Author Chia, Soo Keng
Title Relationship between professional characteristics and teacher professionalism of Secondary school teachers.
Institute Thesis (M.Ed.) National University of Singapore
Year 1992
Supervisor Diong, Cheong Hoong
Call no. LB1775 Chi
 
Summary

This study attempts to determine the relationship between professional characteristics and teacher profession of secondary school teachers. The three aspects of teachers' professional characteristics are teaching experience, professional development and academic and professional qualifications. Teacher professionalism is defined by its two dimensions, teaching competence and commitment to teaching , and it is comprised of five variables: subject pedagogy, managing learning, personal commitment, collegiality and student-directed commitment. Teachers' professional development is comprised of three variables: independent learning, cooperative learning and inservice learning.

The Professional Development and Teacher Professionalism Instrument (PDTPI) was devised to measure professional development and teacher professionalism. A 14-item likert-type questionnaire, forming Part I of the PDTPI, was used to measure teacher professional development. Teacher professionalism was measured using 31-item likert-type questionnaire which was divided into two parts measuring the two dimensions, teaching competence and commitment to teaching. The PDTPI was administered to collect data on the professional development and teacher professionalism of 338 secondary school teachers drawn from eleven schools.

Inferential statistical techniques were used to test null hypotheses which were generated to determine answers to the research questions in the study. Pearson product-moment correlation showed no significant correlation between teaching experience and teacher professionalism (r=0.06, p ≤ 0.05). When the teachers were categorised into seven groups in terms of years of teaching service, the study showed no significant difference in mean teacher professionalism scores for different number of years of teaching service (F=1.32, p ≤ 0.05). The results also showed no significant difference among the seven groups of teachers in their mean scores for the two variables, independent learning and cooperative learning. The mean inservice learning scores among the seven groups of teachers, however, were significantly different.

The Pearson product-moment correlation was also employed to investigate the correlation between professional development and teacher professionalism. Results showed significant correlation between teacher professionalism and all three variables of professional development: independent learning (r=0.39, p ≤ 0.0001), cooperative learning (r=0.27, p ≤ 0.0001) and inservice learning (r=0.39, p ≤ 0.0001). Two groups of teachers were also identified: a high professional development group and a low professional development group. The t-test results showed significant differences in the mean scores of the two groups for all five variables--subject pedagogy, managing learning, personal commitment, collegiality and student-directed commitment-related to teacher professionalism.

Teachers were also categorised into five groups in terms of their professional and academic qualifications. The general linear models test results showed significant differences in the mean teacher professionalism scores for teachers grouped in terms of their professional qualifications (F=3.48, p ≤ 0.05). However, test results showed no significant difference in the mean teacher professionalism scores among five groups of teachers classified in terms of their academic qualifications (F=0.16, p=0.96).