PATTERNS OF ATTITUDES, PERCEPTIONS, AND BEHAVIORS AMONG JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS PARTICIPATING IN A STRIKE
KeywordsStrikes and lockouts -- Teachers -- Arizona -- Verde.
Strikes and lockouts -- Teachers -- Psychological aspects.
Teachers -- Attitudes.
Junior high school teachers -- Arizona -- Verde.
AdvisorGavlak, Emil S.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study focused on a 1978 teacher strike in the Verde Unified School District, Verde, Arizona, and was designed to investigate the impact the strike had on these teachers' attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors. These factors were examined in terms of: perceptions of the strike issues and causes; influences by significant others to strike or not to strike; personal relationships with significant others prior to, during, and after the strike; viewpoints or perceptions of the strike; personal attitudes concerning professionalism and what it meant to be a professional; and experienced feelings of stress. A questionnaire was developed and administered to forty junior high school teachers to investigate their attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors concerning the strike. The theoretical framework developed for this study, drawn from the literature of perceptual psychology, was used to examine and discuss the data regarding the teachers' attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors. The theoretical framework consisted of the following five categories: The Development and Maintenance of an Adequate Self, The Perceptual Field as a Determinant of Behavior, The Concept of Resistance to Attacks on the Self, The Concept of Economic Welfare as Related to Politics and Human Dignity and the Concept of Self-Maintenance of an Organization or System. Teacher respondents reported the following perceptions regarding the strike and their participation in it: (1)Issues and Causes of the Strike: The most significant perceived issue of the strike, as reported by the junior high school teacher respondents, was "The loss of the established negotiating policy" and a "Challenge to personal dignity." The respondents felt that the strike resulted because of "The way the Board and the District's central administration handled the issues." (2)Influences by Others to Strike or Not to Strike: The respondents reported that they were significantly influenced to strike or not to strike by the teachers' association and by teachers in their respective schools. The respondents indicated that they communicated with teachers in other schools when they were unable to talk to fellow teachers in their own schools. (3)Personal Relationships with Significant Others Prior to, During, and After the Strike: Personal relationships figured as a significant influence in each teacher's decision to strike or not to strike. At the building level, principals were perceived by the respondents as administrative representatives and as such were viewed as threatening and lacking empathy. The striking teacher respondents reported that a special feeling of camaraderie developed among the strikers on the picket lines. The strikers, furthermore, reported supportive relationships existing between themselves, the parents, and the students. (4)Viewpoints or Perceptions of the Strike: From the striking respondents' point of view, the strike was perceived as a phenomenon which they had hoped would never occur. From the non-strikers' point of view, though, the strike was perceived as a battle between two major forces, the National Education Association and the National School Board Association. (5)Personal Attitudes Concerning Professionalism and What it Meant to be a Professional: Professionalism, the teacher respondents reported, meant being involved with and having input into such issues as curriculum development, classroom management, class size, and discipline procedures. The respondents indicated that they had been denied the opportunity to participate in these matters. (6)Experiences of Stress: Stress played a significant role in the strike process from beginning to end. The data indicated many stressful and agonizing moments spent reaching the decision to strike or not to strike. Strained personal relationships developed and appeared to have evoked much stress. For non-strikers especially, the entire stike process was reported to have been stressful.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
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