A Mixed Method Approach to Understanding Teacher Empowerment in Georgia Schools After Implementation of the No Child Left Behind Legislation Open Access

Coble, Barbara Smith (2010)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/fb4949035?locale=en
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine teachers' current and retrospective perceptions of empowerment within the context of the No Child Left Behind Legislation. Much of the empowerment research to date was conducted prior to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act which was signed into law in January, 2002. The legislation mandates that K-12 public educators meet specific accountability measures by 2014, including Adequate Yearly Progress requirements for students in reading and mathematics.

Although most educators agree that the intent of the legislation is positive, since implementation of NCLB, anecdotal and empirical research indicate that many educators are voicing frustration (Centolanza, 2007; Honawar, 2007; Jones, Jones & Hargrove, 2003; Koppich, 2005; National Education Association (NEA), 2007). Additionally, empirical research indicates that there is a relationship between teacher empowerment and two school characteristics, AYP status of schools (Coble, 2007; Koppich, 2005) and school level (Coble, 2007). Therefore, it is important that consequences of current school policy decisions be examined to ascertain their impact on the stated beliefs of teachers with respect to their feelings of empowerment across these two factors.

Through the use of a survey, open-ended questions and interviews, the questions that my research addressed are:

  • Do teachers' perceptions of empowerment differ across school level and the AYP status of schools?
  • Do teachers report changes in perceptions of empowerment since implementation of NCLB, if so, what do teachers report to be the factors contributing to these changes?

The findings indicate that elementary school teachers' perceptions of Autonomy are greater for teachers in schools meeting AYP than those in schools that have not. Also, elementary school teachers have greater perceptions of Decision Making opportunities and Self Efficacy than middle school teachers.

This research contributes to the existing body of empowerment research by reconfirming previous findings regarding teacher empowerment, AYP status of schools and school level. It also contributes to our understanding of teachers' perceptions of empowerment as the 2014 NCLB accountability date draws near.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 ...1

Statement of the Problem...2

Background...2 Empowerment...2

Empowerment in Education...3

No Child Left Behind and Adequate Yearly Progress...4

Teacher Empowerment and NCLB...6

Conceptual Framework...7

Empowerment Theory...7

Empowerment Process...8

Chapter 2 ...11

Review of Related Literature...11

Empowerment...12 Teacher Empowerment Preceding NCLB...13

Empowerment Literature in the Context of NCLB...18

Studies Using the School Participant Empowerment Scale (SPES) Instrument...20

Empowerment Subscales...22

School Climate...23 School Climate Preceding NCLB...25

School Climate in the Context of NCLB...28

Teachers' Roles and Work...31

Teachers' Roles and Work in the Context of NCLB...39

School Level and AYP Status of Schools...40

Purpose of the Study...42

Research Questions...43

Research Hypotheses...44

Significance of the Study...44

Significance for Schools...45

Chapter 3 ...46

Methodology...46 Participants...46 Instrument...47 Procedures...48 Interviews...48

Data Analysis...49

Limitations...50

Chapter 4 ...52

Findings...52

Description of Independent and Dependent Variables...53

Descriptive Statistics...53

Results...56

Results for Research Question 1...56

Analyses of Variance...56

Summary of Results for Research Question 1...61

Results for Research Question 2...61

Paired-Samples t-Test...61

Analysis of Open-Ended Survey Items...63

Development of Interview Questions...67

Analysis of Interview Data...69

Summary of Results...83

Chapter 5 ...85

Discussion...85

Research Question 1...85

AYP Status...86

School Level...88

Research Question 2...95

School Climate...96

Standards Requirements...98

Issues Related to Daily Teaching Responsibilities...101

Affective Experiences...103

Summary of the Study...104

Conclusion...107

Implications for Further Research...108

Implications for Teachers...109

Implications for Schools...110

Implications for Educational Policy...111

References ...112 Tables ...122 Figures ...141

Appendix A: AYP Expectations for Student Performance...145

Appendix B: Survey Demographic Information...146

Appendix C: School Participant Empowerment Scale (SPES)...147

Appendix D: SPES Subscales and Items...150

Appendix E: Interview Guide...151

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