A study of the relationship of middle school team ideology and school achievement status
Okrasinski, Jeanne E.
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Improvement of achievement in middle schools is an ongoing issue that all districts face. Teaching teams are used in over 80% of all districts across the United States for middle schools. Research on the relationship between teaming and school achievement is needed. The current study investigated whether a teacher ideology had any relationship with school achievement status. Participants were given a questionnaire for demographic purposes and a q-sort to identify ideological preference. Paperwork was completed at mandatory faculty meetings, which provided an acceptable rate of return of the packets. Participants completed the paperwork only one time. Demographic variables, including certification, teaching experience, teaming experience, and age, were used to identify patterns in ideological preference. Ideology for each of the 183 staff members was assigned from the results of the fourquestion q-sort. A total of 138 teamed teachers were then analyzed for congruency status among all team members. Using all staff data, a primary ideological classification was also derived for each school. Schools were separated by achievement status as indicated on Illinois School Report Cards from 2003, 2004, and 2005. This study revealed that there is a statistically significant relationship (p< .024) between ideological congruence of teamed teachers and school achievement status. Achievement occurred more often at schools where teacher teams were organized by congruent ideologies, without regard for which ideology was expressed by the group of teachers. Data revealed no statistically significant relationships among the demographic variables and ideology. Interesting findings did occur, however, related to teaching experience. Those teachers that had over twenty-five years of experience held a distinct majority of all staffers who self-identified Critical Theory as their primary ideology. While not statistically significant (p< .056), the adjusted residual was |2.03| and warrants future investigation.