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ERIC Number: ED531978
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 158
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-5424-3
An Examination of the Impact of Teacher Experience and Teacher Orientation on Disciplinary Factors Used by Michigan Public Elementary School Teachers
Bishop, Shawn P.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Central Michigan University
For schools, creating an appropriate learning environment is critical. Edwards (2008) said "an improper learning environment strikes at the heart of the school's purpose" (p. 1). School discipline is extremely important because positive strong learning conditions are critical to student success and disciplinary problems are a continual threat to a child's ability to learn. The need to discover good disciplinary techniques has pushed educators to investigate different models and techniques for working with student behavior. As schools look for ways to have a positive influence on students' behavior, what should they be looking for? Perhaps an approach may be to investigate how disciplinary programs or techniques align with the four areas of rules and procedures, disciplinary interventions, teacher-student relationships, and mental set. Some recent meta-analyses have found these categories to be useful and to positively impact student discipline (Marzano, et al, 2006). The purpose of this study was to investigate how these four disciplinary factors were used by elementary school teachers. Specific emphasis was placed on analyzing the effects of teaching experience on these disciplinary factors, and analyzing the impact of teacher orientation (task-oriented or relationship-oriented) on each of the four discipline factors. The methodology used for this study was mixed methods, containing both quantitative and descriptive research. This study was delimited to public elementary schools within the state of Michigan. The Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principal's Association (MEMSPA), which has 1,650 members, was the primary source for determining the list of potential participating schools. MEMSPA provided the researcher with access to its listserv, which allowed the researcher access to the email addresses of all MEMSPA members. Elementary principals forwarded the research questionnaire to certified teachers who then completed the online questionnaire using the website. There were 647 qualifying questionnaires submitted and used in determining the results for this study. Four hypotheses were developed and directly related to the four disciplinary factors and correlated with the first main question underpinning this investigation. The first question was "Does teaching experience play a role in school discipline?" When testing to determine whether elementary teaching experience played a role in teachers' use of particular disciplinary factors, differences between experience groups were found with regard to only one factor, mental set. Specifically, experienced teachers used mental-set behaviors significantly less often than new or established teachers. The second set of hypotheses, numbers five through eight, related to the second question underpinning this investigation. It was "Does teacher orientation play a role in school discipline?" When testing to determine whether teachers' orientation played a role in their use of selected disciplinary factors, differences were found with regard to both mental set and teacher-student relationships. Teachers who indicated they were relationship-oriented rated mental-set significantly higher than teachers who indicated they were task-oriented. Identically, teachers who indicated they were relationship-oriented rated teacher-student relationship significantly higher than teachers who indicated they were task- oriented. Interestingly, ANOVA testing for both teacher experience and teacher orientation showed significant differences between groups in regard to the disciplinary factor mental set. Conclusions based on this study suggest that elementary school leaders should attempt to understand how usage of four factors of school discipline (rules and procedures, disciplinary interventions, teacher-student relationships, and mental set) impact school discipline. More specifically, in accordance with this study's findings, elementary school administrators should consider both teacher experience level and teacher orientation when investigating school disciplinary programs and how best to implement them. In addition, this research showed that elementary principals should account for how experience influences mental-set behaviors and how teacher orientation influences mental-set behaviors and teacher-student relationships. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan