Attitude changes of elementary school undergraduate teacher-interns as compared to certified first year teachers
The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the amount and direction of change that occurred in the attitudes of undergraduate teacher-interns during the intern teaching assignment as compared to the attitude change of certificated first year teachers who had completed a student teaching program at the elementary school level. The twenty teachers in this study were chosen from forty-seven first year elementary school teachers employed in the Northeast Houston Independent School District during the 1970-1971 school year. Ten teacher-interns enrolled in the College of Education at the University of Houston composed, the experimental group. These undergraduates were working toward teacher certification and had not received student teaching training. As part of the internship, these teacher-interns received an intensified supervision program. The ten members of the control group were first year teachers, holding a valid teaching certificate, who had completed a student teaching program. This group received the regular supervision provided by the school district. Participants in the study were administered the Minnesota Teacher Attitude Inventory in August 1970 and again in March 1971. A Teacher Questionnaire was also completed by each individual. Data from the questionnaire was used to identify first year teachers who met the criteria for membership in the control group. Each first year teacher was matched as closely as possible with a teacher-intern on the basis of age. The two groups were also matched on the basis of sex, and the two male first year teachers were excluded from the control group since all teacher-interns were female. The investigation tested the following hypotheses: 1. On the pre-test, the experimental group will exhibit a more positive attitude toward students and teaching than the control group will exhibit. Previous research indicates that attitudes make a negative change following student teaching which the control group had completed. 2. There will be a significant change in attitude at or beyond the .05 level in both groups between the August testing and the March testing. Previous research indicates that various groups tend to move toward negative attitudes during the first year of teaching. 3. The attitude change will be significantly less in the experimental group. Previous research indicates that supervision affects teacher attitude changes. An analysis of the data revealed no significant difference at the .05 level between the two groups in regard to the stated hypotheses. The three hypotheses were rejected. In August the first year teacher group displayed a wide range in attitude scores and became significantly heterogeneous during the seven months of the study. This change was significant at the .01 level of confidence. On the other hand, data indicated that the experimental group was moderately homogeneous at the beginning of the study and became more so during the teaching period. This change was not significant at the .05 level of confidence. It was concluded that although the two groups did not make statistically significant mean attitude changes in the stated hypotheses, the following changes in attitude did occur: 1. At the beginning and conclusion of the seven months teaching period, the group of teacher-interns had a more positive attitude than the group of first year teachers. 2. An analysis of the pre-test and post-test results indicated that attitudes of both groups moved in a negative direction during the teaching experience, but the mean attitude change of the teacher-interns was less than that of the certificated teachers. The attitude mean of the teacher-intern group changed from 60.9 to 39.6. The first year teacher group attitude mean changed from 57.3 to 32.2. 3. Both groups exhibited a positive attitude mean on both the pre-test and post-test. 4. Each individual underwent an attitude change during the beaching experience. These attitude changes varied from indivioual to individual in both direction and amount.