The Teacher Altruism Scale: Development, Validity and Reliability

By Yavuzer, Haluk; Ismen-Gazioglu, Esra et al. | Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri, September 2006 | Go to article overview
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The Teacher Altruism Scale: Development, Validity and Reliability

Yavuzer, Haluk, Ismen-Gazioglu, Esra, Yildiz, Armagan, Demir, Ilkay, Meseci, Filiz, Kiliçaslan, Aysegül, Sertelin, Çare, Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri


The aim of the present study is to develop a self report scale measuring teachers' altruistic behaviors. 359 teachers participated in the pre-test, criterion validity and test re-test validity studies. Factor analysis, to test the structural validity, was resulted in 4 factors with 18 items. To test the criterion validity, the Altruism Scale (Akbaba, 1994) was used as an external criterion. Results showed that total scores of the two scales correlated (r = 0.60). The internal consistency of the scale is α =0,73. The Guttman split half coefficient of the scale is =0,78. Test re-test correlation of the total score is 0,88. Results revealed that the psychometric properties of the scale was sufficient.

Scott and Dinham (1999) stated that the strongest motivational factors for teachers are altruism, commitment and personal improvement. Altruism is a concept used for identifying individuals who are self-sacrificing and directing their concern toward others. According to some theoreticians, altruism is helping others without an external award (Macaulay & Berkowitz, 1970). Mayers (1993) defined altruism as helping others without any expectations and concerning others.

Altruism is discussed together with helping behavior under the concept of prosocial behavior. Helping behaviors can be defined as maintaining others' welfare, wellness, or supporting them. In order helping behavior to occur, it is not necessary to help others in person. Behaviors such as donating, for example, can be defined as helping behavior (Schroeder, Penner, Dovido & Piliavin, 1995).

The difference between helping behavior and altruism appears mostly in the quality of the support provided by the ones whose job is to help and the others whose job is not (Bierhoff, 1991). Although teachers, doctors, and priests are not considered as part of such professional groups whose job is to provide help in the case of, for example, as social workers, psychologists, psychotherapists, or counselors, they are inevitably in a close relationship with social and psycho-social care sectors. These professional groups specifically work in the areas where health, social, legal, educational problems, crises and conflicts are seen. Furthermore, they are usually asked to be available for help in possible crises during their working hours. In this situation, they almost directly intervene or guide to crises all the time (Nestman,1991). Taken from this perspective, people working in social services and related areas may have higher altruistic tendencies. Sawyer (1966) studied the differences of altruistic behavior of social sciences, business graduate, and social service (YMCA) students. Results revealed that the most altruistic group was social service students. Social service students helped everyone but business students helped themselves. Social science students helped who needed them.

Research mentioned above show that social sciences and related occupations may have different levels of altruistic behavior. However, instruments aiming to evaluate altruism are limited and do not consider occupational differences (London, Bower,1968; Rushton, Chrisjohn & Fekken,1981). Mohan and Bhatia (1987) studied teachers' altruistic behaviors by the scales mentioned above. Yet, the sample size of the research can be criticized. Ismen and Yildiz (2005) studied altruism with teacher candidates. No relevant studies focusing on teacher altruistic behavior have been found. The aim of this research was to develop a self-report scale measuring teachers' altruistic behaviors.



In this study, 3 different sample groups are used. The form that was prepared for the pilot study was administered to randomly selected 308 teachers, working in primary and secondary schools in Istanbul. Out of the total 273 forms were found to be usable. The sample was consisted of 173 women and 100 men, aged between 23-62 years. 152 teachers were working in public schools and 121 were working in private schools.

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