A study of the relationships between organizational structure of Newfoundland schools and effectiveness as perceived by classroom teachers

Wheeler, Dudley (1982) A study of the relationships between organizational structure of Newfoundland schools and effectiveness as perceived by classroom teachers. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This study was conducted to investigate structural patterns within Newfoundland schools, and to determine possible relationships between organizational structure and perceived organizational effectiveness. Structure, viewed as a means to desired goals, was conceived of in terms of orientation to Weberian bureaucratic principles and/or to selected professional dimensions. Effectiveness variables, as the dependent variables, were measured through classroom teachers' perceptions of quality of teaching, teacher ability to cope with change, and the absence of strain and conflict within schools. Altogether, nine sets of hypotheses were posited about the relationships among these independent and dependent variables. -- Data were collected during May and June, 1982, from a sample of 200 randomly selected schools from around the province. One classroom teacher in each school was asked to complete a three part questionnaire. A total of 166 teachers (83 percent) responded in time to be included in the analyses. -- All hypotheses for the study were tested through Pearson product-moment correlations. To further analyse different sources of variance for the dependent variables, a series of multiple regression analyses were computed. In addition, to determine the relative effectiveness of various structural combinations, a two-way analysis of variance was computed for each effectiveness variable. -- The study revealed that Newfoundland classroom teachers perceived schools as moderately oriented to professionalism while remaining somewhat bureaucratic. All statistically significant relationships between professionalism and bureaucracy, however, were negative, indicating these may be non-complementary phenomena. In addition, relatively small negative relationships between bureaucracy and teacher orientation to students could indicate many teachers have not formed a strong commitment to service to clients. -- While the relationships between school level bureaucracy and effectiveness were negative in most cases, they did not approach significance for either quality of teaching or teacher flexibility variables. Thus, bureaucracy was seen as having no association with either classroom instruction, or teacher ability to cope with change. Bureaucracy was seen, however, as related to more ineffective levels of strain and conflict in schools. In contrast, professionalism was perceived as positively related to all effectiveness variables. -- No evidence was found to support any optimum combination of Weberian bureaucracy and professionalism relative to either of the effectiveness criteria. Thus, within the limitations of this study, professionalism emerged as the most effective organizational means to achieve educational goals.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9928
Item ID: 9928
Additional Information: Bibliography : leaves 133-139.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1982
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: School management and organization--Newfoundland and Labrador; Teacher participation in administration--Newfoundland and Labrador.

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