The Perceived Work Ethic of K-12 Teachers by Grade Level Taught (K-6, 7-9, 10-12)

The Perceived Work Ethic of K-12 Teachers by Grade Level Taught (K-6, 7-9, 10-12)

Gregory C. Petty (University of Tennessee – Knoxville, USA)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4249-2.ch032
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Abstract

Most professional educators agree that K – 20 educators have difficult jobs. However, there has been little research conducted on whether the work ethic of teachers of the different grade levels is common to all levels of teachers. Knowledge of any differences could affect training strategies and educational practices. The science of pedagogy implies that all teaching structures and curriculum are the same for teaching children. However, this chapter shows that there are significant differences between teachers of kindergarten through sixth grade from their counterparts teaching seventh grade through twelfth grade. Specific components that are the result of a factor analysis reveal definitive work ethic constructs that differ between levels of teachers. This information could be used to develop more appropriate curriculum for teachers at all levels of teaching.
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Background

The problem investigated in the study was to determine if there were different work ethics among educators of the current K-20 teaching workforce. Information about how future or past generations view work ethic is important to a variety of audiences but mostly to employers (Imel, 1990), in this case the school district administrators. This importance stems from the need to understand how each grade level teacher within the workforce differs in their attitudes and values they place on work.

Many researchers have studied age and generations and how different views of work ethic affect the workplace (Hazim, 2001; Lankard, 1995; Zemke, et al., 2000). Most work ethic studies have been related to employees of the business sector. Few studies have investigated work ethic as it pertains to educators within public schools. Information on attitudes, values, and interpersonal skills, particularly the work ethic of different generations of educators, may be useful for employers, educators, and researchers in determining ways to attract and keep teachers in the workforce.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Multigenerational Mixing: Two or more generations working together ( McDermott, 2001 ).

Baby Boomers: Individuals born between the years of 1946 to 1964 ( Mitchell, 1998 ).

10 – 12 Teachers: Licensed Professionals that teach High School, grades 10 – 12.

Occupational Work Ethic Inventory (OWEI): An inventory, designed by Dr. Gregory Petty (1993) AU26: The in-text citation "Gregory Petty (1993)" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. , University of Tennessee, to measure an employee’s work ethic.

Boomers: Another term used for Baby Boomers ( Mitchell, 1998 ).

Generation X: Individuals born between the years of 1965 to 1976 ( Mitchell, 1998 )

7 – 9 Teachers: Licensed Professionals that teach intermediate school, grades 7 – 9 th grade public school.

K – 6 Teachers: Licensed Professionals that teach the Kindergarten through 6 th grade public school.

Work Ethic: The beliefs, values and principles that guide the way individuals interpret and act upon their job rights and responsibilities (Miller and Coady, 1986 AU27: The in-text citation "Miller and Coady, 1986" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

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