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Journal for Effective Schools

Volume 11, Number 1

subsequent multi-level analysis, Ware and Kitsantas (2011) found that principal efficacy beliefs relative to the principal’s influence on curriculum, standards, policy, and spending affected teacher commitment through the impact of those variables on the teacher efficacy beliefs. In their analysis, they did not find that meeting performance goals affected teacher commitment. However, “goals” at that time did not necessarily refer to student performance goals (Ware & Kitsantas, 2011). Other researchers have reported that teacher commitment relates to student learning (Firestone & Pennell, 1993), an important aspect of maintaining effective schools. The findings of these studies suggest that there is a complex, multi-level, relationship among teacher commitment, efficacy, turnover, and student achievement. These complex relationships need to be understood more clearly in order to address the demands of NCLB – or any high-stakes accountability. In the following sections, we will review the literature related to these constructs. Teacher Commitment Studies have examined teacher commitment from the standpoint of three constructs: organizational commitment; commitment to student learning; and professional commitment. Organizational commitment refers to the extent to which an individual views himself or herself as involved in a particular organization (Mowday, Steers & Porter, 1979). They characterized organizational commitment with three factors: “(1) a strong belief in and acceptance of the organization’s goals and values; (2) a willingness to exert considerable effort on behalf of the organization; and (3) a strong desire to maintain membership in the organization” (Mowday et al, 1979, p. 226). Kushman (1992) has indicated a linkage between teacher commitment to student learning and student achievement. In Kushman’s context, teachers’ commitment to student learning is characterized by three components: the teachers’ sense of efficacy, their expectations that students can learn, and their willingness to exert the effort required to facilitate that learning. Occupational commitment, or professional commitment, differs from organizational commitment (Coladarci, 1992; Kushman, 1992). While organizational commitment reflects a commitment to a specific workplace and an intention to remain there (Kushman, 1992), occupational commitment refers to commitment to the profession or organization (Coladarci, 1992). Coladarci (1992) addresses commitment to teaching as commitment to a profession and operationally defines it in terms of the teacher’s willingness to choose the profession again. In prior research using the SASS, this distinction between organizational commitment and professional commitment has manifested itself in two ways. Ingersoll (2001) has examined teacher turnover in the context of place—teacher commitment to remain at a site, an element of organizational commitment. Other researchers have operationalized “teacher commitment” in terms of intent to remain in the profession (Riehl & Sipple, 1996; Singh & Billingsley, 1998; Ware & Kitsantas, 2007; 2011). 37

Journal for Effective Schools - Spring 2013  

Vol. 11, #1

Journal for Effective Schools - Spring 2013  

Vol. 11, #1

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