TEACHER STRESS AND ATTITUDINAL MILITANCY IN NEW JERSEY SCHOOL DISTRICTS

DAWN ELLEN DORSEY, Fordham University

Abstract

This study sought to determine and compare the relationship between New Jersey elementary school teacher' reporting of stress events and their attitudes toward sanctioned activities. The stress events were analyzed individually and in clusters. The four clusters were concerned with "Doing a Good Job," "Management Tension," "Pedagogical Functions" and "Student Discipline and Violence." The dimension of sanctioned activities related to attitudes toward tactics utilized in persuading or pressuring the school administration, board of education, and/or the public into meeting the demands of teacher organizations.^ A secondary purpose of the study was to determine and compare the relationship between New Jersey elementary school teachers' attitudes toward sanctioned activities with respect to the personal variables of sex, age, years of teaching experience, years of experience in present school, year of most recent work stoppage, participation in a work stoppage, educational degrees, reference group support during work stoppage and teaching as the sole source of income.^ Means, standard deviations and percentages were used to ascertain the distributions of teacher scores with respect to the reporting of stress and attitudes toward sanctioned activities. The Pearson-Product Moment Coefficient of Correlation was used to determine the significant correlations between teacher responses of reported stress and attitudes toward sanctioned activities and the personal variables. Analysis of variance was used to determine differences according to the personal variables--location, age, sex, educational degrees, years of experience in present school, years of teaching experience, year of most recent work stoppage, reference group support during a work stoppage, and teaching as the sole source of income--on the two instruments measuring stress and attitudes toward sanctioned activities.^ The three instruments used in this study were the Teaching Events Stress Inventory (Chicago Teachers Union, 1978); the Scale of Sanctioned Activities (Ostrander, 1968); and the Personal Data Form. The sample was composed of twenty-seven elementary schools and 258 elementary school teachers from six Urban-Suburban, four Suburban-Rural and Rural, and four Urban Center districts in New Jersey.^ The following were the major conclusions of the study: (1) The New Jersey elementary school teachers reported stress associated with specific events and clusters of events within the school environment regardless of the geographic locations of the districts and the personal characteristics of the teachers. The teachers were concerned about their physical safety, security and working conditions. (2) The New Jersey teachers were attitudinally militant. The teachers chose "Serving on a complaint committee" and "Notification of accrediting agencies" more frequently than any of the other activities. The teachers selected the activity "To Strike" more often than activities related to public demonstrations. (3) The reported stress was not significantly correlated with attitudinal militancy. The events within schools reported as stressful were not associated with the teachers' attitudes toward the utilization of sanctioned activities.^ The major recommendations evolving from the findings and conclusions of the study were: (1) Further research is needed to understand the effects of school events on teachers. (2) Research is needed concerning the phenomenology of the "hardy" teacher. (3) Administrators, policy makers, parents and teachers must strive to develop strategies that the organization can utilize to change the root causes of stress. (4) It was also recommended that further research be conducted regarding effective strategies that teachers can utilize in coping with their reported stress. ^

Subject Area

Educational administration

Recommended Citation

DORSEY, DAWN ELLEN, "TEACHER STRESS AND ATTITUDINAL MILITANCY IN NEW JERSEY SCHOOL DISTRICTS" (1980). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8020983.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8020983

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