017 we selected schools with extreme and average parameters of the teaching staff social climate from N=125, after analyses of data from the first QN research phase in 2016.
Repeated research of the social climate of the teaching staffs in the Czech Republic (2016, 2018) confirms relative stability of the phenomenon. It can therefore be considered a sensitive indicator of changes in the teaching staff, and consequently in the functioning of the school. The findings show significant differences of the social climate characteristics across Czech basic schools. Many factors were monitored which potentially influence social climate in the staffs. The key factors are the management and leadership styles which consequently determine other important phenomena for the social climate quality: mutual trust in the staff, staff cohesion, agreement on basic principles of school work, and explicitly formulated and accepted vision. These phenomena are dependent on personnel stability of the teaching staff. Higher rate of teacher fluctuation negatively influence parameters of the teaching staff social climate. The qualitative procedures (2017) indicated connection between fluctuation rate and the quality of the social climate. Repeated quantitative research conducted in the same schools in 2016 (N=125) and in 2018 (N=124) partially confirmed mutual dependency. The quality of the social climate of the teaching staff is supported by relatively stable personnel constellation, high-quality leadership, and long-standing and continuous work with people.
Čech, T. (2011) Mobbing jako negativní fenomén v prostředí základních škol. Brno: Masarykova univerzita, 2011. Škola a zdraví 21. Harris, A. (2004). Distributed leadership and school improvement. Educational Management Administration & Leadership. 32(1), 11-24. Harris, A. (2005). Distributed Leadership. In The essentials of School Leadership, edited by B. Davies, 160-172. London: Paul Chapman. Ingersoll, R. (2001). Teacher turnover and teacher shortages: An organizational analysis. American Educational Research Journal, 38(3), 499–534. Ingersoll, R., Merrill, L., & Stuckey, D. (2014). Seven trends: The transformation of the teaching force. CPRE Research Report # RR-80. Philadelphia: Consortium for Policy Research in Education. DOI: 10.12698/cpre.2014.rr80 Kartsenti, T., & Collin, S. (2013). Why are new teachers leaving the profession? Results of a Canada-wide survey. Education, 3(3), 141–149. DOI: 10.5923/j.edu.20130303,01 Kirkbride, P. (2006). Developing transformational leaders: the full range leadership model in action. Industrial and Commercial Training. 38(1), 23-32. Kottkamp, R.B., Mulhern, J.A. & Hoy, W.K. (1987). Secondary School Climate – a Revision of the OCDQ. Educational Administration Quarterly, 23(3), 31-48. Lašek, J. (2012). Sociálně psychologické klima školních tříd a školy. Hradec Králové: Gaudeamus. Leithwood, K. & Jantzi, D. (2005). A review of Transformational school leadership research 1996-2005. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 4(3), 177-199. Lumby, J. (2013). Distributed leadership the uses and abuses of power. Educational Management Administration & Leadership. 41(5), 581-597. Lindquist, P., Nordänger, U. K., & Carlsson, R. (2014). Teacher attrition the first five years – A multifaceted image. Teacher and Teacher Education, 40, 94–103. Mason, S., & Matas, C. P. (2015). Teacher attrition and retention research in Australia: Towards a new theoretical framework. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 40(11), 44–66. McKenzie, P., Weldon, P., Rowley, G., Murphy, G., & McMillan, J. (2014). Staff in Australia's schools 2013: Main report on the survey. Melbourne: Australian Council for Educational Research. Novotný, P., & Brücknerová, K. (2014). Intergenerational Learning Among Teachers: An Interaction Perspektive. Studia paedagogica, 19(4), 45-79. Rozkovcová, A., & Urbánek, P. (2017). Fluktuace učitelů: vybrané zahraniční teorie a výzkumné přístupy. Studia Paedagogica. DOI: 10.5817/SP2017-3-3. Sekera, J. (1995). Konflikty v pedagogických sborech. Odborná výchova, 7/8, 63-64; 9/10, 86-88. Urbánek, P. (2011). Učitelské sbory základních škol: dvě odlišné profesní subkultury? In: E. Walterová et al. Dva světy základní školy? Úskalí přechodu z 1. na 2. stupeň. Praha: Karolinum, 269-294. Urbánek, P., Dvořák, D., & Starý, K. (2014). Dynamika sociálního klimatu učitelských sborů v době reformy. Orbis scholae, 8(1), 65-78.
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