A STUDY OF THE BELIEFS OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS: BELIEFS REGARDING THE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND APPRAISAL SYSTEM TEACHER CHARACTERISTICS
Marvin, Douglas 1975-
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This research study investigates how Texas school administrators perceive the Professional Development and Appraisal System (P.D.A.S.) in Texas as a means of establishing specific essential teacher qualities. What is being measured in this study is the identification of what essential teacher qualities contained within this accepted instrument are considered most important by public school administrators. The P.D.A.S. is comprised of eight comprehensive domains that entail essential effective teaching qualities. The beliefs of school administrators toward effective teaching practices are examined to determine which qualities administrators deem most desirable in teacher appraisals. Quantitative survey data and qualitative interviews allow for examination of the specific qualities administrators look for in teachers and whether those characteristics vary across schools and administrators. The study identifies which specific P.D.A.S. domains administrators regard as most important. This study further examines which specific characteristics within each domain are identified as most important by school administrators. Consequently, the results of this study could be utilized to ensure greater potential success for individuals in teacher preparation programs as well as for career teachers. It can provide further insight into recommended teacher training. Additionally, this study identifies the specific beliefs of current administrators regarding potential teacher candidates and currently employed teachers. These beliefs about teaching practices and professional qualities are measured through the 2012 Texas Public Schools Principal Survey developed for this study. The results of the statistical analyses indicate the survey has strong internal reliability. An analysis of the individual domains provides evidence that the results are in the acceptable range for internal reliability. The descriptive statistics were analyzed and referenced showing a need for more data in order to draw correlations through factor analysis. The results indicate that “encouraging and supporting students who are reluctant or having difficulty”, scored the highest average mean of the characteristics listed in the instrument. Also among the highest means of items reported were; “Establish a classroom environment which promotes and encourages self-discipline and self-directed learning as appropriate.”, and “Works collaboratively and constructively with colleagues and other professionals toward the overall improvement of student performance.” Domain VII reported the highest overall mean among administrators regarding “Compliance with Policies, Operating Procedures and Requirements”. Respondents reported that good teaching characteristics differ little across grade levels with the exception of content knowledge for advanced secondary course work. More data from school districts need to be collected to perform factor analysis in order to gain a more complete perspective of the current beliefs of K-12 administrators.