ERIC Number: ED314823
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Reluctant Teachers: Why Some Middle-Aged Teachers Fail To Learn and Grow.
Howser, Michele A.
OSSC Bulletin, v33 n3 Nov 1989
According to recent research findings, the average teacher age continues to rise, with middle-aged teachers now dominating school staff. Although the literature deals with teacher evaluation, managing incompetent teachers, and documenting teachers for dismissal, there is little information about teachers who are reluctant to learn and grow. This "Bulletin," based on a 2-year study, attempts to explain why some middle-aged teachers continue to grow and others do not. Chapter 1 profiles a reluctant teacher, defines the term, and outlines five research questions concerned with adult developmental stages, learner styles, attitudes, behavior change, personality types, the value of self-evaluation, and the role of past circumstances in shaping behavior and attitudes. Chapter 2 summarizes literature on adult developmental styles, adults as learners, staff development, and teacher change as a framework for viewing reluctant teachers. Chapter 3 highlights the study's findings. Awareness of adult developmental stages did not significantly influence teachers' receptivity to change, nor did transitional periods offer growth-producing activities. The learner characteristics of growth-seeking teachers differed from those of reluctant teachers regarding persistence, motivations, authority-oriented learning, and structure. Self-assessment confirmed what teachers already knew about themselves and did not provide new insights. Teachers' attitudes toward collegial relationships, curricular changes, district mandates, and their personal growth determined their growth-seeking behavior. Recommendations and researcher reactions are provided. (53 references) (MLH)
Descriptors: Adult Learning, Aging in Academia, Developmental Stages, Elementary Secondary Education, Middle Aged Adults, Professional Development, Self Evaluation (Individuals), Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Evaluation, Teacher Persistence
Publications Sales, Oregon School Study Council, University of Oregon, 1787 Agate Street, Eugene, OR 97403 ($6.00 prepaid; $2.00 handling charge on billed orders).
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Oregon School Study Council, Eugene.