The perception of attitudes by selected community college teachers and administrators : a multidimensionally scaled analysis Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/fj236614s

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  • Purpose of the Study: The purpose of the study was to determine whether multidimensional scaling analysis could be applied to a set of perceived attitude relationships of selected community college personnel. The questions to be answered were: 1. Could perceived attitude relationships regarding the concepts of academic freedom, academic rank, collective bargaining, merit pay, teacher evaluation, and tenure be adequately represented in dimensional terms? 2. What was the nature of the relevant dimensions regarding these perceived attitudes? 3. Were the perceived attitude relationships regarding the above concepts different for administrators, academic (LDC) teachers, and vocational/technical teachers? 4. Were there significant differences between community college personnel in their preference for the above concepts? 5. Could qualitative correlations be established between perceived attitude relationships and preferences for the above concepts among the various community college personnel? Procedures: Data for the study were gathered by means of a questionnaire which paired the six educational concepts, using the method of successive intervals, in order to provide the dissimilarities information needed for the multidimensional scaling routine. In addition, preference scores were obtained regarding the six concepts. The questionnaire was administered to a sample of 27 administrators, 27 academic teachers, and 27 vocational/technical teachers employed by Portland Community College in Portland, Oregon. The respondents were asked to 1) imagine a community college teacher who strongly agrees with a given concept and then indicate the extent of this teacher's agreement or disagreement with a paired concept, and 2) to indicate their degree of preference for each concept. The data were analyzed at the Oregon State University Computer Center using TORSCA - 9, a nonmetric computer program for multidimensional scaling, and one-way analysis of variance. Additional transformations of the data were done on a computer terminal at Portland Community College. The concept spaces established by each group of community college personnel were presented as two-dimensional mappings. Furthermore, combined concept spaces were mapped to facilitate comparisons made between groups. The preference scores for each group of community college personnel were averaged (by educational concept) and listed in table form along with the corresponding F values. Selected Findings: All three concept spaces, as perceived by the Portland Community College personnel, were adequately represented in two dimensions using multidimensional scaling analysis. Kruskal's stress--the measure of how well the six educational concepts "fit" into two-dimensional space-- was 0.014, 0.002, and 0.000 for the administrators, academic teachers, and vocational/technical teachers respectively. All three groups of personnel perceived the concept space as being structured in the same basic manner. The concepts of merit pay and collective bargaining anchored one dimension which was labeled economic methodology. The concepts of academic freedom/tenure and teacher evaluation formed a second oblique dimension which was labeled academic traditionalism. The angle between these dimensions was 41°, which indicated a perceived similarity between the concepts of academic freedom/tenure and collective bargaining in the first quadrant, and merit pay and teacher evaluation in the third quadrant. The F tests, which contrasted all three mean scores for concept preference (one concept at a time), revealed that significant differences existed among the community college personnel for every concept. In general, the administrators and vocational/technical teachers were in close agreement in their preference scores for the six educational concepts. Furthermore, both of these groups differed significantly with the academic teachers regarding their preference scores for these same concepts.
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