Teacher commitment : a study of the organizational commitment, professional commitment, and union commitment of teachers in public schools in Saskatchewan
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In this study of teacher commitment in the educational workplace, the researcher addressed several areas of interest: conceptually, the multiple dimensions of teacher commitment and the presence of varying levels of simultaneous commitments to these dimensions; relationally, the effects which a number of personal and organizational variables may have on the dimensions of teacher commitment within sampled schools and school divisions in Saskatchewan; and instrumentally, the validation of instruments to measure the variables being studied. The study included several stages. First, a review of research literature identified three dimensions of teacher commitment: organizational commitment, professional commitment, and union commitment. A number of independent variables were also identified for inclusion in the study, particularly in the areas of personal and organizational characteristics such as job task characteristics (variety, autonomy, feedback, and friendship), manifest personal needs (achievement, affiliation, autonomy, and friendship), leadership (administrator responsiveness and principal leadership), role stress (role ambiguity, role conflict, and role overload), participation in decision making, group cohesion, and intent to stay in teaching. In Pilot Study One, 300 teachers and graduate education students were sampled with a survey form that addressed three dimensions of teacher commitment (the dependent variables). In Pilot Study Two, 470 teachers and graduate education students were sampled with a revised version of the first form plus scales to measure a number of independent variables identified during the review of literature. In the Final Study, the researcher sampled 860 public school teachers from 60 schools in 10 school divisions within Saskatchewan. The final survey form included scales for the dependent variables that had been validated through two pilot studies, plus scales for the independent variables revised based according to findings from Pilot Study Two. Methodology for the analysis of data included principal components analysis, scale analysis, one way analysis of variance, and multiple regression analysis. The researcher found evidence which supported both the presence of the three dimensions of teacher commitment as well as the presence of simultaneous commitments to more than one dimension. In addition, there was support for the presence of school-level and division-level effects in the relationships amongst the dependent and independent variables. Some of the more prominent variables of effect upon dimensions of commitment included: years of teaching experience (which were also examined by means of three career stages of ten-year intervals), job task characteristics, and leadership factors. Finally, a number of summary conclusions, implications, and recommendations for future research were outlined by the researcher.