An assessment of teachers' attitudes toward the 45-15 year-round school concept

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Virginia Tech


The interest in year-round education has grown considerably since 1964, but the associated research and evaluation has not kept pace. The present status of how teachers' attitudes have been affected by changing the school calendar from a traditional nine-month term of operation to year-round operation has been widely debated. Prior information on this topic is almost non-existent. The need for such information has been evident by the increasing number of teacher organizations, school boards, lay persons, and school administrators seeking information from the National Council on Year-Round Education regarding year-round education as it relates to teachers' attitudes. This study was formulated to provide evidence related to: How selected personal and situational variables relate to teachers' attitudes toward year-round education and how can variations in those attitudes be measured.

An assessment instrument, the Teacher Attitude Inventory On Year-Round Education, was designed to determine the relationship between teachers’ attitudes on year-round schools and selected personal and situational variables. Principals of participating schools provided faculty lists which made up the total population of the study and also indicated a contact teacher in the school that would receive, distribute, collect, and return the completed inventories to the researcher. Of these lists, 30% or 800 teachers were included in the sample. The teachers were from 103 operational 45-15 year-round schools in the United States. Returns were received from 75.73% of the schools and 69.50% of the teachers who agreed to participate.

Data was electronically transferred to cards and analyzed using the following computer programs: (1) BMDO4D, Frequency Count; (2) BMDO2R, Stepwise Regression; and (3) BMDO8M, Factor Analysis. The analyses were performed on the IBM 370/158 computer at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

The assessment instrument designed for this study was found to be unidimensional, measuring a single major attitudinal construct relating to year-round education. Four sub constructs relating to year-round education were determined that reflected teachers' attitudes toward: (1) Calendar/Program, (2) Administration, (3) Student Welfare, and (4) Teacher Welfare. The internal consistency of the instrument was determined to be 0.5565.

A significant relationship was found between the following personal and situational variables and teachers’ attitudes toward year-round education: (1) favorability toward year-round schools, (2) morale, (3) fatigue, and (4) quality of the educational program related to the subconstruct on Calendar/Program; (5) providing adequate support staff related to the subconstruct on Administration, and (6) fringe benefits related to the subconstruct on Teacher Welfare. None of the personal and situational variables related to the subconstruct on Student Welfare. The following personal and situational variables were determined not to have any significant relationship to attitudes expressed by teachers toward year-round education: (1) type of school calendar utilized prior to the year-round calendar, (2) number of students enrolled, (3) population density of the school-community setting, (4) sex, (5) age, (6) marital status, (7) total teaching experience, (8) teaching experience in year-round school, (9) teaching level, (10) calendar preference, (11) student-teacher ratio, (12) level of professional attainment, (13) degree of program development participation, (14) professional association membership, (15) options on contract length, (16) work participation option, (17) vacation option, and (18) salary adjustment.