The schools, their teachers and
their pupils: expectations,
This chapter looks at aspects of the motivations, influences and experiences expressed at the beginning of the VITAE project by schools and teachers involved in the study. It also provides an overview of pupils' attitudes to their schools and teachers. At the outset of the VITAE project, we invited all Year 2, Year 6 and Year 9 mathematics and English teachers from the seven LAs involved to complete a questionnaire. Teachers were asked what attracted them to teaching, about their current commitment motivation, levels of satisfaction and what factors affected their effectiveness in the classroom. There were 1200 respondents. The purpose was to create a representative picture of teacher attitudes, and to provide an initial base for identifying teachers and schools that could be invited to join the project. We then looked at the similarities and differences between the responses of 300 VITAE teachers, and the larger representative sample (Mujtaba 2005). The overall pattern of differences suggested that the VITAE teachers were, generally, slightly more positive and motivated about their work than the larger sample. They reported lower stress levels and were more likely to participate in CPD, as well as being more satisfied in various aspects of their current CPD.
One of the features of both the initial and VITAE teacher surveys were the differences in the concerns of primary and secondary teachers in relation to: