Mastering Teacher Leadership

Mastering Teacher Leadership

Business Research Methods, 11e, Cooper/Schindler





Mastering Teacher Leadership

This case is about a multistage, communication study of teachers by Wittenberg University’s Department of Education to determine the viability of starting a Master of Education program for Ohio-certified teachers working within school districts serving a five-county area.

Ohio legislators recently implemented new standards for those wishing to teach within Ohio’s public and private schools. Teachers certified to teach in Ohio in 2002 or later will need to complete a master’s degree before obtaining their second licen- sure renewal. New teachers, therefore, will have a five- to seven-year window to complete the master’s degree after their initial licensure to teach.

Historically, teachers have looked to graduate level courses to fulfill their professional development requirements. According to the newly passed Ohio De- partment of Education Teacher Certification Standards, for the first time all profes- sional development activities must be tied to professional development plans cus- tomized by local school district goals. All such plans will be approved and moni- tored by Local Professional Development Committees. These LPDCs will look favorably on courses that fit local goals, which are increasingly motivated by student performance variances on standardized tests.

Wittenberg University is primarily a resident campus of 2,000 students affili- ated with the Lutheran Church in America. Located in central Ohio, Wittenberg is a comprehensive liberal arts institution with professional programs in education, busi- ness management, pre-med, and pre-law. It has been training teachers for more than 150 years and has earned a reputation for producing exceptional teachers for K–12 programs. This high quality, as perceived by local teachers who supervise Wittenberg undergraduate field teaching experiences, is expected to be Wittenberg’s greatest asset in pursuing the development of a master’s program.

Wittenberg, historically, has not offered a graduate degree in education, but it has offered graduate degrees in its nationally recognized music program and, until the mid-1980s, in its theology program. Wittenberg sees the change in Ohio Teacher Certification Standards as an opportunity for its Center for Professional Develop- ment (WittCPD), a program of professional development courses designed to fulfill the continuing education requirements of teachers in the area.

Central Ohio is rich with high quality universities. Within a 30-minute drive of Wittenberg’s campus, undergraduate teacher education programs can be found at Wright State University (WSU), the University of Dayton (UD), Urbana College,

Used with permission of Pamela S. Schindler ©2001.

Business Research Methods, 11e, Cooper/Schindler


Cedarville College, Wilberforce University, and Central State University. WSU and UD currently offer Master of Arts degrees in teaching. WSU offers continuing edu- cation programs that fulfill professional development programs.

Increased turnover is also expected to be a motivating factor contributing to increased enrollment in university development programs. Ohio’s schoolteacher turn- over is expected to increase due to the aging of the teacher population, incentive buyout programs designed to encourage aging teachers to retire, and the need to hire experienced teachers in the hard-to-fill math and science areas. With an aver- age 15 years teaching experience, Clark County schools have more than 900 certi- fied staff and hire 50–60 new teachers each year. Springfield City schools have more than 800 certified staff and hired 119 teachers in 1997, 99 in 1998, and 118 in 1999.

The faculty of the education department, in concert with university adminis- trators, conducted a brainstorming session in early fall 1998 to identify university resources that might contribute to a master’s program in education. This was fol- lowed by a retreat with an Ohio Department of Education consultant, who reiter- ated the advantages of a liberal arts-based program in the ongoing preparation of K–12 teachers.

To further explore the opportunity for offering a Master of Arts degree in Classroom Leadership, WittCPD conducted three focus groups: two with Spring- field City district teachers and one with local school superintendents. Both groups were positive about the likelihood of a program customized to the needs of the various local school districts. Additionally, they provided direction for the desired content and orientation of an effective program. Such a program would need to:

• Deal with the diverse cognitive and social needs of students. • Emphasize technological literacy for both teachers and students. • Emphasize both program and classroom assessment by providing a sound

research foundation for both curriculum and instruction. • Address classroom management issues of student social skills, moral edu-

cation, and discipline. • Provide a framework for teachers to learn to collaborate with other teach-

ers and with community professionals. In the spring of 1999, Education faculty associated with the WittCPD drafted

a market survey and mailed it to 2,000 practicing teachers in a four-county area. Each of the 1,600 teachers in Clark County, Wittenberg’s home county, received a questionnaire, with the remaining 400 surveys delivered to a systematic sample teaching in the outlying counties of Green, Montgomery, and Champaign. By September 1, 1999, 763 teachers had returned their surveys (31.8 percent response), of which 53.8 percent of respondents had completed or were enrolled in degree programs beyond the bachelor’s level.


Mastering Teacher Leadership

Business Research Methods, 11e, Cooper/Schindler


Out of 763 teachers, 21.2 percent said they definitely would enroll, with an addi- tional 57.7 percent who might enroll, citing professional requirements, professional advancement, or keeping their certification as the three primary reasons for enroll- ing. Those who expressed a lack of interest in a Master of Arts program at Wittenberg claimed as three obstacles the anticipated high cost, their holding a current master’s degree, or family responsibilities.

In order for the Wittenberg Board of Directors to approve offering of the new degree program, the program needs to continue the liberal arts tradition and strengthen the undergraduate teacher education program, as high quality under- graduate education is seen as part of Wittenberg’s primary mission. Additionally, new academic initiatives such as the one proposed are increasingly asked by the board to reach break-even within their first operating year.

>Initial Results

Dr. Robert Welker, Director, Wittenberg Center for Professional Development, provided the data and survey instrument to the authors in November 1999. Used with permission of Pamela S. Schindler and Donald R. Cooper, Business Research Methods, 7e, Burr Ridge, IL: McGraw-Hill, © 2001.


>>>>>Discussion 1 Build the management-research question hierarchy for this opportunity. 2 Evaluate the appropriateness of the exploratory stage of the research de-

sign. 3 Evaluate the sampling strategy. 4 Evaluate the survey: a In terms of structure, what is the quality of this instrument? What improve-

ments would you make? b In terms of measurement questions, are the chosen response strategies

appropriate? c Does this instrument meet the needs summarized in the investigative ques-

tions noted in your management-research question hierarchy (question 1 above)?

5 Prepare a preliminary analysis plan for this study. Which variables do you want frequencies on? Why? Which variables do you want to cross-tabulate? Why?

6 Analyze the data from this study on your CD (Excel 97 file format: Witt Mas- ters CPD.xls). With respect to creating a Master of Arts in Classroom Lead- ership program, what recommendation is supported by your data analysis?

7 What role could GIS play in this analysis?

Mastering Teacher Leadership

Mastering Teacher_Leadership 4

Survey Cover Letter and Graduate Program Survey

February 22, 1999

Dear Colleague:

Wittenberg University is exploring the potential of a Master of Arts program in education. In order for us to understand the promise of such an effort, we are asking that you complete the following survey. Our purpose is twofold. We would like to understand your potential interest in a master’s program at Wittenberg and in taking courses for graduate credit here. Second, we would like to use the information you provide to create a graduate program as receptive to the needs of practicing teachers as possible.

Please complete the attached survey form and return it in the postage-paid envelope provided by March 20, 1999. Thank you for completing this survey and thank you for your continued work with our community’s young people.


Robert Welker, Ph.D.


Wittenberg Center for Professional Development

1. Counting this year, how many years have you taught?

❒ 0–5 years ❒ 6–10 years ❒ 11–15 years ❒ 16–19 years ❒ 20 or more years

2. Professional responsibility and subject field. Check all that apply.

Grade Level Subject Area

❒ Preschool to grade 3 ❒ Art ❒ Music

❒ Grade 4 to grade 8 ❒ Business/Economics ❒ PE/Health

❒ Grade 9 to 12 ❒ 0–5 years ❒ Social studies

❒ Special education ❒ 0–5 years ❒ Science

❒ Administration ❒ 0–5 years ❒ Other ____________________

❒ Other: _______________________________________________

3. Highest level of education obtained. Please select one from the list below.

❒ Less than a B.A./B.S. ❒ B.A./B.S.

❒ B.A./B.S. plus graduate work ❒ Currently in M.A./M.S. program

❒ M.A./M.S. ❒ Ph.D. or currently enrolled in Ph.D. program.

❒ M.A./M.S. plus additional graduate work

If you are currently enrolled in a graduate program, which college or university are you attending?


4. Which of the following qualities are most important to you in a graduate program? (Please rank the top three quali- ties with “1” being of most importance, “2” being of next most importance, etc.)

____ Reputation ____ Quality of instruction ____ Class size

____ Schedule flexibility ____ Closeness to home ____ Individual attention

____ Cost ____ Other


Graduate Program Questionnaire

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5 Mastering_Teacher_Leadership

5. If costs were kept competitive, how likely would you be to apply to a master’s degree program in education at Wittenberg?

❒ Definitely would apply ❒ Might apply ❒ Would not apply

6. If costs were kept competitive, how likely would you be to enroll in graduate courses at Wittenberg to enhance skills without pursuing a master’s degree?

❒ Definitely would apply ❒ Might apply ❒ Would not apply

7. Please indicate the three most important reasons for your interest in graduate education at Wittenberg, with “1” being your most important reason, “2” your next most important reason, etc.

____ Professional requirements ____ Increased employability

____ Professional advancement ____ Additional money

____ Personal satisfaction ____ Keep certification

____ Future requirement ____ Upgrade certification

____ Career change ____ Improving skills

Other: ______________________________________________________________________________________

8. Please check the two most important reasons for your lack of interest in graduate education at Wittenberg.

____ Cost ____ Live too far away

____ Family responsibilities ____ Too near retirement

____ Time to complete the degree ____ Lack of information

____ Professional commitments ____ Already have a master’s degree

____ Enrolled in master’s program

Other: ______________________________________________________________________________________

9. Please indicate from the list below which of the following might be anticipated as an obstacle to your enrolling in a master’s level or graduate class at Wittenberg.

____ Child/elder care ____ Travel

____ Financial need ____ Employment schedule

____ Family commitments

Other: ______________________________________________________________________________________

10. What professional development areas most interest you? Please rank the top three professional development areas that interest you, with “1” being your area of strongest interest, “2” being your area of next strongest interest, etc.

____ Enhancing subject matter knowledge ____ Teaching Arts

____ Using technology in the classroom ____ Teaching Social Studies

____ Child development ____ Teaching English/Language Arts

____ Teaching reading/writing ____ Teaching Math

____ Specific learning disabilities ____ Teaching Science

____ Teacher leadership development ____ Urban social backgrounds

____ Developing social skills in students ____ Moral and character development

Other: ______________________________________________________________________________________


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“Do you know if the post office accepts checks?” asks Audrey, the business manager at the Chevron station.

“Couldn’t say,” Jason replies. “Because I am going to spend a fortune on stamps and I don’t want to carry a lot of

cash down there.” She waved a thick folio of three-up mailing labels. “I’ve got to sur- vey our customers. Our banker insists. You know that new loan officer? The MBA? The one named Jasmine, who calls herself ‘Jazz’?” We asked her for $50,000 so we can open at 5 A.M. and stay open until midnight—we have to put up a fence and some shrubbery, so as not to disturb the apartments in back, and install two new bays—and she told us to survey our customers to find out if many of them are retirees who go to bed early and wake up late and wouldn’t use our service. And find out when the others leave for work in the morning and come home at night.”

“So you have to do a survey.” “Yes. Three or four questions, maybe—nothing complicated. Like the two I men-

tioned and ‘How long have you been our customer?’” “How many years have you been our customer,” Jason murmured reflexively. “Oh, yeah, right. More precise, isn’t it?” Audrey said. “But the point is, do you

know what it costs to write to 1,000 customers?” He crunches the numbers in his head. Postage to send out the survey. Postage pre-

paid to have it mailed back. Paper and printing. One envelope outbound and one inbound. Stuffing the outbound and opening and coding the inbound. “Minimum of $1.50 a survey,” he says, “if your kids do the stuffing and opening and encoding. Maybe more. You generate labels from your computer, so you don’t pay for labels, which saves a mint, maybe 25 cents a name.”

Mastering_Teacher_Leadership 6

11. How far would you have to drive to attend WU?

❒ under 10 minutes ❒ 10–20 minutes ❒ 21–30 minutes

❒ 31–45 minutes ❒ 46–60 minutes ❒ more than 60 minutes

12. When during the year would you be able to take graduate courses? (Check all that apply.)

❒ Fall (Aug.–Dec.) ❒ Spring (Jan.–April) ❒ Summer (May–July)

13. Which day and time scheduling option below most appeals to you?

❒ Fall through spring: Day (8:00 AM–4:00 PM)

❒ Fall through spring: Late afternoon (4:00 PM–6:00 PM)

❒ Fall through spring: Evening (6:00 PM–10:00 PM)

❒ Fall through spring: Saturday

❒ Summer day (8:00 AM–4:00 PM)

❒ Summer evening: (6:00 PM–10:00 PM)

If you would like to receive more information about graduate progamming in education at WU, please add your name and mailing address below.

Name: __________________________________________________________________________________________

Address: ________________________________________________________________________________________

Thank you for your time and assistance. Please return the survey in the postage-paid envelope by March 20.

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