«INFLUENCE OF TEACHERS’ PROFESSIONALISM ON TEACHER PERFORMANCE IN BUSIRO COUNTY SECONDARY SCHOOLS, WAKISO DISTRICT BY MARGARET NABUKENYA BA (EDUC.) ...»
In general, those members of the Board of Governors who stated the integrated approach argued that if properly applied that is, if it is well implemented by the teachers and with good guidance, it would lead to effective learning and boost not only the performance of students but also that of the teachers. Both the quantitative and qualitative findings indicate that though teachers‟ commitment greatly influences teachers‟ performance, and is as a result of teacher professionalism, there are implicit school factors which enhance teacher commitment, professionalism and the implied performance.
4.6 Hypothesis Two From the second objective of the study, the researcher derived the second research hypothesis.
The hypothesis stated that “teacher commitment has a positive relationship with teacher performance in Busiro County secondary schools, Wakiso District”. For the purpose of verifying this research hypothesis, a null hypothesis which stated that, “teacher commitment does not enhance teacher performance”, was derived. This null hypothesis was thus tested using of Pearson‟s Product Moment Correlation Coefficient. The results of the analysis are presented in Table 4.10.
Table 4.10: Pearson’s Correlation coefficient between teacher commitment and
Correlation is significant at 0.05 Table 4.10 showed that the Pearson‟s Product Moment Correlation Coefficient for commitment and teacher performance was r = 0.638. This relation is not significant because it exceeds the benchmark of 0.05. This means that, commitment does not have a positive effect on teacher performance. Therefore, the research hypothesis which stated that, “teacher commitment has a positive relationship with teacher performance” was rejected and the null hypothesis was accepted.
Teachers’ perception of the teachers’ code of conduct on teacher performance 4.7 The researcher inquired from the respondents on their perception of the teachers‟ code of conduct by using eight questions which required the respondents to do self rating based on the Likert scale whereby: 1 represented Strongly Disagree; 2 Disagree; 3 Agree and 4 strongly agree. Respondents‟ responses are summarized in Table 4.11.
Table 4.11 indicate that, 141 (78%) of respondents agree that they have a positive towards the teachers‟ code of conduct compared to the 39 (22%) who showed that they have a negative attitude towards the teachers‟ code of conduct.
Therefore, the study results imply that at least a big number of the respondents who were included in the study seem to have a positive attitude towards the code of conduct for teachers.
The above findings of the study were supplemented by qualitative findings. In the study, teachers were asked to give their opinion on the most frequently applied or fulfilled and important core values of the code of conduct for teachers. Teachers were given alternatives from which to select. The question was: Which three of the following core values of the teachers‟ code of conduct do you perceive to be important and is lived by teachers than the others? a) Honesty, b) service, c) respect, d) tolerance, e) fairness, f) truthfulness. Their responses on the core values of the teachers‟ code that are perceived to be important and lived than others are given below in Figure 4.7.
Figure 4.7: Teachers’ perception of the important and most lived core value of the
The findings presented in figure 4.7 point out a clear picture of teachers‟ attitude towards the core values that are taken to be important in executing their duties (performance). Figure 4.7 reveals that according to the teachers, the core value for which they have a high positive attitude is service with 152 teachers (84.4%) pointing at it. Respondents who gave the above responses were mostly single and their teaching experience was above one year and most of them were on permanent terms as regards their employment status. Respondents take respect to be the next important core value lived by teachers and this was stated by 132 teachers (73.3%). This finding demonstrates that teachers‟ attitude towards the code of conduct is important in improving teachers‟ performance. Hence, the more positive the attitude a teacher has towards the teachers‟ code of conduct the higher the performance. The same teachers indicated that truthfulness is the least exercised core value (20 teachers, 11.1%), then honesty (22 teachers, 12.2%) and then tolerance (40 teachers, 22.2%). Teachers who gave these responses were mainly degree holders and ordinary classroom teachers.
In the focus group discussion, teachers were also asked for their views relating on how they think they can strengthen each other to fulfill the core values of the code. Although their question was phrased in a slightly more flexible way, responses produced a similar trend. The question was: As members of the same profession, how do you think you can strengthen each other in living up to the expectations of the teachers‟ code of conduct? Their responses were
summarized in Figure 4.8:
Figure 4.8: Teachers’ responses on the various ways of strengthening each other Findings in Figure 4.
8 reveal that teachers considered talking about the teachers‟ code in staff meetings to be the best way in which teachers could strengthen each other in living up to the expectations of the code of conduct, this was followed by making an effort to counsel each other, and then casual discussions, and constant reminders were also mentioned as some of the other ways. Majority of the teachers in the focus group discussion were mainly male and married and they had been in the teaching service for more than ten years. Their ratings were given by 31 teachers (41.3%) who chose meetings, 20 teachers (27%) who were in for counseling, 13 teachers (17.3%) who talked of constant reminder and 11 teachers (15%) who mentioned casual discussions.
Narrowing down to the seven core values of the code of conduct for teachers in the study, namely; respect, integrity, trust, fairness, equality, service and honesty, the researcher asked questions focusing on all the core values of the code. According to the results from the focus group discussions, it was revealed that the respondents considered it easy for teachers to uphold the core values of respect, integrity, trust, fairness, equality, service and honesty as required by their profession if one fully respects the teachers‟ code and adheres to what it says.
In this context, “easy” meant that teachers, who make an effort to live up to the expected behaviour of the teachers‟ profession, often have not had any problem in their service and so they have enjoyed and are proud of being teachers.
For example one teacher said;
In fact, follow the rules as they are stated and everything will be ok with you. The core values of the code are not meant to deny us the freedom we want but actually direct us in achieving our desired freedom. Therefore I believe and my fellows here too that these core values are very easy to live by if we all endeavour and desire to exhibit good behaviour. (A female teacher whose age ranges between 31-40 and is married and employed on permanent basis) Another supplement research question namely “what is your attitude towards the teachers‟ code of conduct?” was asked. In response, the teachers made the following revelations; Over half of the teachers 50 (66.7%) revealed that the code is good but needs refining and upgrading to cover new challenges such as homosexuality, lesbians and corruption. On the other hand, 71 (94.7%) revealed that teachers take the code for granted and not consciously think about it but after long service, certain pertinent issues just follow. For example, one teacher said;
“With time and age a teacher get to know and practice the core values expected of a teacher.” (Teacher interviewed in March, 2009).
Almost all the interviewed 14 (93.3%) head teachers and their deputies revealed that though each teacher is responsible for the adherence and compliance to the teachers‟ code of conduct, most teachers‟ perceptions of the code is aligned to the attitude they have towards the school, school management and the implicit and explicit emoluments such as monthly salary, accommodation and motivation while the remaining 2 revealed that each teacher has a specific perception and attitude towards the code. One head teacher further revealed and said;
“The specific and individual attitude is dependent on the teacher‟s family background, religion and schools attended.” (Head teacher of a denominational secondary school) The above was enhanced by another teacher who said;
“Teachers from good Christian founded background are obedient, self motivated, while teachers from for-profit schools have a low and negative attitude towards the teachers code. They see it as a burden. Actually these teachers resist any regulation even if it is good.” (Head teacher of a private school).
The findings further revealed that, teachers‟ perceptions towards the code of conduct also hinges on the attitude the BOG, head teacher and students have towards the teacher. This finding was enhanced by what one teacher in a focus group said;
“If the school management and students show me that I am of use then my attitude towards them is positive and if they are rude and do not pay me, I also become rude and act not like a professional person. Actually my perception changes completely” (Single teacher having his age range lying between 23-30 years in a for-profit school).
Another teacher in a similar school alluded to the same but introduced another dimension in teachers‟ attitude and perception of the code. He said;
“We teachers observe and behave differently in different schools. In schools where we are paid well, our attitude and insight changes according to the specific school environment.” (A part-timing teacher in a for-profit school with his teaching experience ranging between 1-10 years).
The study also sought to establish how teachers feel about the code and the question that teachers were asked was; what is your feeling about the code of conduct? The study findings from the interviews and focus group discussion indicate that all the sampled teachers, head teachers and their deputies revealed that the teachers‟ code of conduct is good though it is not well circulated to the different secondary school stakeholders. In fact one respondent stated that;
“Without the code of conduct as a guide we do not know how we would be as teachers in matters pertaining to our conduct. Whoever thought of the professional codes of conduct for each profession was great in the sense that the rules stipulated in each ethical code do guide us well on what to do and they have helped us to be role models in society. Surely those teachers who have behaved well have always been our pride.” (Teacher in a focus group discussion) The study further sought to understand how teachers feel when a fellow teacher acts outside the stipulated rules of the code of conduct. The question that the teachers were asked was;
How do you feel when your fellow teacher acts outside the code of conduct and how would you react to their negative actions? The teachers‟ responses and revelations were indicated in Table 4.12.
Teachers‟ responses in Table 4.12 reveal that an overwhelming big number of teachers 63 (84%) responded that they feel ashamed and very sorry of their fellow teacher, and do not simply keep quiet about it but endeavour to warn, counsel, and talk to the person concerned.
Those whose responses were the opposite were only 12(16%). Similarly, on suspending indisciplined teachers, teachers were asked to give their opinion on whether indisciplined fellow teachers should be given indefinite suspension when they violate the code of conduct.
The question was; should teachers who violate the teachers‟ code of conduct be given
indefinite suspension? Their answers were summed up in Table 4.13:
Table 4.13: Teachers opinion on giving indefinite suspension to teachers who violate
Findings in Table 4.13 reveal that whereas 31teachers (41%) believed that indisciplined teachers should be given indefinite suspension, 44 teachers (59%) did not. Teachers‟ responses on not giving indefinite suspension, therefore, agreed with those of head teachers who believed that giving a warning and also counseling these teachers is what helps one change and is actually better than giving an indefinite suspension. In line with the above, one head teacher is quoted to have said;
“usually when one messes up, the best step to take is not to crucify such an individual,
the school, endeavour to invite that teacher and talk to him, listen and give due advice, and once this same fellow repeats the act, then take serious action and this is when probably an indefinite suspension comes in.” Concerning the same question and in probing further, teachers were asked to indicate whether it is a common practice in their schools for some of them to find it easy to dedicate one‟s time in attending to one‟s duties and always turning-up when called upon. The question was: Do you find it a common practice in your schools for some of you to find it easy to dedicate one‟s time in attending to one‟s duties and always turning-up when called upon? The responses received were summarized in Figure 4.9.
Figure 4.9: Whether it is common to dedicate one’s time in attending to one’s duties