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ERIC Number: ED532643
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 183
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1094-1566-7
Attitudes and Affect: How Early Career Special Education and General Education Teachers Respond to Teaching and the Context of Schools
Jones, Nathan D.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University
This dissertation is a collection of three separate but interrelated studies exploring the experiences of early career special education and general teachers as they encounter their school environments. The first sub-study is an exploration of how teachers spend their school time and their instructional time more specifically. Additionally, I investigate the degree to which teachers' affective responses vary depending on the activity in which they are engaged. I find that teachers reported higher levels of concentration, challenge, activation, and self-esteem in school as compared to outside of school. Of a variety of work-related activities, instruction is associated with the highest levels of positive emotions. The data also indicate that teaching assignment (i.e., one's role and responsibilities) is strongly associated with teachers' time use and how they responded to teaching. The second study analyzes whether momentary emotional responses at school become aggregated into attitudes about work, namely commitment and burnout. I draw on momentary affective data and fall and spring surveys to test whether mean levels of positive affect, negative affect, skill, and fatigue are associated with teacher attitudes. I find that negative affect and fatigue are both predictive of teacher burnout, even when controlling for prior levels of burnout. Also, mean levels of positive affect and skill are predictive of one's commitment to their grade/subject area. The third sub-study compares the experiences of new general education and special education teachers in their interactions with mentors and social network members. Drawing on survey data from novice teachers, their mentors, and their key colleagues, I investigate differences in the two groups of teachers' abilities to access social capital in their social networks, and whether these differences contribute to variations in teachers' commitment to their schools, districts, and profession, as well as their levels of burnout. My results suggest that support from colleagues plays an important role in influencing teachers' career plans, particularly for special education teachers. [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: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A