Date of Award

1-1-1999

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Education

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Russell Waugh

Abstract

The study has three aims. One is to investigate teachers’ receptivity to the use of Student Outcome Statements in Western Australian government secondary schools. The dependent variable is receptivity towards the use of Student Outcome Statements and is measured in four aspects: Overall Feelings, Attitudes, Behaviour Intentions and Behaviour. Two is to investigate the relationships between receptivity, as the dependent variable and ten independent variables: non-monetary cost benefits, alleviation of fears and concerns, significant other support, feelings compared to the previous system, shared goals (shared teaching goals and cohesiveness), collaboration (team teaching, involvement in decision making and teacher collaboration) and teacher learning opportunities. Three is to investigate the relationships between receptivity and the independent variables in the context of the situation variables related to the school department and teacher. The situation variables are: school size, school location, socio-economic status, department size, department type, teacher status, teacher experience, sex, age, use of Student Outcome Statements and purpose to which Student Outcome Statements are put. The study will add to knowledge in three ways. First, it will test a model of major educational change at the beginning of the implementation stage in a centralised educational system. The model is based on existing research and combines variables from various studies including some from Western Australia and some from overseas. Second, it will provide new data on teacher receptivity to a major change in Western Australia: the use of Student Outcome Statements. Third, the study will provide advice to educational decision-makers and administrators on how best to implement system-level changes in a centralised education system. The empirical data for the study were collected using a teacher questionnaire including existing and newly developed scales. There were 126 valid questionnaires returned to the researcher from 30 different senior high schools across Western Australia. An analysis of the scales measuring each variable was undertaken using a Rasch measurement model. For each variable, the difficulties of the valid items were calibrated on the same interval level scale as the variable measures. While acceptable scales were developed and used, they could all be improved and should he further developed for any future research. A preliminary analysis of the data was undertaken to investigate teacher receptivity to the use of Student Outcome Statements. Zero-order Pearson Product-Moment correlations were calculated between the dependent variables and the group one independent variables between the dependent variables and the group two independent 'variables and the two groups of independent variables and between the dependent variables and the situation variables and were investigated using multiple regression analysis. The preliminary result indicated that 91% of teachers supported the use of Student Outcome Statements. The most significant reasons for using Student Outcome Statements were for the purpose of monitoring student achievement (96%), planning teaching and learning programmes (91%) and collecting student assessment information (84%). The group one independent, variables non-monetary cost benefits, significant other support and feelings compared to the previous system had moderate to strong positive correlations with the dependent variables (Overall Feelings, Attitudes, Behaviour Intentions and Behaviour). The group two independent variables involvement in decision-making and collaboration had a moderate positive relationship with Behaviour and team teaching had a small negative relationship with Behaviour. Teacher learning opportunities had a small positive relationship with Overall Feeling, Attitudes and Behaviour Intentions. Involvement in decision-making and collaboration had a small positive relationship with Behaviour Intentions. Cohesiveness had a small positive relationship with Attitudes and team teaching had a small negative relationship with Attitudes. Involvement in decision-making had a small positive relationship with Overall Feelings. There was no relationship between the dependent variables and the situation variables. All the group one and group two independent variables together explained 59% of the variance in Behaviour Intentions, 48% of the variance in Attitudes, 50% of the variance in Behaviour Intentions and 40% of the variance in Behaviour. The situation variables did not account for any significant variance in the dependent variables. The implication of these results for the theory of system-wide educational change in a centralised system such as Western Australia and for education administrators are discussed.

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