Middle level school restructuring: A study of teacher attitudes and interdisciplinary team organizations

Richard Nicholas Dellinger, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was threefold. First, the study was designed to investigate the attitudes of seventh and eighth grade teachers toward the importance of six restructuring related issues. These issues were job satisfaction, cooperation, empowerment, problem solving opportunities, teacher self-esteem, and a school's mission. Second, the study was designed to investigate the extent to which these middle level teachers were involved in the interdisciplinary team organization, or teaming. Six levels of teaming were used in this study. Four of the levels, organizational, community, instructional, and governmental, were proposed in a hierarchial model originally described by Paul George. Third, and most importantly, this study was constructed to test the hypothesis that teachers who were more extensively teamed would view the six restructuring related issues as more important than teachers at lower levels of teaming.^ Teacher questionnaires were mailed to all 44 public, middle level schools in Westchester County in the fall of 1990. The questionnaires collected basic demographic information, requested information about the importance of the restructuring related issues, and contained 26 operational questions regarding the degree of teaming. Eighty-four percent of the principals returned questionnaires for their schools. Of the 1,238 full-time, seventh and eighth grade teachers in the county, 36.26% returned questionnaires that were included in the analysis.^ No significant relationship was found between the degree of middle level teaming and teacher attitudes through the use of Pearson product moment correlations or analysis of variance calculations. Therefore, both hypotheses for this study were rejected. However, respondents generally indicated favorable attitudes toward the selected restructuring issues. Thirty-seven of the forty-six questions (80.43%) received mean scores between 3.00, indicating an important issue, and 4.00, indicating that the issue was very important in order for schools to be as effective as possible. The interdisciplinary team organization was also found to be a very common organizational practice. At least one team existed in 91.89% of the schools that participated in the study. According to the respondents, 50.78% indicated that they were involved to some degree in the team organizational structure. And, when teamed teachers were asked directly if the team organization has improved the six restructuring related issues, the response was generally favorable.^ Further recommendations were made for practitioners and researchers interested in middle level teaming and teacher attitudes toward restructuring related issues. ^

Subject Area

Educational administration

Recommended Citation

Dellinger, Richard Nicholas, "Middle level school restructuring: A study of teacher attitudes and interdisciplinary team organizations" (1992). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9304512.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9304512

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