Evaluation of Teacher Attributes as Predictors of Success in Urban Schools
Sachs, Stephanie Kay, Journal of Teacher Education
In the early 1980s, a teacher shortage began to emerge, particularly in urban areas. At present, urban districts lose nearly one half of their newly hired teachers within the first 5 years of service (National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, 2003). This phenomenon is coupled with reform efforts calling for higher quality teachers. Because of these concerns, teacher educators and school district personnel are forced to examine their practices in selecting education students as well as teacher selection and retention.
Differences in sociocultural identities between teachers and students may affect teacher retention and success in urban schools. Currently, there are significant differences between teachers and students in the United States in race, gender, socioeconomic status, and native language. The majority of kindergarten through Grade 12 teachers are White, middle-class women from rural and suburban areas (National Education Association, 1997) whereas 37% of their students are children of color, many of them living in poverty in urban centers (Children's Defense Fund, 2001; Young, 2002). In addition, less than 15% of teachers consider themselves fluent in another language (American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, 1990), yet in 2000 there were more than four million limited-English-proficient students enrolled in kindergarten through Grade 12, and the number is increasing due to increased immigration (Jamieson, Curry, & Martinez, 1999; Kindler, 2002).
The urban school context also may affect teacher retention and success. Urban schools have unique factors that differentiate them from suburban and rural settings. Urban schools are generally large, high-density schools in metropolitan areas that serve a population subject to social, economic, and political disparities because of population mobility, diverse ethnic/ cultural identity, low socioeconomic status, and/or limited language proficiency (Alkin, 1992). The impacts of population diversity and economic deficits on urban education have resulted in racially segregated schools, old school buildings with large student populations, significant teacher turnover, and violence (Dejnozka & Kapel, 1991). In addition, urban schools face (a) low student achievement, (b) inadequate school readiness, (c) low parental involvement, (d) poor access to learning resources, (e) lack of discipline, (f) language barriers, and (g) poor student health. Weiner (1993), in a review of more than 30 years of research, concluded that the impact of the urban context has been historically and consistently overlooked in the research on effective teaching. Yet the sociocultural identities of teachers and students and the factors that differentiate urban from suburban and rural settings characterize a unique urban context for examining teacher success.
Sociocultural and motivational theories provide a framework for understanding how context affects the development of teacher attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. According to Vygotsky's sociohistorical psychology, mental development is guided by community influence, interpersonal interaction, and intrapersonal reflection and transformed through social, cultural, and historical contexts (Blanck, 1990). Bandura's (1997) social cognitive theory examines motivation by describing a reciprocal relationship between personal, environmental, and behavioral factors. Cognitive evaluation theory (Deci & Porac, 1978) and emergent motivation theory (Csikzentmihalyi, 1978) describe an individual's motivation to seek optimal challenges by analyzing the task, including context, and the skill involved in completing the task.
Consistent with these psychological frameworks, theorists in urban education have identified several attributes of teachers as indicators of their potential success in urban settings. These attributes are characteristics or qualities exhibited by the individual and may include beliefs or perceptions about self and others as well as personal values, morals, or truths that are held as a standard to guide an individual's thinking and behavior. Although other attributes associated with effective urban teaching have been identified, education researchers have consistently identified five attributes of effective urban teachers: (a) sociocultural awareness, (b) contextual interpersonal skills, (c) self-understanding, (d) risk taking, and (e) perceived efficacy.
ATTRIBUTES OF URBAN TEACHERS
Sociocultural awareness is an important quality for teacher success in an urban setting. Sociocultural awareness, or the identification, acceptance, and affirmation of one's own and other's cultural identity (Gay, 1995), creates a genuine trust in the inherent quality of human nature that manifests itself as a teacher's respect and faith in all students (Haberman, 1995; Ladson-Billings, 1995; Zeichner, 1996). Teachers that exhibit sociocultural awareness view students' experiences as valuable and meaningful and integrate the realities of their students' life, experience, and culture into the classroom and subject matter (Ladson-Billings, 1995; Zeichner, 1996).
Effective urban teachers also exhibit strong contextual interpersonal skills, enabling them to perceive and respond to the complexities of the urban environment through supportive communication, attitudes, and beliefs. Contextual interpersonal skills are influenced by the teacher's previous experiences with individuals of differing social, ethnic, cultural, and geographic backgrounds (Zimpher & Ashburn, 1992). These experiences serve as a lens through which all future interactions are viewed and developed. Within their past experiences, effective urban teachers develop attitudes and beliefs that embrace a divergence of experience and opinion. Using strong contextual interpersonal skills, these teachers collaborate with their colleagues and community to develop support systems for student needs as well as their own professional growth (Guyton & Hidalgo, 1995). Effective urban teachers also use their interpersonal skills to develop a sense of connectedness with their students and their students' community (Ladson-Billings, 1995).
Effective urban teachers exhibit an enhanced self-understanding that facilitates development of a positive self-ethnic identity (Gay, 1995; Guyton & Hidalgo, 1995) and an awareness of their own personal biases and prejudices (Ilmer, Snyder, Erbaugh, & Kurz, 1997). These teachers use self-inquiry to examine the relationship between their fundamental values, attitudes, dispositions, and beliefs and their teaching. They realize that their beliefs bias all their interactions with students; however, these biases do not prohibit effective urban teachers from learning from their students (Abt-Perkins & Gomez, 1993).
Risk taking, an individual's motivation to seek tasks that are optimal for his or her skills or abilities, also contributes to effective urban teaching. Optimal challenges include moderate risk, or the possibility that the individual may be unsuccessful in completing the task (Csikzentmihalyi, 1978; Deci & Porac, 1978). Effective urban teachers who are risk takers are seen as pioneers and trailblazers (Gay, 1995), change agents (Guyton & Hidalgo, 1995), and challenge-oriented individuals (Gay, 1995).
Perceived efficacy is yet another predictor of teacher success. According to Guskey and Passaro (1994), efficacy is defined as the teacher's perceptions of personal influence and power over factors that contribute to student learning. Perceived efficacy influences a teacher's decision to attempt a task and the teacher's perception of whether he or she can complete the task successfully. Teacher characteristics indicative of high perceived efficacy include integrity, high standards for self and students, taking responsibility for student motivation and learning, persistence, and assumptions of success (Gay, 1995; Haberman, 1995; Ladson-Billings, 1995).
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Some researchers believe that teacher education programs should broaden their admissions requirements beyond academic criteria to consider personal attributes of the candidates that may be related to their potential success in teaching culturally diverse learners (Chester & Beaudin, 1996; Marso & Pigge, 1997; McCutcheon, Schmidt, & Bolden, 1991; Zeichner et al., 1998). Screening tools such as The Urban Teacher Selection Interview (Haberman, 1993) and the SRI/Missouri Pre-Professional Teacher Interview (Schmitz & Lucas, 1990) have correlated individual attributes to new teacher success in the urban classroom. Unfortunately, both of these screening tools rely on a time-consuming and costly interview format. The development of a self-reporting, written survey would greatly reduce the time required for data gathering and analysis. This instrument could be used by teacher educators as a diagnostic tool with incoming education students to measure personal attributes related to urban teaching success.
Developing a survey instrument requires quantifying the factors to be studied. It is hard to quantify effective urban teaching; indeed, innumerable variables influence teaching and learning. Variables in social, economic, political, personal, governmental, and institutional arenas confound any simple prescription for teaching success. Yet by focusing on five teacher attributes or factors--(a) sociocultural awareness, (b) contextual interpersonal skills, (c) self-understanding, (d) risk taking, and (d) perceived efficacy--the potential exists for schools of education to identify, understand, and capitalize on the attributes of preservice teachers to facilitate teaching success in urban settings.
The purpose of the current study was twofold: (a) to develop and validate an instrument for evaluating urban teacher attributes and (b) to determine whether teacher attributes identified by the instrument varied according to teaching effectiveness.
The hypotheses that guided the current study were the following:
Hypothesis 1: Sociocultural awareness, contextual interpersonal skills, self-understanding, risk taking, and perceived efficacy are attributes of teachers in an urban setting.
Hypothesis 2: Effective urban teachers, as identified by administrator and district criteria, exhibit a higher degree of sociocultural awareness, contextual interpersonal skills, self-understanding, risk taking, and perceived efficacy than ineffective urban teachers.
Two phases of data collection and analysis were undertaken with urban elementary teachers. Phase 1 of the study focused on developing and validating a survey questionnaire based on urban teacher attributes. Responses to questionnaire items were grouped into factors or concepts using factor analysis, and the factors were examined to ensure their consistency and meaningfulness within the theoretical frameworks of sociocultural and motivational theories. Using the factors identified in Phase 1, Phase 2 examined whether participants' responses could be used to differentiate the participants into groups based on high or low teaching effectiveness.
The samples used in Phase 2 were taken from the elementary school teacher populations of two large, midwestern, urban school districts. Both districts serve more than 40,000 students, the majority of which are students of color and are eligible for free and reduced lunch prices.
An initial pool of 55 items was developed based on an analysis of the literature that reported attributes of effective urban teachers and a review of existing questionnaires that focused on teacher motivation and sociocultural awareness. The items were designed to measure five teacher attributes: sociocultural awareness, contextual interpersonal skills, self-understanding, risk taking and efficacy. The items were free from educational terms or jargon and limited to experiences that could reasonably be expected of an incoming education student. Responding to the items did not require any previous teaching or field experiences with children or an understanding of effective pedagogy. To reduce the effect of acquiescence, all items stated or implied something positive or negative about urban teaching or urban populations (Mueller, 1986). Of the 55 items, 36 items were positive (e.g., students can succeed regardless of ethnic or cultural background) and 19 items were negative (e.g., the amount a student can learn is primarily related to family background). A 5-point Likert-type scale was chosen as the response format for the questionnaire (Mueller, 1986).
Phase 1 Methodology
In the first phase of the study, the questionnaire was validated for content validity and reliability, and specific teacher attributes were identified based on participant responses to the questionnaire. The survey population included 179 regular classroom elementary teachers (K through Grade 5) with 5 or more years of experience in a midwestern urban school district. With 55 initial questionnaire items, this resulted in a participant to item ratio of 3:1.
Participant responses were used to test the hypothesis that sociocultural awareness, contextual interpersonal skills, self-understanding, risk taking, and efficacy are attributes of urban teachers. All data analyses were completed using SPSS 9.0. Exploratory factor analysis was used to analyze the correlations among the 55 questionnaire items and to reduce the data to a smaller number of concepts or factors. No a priori factor structure was hypothesized. Cases were excluded listwise to ensure that subsequent factor scores had equal weightings.
Exploratory factor analysis was conducted in several iterations. Using principal components analysis, factors were initially extracted using the Latent Root Criterion (eigenvalue > 1) and examined using a scree plot. Although 17 factors had an eigenvalue greater than one, the scree test revealed 10 factors that accounted for a significant percentage of the variance (52.7%). Subsequent iterations included a principal components analysis followed by an orthogonal Varimax rotation. Only factor loadings greater than .40 were considered (Hair, Anderson, Tatham, & Black, 1998). Items that did not load on any factor were evaluated for possible deletion.
Reliability was assessed using Cronbach's alpha coefficient and a reliability standard of .60 (Robinson, Shaver, & Wrightsman, 1991) to ensure that the items within a factor were measuring the same construct and were highly intercorrelated. Each factor was further analyzed to eliminate items that did not contribute to or improve the internal consistency of the factor (i.e., deleting the item did not significantly change the alpha coefficient) and to identify any potential subfactors. After each factor was analyzed and no further items were eliminated or reclassified, a final principal components analysis with a Varimax rotation was performed on the remaining factors and items.
Finally, the identified factors were assessed for content validity and dimensionality. The factors were examined for content validity to ensure that they were consistent with the motivational and sociocultural theoretical frameworks of the study. The factors also were examined for dimensionality to ensure that each factor contained items that were strongly associated with each other and represented a single concept. After all Phase 1 analysis was complete, 29 items loading on seven factors were retained, resulting in a final participant-to-question ratio of 6:1. The 29 items and seven factors were utilized for subsequent analyses in Phase 2.
Phase 2 Methodology
In the second phase of the study, participants' responses to the 29 retained questionnaire items were analyzed to test the hypothesis that teachers could be differentiated into highly effective and less effective teaching groups based on the seven factors or attributes identified in Phase 1.
Participants in Phase 2 included teachers from a second midwestern, urban school district. All elementary school principals in the district were asked to choose two highly effective, two moderately effective, and two minimally effective kindergarten through Grade 5 classroom teachers to complete the questionnaire. The principals were instructed to base their ratings of effectiveness on the state criteria used in schools by administrators to formally evaluate in-service teachers (Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 1999). A total of 121 teachers returned completed questionnaires of whom 60 participants (49.6%) had been rated as highly effective, 36 participants (29.8%) had been rated as moderately effective, and 25 participants (20.7%) had been rated as minimally effective teachers by their principals. Because the sample sizes varied markedly, the moderate and minimally effective groups were combined into one group for a subsequent two-group discriminant analysis.
Potential differences between the highly effective and less effective teaching groups because of the categorical variables, teacher's age, number of years teaching, and teacher ethnicity were tested using a Pearson chi-square test. There were no significant differences in the demographic variables between the two teacher effectiveness groups.
Differences between the highly effective and less effective teaching groups were examined using several methods. First, differences in factor scores between the teaching effectiveness groups for each of the seven factors were examined with a one-way ANOVA. The factor scores were computed by taking the mean of the item responses for each of the seven factors. All items were assumed to be of equal weight in the averaging procedure. Reverse scoring was utilized for items with negative loadings to ensure that items with positive and negative loadings would have absolute values when factor scores were calculated. Second, factor scores were used as the independent variables in a simultaneous discriminant analysis to determine if any of the factors significantly discriminated between the highly effective and less effective teacher groups. The function structure matrix was examined to determine if any of the factors exhibited a substantive loading that would indicate the factor's ability to differentiate between teacher effectiveness groups. Third, classification analysis was utilized to compare each teacher's actual group membership to his or her predicted group membership based on the discriminant analysis of the seven factors. Finally, to ensure that no factor based on a single item was overlooked, a simultaneous discriminant analysis was used to consider all the remaining 29 independent variables or questionnaire items concurrently.
Factor analysis revealed 10 factors, including 49 of the original 55 questionnaire items (89%), which accounted for 52.7% of response variance. After considering the factor reliability and the internal consistency of the items within each factor, 29 items, loading on seven factors, were retained that represented 56.2% of total variance. Five of these factors were consistent with the suggested attributes of effective urban teaching: sociocultural awareness, contextual interpersonal skills, self-understanding, risk taking, and efficacy. The additional two factors, cultural responsiveness and risk to personal safety, were subcategories of sociocultural awareness and risk taking. The appendix includes the 29 items, as stated on the questionnaire, the conceptual factor names assigned by the investigator, and coefficient alphas for each factor.
None of the seven urban teacher effectiveness variables identified in the questionnaire--sociocultural awareness, self-understanding, external efficacy, cultural responsiveness, contextual interpersonal skills, risk taking, or risk to safety--significantly discriminated between the highly effective and less effective teacher groups. Neither ANOVA of the seven factor score averages nor discriminant analysis of the factor scores revealed any differences associated with teacher effectiveness. Next, a classification matrix was developed to determine if the discriminant function could significantly predict membership into the highly effective and less effective groups. The classification analysis was unable to accurately predict membership into the teacher effectiveness groups. Compared with chance probabilities of 50% for each group, only 64.0% of the sample was correctly classified based on the seven variables. Using the seven predictor variables, 66.0% of the highly effective group were classified correctly as highly effective and 62.1% of the less effective group were classified as less effective. Finally, the simultaneous discriminant analysis determined that none of the 29 individual items significantly correlated or contributed to the variance between the two teacher groups. These results confirmed that neither the seven urban teacher effectiveness variables nor any of the 29 individual items could be used to predict membership into the highly effective or less effective groups.
The results of the current study revealed that the five hypothesized teacher effectiveness attributes--sociocultural awareness, contextual interpersonal skills, self-understanding, risk taking, and perceived efficacy--did not discriminate between highly effective and less effective urban teachers. Two additional factors identified in the factor analysis, cultural responsiveness and risk to personal safety, also did not discriminate between teacher effectiveness groups. Highly effective and less effective teachers responded similarly to the questionnaire items. The discrepancy between the results of the current study and previous research is puzzling because the questionnaire items developed for the current study were consistent with widely accepted theories concerning effective urban teaching.
The validity of the questionnaire was closely examined because survey research is often criticized as being too restrictive and limited. Critics feel that some concepts are simply not measurable by surveys (de Vaus, 1986). However, in the current study, use of a survey was deterministic and allowed for hypothesis of concepts or attributes that would surface in the data. Although a cause-effect relationship was never sought, analysis of the questionnaire data allowed for an examination of the relationship between teacher attributes and effective urban teaching.
The questionnaire also was scrutinized for content validity to ensure the items were worded carefully to evoke common meanings among the participants. A few participants reported confusion with wording or terms in the questionnaire or included comments indicating that they were offended by wording such as "majority culture," "values," and "communication styles." In future studies, these phrases may need to be clarified or alternative wording chosen. However, the wording used in the items was clear and understandable to the majority of the participants.
The 5-point Likert-type scale (strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, and strongly disagree) included enough options so that variance and reliability would be adequate. The questionnaire was constructed to elicit strong responses from the participants; however, some respondents felt the forced responses were not realistic. The scale as written did not allow for any extenuating circumstances, and several participants suggested a "sometimes" response to account for exceptions to the items. This option could be added but could result in a narrowing of the variance of response because a sometimes response encompasses a variety of situations and does not force the participant to choose a stronger response. Therefore, the 5-point Likert-type scale was adequate for the recording of accurate responses.
The use of a questionnaire also was parsimonious. Unlike the interviews and observations used in previous studies (Basom, Rush, & Machell, 1994; Haberman, 1993; Schmitz & Lucas, 1990), the questionnaire provided a large amount of information in relatively little time with limited human resources. In addition, the questionnaire data were easily collected and statistically analyzed into smaller distinct concepts or attributes that were directly related to the theoretical framework of the study.
Although the instrument could be refined further, seven factors were identified through the questionnaire responses that were related to the hypothesized attributes of effective urban teachers. The inability to discriminate between highly effective and less effective teachers does not appear to be because of the validity of the questionnaire. Therefore, the questionnaire was valid and useful for assessing attributes of urban teachers.
Responses to 55 questionnaire items from 179 participants were analyzed in the initial factor analysis. Although this sample size is adequate, the participant-to-item ratio was low at 3:1. This may have resulted in overfitting the data and eliminating some items that may have proven significant if analyzed using a larger sample size. However, the participant-to-item ratio was increased to 6:1 because factor analysis reduced the number of items from 55 to 29. The increased ratio, coupled with factor loadings of .40, ensured statistical and practical significance of the factor analysis results.
A close analysis of the literature on effective urban teachers revealed research methodology that may explain the incongruity of the current study's findings compared to previous studies. Most prior research examining effective urban teaching focused on teachers perceived to be effective but usually did not include a similar group of teachers perceived to be ineffective to determine similarities and differences between the two groups. For example, Ladson-Billings (1994) focused only on the attitudes and beliefs of eight exemplary teachers. Similarly, Foster (1993) examined the educational philosophies of 18 exemplary African American teachers. Other researchers have studied successful teachers to determine commonalities in their practices (Brookhart & Rusnak, 1993; Peterson, Bennet, & Sherman, 1991). In fact, Haberman (1993) conducted research with what he terms "star teachers" since 1959 yet he conceded that his interview protocol was used only with average and higher performing teachers and had not been tested to determine if it also could identify incompetence. These studies reported findings as correlates to effective teaching without gathering data from a control group of ineffective teachers leading to the unintentional generalization that these studies had identified attributes associated with teaching effectiveness.
Similar responses to the questionnaire from effective and ineffective teachers were unexpected. Effective teachers were expected to have some measure of the identified attributes because the attributes had been previously associated with effective teachers. However, it was not expected that teachers classified as less effective would respond similarly to teachers classified as highly effective, suggesting that they possessed the same attributes. This result is contrary to the widely accepted educational research that associated these attributes only with effective urban teachers.
One explanation for the findings of the current study is that effective and ineffective urban teachers may utilize their attributes in different ways. For example, effective teachers may use their attributes to positively affect their teaching, whereas ineffective teachers may use their attributes to become resilient and survive in the urban environment. Of course, it is possible that the ineffective teachers may have given socially desirable responses regarding their beliefs that did not match their practice.
Effective urban teachers were expected to exhibit attributes associated with effective urban teaching. As demonstrated in previous studies, effective urban teachers can articulate what they believe and how their beliefs and attitudes affect their teaching. Consistent with the psychological research, they may have a greater awareness of the historical, social, and cultural contexts that influence their teaching and their students' learning. Effective urban teachers also may have greater pedagogical content knowledge and may understand better how to use sociocultural awareness, interpersonal skills, and perceived efficacy to enhance teaching and learning. For example, effective teachers may integrate personal characteristics with their pedagogy, enabling them to work for social justice as a result of their self-understanding or take more risks to meet the needs of their students.
More puzzling was the result that the effective and ineffective urban teachers responded similarly in the current study. One explanation for this finding may be that most urban teachers have gained some degree of the defined attributes to survive within the urban environment. Contact with colleagues, families, and the community may help urban teachers to develop sociocultural awareness and contextual interpersonal skills. Although according to psychological theory, self-understanding is a lifelong process, teaching in urban settings may accelerate the process as urban teachers examine the socioeconomic disparities between themselves and their students. According to Hebert, Lee, and Williamson (1998), a high level of perceived efficacy is maintained throughout the teaching career even with the influence of the school context. Taken together, these attributes may be a measure of teachers' resilience rather than their effectiveness.
Another possibility is that some participants of the current study may have responded to statements about their beliefs with socially desirable responses. According to Shultz, Neyhart, and Reck (1996), teachers' beliefs regarding successful urban teaching and their attitudes toward children of color may differ. Faced with the challenges of the urban environment, these teachers may be unable or unwilling to make the changes needed to be more successful. These teachers' actions may contradict what they say they believe.
The current study demonstrated that effective and ineffective urban teachers shared similar attributes previously reported to be associated only with effective teaching. Research methodology should include groups of effective and ineffective teachers to avoid inadvertently associating the findings to only one group. Because effective and ineffective urban teachers have elected to teach in urban schools and have stayed despite the challenges inherent to the urban environment, instead of focusing on attributes of effective urban teachers, it may be more productive for researchers to focus on how to affirm, support, and develop culturally relevant pedagogy to increase the effectiveness of all urban teachers.
Recommendations for Future Research
This research indicates that effective and ineffective urban teachers may share more similarities than differences. Using psychological and educational theories as a framework, future research into teacher effectiveness could focus on pedagogy, classroom management strategies, interpersonal skills, and reflections on teaching practice. Studies that include groups of effective and ineffective teachers may serve to expose differences between these groups and to identify ways to remediate deficits.
In addition, future research could examine how urban teacher attributes and beliefs are reflected in their practice. This research could include an analysis of how culturally relevant pedagogy is developed. Although no two teachers teach in the same way, it would help to understand how teachers' perceptions affect the way they teach. Using a reflective practitioner model, researchers could ask teachers to examine their practice based on their beliefs and attempt to draw direct and meaningful correlations.
Finally, although the teacher attributes identified in the current study were not associated only with effective urban teaching, research to identify predictors of success in the urban setting should not be abandoned. Additional research, including assessments of effective and ineffective urban teachers, could guide the design and improvement of teacher preparation programs for urban schools. Teacher preparation programs that develop positive attributes for teaching in the urban environment may lead to increased retention of effective teachers in urban schools.
Actual Items by Factor
Factor I: Sociocultural Awareness (society) ([alpha] = .80)
50. America benefits from the diversity of its people.
28. I would enjoy teaching in a school where I can learn from the different cultures, backgrounds, and experiences of my students.
37. Students should be taught to be proud of their ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
38. I am comfortable talking to someone I don't know of another race, ethnicity, and/or culture.
23. To be an effective teacher, one must learn from students' cultural and ethnic background and from their experiences.
36. Even with the negative factors affecting urban schools, I can make a difference in students' lives.
Factor II: Self-Understanding ([alpha] = .67)
32. In America, being a member of the majority culture has political, economic, and social advantages.
52. An inability to speak formal or school English inhibits one's success in society.
14. All people have prejudices and biases about those who are different from them.
24. The standards of behavior, values, and beliefs taught in schools are those of the majority culture.
42. I am motivated by the challenge of teaching in urban schools.
39. Culturally diverse students should be explicitly taught the rules and customs of the school culture so that they will be successful in the majority culture.
44. Teachers can never fully understand the life experience of students who are culturally or ethnically different from themselves.
Factor III: External Efficacy ([alpha] = .70)
3. A teacher who tries hard can reach even the most difficult or unmotivated students.
5. The influences of a student's home experiences can be overcome by good teaching.
47. A good teacher can motivate any student to learn regardless of ethnic or cultural background
40. A teacher is very limited in what he or she can achieve because a student's home environment is a large influence on his or her achievement.
Factor IV: Cultural Responsiveness ([alpha] = .67)
26. It is the teacher's responsibility to find ways to engage students in learning regardless of the life conditions the students face.
12. Teachers should find some common interests with parents regarding the education of their children.
11. Students can succeed regardless of ethnic or cultural background.
15. Within the norms of the institution, I am willing to work for change.
19. It is the teacher's responsibility to make sure students feel as if they belong in the classroom.
Factor V: Contextual Interpersonal Skills ([alpha] = .68)
2. When interacting with parents, teachers should reflect parents' values, beliefs, and communication styles.
9. When I am working with someone whose language usage and communication is different from my own, I need to adapt to his or her style.
55. A teacher's relationships with parents and students can be enhanced if he or she adopts a style of communication and uses terms similar to those used by the parents and students.
Factor VI: Risk Taking ([alpha] = .64)
48. I focus on clear professional goals, even if they involve personal risk.
22. I continually seek out new challenges, even if they involve moderate to high risk for me.
Factor VII: Risk to Personal Safety ([alpha] = .72)
7. I do not feel safe in urban neighborhoods.
54. I do not feel safe in urban schools.
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Stephanie Kay Sachs is currently Director, Recruitment and Retention, St. Louis Public Schools, and can be contacted at email@example.com. Size previously was a faculty member at the University of Missouri--St. Louis. Her specializations include urban teacher preparation, partnerships, and new teacher induction.…
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Publication information: Article title: Evaluation of Teacher Attributes as Predictors of Success in Urban Schools. Contributors: Sachs, Stephanie Kay - Author. Journal title: Journal of Teacher Education. Volume: 55. Issue: 2 Publication date: March-April 2004. Page number: 177+. © 1999 Corwin Press, Inc. COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group.
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