Date of Graduation

5-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Advisor

Farah Mounir

Committee Member

Jason Endacott

Second Committee Member

Freddie Bowles

Third Committee Member

Felicia Lincoln

Abstract

China has a long history of education, which can be traced back to the Shang Dynasty (1523 B.C. to 1027 B.C.). During this long history changes occurred as the needs of society changed. During the Warring States Period (770 B.C. to 221 B.C.), the philosophies of Daoism and Confucianism were developed. These philosophies became the cornerstone of education theory and practice in China. At the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1911), steps were taken to train teachers with the goal of universal education for all of its citizens. Since 1977, the Chinese government has taken strides in universal education one way they are working on this is by improving teacher professional development.

This study examined the attitudes of teachers in the city of Guangzhou China as to their attitudes toward professional development. Using employment records, every third teacher was asked if they were willing to participate in the study. If so they were given the internet site to take the survey in the school. There were a total of 464 teachers who agreed to take part in the study. After teachers finished taking the study and the answers were examined, it was found that question 24 was not answered 150 times; further examination into this revealed that the question might have had a cultural bias indicting the teacher wanted to advance and take the supervisor's position.

The instrument used was "Attitude Toward In-service Scale" by Flanagan-Hudson, with a Likert scale ranging from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 5 (Strongly Agree). The following statistical analyses were performed on the data: a one-way ANOVA, a two-way ANOVA, Tukey test, and a Brown and Forsythe's Test for homogeneity of total variance.

The study indicated that there was no significant difference in attitudes of teachers based on gender. Teachers in the male category rated themselves a mean of 3.76 and a standard deviation of 0.45. Teachers in the female category rated themselves 4.03 and a standard deviation of 0.38.

The study indicated that there was a significant difference in the attitudes of teachers toward professional development based on the years of experience. Teachers with more years of experience rated themselves higher on the scale. Teachers of the 5 years or less and the 6 to 15 years categories had means of 3.38 and 3.98 respectively and a standard deviation of 0.55. Teachers in the 16 to 25 years and 26 years or more categories had a means of 4.06 and a standard deviation of 0.21 and 0.22 respectively.

The study indicated that there were significant differences in the attitude of teachers towards professional development based on the age of the teachers. Teachers in the age of 30 years or less and 31 to 40 years rated themselves a mean of 3.45 and 3.78, with a standard deviation of 0.56 and 0.47 respectively.

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