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ERIC Number: ED549397
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 223
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-26726-7559
The Teacher Attitudes toward Homeless Students Scale: Development and Validation
Brown, Jessica J.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Boston College
Recent estimates suggest there are roughly 1.6 million homeless children and this number is growing (National Center on Family Homelessness, 2011). This trend is particularly worrisome given that homeless children face a number of obstacles within society and education, not the least of which is negative teacher attitudes (Swick, 2000; U.S. Department of Education, 2002). This study's primary research question addressed whether a set of underlying dimensions could be identified and used to effectively measure teacher attitudes toward homeless students. A necessary part of answering this research question involved the development of a measurement scale. Both Classical Test Theory and Item Response Theory analyses aided in the elimination process of items in order to create the final Teacher Attitudes toward Homeless Students (TAHS) assessment, which includes an attitudes scale and subscales, and a related knowledge scale. The final outcome was a set of 43 items, across eight dimensions, which could effectively be used to measure teacher attitudes toward homeless students. Additionally, the findings upheld the principles of Rasch measurement, including unidimensionality, a hierarchical ordering of items, and a continuum of the construct definition. In other words, the findings indicate that the TAHS scale was successfully developed according to explicit "a priori" measurement criteria. Moreover, additional correlational and regression analyses provided empirical construct and convergent validity evidence for the TAHS scale. It was also found that attitudes differed slightly for teachers of various backgrounds and experiences, but when analyzed collectively these variables were not significantly related to teacher attitudes toward homeless students. Additionally, there was only a weak relationship between teachers' attitudes and their knowledge about homelessness. Overall the TAHS scale allows for reliable and accurate measurement of teacher attitudes toward homeless students from which valid inferences can be made. The TAHS scale scores and score descriptors can be used to help teacher interpret their attitude. This has the potential for a direct impact in creating equal educational opportunities for homeless students as teachers become aware of their attitude and make positive changes. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A