Understanding and Supporting Rural Saskatchewan Beginning Teachers' Perceptions of Their Psychological Contracts: A Pathway to Flourishing in Schools
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As teachers begin their careers they develop a psychological contract with their organization (Rousseau, 1995); beginning teachers have expectations about what supports will be available and what they will give the organization in return. To ensure that the most effective teachers are working in classrooms it is important to identify and provide the necessary induction supports that beginning teachers need to reach their potential and ensure that they are flourishing in our schools. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship among rural Saskatchewan beginning teachers’ perceptions of their psychological contract with their organizations, the induction supports received, and beginning teacher flourishing in schools. The main objective of this research was to answer the following research questions: 1) How do rural beginning teachers describe the actual induction supports they are receiving from their organizations? 2) How do rural beginning teachers perceive and understand the reciprocal elements of the psychological contract with their organizations? 3) How do rural beginning teachers perceive their flourishing in schools? 4) What relationship exists among beginning teachers’ perceptions of their psychological contract, induction support provided and beginning teacher flourishing in schools? A mixed methods approach was used. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected from 110 beginning teachers in 21 rural Saskatchewan schools divisions using the Supporting the Psychological Contract toward Flourishing (SPCF) survey. Rural Saskatchewan beginning teachers acknowledged receiving positive induction support in the areas of: administrative support, procedures and protocols, consultation with experienced teachers, support with collegiality and belonging, resources, and professional development. They required more support with mentorship, levels of extra-curricular involvement, classroom management, and first year meetings. Beginning teachers perceived that they were strongly committed to their organization and that their employer was generally fulfilling their obligations to them as employees. Beginning teachers in elementary schools, and in some cases K-12 schools, felt better support than those in middle/ high schools. Beginning teachers perceived a low degree of flourishing as they began their careers; however, after one year, they experienced growth. Finally, relationships were noted among beginning teachers’ psychological contract and induction, their psychological contract and flourishing, and between induction and flourishing. Implications for theory and practice are presented regarding beginning teacher induction constructs, gender and type of school influences, and the relationship among induction, psychological contract, and flourishing. Future research is required in the areas of beginning teacher induction, psychological contract, flourishing and the relationship among all three concepts.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CommitteeRenihan, Patrick; Cottrell, Michael; Wilson, Jay; Burgess, David; Elliott-Johns, Susan
Copyright DateMarch 2014