Kanagawa Prefectural Tana Senior High School
- 教育社会学研究 = The journal of educational sociology (ISSN:03873145)
- vol.77, pp.47-67, 2005-11-15
The purpose of this study is to clarify the internal structure and dynamism of teachers' culture and its interactions with the outside world, by analyzing a survey of teachers' attitudes towards teaching evaluations by students, carried out for all public high school teachers in Kochi Prefecture in 2004. Previous studies in the field of educational sociology have pointed out the following properties of teachers as a group, which demonstrate an introverted and pro-status quo nature : exclusiveness, conservatism, nonintervention, and the prioritization of harmony with colleagues. On the other hand, some recent studies in the field of educational administration argue that collaboration between teachers can contribute to the improvement of schools. However these various properties are only described independently, and there has not been sufficient clarification of the relations among them within the reality of teachers as a group. For example, what is the relationship between collaboration and placing priority on harmony? Recent policies for educational reform have aimed at changing the conservative culture of teachers. Unless we have an adequate understanding of the internal structure and dynamism of teachers' culture, however, we cannot decide which strategy is better. There is a need to clarify its internal structure and dynamism. To elucidate the problem mentioned above, firstly, this paper presents the results of an attitude survey conducted by questionnaire targeting all teachers in public high schools in Kochi prefecture. The reason I chose Kochi is that it is one of Japan's most advanced prefectures in the area of teaching evaluations by students, which have been introduced during the past several years in Japan. Secondly, from these surveys, I extract six factors of school organizational culture by factors analysis, and search for causal relationships between these factors and teachers' attitudes towards teaching evaluation by multivariate analysis. Thirdly, based on these findings, I discuss the internal structure of teachers' culture. The paper reaches the following conclusions : (1) The organizational culture of a school has a greater effect on each teacher's awareness or attitudes toward educational reforms than their individual attributes. (2) Collaboration by teachers' groups needs to be divided into two properties : democratic collaboration and collaboration for improvement. (3) Democratic collaboration is the basis for collaboration for improvement, which make it possible for teachers to transform themselves; on the other hand, there is some possibility of it leading to exclusiveness, conservatism and nonintervention. (4) In order to foster collaboration for improvement on the basis of democratic collaboration, there is a need to escape from nonintervention through the building of friendly relationships and promotion of the redundancy of information, and to avoid conservatism and exclusiveness by the achievement of open management with adequate communications between administrators and ordinary teachers. (5) The properties of teachers as a group that have been mentioned in the past, such as exclusiveness, conservatism and nonintervention, should be understood within a variety of dimensions, based on the factors of organizational culture mentioned above, and on this basis, different appropriate strategies should be devised for solutions.